Guide to selling a property

There are two ways to sell your property: you can choose to sell it yourself or use a Licensed Real Estate Agent.

The real estate agent Selling a house can be a stressful time.  Involving a Licensed Real Estate Agent will provide property knowledge together with a professional marketing plan to make the sales process as easy as possible. If you are not confident dealing with people and/or you don’t have any selling ability to promote your property, we recommend you talk to a real estate agent.

Shop around and talk to a couple of real estate companies in your area or talk with neighbours, family and friends. They may recommend someone they know or have dealt with in the past. Make sure you choose someone that you are comfortable dealing with, don’t be afraid to ask them the tough questions and always ask them to repeat or explain things better if you don’t understand.

Real estate companies have varying marketing costs and commission fees, so make sure you do your homework and you know what costs you will incur. Before you sign up with an agent, take your time and think things over. If you are unsure or need advice, talk with close family or friends. A good real estate agent will guide you through the process and keep you informed.

Sell it yourself If you’re a confident person and like talking to people then selling your own property can be fun and rewarding. At the same time you can save a lot of money on marketing costs and the commission fee which can be up to 4% of the sale price.

Ways to sell your property A real estate agent will advise you on the best method to sell your property. If you intend to sell your own property, do some research first, as you’ll need to decide what method best suits you.

Auctions The sale of your property by auction to the highest bidder can only be done by a licensed real estate auctioneer. You set your reserve and it is up to the public bidding to meet or exceed the reserve price. The auctioneer is not permitted to sell below the reserve price without the seller’s consent. The auction can be held in the auctioneer’s room or on the property being auctioned.

Fixed price offer If you’re selling the property yourself, then this method is generally the most favoured and it is considered the most efficient way to sell. This method lets the buyer know your price expectation, however a fixed price is normally open to negotiation, so it is advisable to make sure you take this into account when setting your price.

Enquiries over and by negotiation Enquiries over a pre-determined price whereby the buyer is expected to make an offer exceeding the advertised price.

Selling by negotiation allows you to advertise your property without a price and for a potential buyer to negotiate the price with the seller.

Tender No price is advertised, the seller can set a closing date or keep it flexible, then it’s up to the potential buyer to do their research to determine the value of your property and submit their best offer in writing. This allows the seller to select the most favourable offer confidentially. This method of selling allows the market to decide the value of the property. Selling with no closing date means the seller can choose to accept an offer at any time. Selling with a closing date means all offers must be received before closing date.

You’ll need a lawyer If you don’t have a lawyer, a friend or family member may recommend one to you. Before you start advertising your property let your lawyer know that you are selling and by what method. The lawyer will take care of all the legal requirements such as conveyance work, LIM report, dealing with the buyer’s lawyer and managing the settlement process. If you’re selling the property yourself your lawyer will provide you with valuable advice.

How much is your property worth? If you’re serious about selling your property, you need to be realistic with the price you set. Property prices fluctuate and it pays to get an accurate valuation before you start. If you want to be sure about the price we recommend having the property valued by a registered property valuer. Having a valuation gives you peace of mind knowing that the price is realistic, and this eliminates any doubt when you are negotiating with a potential buyer.

Presentation Before you start taking photos of your property make sure it’s clean and tidy. Remove the mess, mow the lawns, tidy the gardens and clear any rubbish. If anything needs repairing or painting get it done before you take photos. If you’re unable to carry out maintenance yourself, get hold of a good handyman. Make sure your photos are taken on a good quality digital camera. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a friend. First impressions count, and poor quality photos will not help you sell your property.

Walk around the property and make a list of the key selling points e.g.

  • Sunny areas
  • Views
  • Indoor and outdoor living areas
  • Kitchen and appliances
  • Bedrooms
  • Gardens
  • Amenities in the area.

When writing the details about the property, remember to be truthful and accurate and if you are aware of any faults you are obligated to disclose them. Point out all the good aspects about the property and the potential. Write a story but keep it brief and to the point.

Open homes Open homes can be difficult, however they give you an opportunity to showcase the home.

  • Remove or contain your pets if possible
  • Lock away valuables
  • Make sure the house is clean and tidy
  • Have the carpets cleaned and use air freshener
  • Brew a fresh pot of coffee
  • If it’s a nice day open up the windows and the door to the deck or patio
  • If it’s a cold day keep the house at a warm temperature
  • Tidy the garden, mow the lawns and clear up all the rubbish.


Understanding the sale and purchase process The sale and purchase agreement form outlines the buyer’s offer and all the conditions relating to the sale. Always have a sale and purchase agreement on hand – you can get the forms from your lawyer or some bookshops. If you’re selling or buying privately and you are unsure about this process, talk to your lawyer for clarification.

Types of offers “Unconditional” is a binding contract whereby the buyer is obligated to go through with the sale.  “Conditional” is also a binding contract, whereby the buyer can include conditions that if not met allow the buyer to back-out of the agreement. These conditions can include a builder’s report, LIM report and approved finance.

Negotiation A seller may accept an offer from a buyer at any time or they can enter into negotiation on the price or any other conditions of the sale. If you are not capable of doing the negotiations you can elect your lawyer to act on your behalf.

Need help? – Visit our help desk