When you decide to sell your home, you must first decide whether to sell through a real estate agent or privately. In Australia, about 90% of sales are made through real estate agents.
An Agent’s Role – Results & Peace of Mind
A real estate agent is a professional with local market expertise and experience. They can give you with current information about prices, financing, marketing and general information about the housing market. An agent will act on your behalf, providing you with advice and guidance to help you objectively evaluate buyer offers.
Consider the reputation of the agency, the agent’s track record in sales and knowledge of the local area. On a personal level, consider how they present themselves and the rapport you have with them.
How Raine & Horne Can Help You
Raine & Horne has been providing professional advice and service since its establishment in 1883. The company enjoys a reputation and goodwill said to be unequalled in the industry.
For over 128 years, Raine & Horne has had one of the highest nationwide sales turnovers in the industry and enjoyed strong success through peaks and troughs in the market.
Raine & Horne is a powerful, widely respected brand associated with experience and quality service. Your property will be noticed by more buyers because of the reach and power of the brand.
To achieve our envied reputation as an Australian real estate leader, our agents receive the benefit of the latest marketing strategies and selling techniques.
Our website has easy to use resources for buyers, sellers, renters and landlords. It is an innovative service that facilitates trouble-free navigation and is consistently ranked as a top industry site, with tens of thousands of properties displayed and thousands of individual visitors recorded each day.
Our clients benefit from the flow of referrals and information from Raine & Horne’s extensive network of national and international offices.
When selling property with Raine & Horne, clients can make use of our creative marketing ideas, our ‘top of the class’ auction practice and our ability to offer national and international exposure.
Methods of Sale
Auction or Private Treaty?
There are several ways to sell your property. The most common are auction or private treaty. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Your agent will advise on the best method based on the type and location of your property, the nature of the market and your preferred time frame. Below is a summary of both methods.
Advantages of auction
Auction is recognised as an effective way of creating broad public interest, achieving maximum publicity and reaching a large number of prospective purchasers.
Properties marketed through the auction process often achieve prices much higher than the seller’s expectations. There is no upper limit for bids.
You control the process
Vendors choose where and when they want to sell the property, the terms and conditions of sale and the price they are willing to accept.
A short but comprehensive marketing campaign means less disruption to family life. Set inspection times for potential buyers are arranged at the outset, with ‘open for inspections’ limited due to the short nature of the campaign.
Auction campaigns are tailored to enable maximum marketplace exposure. Concentrated marketing over a short period attracts a higher level of interest and genuine buyers.
The market determines the price
Auction is a great way to determine the real value of a property. Eliminating price lets the market determine what it is really worth.
Auction works to a plan
The marketing strategy is carefully planned, documented and specially tailored. A firm date is set for the potential sale.
A reserve price is set and the property cannot be sold below this price without owner approval. The reserve need not be set until just prior to auction. The owner’s reserve is not disclosed during the auction.
Auction is conclusive and contracts are signed immediately
When a buyer purchases a property at an auction, the contract is signed immediately and the buyer must pay a deposit. The contract cannot be rescinded by the purchaser, which safeguards against loss of contract and sale.
Selling by private treaty also offers several benefits.
- You set the price.
- Offers can be considered at leisure.
- You can determine the pace of the sale process.
- The pace of negotiations can be controlled.
- Buyers might be more comfortable with a cooling-off period.
- Private treaty can sometimes be less stressful.
- Marketing costs might be lower.
- Prospective purchasers not prepared to bid at auction prefer private treaty.
Marketing & Contracts
Marketing, Agency Agreements & Contracts
Before your home is officially put on the market there are legal requirements to be satisfied, a marketing plan to be designed, and you must prepare your home for sale.
Reaching prospective buyers
A carefully planned, well-executed marketing plan will bring the best result. Your agent will recommend a suitable marketing campaign. The program will set out a period for promotion, various media to be used and cost. Each program is carefully prepared to suit each individual property. The agent is responsible for carrying out the campaign, which will generally include:
- Newspaper editorial
- Letterbox drop-flyer
- Property magazine
- Internet – real estate websites
- Open homes
When you engage a real estate agent to sell your property, you must sign a contract called an agency agreement. This is legally binding and authorises an agent to act on your behalf in relation to the sale of your property. The agreement usually has a specified term and includes an estimate of the selling price, services the agent will provide and commission you must pay. It may also include advertising and marketing costs.
There are different agency agreements. The most common are:
- Exclusive agency agreement
Exclusive agency agreements give the agent exclusive rights to sell your property.
- Open agency agreement
This lets you list your property with several agents but many agents will only agree to exclusive listings. You pay a commission to the agent who finds the buyer. Open listings are not available in all states or territories.
- Auction agency agreement
This is effectively an exclusive agency agreement where the property is listed for auction.
Contract of Sale
Before a residential property can be sold, a contract of sale must be prepared. The contract must include all documentation relating to the property as required by each state or territory’s law. Your agent will explain the required documentation. The contract must also include any property inclusions and exclusions and the buyer’s cooling-off period.
Valuation, Negotiation and Closing the Sale
What is Your Property Worth?
It is important to set a realistic price. Your agent will give a market opinion and provide a true price estimate. Beware any agent who says they can achieve a high price without substantiating their claim with facts. Agents interpret the market – they do not create it. Overpricing is the most common reason properties fail to sell.
Market opinion will be made based on evidence from:
- Data sources, e.g. property data;
- Recent advertisements;
- Recent sales negotiated by the office;
- Sales made by other agents, and;
- Any valuation from a registered valuer
Negotiating and Accepting an Offer
It is important that your agent manages this part of the transaction as they have experience in this field. If you are approached by a buyer you should refer them to your agent. Your agent will qualify the buyer and ensure they are in a position to buy immediately. Once the buyer is qualified your agent will get an offer that you can choose to accept or reject. Your agent can advise whether it is a fair offer and should be accepted, but ultimately it is up to you.
Sale by Auction
Setting a reserve price: Before auction you must advise your agent in writing of a reserve price, which is the lowest amount you are willing to accept. If bidding does not reach your reserve, the property will be passed in. If your property is passed in, the agent will negotiate with interested bidders to achieve a sale. If a sale is not achieved, your agent will then proceed to seek buyers on a private treaty basis.
Sale at auction: If the property is sold at auction the successful bidder is required to sign the contract of sale and pay a deposit (usually 10%) immediately. A cooling-off period does not apply.
Once you have accepted an offer on your house, a contract must be signed by buyer and seller, with a copy of the signed contract provided to both parties. When the contract is signed, the buyer is required to pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price), and the remainder is paid at settlement.
Buyers of residential property may have a cooling-off period following the signing by both parties of the contract, during which they can withdraw from the sale. During the cooling-off period it is common for buyers to organise inspections of property, e.g. pest or building inspections. The cooling-off period can be waived, reduced or extended by negotiation under certain circumstances.
There is no cooling-off period for sellers and no cooling off period for buyers who have purchased at auction.
The legal process for preparing and exchanging contracts, and the length and conditions of the cooling-off period, can differ between States and Territories. Your agent will explain the legal process applicable in your state or territory.
Settlement usually occurs 4 to 12 weeks after contracts are signed. At settlement, the buyer officially becomes the owner of the property and all responsibility is passed from vendor to buyer. Until settlement, the property is still the vendor’s responsibility so it is important you keep insurances and rates are paid.