3 tips for first time sellers

By Mukhtaar Hashim

So often it seems like all the talk about property in the news is focused on buyers. Tips for buying a first home, developing an investment portfolio or building a new development. It’s easy to overlook the other half of the real estate market – the seller. You’ll find a wealth of advice around for first time buyers, but what about when you’re a first time seller? Don’t worry, we have a few tips to set you on the right path to selling your first home.

1. Learn to read the property cycle

Knowing the right time to list your house is an important part of first time selling. A 2014 study by CoreLogic RP Data found the average hold period for homes in Australia is just over 10 years, with a similar study in New Zealand showing around half of all homes are re-sold within the same period. If you’ve held your first home for more than a decade, the real estate market is likely a very different place now. Skyrocketing property prices, particularly in the big cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, mean you could reap huge capital gains if you sell at the right time.

2. Get a valuation

Selling your house is a field with its own unique challenges, particularly if you’re a first-timer. If you’ve been settled in your home for a while, it’s not easy to know exactly how much you should expect to get in a volatile property market. While it’s relatively easy to get a valuation on your property from your local council, it’s worthwhile asking a real estate agent for a more thorough and informed valuation. Council valuations are handy to have, but for a more accurate representation of your house’s worth, an agent fully immersed in the property market in your area is your best bet.

3. Prepare your home for sale

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, it’s important to present the best possible front to your prospective buyers. It can be as simple as giving your household a decent cleaning, inside and out. Dressing up some of the less exciting areas of your home with a new feature, opening doors and curtains to allow in maximum light and straightening up any untidy or cluttered areas are all good options to making the first impression a good one. Ideally, you want to highlight how you have utilised your home’s best features, while still leaving enough room for buyers to envision how they can make the space their own. You don’t need any formal interior design training, but if you’re struggling for inspiration, a good real estate agent can help with displaying your home at its best.

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