Cashing in and selling up takes strategy

When selling your home, you need to determine if the real estate agent is interested in the property, or just selling themselves to you. Picture: Shutterstock.
When selling your home, you need to determine if the real estate agent is interested in the property, or just selling themselves to you. Picture: Shutterstock.

With the property market hotter than most of us have seen in our lifetimes, you are not alone in contemplating cashing in.

In earlier columns we've provided some suggestions about getting your home ready for sale by addressing home maintenance, street appeal and styling.

This makes homes look great and your aim is to reduce any negatives. All your home improvements should happen before you consider letting a real estate agent set foot on your property.

Property selling starts from the first time the agent arrives. Ensuring they're "on side" and focused on seeing all the great attributes of your home means they'll believe in it and will sell it to prospective buyers.

There is still a lot of work needed before you go agent shopping - yes, agent shopping, don't just go with one we know or one recommended by a friend.

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You need to research the market like a fiend, for comparative recent sales as well as the homes you are competing with in the current market. This is a time to be realistic, take off your rose-coloured glasses and understand exactly what your home offers, the good, the bad and the annoying.

Measure the pros and cons of your home with comparative homes: land size, home size, rooms offered, view, privacy, position, pretty much everything that lead you to buy your home, even if it was the busy street you're sitting on that made it affordable.

Use the internet or spend time going to open inspections and attending auctions - all in the name of research.

OK, so now your home is looking its stunning best, and you are a well-researched property expert in your market, let's start interviewing real estate agents. And this really does need to be an interview process, your home is your most valued possession, so we need to put it in good hands.

You need to determine if the agent is interested in the property, or just selling themselves to you? They need to be professional and passionate about your home. If you're not convinced they appreciate your home, how will they sell it to others?

Likewise, you need to work with someone you can establish a strong level of trust. One more thing, you need your representative to also display a bit of "killer instinct" to chase down every dollar at sale time.

Now you've selected the preferred agent you need to establish a price guide agreement based on comparable sales, a marketing strategy, and the agency commission.

We also recommend you lock in a communication agreement with your agent. Whether it is a weekly update, via phone or email, or even a chat following each inspection, the clearer you both are on your expectations the better the chances are you'll have a successful working relationship.

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