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Must-do checklist for selling a house

It’s not every day you sell a property, so it’s understandable that some vendors approach the process with trepidation. Here are the top 10 things you need to get right.

1. The overall presentation

If you’ve got a renovator’s delight, you might be able to sell your property as is. In general, though, before taking your home to market, you should put in the hard yards to present it correctly. This means a thorough review of property and garden maintenance. Does the house need painting, the garden replanting or the gutters fixing? Attend to anything that could catch buyers’ eyes and stop them from falling in love with your home.

2. The bigger issues

If your home faces any major issues – a tree dangerously close to the property, a roof that needs replacing or a particularly steep driveway – consider how you’ll deal with it. Either invest time and money to mitigate the problem or formulate a plan for the selling campaign.

3. The clean-up and clear-out

Once you’ve got the bones in order, it’s time to make it neat and tidy for potential buyers. Clear out the clutter and give surfaces a good cleaning. Consider whether you can improve the look and feel of your home by replacing some of your furniture with borrowed items or hired pieces from a staging company. A good agent (see #4 below) will be able to advise you.

4. The agent

When choosing an agent to help you sell your home, meet with them, talk to them, attend some of their current open homes and assess their way of doing business. You’re looking for someone who consistently follows up with contacts and who is engaging with potential buyers. You also want a skilled negotiator. It’s good practice to interview at least three real estate agents to assess whether you think their advice regarding what to do with your property and its price is sensible and achievable.

5. The price

Getting the price right on your property can be tricky. Many sellers feel they need to get back what they put in, but buyers don’t price homes this way. Instead, they take their cues from local market conditions. To assess the market, look at recent property sales that are similar to yours in terms of condition; size; and number of bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces. Don’t just review advertised prices – research actual sales.

6. The photographs

Engage a professional photographer to take the pictures of your home. (The same goes for a videographer if you’re using a video.) True, it’s an added cost, but it’s vital to showcase your property at its best.

7. The wording

Choosing the right phrasing for marketing and selling your property can be challenging. The best agents highlight key points to catch buyers’ attention but don’t overwhelm with too much detail. Include the more comprehensive information in the brochure, handouts at viewings and – if you have one – the property’s website.

8. The documentation

Don’t let your sale fall through because you don’t have all the paperwork in place. Take time before you go to market to ensure you’re up-to-date with any required certifications from local council and other relevant bodies.

9. The access

You want as many buyers as possible to see your property. Whenever possible, you should be ready to show the home at a moment’s notice. With today’s time-poor population, people may request an inspection at all hours of the day.

10. The settlement dates

Some buyers may request a longer settlement; others might be desperate to move in. Being able to be flexible on settlement dates may be just what you need to get a buyer over the line.

Successfully marketing and selling your property requires a bit of work but it will all be worth it in the end. Good luck with your sale!

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