With a bit of planning and know-how, you can sell your own home via private sale in seven simple steps
You may be wondering what is involved in selling a house privately, and the good news is that while there is a bit of preparation involved, it is far from complex or difficult. We have broken down the process into seven simple steps to demystify the process of selling property privately. After reading this, you’ll be an expert in how to sell property, whether selling land privately or selling your home privately.
Step 1: Doing Your Research will help Sell Property Privately
The old adage that preparation leads to success is particularly relevant in how to sell your house privately. When looking at how to sell, it is worth conducting research in your local area to understand:
- How much are similar properties advertised for? And how much are they ultimately selling for?
- How long are they on the market?
- How many buyers are interested in these types of properties? Visit some local open inspections to gauge the level of buyer interest.
- What property features do buyers want in a home? It could be a contemporary kitchen or a spacious living area. These observations can help you work out what to focus on in selling your home privately.
- What method are these properties selling by: auction or private sales (also known as private treaty)?
This research will help you set your expectations for the sale of your home so that you get a sense of how to value your property, as well as whether to sell via auction or private treaty, and what to expect during your open inspection times.
If you need assistance is setting your house price guide, we have tools and reports to assist. We can provide a Comparative Market Analysis for your property here.
Step 2: Prepare Your Private Sale Property
If you want the best sale price for your property, ensure your property is presented in its best possible light. Buyers want to be able to step inside a home and imagine themselves living in it and moving their own furniture in. To help achieve this, you can make some small improvements to your property that go a long way, including:
- Painting the home, both inside and out, in a modern but neutral colour palette. It’s best to avoid bold colour choices as it may prevent some buyers from imagining themselves owning and living in your home.
- Clean, tidy and declutter your property to make it as appealing to as many potential buyers as possible. According to the leading property websites (where 86 per cent of buyers search for their next home), mess and chaos are common turn-offs.
- First impressions count so pay some attention to the garden and the exterior of your home. Buyers are looking for a home with “kerb appeal” so repaint the fence, buy a new letterbox, paint the front door, and cut back any large trees, especially those close to the roofline. You may wish to buy some bark mulch to fill in any landscaping gaps and plant some attractive hardy shrubs. Your front door entrance should be immaculate, too, with a few pot plants beside the door to brighten the arrival area.
If you are willing to make some bigger improvements, focusing on the following areas in the home can typically create more value:
- Kitchen – updating features such as the splashback, kitchen appliances, or bench-tops can modernise your property and increase its appeal. If money is tight focus on minor additions and swap-outs, such as handles, tapware and new cabinet doors.
- Bathroom – updating vanities and tapware can be an effective way to add value. A double vanity can add the luxe look that your buyers’ value, or you can simply add a few touches, such as a rain shower head or a new towel rack.
- Lighting – Lighting is important when selling your home, as buyers enjoy inspecting bright spaces. In addition to replacing any burnt-out globes, consider upgrading any old-fashioned pendant lights and ensure your light switches are clean. Buyers notice these touches.
- Outdoor areas – Many buyers will pay a premium for an attractive outdoor space so make sure you tidy outdoor sitting areas, remove children’s toys and put away tools. Re-stain the deck for added appeal, and place pot plants in groups of two or three to break up the space.
It’s likely to be expensive to fix the entire home so choose the areas that are more likely to enhance the value and appeal of your property for your buyers.
Top tip: Beware of any relevant council zoning laws or building infringements before undertaking work on your home, and be sure to obtain the appropriate certificates from the council. Your buyer will want to know about these things.
Step 3: Legal steps to selling a house or other property
We strongly recommend that you have your sale documents ready before listing your property for sale. It’s a critical step in the process of selling a house. Many of our vendors receive offers at their first open inspection, so make sure you have your Contract of Sale ready to email interested buyers, so you can lock in a buyer before they find another property.
Note: If you’re selling in NSW or ACT, it is a legal requirement that you have a Contract of Sale before listing your property for sale.
We can help with Contract of Sale process through our partnership with conveyancing firm, lawlab. Lawlab service every state in Australia, and offer affordable packages for getting your Contract of Sale.
