The process of selling a house can be tricky, so use these 6 stages to guide you thoroughly, step by step. It can also save you a small fortune in real estate commission and fees and add value to a buyer's perception of your home's value.
Sellers Guide To Preventing Real Estate Pitfalls First
Just when you think it's a done deal, the house sale can fall over, and does often due to neglecting 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 - this may trip you up at the last hurdle.
And when it does, your real estate experience - the process of selling a house in NZ - has all of a sudden become very expensive as you start all over again.
The Process Of Selling A House In Six Stages
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 what you discover needs attention.
This is the exact place where a potential buyer can be put off and keep driving. Draw them in with an impression of a property well maintained 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.
If you need to use tradesmen for an 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 Master Builder.
Here, click on the Licensed Trades Directory title which will take you directly to these organisations for the various trades you need. 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.
2. Edit The Home Interior Look
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 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.
3. Find The Best Real Estate Agents With 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.
It's a free service which vets real estate agents then sends you a shortlist of the ones that meet their 20+ vetting criteria. It's pretty hard for real estate agents to meet their competence standards so it's the safest way to find the best agents quickly.
They will create a short list to narrow down your hunt and welcome inquiries via Live Chat to help get you started or call 0800 789 532.
To help you some more, Agent Finder NZ has developed an Agent Questionnaire with questions drawn from those who have navigated the pitfalls previously. You won't find a more thorough questionnaire than this one.
4. 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 right real estate appraiser for you, your property 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 being misleading in an appraisal.
Real Estate Appraisals include how the agent intends to get the best sale price for you. Among other things, it should describe different methods of sale and set out a marketing plan. Read Advice About Getting A Property Appraisal.
5. What Is The 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 guided by the promise of a high sale price when in fact this can come right back at you.
Setting an inaccurate sale price range is one of the leading causes 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 on line.
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 with the Property Institute can be the best money invested when selling a house.
You can 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 sign an Agency Agreement and 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 agency agreement is not with the individual agent, but with the 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.
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.
This is the point where you should discuss open homes versus private viewings. Dive deeper into Real Estate Marketing and Advertising here.
9. Real Estate Photography
Having gone to the effort of decluttering and styling 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 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. 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.
14. Moving Day
With services moving online, getting them changed to your new address is easier than it used to be. Utilities like phone, power and gas can now be easily sorted online. Find out more about The Moving Process here.