The process of selling a house can be tricky, but if you follow the guidance of these 6 steps you will be setting yourself up for a positive outcome. They can also save you a small fortune in real estate commission and fees and enhance a buyer's perception of your home's value.
Sellers Guide To Preventing Real Estate Pitfalls
Just when sellers think it's all a done deal, a house sale can fall over, and often does due to neglecting preparation and detail.
Even though you have gone through the whole real estate process and reached the stage of having a signed sale and purchase agreement, the fact that some "i's" weren't dotted and "t's" crossed - because the sale was rushed into without adequate preparation or advice from your real estate agent - may trip you up at the last hurdle.
And when it does, the process of selling your house has all of a sudden become very expensive as you start marketing it all over again. It doesn't have to be like this, so follow the steps and use the flow chart below - it's a 'lifesaver'.
The Process Of Selling a House In Six Steps
1. Prepare the Section and Kerbside
Look around for unattended repairs, unfinished work or general maintenance jobs, and tick them off, otherwise they could be picked up in a buyer's property inspection, which is very often a condition of sale.
The kerbside is your first impression to buyers. Stand across the street, compare your kerbside with your neighbours', put your buyer's hat on and you might be surprised by what needs attention.
This is the exact place where a potential buyer can be put off and keep driving. Draw them in with the impression of a well-maintained property that looks better than neighbouring properties, regardless of the 'zone'.
The same principle always applies regardless of what area you are in, or how low or high a value your location is.
2. Home Repairs and Maintenance
If you need to use tradesmen for structural/building repairs, electrical work or plumbing to complete a consent process, always use a trades person who is a Licensed Building Practitioner or a Registered Builder.
Shoddy building and repair work that is non-compliant can be a costly affair when it comes to selling a house, so get these basics right at the outset.
Find tradespeople on our Licensed Trades Directory.
3. Edit the Home Interior Look - Home Staging Definitely Helps Add Value
Assess the look and feel of your home with a buyer's eye.
Go through every room and list what you can improve or remove. Notice the best features and highlight them as doing this can draw the eye away from the negatives.
Home Staging and Styling is a proven strategy for lifting sales price and shortening sales time. It can be done for little or no money and real estate agents report that this can add 10-15% more to a sale price than expected.
4. Find the Best Real Estate Agents - Ask For a Short List
When selling a house, the process of finding the right real estate agent can be an exercise in casting about blindly. It's not obvious to the untrained eye who will get you the best price for your house, in a short time.
More property sellers, short on time but keen to get due diligence done are now using a real estate agent broker to help them sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak. Agent Finder, awarded NZ's best estate agent vetting service has been providing this service free for over a decade. Give them a call to find out how they can help you on 0800 789 532.
Agent Finder NZ also has lots of advice and resources about selling your home including an Agent Questionnaire. This will help you interview agents and acquire all the information you should have to make such an important decision.
5. How to Choose Your Real Estate Agent Wisely
Don't just take a stab, interview the real estate agents on your short list to gauge their strengths so you can compare them.
Choosing a real estate agent will mostly be determined by the quality and content in your property appraisals so you might like to find out more about what a real estate appraisal entails, what to look for and how to choose the best real estate agent for you, your property type and location.
It is a legal requirement under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, to have a real estate appraisal in writing by a licensed real estate agent and they can be held accountable by the industry authority for providing these verbally or being misleading in their sale price range recommended.
Real Estate Appraisals include how the agent intends to get the best sale price for you. Among other things, it should provide examples of comparable sales in your location, describe different methods of sale and set out a marketing plan and what that will cost. Read Advice About Getting A Property Appraisal.
6. What is the Market Value of Your House?
Your property appraisal from each real estate agent will guide you with the recommended price range for which it will be marketed. Many home sellers are lured by the promise of a high sale price when in fact this can come back to bite you.
Setting an inaccurate sale price range is one of the leading causes of why a house doesn't sell, so focus on getting this as accurate as possible. Home buyers have access to so much information about house prices now and will contest what you think it's worth with data they've gathered online.
If you want more certainty and confidence about the price range you intend to market your house at, a full valuation carried out by a licensed valuer can be the best money invested when selling a house.
Find out more about how to price your house to sell including why valuations help give your real estate agent more leverage when negotiating with buyers.
7. Real Estate Commission and Signing an Agency Agreement
Once you have chosen a real estate agent, you will have discussed and understood the various methods of sale available and chosen one which should be outlined in your agency agreement. Your real estate agent should have explained them all and made a recommendation about which method will work best in your favour, in the current market and location.
When you sign an Agency Agreement you will assent to the commission fee. The thought of paying Real Estate Commission and Fees are possibly the most dreaded part of selling a house but you can find lots of independent advice about how to minimise all expenses, including commission and fees.
The real estate agency agreement is not with the individual agent, but with the real estate agency. Check the terms of contract and the commission fee which are both negotiable. It pays to read the Checks Before Signing An Agency Agreement.
8. Marketing Your House to Sell
Look over the marketing and advertising plan in detail.
Your real estate agent should give you a step by step plan which includes associated costs. If there are any amendments made to your marketing plan after your initial agreement, they need to be signed off by you again.
This is the point where you should discuss open homes versus private viewings. Dive deeper into Real Estate Marketing and Advertising here.
If you are selling a house in Auckland, how it is marketed may be crucial, resulting in offers differing in value by tens of thousands of dollars. Find out why.
9. Real Estate Photography
Having gone to the effort of decluttering and staging your home, make sure you capture the effect in good quality photographs.
Good real estate agents will set you up with a professional photographer. These are the pictures that will attract good buyers so they need to be effective and appealing.
Don't make the mistake of marketing your house for sale with unprofessional photography.
Picture boards can work especially well with some properties, often being the first impression to a home buyer.
10. Real Estate Websites
Your real estate agent will upload your property information to real estate websites as per your agreed marketing plan.
These listings describe features and benefits and special details. Be clear about your intended price range as website visitors will search according to their price range. Ask your agent specifically, what price range they will enter as you need to be on the same page about this.
11. Open Homes Vs Private Viewings
Talk to your agent about what process they use for viewings. When selling a home, there are different benefits and preferences for open homes versus private viewings according to individual circumstances.
12. Communication With Your Real Estate Agent
You can expect your real estate agent to give you regular updates and progress reports on inquiries received. Ask how often these will be.
13. Offers to Buy Your House
Buyers' offers will be presented to you via the Sale and Purchase Agreement. Verbal offers are not acceptable. Make sure you do your due diligence with a property lawyer to ensure this legally binding agreement is sound and the process of due diligence has been adhered to.
14. Moving Day
With utilities and services all now online, getting them changed to your new address is easier than it used to be. Phone, power and gas can now all be easily sorted online.
Find out more about The Moving Process here.
Need help? Get in touch.
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Article updated March 3 2021 | About