FOR SALE BY OWNER AUSTRALIA
Everyone who has sold a house knows that it can be a stressful time. With the rise of DIY (Do It Yourself) house renovation over the last few years, people have also begun selling their own residential properties.
Before you begin
Like all ventures, there are both positives and negatives involved. It is important to explore these before you begin, as each state and territory have their own laws and criteria that must be met. Some of these negative reasons are as followings. While opting against using a professional real estate agent is sure to save you possibly thousands of dollars, you are also detaching yourself from people who have operated in the industry for many years. For those selling in New South Wales, Tasmania, Northern Territory, ACT, and Queensland, there are no services to assist you. Websites such as Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), NSW Fair Trading, and the ACT Office of Regulatory Services (ORS), provide tips, but nothing in-depth. You will need to complete and file your own legal documents, advertise, interact with prospective buyers, and much more. If all that hasn’t scared you away, then you can begin the process.
Doing it yourself
Seek legal advice
As stated above, criteria changes dependent on your location. Irregardless of whether you are legally required to use a professional solicitor or conveyancer, almost all states and territories suggest that you at least seek their legal advice before beginning. Victoria has more options for private sellers listing their own residential properties, and allows you to use professional conveyancing services. This means that you are still responsible for completing the required forms (such as the vendor’s statement and the contract of sale), but you have assistance in submitting them.
Once again, all states and territories have different legal criteria you must follow. While most have websites that can assist you in completing your forms, it is still recommended for you to use a professional. Tasmania are in the process of introducing a compulsory vendor’s statement document, which can be used for those selling with the aid of an agent, or privately. South Australia have similar vendor’s statement requirements. These documents must be completed prior to listing, and must be done by a solicitor or conveyancer. The ACT require a draft contract of sale prior to your home being listed, and it must be prepared by a legal practitioner.
Have your property valued to determine purchase price
This is one area in which all states and territories agree. By spending this modest amount to get a professional property valuation, you will have a good idea of how much your listing price or price range should be. Additionally, you should do a little research, and inspect comparable properties. Find out how much properties of your dimensions are selling for, and how sales in your area have fared in recent times. It is at this stage that you will start to get a good idea of how much you will be receiving from the sale, and therefore how much you will have saved from opting against spending thousands on a professional real estate agent.
Once again, this is an area that all states and territories agree. If you are not using a professional real estate agent, you are going to be responsible for getting your property noticed by the public, and attracting prospective buyers. While it is true you will not have access to the proven connections used by agents, there are still approaches you can take. These range from uploading your property listing to a website designed specifically for private sellers and buyers, to ‘old school’ methods such as erecting a sign on your lawn and posting an advertisement in your local newspaper. As the owner of the house, you will be the best person to conduct the walk-throughs and create the advertisements, as no one knows your property better than you do. Prospective buyers will undoubtedly pick up on this.
As with the legal checks prior to listing your property, the contracts are best done by a professional. Queensland is different from other states, in that it requires a ‘Warning Statement’ to be signed and physically attached to the front page of the contract of sale. The South Australia Consumer and Business Services website suggests all offers and counter-offers be written down; but this is something to remember even if you are in another state or territory.
Finalising the sale
With the end in sight, you definitely do not want to do anything that will jeopardise the sale and end up costing you more than if you had hired a professional in the first place. There is still the 5-day cooling-off period, the collection of the deposit, and the signing and copying of the contract and vendor’s statement.