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Buying or selling: what comes first?

When it comes time to sell your home – maybe you’ve outgrown it, or it has outgrown you – is it better to put your house on the market and then start looking for a new house to buy, or should you be buying a new house and then selling your current house?

Like most things in life, it depends on your situation. Here are three things to think about when deciding whether to buy or sell first. [Read more…]

How to pick the right moment to sell your house

Ready to put your house up for sale? Getting the timing right is paramount. While there’s no such thing as ‘the perfect time’ for selling a property, keeping the following things in mind may help you turn a higher profit.

The best season for selling

Spring is the most popular time to sell, when days are longer, warmer and sunnier. You may want to consider the first half of the season: buyers tend to pay more when property listings are limited, and in September and October buyer demand is high while supply is yet to reach its seasonal peak. Come November and December, the demand-supply balance usually levels off.

Of course, this is not to say that you can’t put your home on the market in Winter, Summer or during the holiday season, but people might be less likely to spend their time browsing for new properties. Autumn, however, could be a good ‘second choice’: with fewer listed properties vying for attention, you may find it easier to catch the eye of a keen buyer.

What is your target market?

Understanding who your potential buyers are, what they want and when they might be ready to take action is critical. Is there a sought-after school in your area? Families may be on the look-out for a home in time for the start date of school. Is your house a good investment property, based on its location and features? Then the end of the financial year may be a good fit.

Plus, peak selling months vary depending on the region. Do you live in a coastal or rural town that doesn’t get a lot of visitors until Summer or, on the contrary, becomes a ghost town during the holiday season? When trying to get the most viewings, these are all key considerations.

Be ready to strike

Ideally, you want your house to appear at its best when potential buyers come and have a look at it. But sellers often underestimate how long it takes to prepare a home for sale.

If your property is not in tip-top shape, you will need time to make improvements, declutter and deep clean. Once these tasks have been completed, your property will be ready to shine at its brightest.

Consider getting an expert on the job

Some people choose to sell their home privately and save on the cost of commission, but if you’re considering going solo, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

From an outsider’s point of view, it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing market conditions. Real estate agents know the ins and outs of the housing market (how similar properties have sold in your area, for example) and should be able to advise you on the best time to list your home, including you how long it may take to sell.

So, how do you find the right agent? It’s a good idea to attend open homes and auctions, and identify two or three agents who are active, competent and engage well with prospective buyers. Remember: a good agent will be able to help you market your property in any season.

An Adviser Disclosure Statement is available free and upon request.

Buying or selling a property with tenants?

If you’re buying or selling a house with tenants in it, there are some things you need to bear in mind. Buying or selling tenanted property can be a bit different to buying or selling a home of your own – and here’s our checklist of key things to consider.

Buying a home with tenants

Vacant possession or not?

You may have a choice of whether to keep the existing tenants or take vacant possession. Tenants on a Periodic Tenancy can be given 42 days notice by the existing owner. This can be built into your settlement period, if you want to take vacant possession.

Tie up the paperwork

If you make a decision to keep the tenants, it’s important to get their paperwork in order. You’re going to need a copy of the existing tenancy agreement; the bond will have to be transferred to you; and the tenants will need to be notified that you are going to be their new landlord. You’ll also need to work out how you’re going to manage the property; who they should contact with any issues; and where the rent needs to go.

Keep it legal

It’s important to make sure you get to carry out the inspections that you need to – before you settle on the property. You’ll need to work closely with your solicitor to make sure that any final inspections, meth testing or bond transfers are included in the conditions of your sale.

Keep an eye on your budget

Once you own a rental property, it’s important to keep it in order. Remember this is a home for your tenants. Make sure you set money aside to pay for day-to-day repairs and the ongoing maintenance of your house.

 

Selling a home with tenants

Vacant possession or not?

If you’re selling your rental property, you may have a choice about whether to give your tenants notice or let them stay. Obviously, it’s good to be able to keep rent coming in right up until the point when you sell your property.

Consider whether your tenants are going to make it easy for people to view your property. It’s important to offer flexible viewing times and, of course, present the property at its best. On the other hand, keep in mind that some prospective buyers may be more inclined to buy if the tenants are already signed up and happy.

Tie up the paperwork

If you sell your property with the tenants in place, you’re going to need to transfer the paperwork. Check with your solicitor to make sure you cover all your bases. Important things to remember include: notifying your tenants of the change of ownership; sharing a copy of the tenancy agreement with the new owner; and transferring the bond across to the new landlord.

Keep it legal

If you’re selling and your tenants are moving out, make sure you include their notice period as part of your settlement timeline. You don’t want to incur the cost of selling the house as vacant and then have to compensate the new owners when you still have tenants in place.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home with tenants, it’s important to have good legal advice. Make sure your solicitor is aware of your position and let them know upfront about any worries or concerns you may have. Then you can make sure you’re in the best legal position for the sale or purchase ahead.

 

An Adviser Disclosure Statement is available free and upon request.

Get your house sale-ready in five steps

Looking at selling your house? How can you make sure your home truly shows off all of its features? As a would-be seller, you can take a few steps to win buyers’ hearts and maximise the potential of your property. Check out the quick tips below.   [Read more…]