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Guide to Selling

Chances are, you will have high expectations for the sale of your home. Most Sellers require that their property be sold in the shortest possible time frame while securing the highest possible price. Since each property is unique it requires a tailored marketing plan. At RE/MAX, we are firm believers in understanding your personal and financial requirements when developing a plan to market your property. This ensures we target the right audience using the best mediums, in the appropriate market and with the most exposure.

Choose a Real Estate Agent

The first step in the process of selling real estate is to find a knowledgeable and reputable agent who will provide invaluable help to you throughout the process of selling your property. Your real estate sales agent should be able to demonstrate to you the mediums available for listing your property. Marketing has changed dramatically in the last decade and your real estate agent should recommend both traditional and innovative advertising solutions.

Getting Sale Ready

Discuss your property in detail with your RE/MAX agent so they can get a sense of the features and benefits of your property. You'll most likely have a good sense of the features of your property that you find compelling. Your agent will also be able to identify desirable features that will differentiate your home in the market. There are a number of easy yet valuable jobs that can be completed when preparing your property for sale that will go a long way in increasing the appeal of your home to potential buyers. The property itself should be neat and tidy both inside and out and certainly a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference in the appeal of a property. Remember, the more appealing the initial impression of your property, the more likely you are to attract the right buyers. Ask your RE/MAX Sales agent what you might be able to do to increase the saleability of the property. Depending upon your budget, they may be able to suggest something as simple as a coat of paint or minor repairs or rejuvenating your front garden. Some of these minor improvements can have the potential to pay off substantially.

Advertising & Showing your Property

Once your property is ready to go to market your RE/MAX real estate associate will organise photography of the property and will list the property in an international database . Your representative will also arrange the marketing plan for your property which may include ads in newspapers, online real estate portals, flyers, signboards and other publications depending upon your own budgets and preferences. Open houses are also a powerful way to attract potential buyers looking at your property. Ask your RE/MAX real estate representative how they plan to market and sell your home. Be prepared to have prospective buyers come to your property and look through it very carefully. For most, this is one of the largest purchases they will make and therefore will be very interested in the details of the property. You may need to leave the property during this time but this allows potential purchasers to see themselves living in the house, and this is well worth it if the visit turns into a sale!

Offer & Negotiation

Your local RE/MAX real estate agent will be able to outline this process for you. In all cases, any offer will be presented to you and your agent by the buyer's representative, both of whom who will remain involved in the process until it is complete. A knowledgeable real estate agent will be able to guide you regarding the acceptable and legal approach to the process of offer and negotiation in your market. In all cases, it is not unusual to have an offer go between the seller and the buyer a number of times before it is accepted, slightly modified each time to suit the buyer or seller.

Settlement

Once your offer has been accepted, there will be an interim period of time between the date of formal acceptance and settlement. Settlement is the time where legal ownership is transferred. It may involve the seller's bank releasing mortgages and your bank placing a mortgage over the property. If the buyer or seller owns the property outright mortgages may not be required, your solicitor or conveyancing company look after these details for you.

More Tips and Hints

As soon as you make the decision to sell your home, you need to look at your asset in a different way. No longer just the place where you and your family live, your home is now a product that you need to market and present to your potential buyers. Showcasing your home is all about highlighting the possibilities. The more people who see your home as desirable, the higher the price you're likely to sell it for. Here are some great tips to help you put yourself in the shoes of your buyers and ensure you get the best possible price for your home.

1. Understand your buyers  

Different kinds of properties suit different kinds of buyers. What a young professional couple is looking for is unlikely to be the same as that which appeals to a growing family. Empty-nesters have different needs again. If you can second-guess the kind of people who may be attracted to your property you can: *Craft your marketing accordingly *Better understand how you can go about preparing your home for sale. A great real estate agent can give you insight into likely buyers based on his or her experience of the local market. Talk to friends to get their ideas about who they think may be interested in your property, and what they might be looking for.

 2. Remove personal clutter

 Your first step in preparing your home for sale is to pare down your furniture and belongings. Remove any ornaments that are too personal or idiosyncratic. You may be able to see the irony in the kitsch fridge magnet your Aunt Jenny brought back from Surfer's Paradise, but your buyers may not. As a general rule, take down family photos and children's drawings - although you can leave a couple of the more artistic ones, especially interesting older photos. Another benefit of carrying out this step of culling and de-cluttering early on is that it means you can more easily see what needs to be done in terms of cleaning and any repairs. Home buyers are looking for a place they can imagine themselves being happy and proud of. So, when you come to sell your home, your job is to ensure that nothing gets in the way of your home "communicating" with potential buyers. Leave room for buyers to visualise themselves in your home. Start by clearing your property of anything that isn't absolutely essential to the functioning or the aesthetic attraction of a room. Clean out and tidy storage cupboards. Cull pictures, knick- knacks and junk. Ask a friend with a discerning eye to help you be ruthless about de-cluttering your home for sale.

