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Downsizing – how can a real estate agent help?

Guest Blogger Robin McIlwain of Belle Property Toowong has some great advice for people thinking about preparing their home for sale.

What can a real estate agent offer?

If you need to sell your home before you purchase a new property, ask an experienced, local agent for a market appraisal before you start looking at new properties. The agent will estimate a realistic selling price and overview costs such as marketing and professional fees. This agent can also be helpful in finding suitable properties for you to move to.

An effective agent will consult with you and draw a time line so there is a clear plan with dates and tasks to be undertaken before you sell. This includes co-ordinating consultants for de-cluttering and sale of unwanted items, styling if required, garden maintenance and rubbish removal, photography and preparation of marketing materials. This can be done in as little as two weeks, although the average timing is 4-6 weeks.

What if you find a suitable property before you sell?

This is quite common, especially if you are moving to a retirement village or purchasing an apartment or townhouse off the plan. You need to request a purchase contract conditional on the sale of your home. The agent will then co-ordinate your home sale and the settlement of your new property so they occur at the same time.

The average residential property takes approximately 30 days to secure a contract and another 30-60 days for settlement or completion. Always request at least a 60-day contract to allow for special conditions to be fulfilled and moving arrangements to be made.

real estate agent downsizeWhat needs to be done before your home goes on the market?

  • Smoke alarms must be installed and compliant
  • A compliant safety switch should be installed on all electrical circuits
  • Swimming pools should have a current pool safety certificate issued.
  • Keep your termite inspections reports for showing to buyers. If an inspection has not been done recently, have one done before going to market
  • Look for all your old building plans and approvals and keep those handy for the agent

Don’t go spending money on upgrading your home (e.g. painting, new carpets etc) until you have discussed this with your agent. Often it is better to leave a home in its original state. If there are obvious defects with the home, ask the agent for advice before fixing them. Most buyers now request a building and pest inspection as part of their contract conditions. A good agent will assist you to handle the issues you may need to deal with as not all homes are perfect.

Contact your financial advisers

Make sure that your solicitor and accountant are aware of what you are planning. Your solicitor and agent need to work closely together when your contract is drafted to ensure that you are legally protected if your property does not sell quickly. Your accountant also needs to know what you are doing, as the proceeds of a sale can affect your pension entitlements and impact on your tax, especially if you have other investments.

Most importantly- don’t let anyone rush you with your decision-making.

Thanks to Robin McIllwain from Belle Property Toowong for this Guest Blog

Robin McIlwain 0411 530 870 | robin.mcilwain@belleproperty.com
Belle Property Toowong, 2/55 Sherwood Road, Toowong