1) Choose the right agent
It’s important to ensure your agent is experienced in selling your kind of property and that you are comfortable that they’re going to achieve the best possible price, based on how the market is going – this will enable you to know how much money you will have to downsize with and help meet your timeline, by being able to sell your property in a respectable timeframe. There’s no point asking for a price that buyers just won’t accept, because it is over the current market price.
In their book ‘Downsizing Made Simple’, Rachel Lane and Noel Whittaker recommend researching for the right agent and not just choosing someone you know. It’s a great idea to meet with the agent, ask them questions and ensure they’re someone who you feel you can trust and will keep you informed as you move through the process.
Here are some helpful questions to start the conversation:
- What is the expected sale price I’ll achieve? Don’t let them get away with vagaries
- What do you recommend I do to best present my home for sale?
- What are the marketing activities you’ll be conducting to attract potential buyers? Have them show you examples
- What is your recommended sales strategy?
- How many similar homes have you sold recently and have they been in the same/nearby suburbs? (this will give you the confidence that this real estate agent knows your area and has sold ideally multiple houses in your area).
- How, and how often will you be contacting me while the property is on the market?
- How much is it going to cost me, including marketing fees, sales commission and any other ‘hidden’ costs?
Looking for a real estate agent? We’re here to help! We can help you get in touch with our preferred agents – both our Membership team and some of our residents have built great relationships with them.
2) Discuss sales and marketing strategy
The role of your agent is to ultimately help you sell your home at the best possible price in a decent timeframe, based on current market prices. As experts in the industry, they’re familiar with the way the market is going and will have great advice on the following:
- Determining the days and times for open inspections
- Planning the advertising of your property – online, print advertisement, email marketing, outbound calls etc. You need to know exactly how they are going to get the word out and how much it is all going to cost you
- Selling via auction or by offer. If you are selling via auction, calculating the lead time required to get enough potential buyers interested
3) Set a price
Whether you’re going to auction or not, you will need to agree with your agent on a price you’re willing to take for your property, that’s based on current market data. It’s important first to discuss with your agent the current market price for homes in your suburb or neighbouring suburbs, that are equivalent or similar in size or offering to yours, so that you set the right price that buyers are willing to pay. In the case of an auction that is your ‘reserve’ price, but when you are accepting offers you have a little more leeway to change your mind over time. Obviously the longer you have, means that you can stand tough with your price and wait for a better offer, but if you prefer to sell more quickly, you are more likely to take an early offer so it will be sold before you move.
Again, your agent should be able to advise you on a likely price for your home using recent sales and demand in your area. Talk to them up front about whether you are going to advertise your price or use a range, or let the market determine what it is worth. Whichever strategy you use, you have to be comfortable with what that will mean to your timeline and final sale price.
4) Prepare your home for sale
Potential buyers don’t want to see the day-to-day cleaning essentials or even items on a kitchen bench. The more space and the more clear surfaces you can create, the better the property will present. A good agent will have a range of ideas and advice to optimise your home, but when listening to their suggestions let your budget and timeline guide the advice you follow. Some of the suggestions will likely be a fresh coat of paint and some decluttering so prospective buyers have the chance to see beyond your possessions and picture themselves living in your home.
If you need a quick ‘facelift’ for your home, we recommend speaking with your agent (or even your friends) about who they have worked with in the past. For some decluttering and downsizing advice, there are specialists who will roll up their sleeves to do the job with you. We recommend:
- The Bear that Cares
0416 288 824
- Downsize with Care
(02) 6134 5200
- Inspired Outcomes
0448 201 884
5) Transfer and exchange – What to do once you’ve accepted an offer
Once the offer becomes unconditional, congratulations – you can pop the champagne! Now that you’re one step closer to your big move, what’s next? With help from your solicitor or financial planner, you will be able to outline the next steps and be guided through the settlement process. This includes sorting out your legals and financials to transfer the property ownership and exchange money. A standard settlement occurs 30-45 days after you’ve accepted your offer, however LDK will ask for a simultaneous settlement of your property and new home.
If you’re in need of a financial planner or solicitor, we’ve shared some recommendations below, however if you have any questions you’d like to ask the LDK team, please do not hesitate to the Membership Team via 1300 535 000.
- KJB Law – Jo Twible
(02) 6281 0999
- Artisan Legal – Paul Salinas
(02) 6183 5141
- DDCS Lawyers – Theresa Dowling
(02) 6212 7600