How to know when to sell your home

May 28, 2021

Is there a ‘right’ time to sell your home, and how do you know when the time is right for you?

Selling your home is a big step that requires careful consideration and well executed decisions. Waiting to get a feel for it, or making things up as you go will not give you the time to research, evaluate and get the most beneficial outcomes. Make no mistake, while this is a personal and emotional journey, it is above all, a business transaction.

The first step in any selling journey is a carefully considered decision to put a property on the market.

Most people plan for their first home purchase to be their forever home, although it usually turns out to be just the beginning of their property buying experience. That means that not too long after being first home owners, people find they are looking at becoming first home vendors.

There are plenty of reasons why homeowners choose to sell and every situation will be unique. It is so important to weigh up all the costs and talk to lenders and financial advisors about what the impacts and benefits will be.

Some common reasons why people sell their residential property

• To downsize to cheaper or easier to maintain property

• To be closer to family

• Change in financial situation

• Moving in with partner

• New job or job relocation

• Desire for a sea change or tree change

• To upsize for more space or for a growing family

• Relationship breakdown

• Desire for a better lifestyle, such as close proximity to amenities, schools or lesser commute

Another big factor in Australia is climate. Over such a big continent we get a great choice for what type of weather experience we want, those who can’t handle the chill might be setting sights for Queesland.

As well as your personal circumstances, there are a number of financial factors you need to take into account, especially since you are going to be juggling a few balls in the air at once, selling, buying and moving can be a lot to handle individually, let alone all at the same time, that’s not even factoring in moving with kids, starting a new job or perhaps even going it alone after a relationship ends. All this makes for high emotions and poor decisions ahead.

This is why I always recommend laying really strong foundations down well before you start any of the processes, that way, when the stress comes in and when you feel stranded or shaky you have reliable sources to go to and a clear and well defined goal that will help your decision making.

You need to get a solid plan for the best results. Be sure to get the right professionals on board early on so you can work together for outstanding success.

There are a large number of professionals who will be involved in the sale of your home, as well as the purchase of your next home. Before you do anything else, get in touch with them and get the facts on where you stand.

These are the professionals we recommend you start early conversations with

• Conveyancer

• Real estate agent

• Bank or lender

• Financial advisor

Usually people will be thinking about a future move for some time before it happens but they don’t take action early, meaning they scramble for quick changes when the pressure is on. For example, you might know your home is too small for your next child when you are pregnant, but don’t take any action until the baby comes home from the hospital and realise just how cramped you are, or you know you hate winter but wait until a bad, chilly storm to go, enough is enough. Start talking when the boss mentions a possible new office location, in that second trimester or in those mild summer months so you are ready come crunch time.

Take yourself out of these high pressure situations by talking to providers about your options early on.

If you had outstanding assistance from these service providers when you purchased your home, start by talking to those people who you already have established, positive relationships with. If you have any doubts or want second, third or fourth opinions, by all means, shop around.

When it comes to financial advice, it really helps in deciding which balls you throw up in the air first. Your financial flexibility will play a big part in choosing what order you can move in.

Do you have the ability to buy your next property independent of the sale? If so, you can take your time selling, or even rent out your current property until you are ready to sell at a better time in the future. You need to fully understand the impact of having an investment property and make sure you have a skilled financial support service in place to assist with this transaction and tax.

When you plan out your timeframes, costs and budget you have a realistic figure to stick to that will keep your emotions grounded and your mind motivated for success.

Do you need to sell in order to buy your next property? If so, where will you live if there is a gap between your sale and next purchase? What will storage costs or extra moving costs be and what timeframes are you going to stick to in order to get a great overall result.

Make sure you look at what options are available to you and what impact each direction will have on your finances.


Your conveyancer will be able to give you advice on both the sale of your current property and purchase of your next, be that simultaneously, or months or years apart. They can help you understand standard or complex sale contracts, terms you might want to include and ways to negotiate your terms to get your goals met.

Conveyancing fees are part of any property transfer so be sure to start early to get the right advice well before any errors creep into your sale terms or contracts.

Real estate

When it comes to selling your house, especially if this is the first house you’ve ever sold, interview different local real estate agents and make sure you understand:

1. What each agent is offering

2. What their selling process is

3. The property’s potential worth

4. Any recommendations they have in terms of preparation, sale or auction

5. Their marketing strategies

6. The costs involved

When it comes to costs, compare on services, not on total figures. You want the agent that is going to work hard to represent you and your property in the best light.

There will be a lot to take in at this early stage, just talking it over can be overwhelming, imagine if you were trying to work all this out while your property was on the market! Take the time now to get it all clear and sorted in your head, and when it comes to the agent's percentage cut, always see if they are willing to negotiate.

Bank or lending agent

There are plenty of potential hidden costs here so take real time to consider what the overall imapcts will be and what your sales figures will need to look like for you to afford the lifestyle you want after your move.

Look out for any establishment fees, early repayment and exit fees and loan transfer fees, and settlement fees.

Remember too that you will need to factor in government costs like:

• Property stamp duty (land tax)

• Registration of mortgage

• Mortgage discharge

• Registration of transfer

These will be in addition to your real estate costs, bank fees and charges and moving costs.

What is your home really worth?

Property prices fluctuate depending on the current market conditions. Even so, any sale that is rushed or not well planned can mean a less than desirable result, even in hot market conditions.

In order to know what your home is currently worth you will need to do a thorough investigation of similar homes in your local area that have sold in the last six months. Pulling up a listing will show you an average that these properties have sold for, which will be the bracket that real estate agents will use to price your property.

Once the property is on the market, the fees and charges will begin, so be sure this is a committed move and not a fleeting whim.

As well as this price the commitment of your real estate agent, correct method of sale and  terms of the sale contract, including settlement periods, deposits and conditions will also determine the strength of your sale.

If you need assistance with your property contract or want to know the sales processes for selling and buying property, please contact our friendly staff or make an appointment today.

Contact us today if you would like one of the best NSW conveyancers to walk you through your property transaction.

Who is Peta Stewart?

Award-winning conveyancer. Entrepreneur. Business mentor. Women’s cycling advocate. These are just some of the ways Peta Stewart is introduced. What ties them together is a steely determination to help people achieve their life goals and have fun in the process.

In 2004, Peta became the first licensed conveyancer in the Albury Wodonga greater region. Five years later, she launched her own business and started shaking up the industry with a good dose of personality, integrity and humanity.

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