Essential Checklist for Sellers
- Disconnecting your emotions. Buying real estate is often an emotional decision, but when you are selling real estate you need to remove emotion from the equation. You need to think of your house as a marketable commodity. Your goal is to get others to see it as their potential home, not yours. If you do not consciously make this decision, you could inadvertently create a situation where it takes longer to sell your property.
- First impressions are important. Tidy the garden and entrance. Finish small repairs such as peeling paint and cracked windows. Tidy rooms and cupboards to remove clutter and remove extra furniture so that rooms look more spacious (if necessary, rent a storage unit temporarily or give away items you no longer use). The house should sparkle - take special care with the kitchen, bathrooms and windows. Watch for and remove cobwebs on the ceilings.
- Put together pertinent information: such as the title documents, valuation documents, surveys, mortgage statements, power, gas and rates bills, information on upgrades, plans for improvements, etc.
- Select a property sales agent. See our article on how to find a real estate agent that will do the best job for you.
- Find out the current value of your property. Get a Current Market Appraisal from your real estate agent. They know the area and have access to information on recent sales. Research prices of comparative properties using the web Zoodle) provides rich information for free on over 1.5 million properties across the country as well as detailed and comprehensive property reports to buy online.
- Decide on the selling approach. You can select from different selling methods: e.g. auction, tender or by negotiation (private treaty). View The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand's glossary of real estate terms for explanation of these methods. You can choose to have a sole agency with one real estate company or a general listing with several companies (refer to the glossary for more information). Plus make sure that you check out the REAA Buying and Selling Guide [PDF, 1.2 Mb]
- Set a realistic marketing price. You want to attract as many buyers as possible who can afford to purchase your property, based on current market conditions. If your home is priced too high, you may deter buyers who will identify other properties as being of better value.
- What to do for Open Homes: lock away valuables or take them with you, remove pets where possible, make sure the atmosphere is light and warm, display fresh flowers and add inviting aromas such as freshly-brewed coffee or home baking.
- Dealing with offers. You may either accept the offer as is, reject it, or make changes and sign it back to the purchaser to see if they are willing to accept your changes. If you make changes to it, this means you have rejected the original offer and the purchaser is no longer bound by their original offer. It is the buyers' option to either accept your counter-offer with the changes, reject it or come back with another counter-offer. This process continues until you can either reach agreement or the negotiations terminate. If you have more than one offer, take time to consider each one carefully. But, be aware that it doesn't always follow that the highest bid is the best.
- Follow your solicitor's advice. When you receive an offer on your property, make sure a copy of the contract is sent to your solicitors and be sure to follow their advice.