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Checklist to sell your property fast

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Selling your home can be an arduous task with a lot of time and preparation involved. This is especially true if you’re planning on buying a house around the same time; moving is its own stressful endeavour. If you’re worried about forgetting something or you’re just not sure where to start, here’s an easy checklist to make your life easier.

Selling a house checklist

1. Decide when to sell

Making the timing of your sale convenient can take the some of the stress out of selling. For example, the timing of your sale could coincide with your new purchase and moving date. Maybe you want to make sure you sell in winter so you’re not moving in the summer heat; maybe you’re moving interstate and need the house sold before you go. Whatever the case, make sure the timing of your sale works for you.

2. Get your home ready

Before you get an agent through to have a look around, make sure your home is ready to sell. If you had any odd jobs around the house you’ve been putting off, get them done before the ‘for sale’ sign goes up in the front yard.

Having all your ducks in a row before you get the sale underway can limit the preparation needed later. Make sure your home is clean and tidy, showing off its most notable features and qualities, so that buyers can see its full potential and make a great offer.

3. Find your real estate agent

Next step is getting an agent through the property to have a look around. Getting a few appraisals done can be helpful when it comes time to choose your agent, as you can compare commission rates and their past sales performance. Cheaper isn’t always better; make sure they’re a reliable agent that can get you the results you’re after.

When you’ve found the right agent for you and your home, you’ll need to sign your agent agreement. For example, in Queensland, this is called an ‘appointment or reappointment of a property agent’ or a ‘Form 6’. This will contain information such as the property’s value, how long the agent has to sell the property (standard is 90 days), whether the listing is exclusive or open, and so on.

4. Know your home’s worth

By getting multiple appraisals, you may end up with three different versions of how much your property is worth. Before getting your advertisement up online, make sure you understand how much your home is realistically worth by doing some research.

Look at comparable properties that have recently sold in your area, how much they sold for, and how long they were on the market. Knowing what you can expect and how much buyers are willing to pay for your home will help ensure you don’t settle for less, but also that you’re not expecting too much.

Getting a free online property report on your own home will also provide some important information.

Get free property report

5. Appoint a solicitor/conveyancer

Before you sign any contracts and get the ball rolling, you’ll need to have an appointed solicitor or conveyancer to represent you in the sale.

They will handle all the legal and financial paperwork in regards to your sale including reading over the contract/s, negotiating with the buyer's solicitors, arranging settlement, and so on.

You don’t need to have a solicitor ready to go straight away, but it can save you needing to find one last minute once you’ve got an offer on the property.

6. Prepare the Contract of Sale

Real estate agents will generally like to have a blank Contract of Sale (COS) ready to be signed before the advertisement goes online. This way, they don’t need to waste time getting this done once they have a buyer; they can take contracts with them to open homes and have them ready to be signed straight away.

Information that you’ll need to provide for the contract can include: your full legal name/s, your address, your solicitor, tenancy details (if applicable), inclusions/exclusions and any other relevant details. Most of the property’s information will be available on the title search such the lot number and if there are any easements.

7. Advertise your property

Once you’ve gotten all the logistical stuff out of the way, it’s time to advertise your property online. This will involve having high-quality photos taken of your property, organising inspection times for people to be shown through the home, and so on.

Your agent should organise all of your advertising for you including social media, flyer and/or brochure distribution, online listings, to name a few.

8. Accept an offer

You may get one or multiple offers on your property depending on your situation. Whether you get one or 10 offers, make sure you’re happy with the price and all the other special conditions like finance approval, building and pest, and so on.

Understanding the difference between a conditional and unconditional contract can also be helpful, as a quick, risk-free sale may be what you’re after (unconditional contracts are ‘cash’ contracts). Either way, ensure you understand the offer and you’re willing to accept what’s on the table.

9. Sign the Contract of Sale

Once you have a buyer, you’ll need to organise the COS. It’s advisable to have your solicitor/conveyancer do a quick check of the contract to make sure all the details are right and that you’re happy with all the conditions of the sale.

Once you’re ready, you’ll need to sign the contract and return it to the real estate agent for the sale process to begin.

10. Hand the keys over

Once the contract is in the clear and settlement day has passed, you’ll need to clear out all of your belongings and pass the keys onto the new homeowners. Your solicitor/conveyancer should handle all the legal and financial paperwork such as transferring the title deed, dealing with your home loan, and so on.

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, loans.com.au has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

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