So, you have decided to sell your house. That might be the big decision done, but what next? There are many questions to consider in this process. And everyone’s situation and house is different, as well as the ever-changing property climate, so there is not one right answer.
Here is our advice to common questions to help you if you are thinking or have made the decision to sell your home.
Should I sell?
If you are trying to work out whether to sell, or you are unsure of your decision to sell - take a step back and a moment to think about why you are selling.
What are you trying to achieve from the sale and what outcomes will make it a good result? Is there another house you have your eye on, you want to move school zones, retire, just wanting to test the market and sell if you get an amazing price? There are many reasons why and it’s not always about the money, so take time to think about this. This will allow you to make intentional decisions during the process to help you achieve your objective.
What’s my home worth?
If only we knew what our house is worth, selling a house would be so much simpler. Instead it often becomes a tension between achieving the best price possible and knowing what your bottom line is that you will sell for. Being optimistic, yet realistic. The challenge of property is the uniqueness of each home. And that when it comes to buying and selling, emotions tend to get involved.
Regardless, there are conventional valuation methods to provide an indication of your house value,done by comparing sold properties that have taken place recently, nearby and are similar in features and condition. Online websites now have algorithms that run this and provide estimates for you (Homes.co.nz, TradeMe),or you can pay to get a report prepared, either online (such as QV) or by a registered valuer.
Local real estate agents are a wealth of knowledge, typically knowing the most about sales in your area. Most agents offer free valuations, and if you are seriously interested - they must provide a valuation range based on comparable house sales and present this to you.
How long will it take to sell?
There are two parts to this question, and both of these can be largely influenced by your situation and decisions regarding the sale.
Firstly, how long it will take to get ready from making the decision to sell, to being on the market. Typically this would take around 2-3 weeks if you are ready to move and make quick decisions. The key steps here are:
Selecting a real estate agent. If you want to meet agents, discuss their approach to the value of and strategy to market and sell your home, then compare and select, this could take a week.
Photography and marketing material. This is generally arranged by the real estate agent, and could take a further week. Arranging a photographer, going live with the listing, and printing marketing material.
Preparing your house for photos and sale. Depending on how ‘house ready’ you are for sale, there may be additional time needed to make your property ready for photos and open homes. This will be up to you personally, but we think this can make a big impact to prospective purchasers and sale price.
Secondly, once your house is on the market, how long will it take to be sold. As an indication of this, the best way is to look at current statistics on median days to sell (REINZ). Currently for NZ, 37 days is the median to sell a home (as at April 2019). This data provides a view on the overall market as well as which way it is trending. But this will also be influenced by the local market, your property, approach for selling, and your expectations.
Who do I need involved?
When it comes to selling your home, you can’t do it alone. Even if you sell privately there are still aspects of a house sale which you will need help. Here are the key parties you are likely to engage with.
Lawyer. If you are new and uncertain with the sale process, your lawyer will be able to provide legal advice, process and hold deposits, as well as complete the ownership transaction of buying and selling. A lawyer will complete all of the conveyancing aspects of a house sale.
Real estate agent. While selling without an agent is possible, it is more the exception than the norm. A good and trustworthy real estate agent is a great asset to your team, in particular if this is your first time selling a home. They will walk you through the process, explaining how it works, answer questions and guide you through the sale process. Picking the right agent is an important step to get you the best outcome and make you feel comfortable throughout the sale.
Bank. (Mortgage broker). If you have a loan for your property, which we almost all do, then you will need to engage with your bank regarding the sale of your house to make sure you follow the correct process with ending your loan agreement and removing their security over the property. A lawyer will deal with the legal aspects of the transaction, but it's always good to engage early to make sure you are aware of any implications there may be. Further, if you are selling, the most common reason is to purchase another house - so discuss with your bank to prepare yourself for the next move.
Should I accept this offer?
There will come a point when you have to decide whether to accept an offer. This can be nerve-wracking, and it’s in our nature to question whether a better offer might still come. There are many variables in a house sale, it’s not just price, so it’s good to consider these before you decide. Your personal situation being a big factor, and offers may be conditional on various reasons (finance, building inspection, a house sale, amongst the most common).
Take time to review any advice you have received and your situation. If you are unsure, work with your real estate agent or someone you trust, to compare and prioritise offers. A good agent will not pressure you into accepting an offer but provide an honest opinion. There are methods used by agents to achieve the best price, whether there be one or multiple interested parties. Utilise their skills to achieve the best outcome for your situation.
Selling your house might be the biggest decision you make in a long time, and it’s not something that can be answered by data and facts. It is a hugely personal decision, and one that someone else can’t decide for you. We recommend understanding the process and doing your own research. The more you know about why you want to sell and what your home is worth, the more comfortable and confident you will be to sell your home.
If you want more advice on how to style and stage your home for sale, check out our blog called “Presenting your Home for Sale” which covers furniture placement, cleanliness and styling to get your house the sale price it deserves.
This blog was sponsored by Kiwibank. Whether you're taking your first step or next step on your property journey, Kiwibank's home loan experts are available to through the process.
Their Mobile Mortgage Managers can come to your choice of location and their Banking Consultants are available at your local Kiwibank branch. Call 0800 000 654 or visit kiwibank.co.nz/homeloan for more information."