The process of settling a property is separate to the Contract of Sale, and lawlab can help with settlement also, making their service a one stop shop. You can read more about their Settlement Packages here.
Step 4: Attract Your Buyers to Sell Your House Privately
Your prospective buyers are actively looking for properties, which means they can visit several open for inspections every week. You want to ensure you are the one standing out from the crowd when selling home privately.
Consider the following advice to ensure you are putting your best foot forward when it comes to advertising your property:
- Professional Photos – One of the most vital aspects to attracting attention is the photos you select to advertise your property, which should project a stylish image and leave buyers wanting to find out more. For this reason, we strongly recommend premium professional photography in all cases, other than when selling land.
- Property Description – Your property description is the first talking point of your listing, so make sure it directly communicates with the buyers. It is also imperative you retain people’s attention so while you may want to tell prospective buyers about every aspect of your home, sometimes less is more. Focus on the key selling points and features of your home and accentuate these.
Top Tip: Always double-check for typos.
- Photographic ‘For Sale’ Signboard – Capture the attention of passing traffic and let the market know that your property is ready to be sold. Your ‘For Sale’ signboard is your 24/7 sales piece, so we recommend our sellers invest in one.
- Upgraded Property Listing – Realestate.com.au states that most potential buyers (57 per cent) don’t click past the first page in search results. Ensure you are seen by boosting your listing with an upgraded listing feature so you rank higher in search results. We always recommend purchasing an upgraded property listing in highly competitive areas.
Step 5: Open your Door to Sell Privately
A key element in how to sell your home is to show them around. Open for Inspections are your chance to truly sell your home and one of the critical steps to selling a house. Prepare in advance by making a list of all your property’s unique benefits and stand-out features. This will help guide your conversations with potential buyers during their visit. These can include:
- The home renovations and/or improvements you have recently completed.
- How your property takes advantage of natural light – for example, you may want to talk about the benefits of your north-facing courtyard.
- The quality of nearby shops, restaurants and schools.
- Your lovely neighbours and your favourite cafe.
While hosting your inspections, make sure to gauge buyer interest by asking questions, such as:
- How long have you been in the market?
- What are you looking for in a property? (Take the opportunity to highlight how your property meets their requirements.)
- Would you like a copy of the sale documentation?
- Do you have any questions for me?
Top tip: Ask for names and phone numbers of those who attend your inspections. This is both a safety measure and a way to create your buyer database. Be sure to follow up with your buyers with a phone call: it adds a personal touch and shows that you’re professional and committed to selling your home.
Step 6: Offers and Negotiations
One of the most exciting steps in the process of selling a house by owner is receiving offers. When someone is ready to make an offer, always ask for it in writing.
Confirm with your legal representative (conveyancer, solicitor or settlement agents) how they prefer offers to be drawn up. In our experience, an email is usually enough however this is worth double-checking.
If you find yourself caught between multiple offers, then you are in a great position. In the event this happens, we’ve got a few tips to help you negotiate with multiple bidders.
If you still don’t feel confident in negotiating with buyers, you can always consult a professional. At buymyplace, we offer vendor advocacy and negotiation advice services where our real estate professionals help you plan the best way to counteroffers, deal with multiple bidders and achieve the highest price when selling your place privately.
Step 7: Time to celebrate!
Once the deposit has been paid and settlement has passed, take a moment to congratulate yourself. It’s not every day that you sell your home privately and save thousands of dollars in fees and commissions. You’ve put in the work and now it is time to enjoy that satisfying feeling of accomplishment.
Let us know about your success in selling real estate privately by updating your property listing status in your online account and sharing your experience with us on one of our review platforms.
Need more information on how to sell a house privately?
If you’ve read this and want to know more on how to sell property privately, we’re here to help. Contact us by:
- Asking for a call back here
- Calling us on 1300 289 697
- Emailing email@example.com
- Leaving your details on our Contact Us form
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What to do when selling a house privately doesn’t need to be a mystery; we’ve helped over 6,500 people sell real estate privately. Let us know how we can help.