 3. Add value with cosmetic changes

Space, freshness and light are probably the most sought-after aspects of a property (apart from storage, more on that in a minute). Many properties that have a lot to offer in this regard are overlooked by buyers because sellers have failed to carry out simple and often inexpensive improvements. *A coat of paint can freshen up both the interior and exterior of a home - and is likely to add probably twice its cost to the value of the home. Stick to neutral colours, and ensure the paint job looks professional. *Lift worn carpets or lino to reveal floorboards that you can polish to create a clean, modern feel. If you don't have floorboards, replace with medium-quality floor coverings or look into installing a floating timber floor. *Replace tired cabinet doors and door handles in the kitchen and bathroom for an inexpensive and worthwhile lift. Re-grouting bathroom and kitchen tiles can make old tiles look new again. *Install a window or a skylight to brighten up a gloomy room. A window with a pleasant view over a garden or some other aspect gives a double benefit of light and space. *Create an outdoor entertaining area by paving a section of the backyard close to the house, and buying an inexpensive outdoor furniture set. You can do the same with an apartment balcony by adding some cheerful tubs of greenery and a barbecue. *Leave larger-scale structural improvements to the new owners. You're unlikely to get the money back you spend on upgrading the infrastructure such as re-wiring or re-blocking (replacing the foundations of your property).

4. Build more storage

One of the biggest complaints of home owners is lack of storage. Having a spacious open-plan living area or three bathrooms can be cancelled out if there is nowhere to store sheets, the vacuum cleaner or family memorabilia. Wardrobes are also often all too scarce - especially in older homes where people relied in the past on a big, old, freestanding wardrobe. Here's how to make more space for storage: *Rooms: Ensure each room in your property has some form of cupboard, cabinet or shelving. Even if the storage isn't built in, you can show the room's potential for fitting in a wardrobe or bookshelf. *Linen cupboard: Everyone needs somewhere to store their sheets and towels. Perhaps you can sacrifice a section of a hallway, laundry or bathroom to install a freestanding cupboard or build one in. Make sure, though, that it's made of material that can handle moisture and humidity. Bamboo, glass and chrome are good options. *Roof space: If you've got a bit of space in your roof, it may be worthwhile converting it into a storage attic. As long as it's properly lined and easily accessible with a fold-down ladder, this may more than pay for its value by appealing to buyers who can dream about storing their family heirlooms, winter bedding and camping equipment. *Shed: If you don't have a garage, buy a garden shed big enough to fit a few tools and a bike or lawnmower.

5. Price your home properly

 List your home at a price that is likely to target the right buyers. Too high and you're narrowing your potential buyer pool, too low and you're only going to get the opportunistic bargain hunters. Your agent should be providing you with a Comparative Market Analysis outlining recent sales of comparable properties to show you what the market is actually doing, not based on what they think you could achieve once on the market for sale. This way you are dealing with facts and the correct information, rather than the possibility of dealing with an agent who is trying to buy your business or, just isn't knowledgeable about handling what could be the largest financial transaction you'll ever make.

6. Dress to impress on inspection days

 The repainting, polishing, cleaning and de-cluttering are all done. On inspection day, make sure your home is fresh and welcoming. Make sure the yard and gardens are mowed and weeded, turn on all the lights, open the curtains and blinds and put fresh flowers in strategic spots around the property. Get rid of the kids and the pets - and all evidence of them, including toys, animal hair and smells. Clear the sink and kitchen bench, and put fresh towels in the bathrooms. Burn vanilla or peppermint essential oils no less than an hour beforehand. Have soft tasteful music playing in the background, and make yourself scarce. The golden rule on inspection days to remember is "You don't get a second chance at a 1st impression."

7. Be prepared to negotiate

When you get an offer from a buyer that may be much lower than you would like, reply courteously, letting the buyer know that you've done your homework and that you're expecting a price a little closer to your listing price. Be prepared to drop around five per cent from your hoped-for price - but take guidance from your real estate agent about the demand from buyers thus far. In an auction sale, if the property is passed in at a price lower than you like, have some negotiating points ready to offer the under-bidder. Can they offer you a better price if you volunteer a longer settlement period, for example, or if you leave the collection of large, potted palms behind?

8. Ensure a smooth transaction from contract to settlement

A contract isn't binding until each of you has a copy signed by both of you. If you're selling via private treaty sale: *Make sure your agent can contact you immediately when she receives a good offer. *Have your solicitor/conveyancer on call to be able to get moving on the conveyancing, to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. For settlement day, make sure you: *Vacate the property (unless the sale goes through with tenants in place). *Leave it in the same condition it was in when your buyer signed the contract - otherwise the buyer has the legal right to delay or pull out of the settlement. *Organise the disconnection of all utilities. *Hand over the keys to the new owners via your solicitor or agent.  

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