The method that each real estate agency uses differs from one to another, but at Bricks & Mortar Real Estate we take a consultative approach to selling property that involves the owners at every stage of the process. The following information is a basic outline of the selling process that we follow in private treaty sales.
Typically, the first step prospective vendors take is to invite an agent to conduct a current market appraisal on their property. A market appraisal begins with one of our qualified agents visiting the property to familiarise themselves with the condition and features. Once the agent has visited the property they will prepare a report based on recent comparable sales, current market conditions, and their personal sales experience to determine an estimated value of your property in the current market.
Once one of our qualified agents has done the appropriate research on your property they will arrange for a second meeting to present to you the best way to achieve your real estate goals. This meeting will typically cover the presentation of the property, advised method of sale, approach to marketing, estimated sale price, and commission structure. In addition to this important information it is also a chance to ask any additional questions you have about the process and to familiarise yourself with the agent and how they work.
Once you’re ready to commit to the sale of your property there are some documents that you will need to complete prior to the marketing of your property commencing. The first is the agency agreement; this is a contract between you and the selling agent which outlines the conditions you’ve agreed on including the selling fee, asking price, agency period, and marketing expenditure. The other important document you’ll need prepared is the contract for sale. You should contact your legal representative as early as possibly to arrange the contract as they will take some time to prepare.
Marketing & Showing the Property
Exposing your property to as many prospective purchasers as possible is essential in achieving a successful sale. For this reason it is important that your property is presented correctly prior to the commencement of advertising. Once the property has been dressed for sale, photos can be taken and advertising text prepared to emphasise the best aspects of your home. At Bricks & Mortar Real Estate this process also involves consultation with the owners to ensure they are happy with all aspects prior to exposing the property to the market. Once the marketing has been prepared the property, it will be uploaded to internet search portals and our website, a signboard will be erected, and print media advertising will commence.
Showing the property will commence concurrently with the advertising campaign and will vary depending on the requirements of the owners. Typically, the property will be shown by private inspection or open house. Open house inspections provide an opportunity for a number of purchasers to view the property and minimises the impact on the residents of the property. Additionally, open house inspections often create competition as purchasers are able to witness the level of interest in the property. Private inspections are typically one on one inspections that allow the agent to provide more information to purchasers and initiate negotiations in a private setting. Another method is to conduct a preview of the property that takes place prior to advertising commences. The preview allows agents to contact their database of clients and show them the property prior to advertising it. This method can be effective in reducing your marketing costs because if you can secure a sale prior to marketing you reduce a number of costs incurred from launching the advertising campaign.
Negotiating the Sale
During the sales process you should be getting consistent feedback from the agent about how the sale is progressing, this will include any offers that have been submitted by prospective purchasers. At Bricks & Mortar Real Estate we encourage our vendors to utilise our experience and advice in the negotiation process but the ultimate decision is always up to you. A typical sale may involve a number of offers and counter offers as both parties try to reach the most desirable result.
Once an offer has been made at an acceptable level the purchasers will be required to sign the contract and put down a deposit on the property in order to secure it. Once the vendors have also signed contracts the agent or legal representative will enact the exchange of contracts. Exchanging contracts is the process of sending the purchasers’ signed copy of the contract to the legal representative of the vendor and vice versa.
Typically the initial deposit paid by the purchaser will be 0.25% of the sale price which will afford the purchasers the right to a minimum 5 day cooling off period. The cooling off period starts after the contracts have been exchanged and excludes weekends and public holidays. During the cooling off period purchasers will typically conduct building and pest inspections, strata reports, and finalise their finances. At the end of the cooling off period the purchaser will pay the balance of the deposit as stipulated by the contract (typically 10%). Should the purchaser decide to pull out of the sale they will forfeit the 0.25% to the owners. If the purchaser does not require the cooling off period they can waive their right to cool off (by having their legal representative sign a 66W Certificate), in this situation the purchasers will pay the full deposit at the time of signing.
Once the contracts have been exchanged unconditionally (i.e. the full deposit has been paid) the property is now ‘sold’ and as such will be withdrawn from marketing. At this time the sales process will largely be managed by the legal representatives of the vendors and purchasers. The settlement date will have been stipulated in the contract usually as a set number of days after the exchange of contracts, however it is important to communicate with your legal representative in this period as settlement dates are subject to change due to a variety of factors. As the settlement date approaches the new owners will typically conduct a final inspection to ensure that all the inclusions are left in the property and that all other items have been removed.