Are you thinking of selling up and moving homes?  Maybe the kids have moved out, so you’re downsizing? Or a new bub on the way means you need more space?

But how do you get your existing home ready to achieve the best sale price & ensure a smooth settlement?

Read on, and we’ll guide you through the sales maze.

1. Tidy up the place before selling

Before you start getting real estate agents around to appraise your property, take some time to do some general maintenance and tidying.

Don’t go overboard, you don’t want to overcapitalise.” 

Once you decide on an agent, they will be able to advise you in whether any additional, costlier work such as painting is recommended prior to selling.

2. Take a look at your finances

In the current market, we see many home owners who find that they haven’t made as much on their property over their period of ownership as would have been expected some years ago.

This could leave you at the risk of having a shortfall, where the sale price doesn’t cover your mortgage and outgoings.

Before putting your property up for sale, check on the balance of your mortgage, and any outgoings such as shire and water rates.

Factoring in the costs of selling (agents commission and conveyancing fees), you’ll need to ensure that you have enough funds to cover all your expenses.

If you find yourself short, have a chat to your bank as they may be able to negotiate a short term personal loan or some other solution to cover the deficit.

3. Research & choose your real estate agent

Using sites such as realestate.com.au and ratemyagent.com.au is a great way to start your search.

However, separating the successful selling agents from the rest using the internet alone can be difficult.

To help choose an agent, have a chat to friends and relatives who have recently sold or purchased property and get their opinions.

You can also attend home opens in your local area and observe the agents in action.  Ask questions and gauge their knowledge of your suburb, and see how quickly they make a follow up call to you after the inspection.

Make a shortlist of two to three agents, and meet with them.  Realestate.com.au has a handy article that can assist you with making the final decision.

4. Decide on a sales strategy & get marketing

Once you’ve decided on your real estate agent, signed your listing agreement and set your target price, it’s time to start marketing the property!

A good agent will advise you on recommended strategies, such as private treaty, auction, Open Negotiation.”

On open day, ensure that your home is in tip-top shape. Make sure you’ve de-cluttered and have minimal personal effects such as photos on display.

Let your buyers easily imagine themselves living in the home!

5. Ensure your home complies with legislation

Whilst you’re waiting for your buyer to come along, we recommended that you engage a licensed electrician to check that your property has the necessary RCDs (residual current devices) and hard-wired smoke alarms in place.

Your electrician will issue you with an Electrical Safety Certificate for the work that they do. Be sure to provide a copy of this to your real estate agent and conveyancer.

For more information on these requirements, refer to DFES (smoke alarms) and Energy Safety (RCDs).

6. Whilst we’re talking about compliance, check on your ATO requirements

If you’ve sold your home for over $750,000, you’ll need to consider the ATO’s Capital Gains Withholding Tax regime.

For most sellers, you’ll be able to apply for a Clearance Certificate on the ATO’s website.

For more information on these requirements, refer to our ATO Withholding Tax blog.

Additionally, if you enter into a contract to sell after 1 July 2018 you may be required to adhere to Withholding Notification requirements in respect of the ATO’s GST at Settlement measure.  We discuss these requirements further on our GST at Settlement blog.

7. Check the Title Deed

We recommend viewing a recent search of your Certificate of Title. Your real estate agent should order one as part of the selling process or you can order one direct from Landgate.

Check to ensure there are no mortgages or caveats lodged against your title that you aren’t already aware of.

Speak to your conveyancer if there is anything concerning registered against your title.”

8. Get your Settlement Agent to review the Contract

The last step in the selling process, before you put pen to paper and sign up your offer is to speak to Metro Settlements!

We’ll review the Contract for you and make sure that it’s written up correctly, and that it addresses all of your requirements, particularly where you require a specific settlement date.

9. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Once the contract is signed up, Metro Settlements will keep in regular contact with you.

However, please be sure to let us know as soon as possible if you’ll be going away or un-contactable for any period of time during the settlement process.

We’ll ensure that all the necessary paperwork is sent to you for signing at the relevant times., so you don’t need to worry.

When you receive documentation from us, please ensure that you sign & return it promptly to avoid delays.

10. Attend to any last-minute repairs

The final step before settlement is your buyer’s final inspection. This usually takes place the week prior to settlement.

As part of this inspection, your buyer will check that all of the gas, electrical and plumbing fixtures are in working order.

Prior to this inspection, it’s a good idea for you to go around the home and check these for yourself. If you find anything not working, you’ll then have ample time to arrange the necessary repairs.

Download our handy checklist to assist you in your checks.

Congratulations – now you’re ready to settle with Metro Settlements!  Call us today!