Mistakes sellers make. How to avoid them.

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Don’t go into the process blind

Selling your home is stressful, even at the best of times, but going into the process blind can be a huge mistake. Here are a few tips that will give you some understanding about the selling process and how you can make it a success.

Have a strategy

We’ve mentioned this before on the blog and it’s our number one tip in a lot of cases – the best tool you can have is a plan. You should have a clear idea of why you’re selling, what you’re hoping to achieve by selling and what the end result will be. It’s important to be pro-active and plan out some deadlines and goals so you can stay on track. Going into the selling process 100% committed is the only way to have a successful outcome.


Check your asking price

Asking price is always an emotional topic. Most sellers have poured a lot of time, and money, into creating a home and trying to put a value on that can be very hard. If you find yourself in this position, take a step back and look at the situation objectively.

The key to setting a fair asking price is to do some research. Get some appraisals done by different agents, go to open houses for properties of a similar style, have a look online or in the local paper to find out what other homes are selling for (you can also find out what properties sold for at realestate.com.au or domain.com.au). This research will come in handy when emotional issues start to cloud your judgement. Also, having an idea of asking price will help when you need to communicate your wishes to your agent.


Your asking price is one of the first things potential buyers will see. Ask too much and they’ll be turned off immediately. Ask too little and you could find yourself in financial strife. Finding the right number takes a little patience but the hard work is worth it.


Do everything you can to increase value

Adding extra value to your home, without having to spend a lot of money should be a priority. A few quick and easy things you could do to increase value include:

  • de-clutter and depersonalise – getting rid of all papers, knick-knacks and photos helps potential buyers to see themselves living in your house. A buyer making an emotional connection with your house is a good thing.
  • clean up your yard – your yard is the first thing people see at a home open so make sure it looks neat and tidy. Mow lawns, weed garden beds and paths, tidy up trees and hedges and clear away any rubbish.
  • update your paint – a quick paint job can do wonders to tired looking walls. If you have no budget to re-paint give walls a good scrub instead.


Choose the right agent

The right agent can make the process of selling your home so much easier. The aim when finding an agent is to choose someone you can get along with and trust to make important decisions. You need to find an agent that is:

  • experienced in your area
  • professional
  • well referred
  • committed to marketing your property in a wide variety of ways
  • innovative and inspired

Understand the contract

Before you accept an offer from a buyer make sure you read and understand the contract. This is a legally binding document that sets out the terms and conditions of your settlement so if you’re unsure of anything – question it. Don’t be pressured to enter into an agreement you’re not happy with – there is always time and opportunity to make changes before it’s signed.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to our list? Have you made any big mistakes that you regretted when selling a house? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

There is plenty of work to do in Perth during the settlement process. However, what you do before the settlement process begins can also have a big impact on the success of the property transaction.

Here are three important tasks that, when done early – even before the sale – will set sellers well on their way to a hassle-free property settlement.

1. Find the Certificate of Title

Each Certificate of Title has two copies: one original, held by Landgate, and one duplicate copy, held by the owner. If the property is under mortgage, the bank will hold the duplicate Title.

If the Title is lost, the seller (or the bank, if there is a mortgage) will need to apply for a replacement. This is a painful process that requires documents such as original rates notices from the shire council and statutory declarations from each person who has had contact with the Title.

Since Landgate’s normal turnaround time is about four weeks, lost Titles are one of the most common causes of long settlement delays.

To avoid such lengthy delays, find out where the Title is early, so that if it’s lost, the application process can be started early.

2. Check identification documents

To proceed with settlement of a property, sellers need to present identification that complies with Landgate’s five categories of identification.

If the seller is unprepared for the strict identification requirements and does not possess the necessary identification, they may be forced into a last-minute scramble to apply for new documents before settlement date – or risk a settlement delay.

To ensure sellers are prepared, it helps to let your clients know about the identification requirements as soon as possible, so they can check that they have their identification documents early. Click here for the five categories of accepted identification.

3. Check the smoke alarms and RCDs

Under state law, sellers can be fined $15,000 for selling a property with improper RCDs and up to $5,000 for selling a property with inadequate smoke alarms.

Having RCDs and smoke alarms installed can take time, so it’s best to check them early to avoid a rush closer to settlement.

If the RCDs or smoke alarms are missing or inadequate (click here for an overview of the requirements), arrange to have them installed or repaired with plenty of time to spare.

By checking early that you have the Certificate of Title, identification documents, and proper RCDs and smoke alarms, you help avoid hassles later on in the settlement process.

Image by Paula via Flickr.

Peter Fletcher

Meet Peter Fletcher, a real estate expert with over 30 years of experience. As the Managing Director at Rezzi, Peter is a licensed settlement agent and real estate agent. His knowledge and expertise have been recognized in the industry, serving as a councillor and trainer for REIWA and AICWA. With Peter on your side, expect expert guidance and unwavering support throughout your property journey.