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Preparing a property for sale: Your home-selling checklist

January 27, 2020 10:00 am by Upside

Preparing to sell your house is a busy and often stressful time. After all, you have to think about everything from repairs and renovations to finding the right property agent, preparing for a property appraisal and packing up to move.

Regardless of your reason to sell – be it upsizing, downsizing, financial reasons, changing your investment strategy, or just for a change of scenery – putting your property on the market and finding the right buyer doesn’t happen overnight. From deciding to sell to actually listing your home for sale can take weeks or months, and then you have the sales process itself to think about before you finally close the deal.

There’s no one-size-fits-all average time for selling a house, but there are some key steps to consider to makesure you’re fully prepared when the time to sell rolls around.

To help you make sure your Ts are crossed and your Is are dotted, we’ve created this handy checklist for selling your property.

1. Make a list of necessary repairs and renovations

Whether it’s minor repairs and tidying up or bigger renovations, chances are there are things you will need to do to ensure you secure the best price when you sell your home. Make a list of home-selling improvements in order of importance and cost so that you can start prioritising work that needs to be done.

2. Get a property estimate

Before deciding on a sale price, it’s important to know it’s expected market value. At Upside, we offer free online property reports that will give you an estimated value range for your property and comparable sales in your area.

3. Research the property market

Researching the state of the property market will help you know where you stand and how likely it is that you’ll sell your house quickly when it goes to market. Make sure to research:

  • The current status of the property market: After property prices took a dip over late 2017-18, values have again started to increase in Australia’s capital cities. CoreLogic’s latest Hedonic Home Value Index reports that house prices in Sydney and Melbourne – the two capital cities with the largest price drops – rose over the month of December by 2.7% and 2.2% respectively. Australian capital cities also recorded a combined capital growth of 4.6% over the quarter to 30 November.
  • Average time on the market: This differs depending on the area, but average sale periods are as follows:
    • 30 days: The average time from taking photos to the date of sale.
    • 30-120 days: The average settlement period.

4. Research real estate agents

Choosing the right agent can have a huge impact on your sales process, so it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable with and confident in the agent you choose. Take a look at online reviews and property agents’ websites to compare feedback, services offered, and fees or commissions that are charged. Ask prospective agents lots of questions to get a feel for how they operate and whether they’re the right fit for your needs.

5. Get a property appraisal

Once you’ve done the necessary improvements to get your property up to scratch for sale, book in a property appraisal with your chosen agent. This will be more thorough and personalised than a property estimate, so it’s a good starting point for choosing a sale price.

6. Decide on a sale price

You want to decide on a sale price relatively close to listing your property so that it’s indicative of the current state of the market. At Upside, our agents are on hand to offer advice about securing the best sale price based on comparative properties, while appealing to a broad base of prospective buyers.

7. Get your documentation in order

Before you go to market, make sure you’re up to date with any required certifications from your local council or other bodies. Missing or incorrect certifications can hold up the sale process significantly, so it’s important to get these sorted out ahead of time.

8. Marketing and photography

You want to make sure your property is displayed in its best light when it goes to market, and that relies on professional photography and the right phrasing for your listing. At Upside, professional marketing and photography is included as part of our flat fee, and we can also offer advice on styling for the photo session.

9. Be prepared to show your home

You want as many potential buyers as possible to be able to see your home, so while it’s on the market, make sure you’re ready to show it at a moment’s notice. Keeping your space looking tidy and smelling nice are small but impactful gestures that can make your property more appealing to prospective buyers.

10. Decide on your settlement date

Some buyers may want a longer-than-average settlement date while others might want to move in as soon as possible. Decide on what’s possible for your situation, and be flexible if possible to broaden your prospective buyer pool.

11. Prepare to move

Once the SOLD sticker goes up, it may only be a matter of days before you’re relocating – so make sure you’re packed and have a removalist organised for the big day. Download our moving house checklist and take the stress out of moving day!

Check out our timeline for selling your home for more tips on what you need to think about from six months in advance to listing day and beyond.

Looking to sell your home? Book in a free, no-obligation appraisal with our expert local agents, and find out how we can help you achieve a successful sale for your property in 2020.


Upside is an Australian-owned, full-service real estate agency with one low fee and no commission. Our standard is other agents’ ‘extras’, delivering vendors a complete agent managed service including a full appraisal, open home management, copywriting, photography, signage and advertising. It's the way real estate should be.

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