The 10 steps of a property sale

Like anything, selling a property is a process, and it’s one that has a number of steps involved to ensure you receive the maximum return on such a significant asset.

So, let’s walk through the 10 steps of a property sale and exactly what’s involved.

1. Prepare the home for sale

Long before a property goes to market, it pays to prepare it in a way that allows the home to put its best put forward to potential buyers.

This step can take up to a couple of months and involves everything from decluttering, to undertaking any required maintenance and repairs, and perhaps even having the home professionally styled.

Some of this will be undertaken in consultation with the real estate agent you select, but often it begins long in advance of selecting your agent.

You can read our full guide to preparing your property for sale here.

2. Select an agent

There’s a vast difference between an average agent and a great one, and it pays to take your time, research well and interview a shortlist of agents prior to selecting the one who will represent your home.

If you’re looking for tips on how to select the right agent, you can find them here, but in brief, it should be someone you trust, feel comfortable with, and who has an established track record of achieving good sales in your local area.

3. Decide on the sales method

Once you have engaged an agent, it’s time to decide on the best sales method for your property, with the options including auction, private treaty, expressions of interest and for sale by tender.

Your agent will walk you through the sales method they suggest, along with the pros and cons of each option.

The option you select should be one that you’re comfortable with and is suited to the type of property involved while factoring in recent similar sales in the area, and how long properties in your suburb are taking to sell.

4. Prepare the marketing materials

With your sales strategy selected, attention turns to preparing the marketing materials, including photography of the home, sign boards, website copy for your listing, and the creation of digital or hard copy brochures.

Your agent may also suggest advertising on social media and in newspapers.

The aim of the game here is to attract the attention of as many potential buyers as possible who will attend your property to see if it’s the one for them.

5. Open homes and inspections

Open homes and inspections are one of the most important parts of the selling process. Your agent will work with you to determine whether an open home is public or by private viewing only.

Either way, it’s an opportunity to present your home in the best possible light and give potential buyers a real feel for what it’s like to live there.

6. Negotiations and offers

Successful open homes lead to offers on a property and at this stage your agent’s negotiating skills are paramount.

They’ll work with interested buyers to gauge whether they’re serious, and negotiate with them to elicit the best possible offer for your home.

Once this offer is in writing, you have the option of accepting it, presenting a counter offer, or refusing the offer and waiting it out to see if there’s a better one forthcoming.

7. Selecting a legal representative

Once you’ve accepted an offer, the legal process of selling a property commences. Sales contracts will need to be exchanged, conditions might be added and a deadline for settlement will be set.

At this stage it’s important the seller has good legal representation in the form of an experienced solicitor or conveyancer.

They will help guide you through the legal process, ensuring both the buyer and seller understand all the conditions, and meet them by the required dates.

8. Pest, building and bank valuation

A common condition of any contract of sale is that it’s ‘subject to pest and building inspections’. This means the buyer will engage a pest and building inspector to attend your property and ensure there are no existing problems.

If your property is going to auction, interested buyers will need to do this in advance of the auction date.

Meanwhile, the buyer will also need to have the property valued by their lending institution if they’re seeking to secure a mortgage for that property.

9. The contract of sale

Behind the scenes, the contract of sale continues to guide both the buyer and seller through the settlement process.

This document sets out the key dates when certain milestones need to be met, such as the buyer attaining finance, the deposit being provided, and the date by which any due diligence must be completed.

It will also identify when and where settlement will occur.

10. Settlement

Settlement is the day your property officially changes hands. Although much of the settlement process is handled by your conveyancer and financial institution, the seller also has responsibilities on this day.

Keys will need to be handed over and if the property is not rented, it will need to be vacant and tidy.

But it’s not all administration and box ticking, it’s also a day to celebrate the fact that you’ve achieved a successful sale.

Looking to buy or sell?

If you’re considering buying or selling a property, why not chat with one of our friendly agents on 1300 438 439 to understand the state of play in your local market?

We’re not just about property, but the people and the stories behind it. You can also view our list of currently available properties here.