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tips for selling your house

Selling your house? Here’s how to prepare

November 5, 2019 9:00 am by Upside

Thinking about selling your house? After a difficult 2018, the Australian property market is showing strong signs of a turnaround, which means that now could be the right time to consider listing your home for sale.

Whether you’re downsizing or moving into a new property, knowing how to sell your house successfully can be difficult. How do you choose the right agent? How should you price your house? When should you sell? These considerations are important, and all play a big part in achieving a successful sale.

We know that the process of selling your home can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together our top tips for selling your house in 2019, to help you get the best price and a quick sale for your property.

Selling my house: what do I need to know?

As with any major undertaking, it’s important to do your homework before taking the plunge and listing your home for sale. Being prepared ahead of time will help you sell your house quickly when it goes to market, and for the highest possible price. 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 August by 1.6% and 1.4% respectively. Australian capital cities also recorded a combined capital growth of 1% over the quarter to 31 August.
  • The value of your property: Get an estimate online, or have your home appraised by a real estate professional. This way, you know how much you can expect for your property.
  • 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.

RELATED: Timeline for selling your home

Auction, private treaty, or EOI: what selling strategy should I use?

There are three main ways to sell a house in Australia: auction, private treaty and expression of interest (EOI). Choosing which approach is best depends on your needs as a vendor, how quickly you want your property to sell, the market, location, and a host of other factors you’ll need to take into account with the help of your real estate agent.

Here’s a rundown of some of the pros and cons of each selling method:

  • Auction. Your agent runs a sales campaign, with a final auction date where prospective buyers bid to buy your home.
    • Pro: Considered the most effective way to sell, because they attract attention and create competition, often leading to higher sale prices.
    • Con: Auctions can be daunting for prospective buyers and deter them, and may not work as well in certain areas.

RELATED: Should I sell my house by auction?

  • Private treaty or sale by negotiation. Your property is advertised at a set price or price range, then buyers submit their offer to the agent.
    • Pro: The sale process is less stressful for buyers. Private treaties are also good if there is a high demand of a certain property (i.e. one bedroom units).
    • Con: Private treaties come with a cooling off period for a buyer to inspect the property. Buyers can also take more time to determine the final price.
  • Expression of interest (EOI). Buyers submit their best offer to the agent by a certain date, then the vendor selects from these.
    • Pro: EOIs are great for selling expensive properties, because you can receive offers with very big gaps in price.
    • Con: The price may not fall within your expectations, which means you may need to relist your property.

RELATED: The 3 different ways to sell your property


These times vary depending on the state and your selling price, so it’s best to work with your real estate agent to find the best time to sell your property.

RELATED: When is the best time of year to sell a house?

How to sell your house: checklist for choosing the right agent

Picking a real estate agent is one of the most important steps you’ll take when selling your home. Your real estate agent should be able to provide great service from start to finish, as well as help you find the right buyer and sell your property for a good price.

Here are some practical tips for vetting and choosing the right real estate agent:

  • Check their qualifications. Are they licensed to sell in your state?
  • Look at their track record. What properties have they sold recently?
  • Ask about their fee structure: Some agents charge a commission for selling your property on top of other fees, while other agents – like Upside – charge a fixed fee to manage the entire sales process. Make sure you know exactly what’s covered by an agent’s fees and commission structure.

RELATED: What's the difference between real estate commmission and fixed fee?

  • Ask for a sales/marketing plan: How will they promote your property and how many open homes will you have?
  • Get a feel for their local knowledge: Choose a real estate agent that has plenty of proven experience selling properties in your area. A good real estate agent should know as much about your property and your local area as you do.
  • See how they interact with prospective buyers: Don’t be afraid to take your shortlisted candidates for a test drive before making a decision. Go to inspections that they are running to see how they present properties and how they interact with prospective buyers.

RELATED: Top questions to ask a real estate agent when buying or selling a house


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7 mistakes to avoid when selling your house

  • Not knowing your target audience. It’s important to keep your target audience in mind for styling a home, including the demographics of your area and whether they have a family.
  • Choosing the wrong real estate agent: When selling your home, it’s crucial to choose an agent that not only has an in-depth understanding of your local market, but also one with a transparent fee and/or commission structure. Be aware that some real estate agents charge additional hidden fees for services like marketing and styling on top of their commission.
  • Going to market too soon: Most people want to sell their homes quickly, but it’s important to make sure you’re prepared before you list your property so that you can be confident you know the market and are working with the right agent.
  • Styling too much or being too personalised: Knowing how to style a house for sale is an art form, and one that’s often best left to the professionals. The key is to keep the décor neutral, fresh and welcoming, so buyers can imagine themselves in your property.
  • Covering up obvious problems. If you have a hole in the wall or a leak, it’s better to repair it than to cover it up. These problems can jeopardise your final sale.
  • Styling too much or being too personalised. The key to styling is to keep it as neutral as possible while still seeming fresh, so buyers can imagine themselves in your property.
  • Pricing too high or too low. If you price your home too high, it can make it hard to get buyers interested later on in the selling process. Get an independent valuation done and look at recent sales in the area to get an accurate value of your home.
  • Using the wrong auctioneer. Bad auctioneers can cost tens of thousands or dollars. Check which auctioneer your agent is using - you want to find someone who can build rapport with the audience and create a competitive environment for your sale.
  • Selling the property “as is”: An extensive list of maintenance issues can turn buyers off and potentially decrease the value of your home. Often, it’s smarter to spend time doing those repairs yourself beforehand to maximise the sale price. In particular, look for items that are broken, in poor condition, or can affect the safety, structure, or functionality of the home.

RELATED: Selling your home? Avoid these 8 costly mistakes

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Looking to sell your home in 2019? Contact us to book in a free, no-obligation appraisal with our qualified local agents, and find out how we can help you achieve a successful sale for your property in 2019.


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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