It doesn’t matter whether you’ve already bought elsewhere, or you’re planning to upgrade soon - you’ll be keen to secure the best sale price for your home.
When it comes time to list though, remember that it all depends on finding your market. No house - big or small - will sell if nobody knows about it. Enter the real estate agent and your home advertising campaign.
What do they do and why?
While it’s difficult to say whether an auction or private sale will fetch a higher price, the amount an auction will fetch is more open-ended, due to the fact that you don’t communicate a specific price prior to the auction. Contrast this to a private sale, in which you set a price and wait for someone to meet it (or for an offer you find acceptable). A real estate agent is your home’s chief marketer and salesperson. When you decide to sell, your appointed agent will act as your representative in all dealings with prospective buyers.
An agent’s primary job is to promote your property in the best light possible to the biggest market possible. If done effectively their effort will attract prospective buyers. They are also responsible for negotiating an agreeable sale price on your behalf.
How do you find a good real estate agent?
In Australia today there are about 77,000 agents who work for about 36,000 agencies. Research local agents then interview at least a few before selecting your agent.
Matters you may want to get a clear view on:
- Their appraisal of your home’s value
- Their past sales performance
- Professional referees
- Local market knowledge
- Their proposed marketing strategy
- Their commission fee structure
What does an agent cost?
According to John Cunningham, president of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, an agent is paid a commission for each successful property sale they achieve. Commissions are usually negotiable but, as a general rule, range between 1.5% and 4.5% of the sale price. (i.e. $7,500-$22,500 on a $500,000 home) plus advertising costs.
Tip for success
Consider monitoring comparable properties’ sale results so you can avoid choosing an agent who inflates your home’s appraisal to win your business. It may be wise to insist on written quotes. Getting a property valuation from a licensed valuer might also help put your mind at ease.
If you have the time and opportunity, go to an open house for another property the agent is selling and see them in action with prospective buyers: do you like their style?
What does it do and why do you need it?
Every commodity sale depends on supply and demand. In layperson’s terms, if that commodity is real estate, telling the biggest possible number of prospective buyers may be a great way to stimulate demand and, hopefully, quickly clinch a sale.
What type is best for promoting your home?
This depends on the type of property, your sale method and your property value. A skilled agent should first identify your home’s target market - whether that’s younger couples for example, or young families, or maybe even empty nesters - and then be able to advise which media channels are preferred by this target.
Most home listings are advertised on searchable real estate portals. As many as four out of every five buyers are now estimated to come from internet advertising.
Upmarket properties are increasingly using links to promotional videos so buyers can virtually ‘fly through’ homes before physically inspecting.
How much does advertising cost?
According to John Cunningham it is reasonable to expect to pay 0.5%-1% of your home’s sale price on advertising including professional photographs, online listings, street billboards and newspaper advertisements.
If your home sells for $500,000, budget on about $2,500-$5,000 to market the listing.