With the Australian real estate market back to its full selling strength you might be wondering if now is a good time to consider putting your home on the market.
I'm not a fan of buying or selling just because the market is 'ripe'. To me, your motivation for an investment like this needs to be a lot bigger and backed by genuine need and gain. While market trends are important to help understand current prices, so you can price accordingly, your circumstances are the most important thing to consider when deciding to sell your home.
No matter how knowledgeable you are and how many times you've sold before it's a tumultuous experience that costs money. On top of that, there is no such thing as a guarantee when it comes to your property investment, there are forecasts based on trends and patterns and what has happened before, but these are just educated estimations and they can't take everything into account. Just ask someone who's experienced a flood, a drought or a fire and they can tell you that property prices are not as solid as the paperwork might seem.
Do you have a genuine motivation to sell?
To help you make this very important decision we've put together a list of things that you'll want to take into consideration before you leap in.
Top reasons why people put their home on the market
• Tree change or sea change. The motivation for this move is to live a different lifestyle.
• Property upgrade. With an established place on the property ladder, a solid understanding of the best ways to balance the mortgage it's time to move up to a bigger, better property.
• Break up. Those who have purchased a property as a couple may wish to sell after a breakup for financial or for emotional reasons.
• Change in financial situation. If the mortgage becomes too much of a strain, it's often a better financial choice to consider cheaper housing options.
• Move for work. A new job or change in work location can mean a new home in a new environment.
• Overseas move. As more and more workplaces enable online working facilities it's becoming easier and easier for Australians to pack up and move to exotic places.
• Downsizing. Empty nesters may be looking for lower maintenance in the home and garden.
Create a detailed budget
Know what you are up against. Most people focus on what they will gain financially but don't think about the costs that come with selling a home. Make sure you take all of it into account including packing and moving costs, agent fees, paperwork fees, bank fees, cleaning and repairing your home, conveyancer fees, as well as all the cost of buying or renting a new home.
Leverage the market
Check the current sales, listings and prices in your area. How saturated is the market and what is the demand like? The best time to sell might not be the peak selling season if that puts you up against lots of similar homes for sale. If there is a large demand for your home type then you can jump in no matter the market trend. If there are a lot of sellers and not a lot of buyers, however, you might be best to hold off for autumn or even winter when the supply drops and your property can stand out and shine.
Get professional advice
It's worth the time and effort to get to know the current local market and understand your place in it. When it comes down to it though the best way to bring all that information together is with a good real estate agent. Make sure you shop around and don't worry too much about their prices. If they take a percentage then a great real estate agent will sell your home for more. What you are looking for as your number one priority are knowledge and experience. When they have this they can represent your home in the best light.
Make sure they back up your research with their facts and figures on things like land size, renovations, zoning and be sure to disclose everything you can about the property history.
A good agent will know the best-selling strategy, timing and surrounding processes.
Stage your home
It's well worth hiring a professional to stage a key room or two in your home, especially when photos weigh so heavily on people's first impressions when pre-viewing properties online. They will be able to show your interior as bright, modern and spacious, helping get more initial interest, faster sale times and better final selling prices.
Schedule your opens
Make sure you talk with your agent about the best times and days to have opens. Look for periods when traffic is at its lightest and when neighbours aren't noisy and the light is favourable.
Be ready to move
One thing you need to keep in mind is where you will head after this. Most people will want to consider purchasing another home to move to. It's important to note that if you are selling your home when the market is booming you may find that you will face a lot of competition for your next home purchase and while you might get a great price on your property, the price on the new one might be just as high, meaning you have gained nothing. If demand is high then you need to factor that in as well as high buying prices, you may need to visit a lot of properties before you secure one ahead of other buyers.
A deposit bond may help you secure your next property before your current one is sold.
I would say the best place to start is by writing a list of why a move would be positive and what you will gain from selling your home. You want this list to be bigger and better than the stress, spending and work that comes from selling so that you have an enjoyable experience and a rewarding result.