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How to sell a house

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If you’re thinking of selling your own home, you’ve come to the right place.   

In this guide we take an in-depth look at how to get your house ready for sale and why choosing a good agent can help ease you through the often-stressful sales process.

Preparing a house for sale  

For first time sellers, preparing your house for sale can be daunting. Breaking the process down into some key steps can make it easier to manage, especially with the help of a great agent.  

Questions to answer before selling your house

First, you’ll need to do your research. Ask yourself:

When do I want to sell my house? 

You’ll want to sell quicker if you’ve found your new home but if your goal is maximising price, you may wish to wait for the highest offer. 

Whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market and seasonal sales trends can also influence when to sell. An agent can help you analyse the market to pinpoint the best time to list.

How do I want to sell my house? 

Selling by auction or private treaty both have advantages. Consider doing some research to see which suits you or talk to an agent.  

What’s the ideal sale price for my house? 

Research what other properties in your area have recently sold for and use as a guide to work out a comparative market price. You’ll also need to consider the costs of selling like conveyancer’s fees. An agent can explain these costs and advise on a realistic price.

While you’re learning the market, start on preparing your house for inspection. Enhancing the presentation of your house can help attract buyers and entice them to pay top dollar.

Getting your house ready for sale

Getting your house ready to sell doesn’t have to mean huge, expensive renovations. A few low-cost, simple fixes can give your house an edge over competitors, including: 


A neat, well-maintained garden will boost your home’s street appeal. Don’t go wild buying plants or redesigning, think weeding, pruning, mowing, clearing paths and removing any junk.


Clear surfaces of papers and ornaments, empty wardrobes, and remove occasional or storage furniture like side tables, tallboys and bookcases. As well as creating space, decluttering depersonalises your house so buyers can imagine living in it.    


Fix flaws like cracks, loose hinges or handles, leaky taps and discoloured grout. Make sure all interior and exterior lights work. The wear and tear we live with is noticeable and off-putting to buyers, so get those ‘little jobs’ done.     


Repainting walls and frames and replacing old fittings will freshen your house for an attractive ‘like new’ feeling. Revealing and polishing any floorboards under your carpets is a simple yet high impact update.   


Property styling means staging a home with furniture and accessories to make it look its best. Professional property stylists can supply these if necessary and arrange them to highlight your home’s most impressive features. While the cost depends on the size, location and design of your house, the ‘wow’ factor of professional staging can help it sell faster and add to your final sale price. 

Any styling or repairs need to be done before the listing photos are taken. A good agent will be able to advise how to get your house ready for sale, so once you’ve decided to sell, research and compare agents in your area to find the one right for you.

Top tips on how to sell a house

Be competitive with these top tips:

1.   Presentation. Refreshing the look of your house inside and out can draw in buyers and add to your sale price.

2.   Learn the sales process. Familiarise yourself with the costs, legalities and settlement process of selling a house so you know what to expect.

3.   Understand the market. Research similar properties for sale in your suburb along with recent selling prices, market demand and trends.

4.   Use a real estate agent. Find an agent with local knowledge and experience to get you the best possible price.

5.   Set the right price. Price your house according to the market. Aim too high and buyers will flock to comparable properties at lower prices.

How to sell a house fast

If you’re looking for a quick sale, here are some tips on how to sell a house fast:

  • Price in line with market conditions or consider pricing lower to attract interest. This strategy can attract multiple offers and push the price back up to market value. Overpricing can make buyers negotiate for a lower price, drawing out the process.
  • Forgo big renovation projects and focus on cleaning, decluttering, small repairs and garden maintenance.
  • Engage a professional photographer to showcase your house in the best possible light and catch the eye of buyers.

Find a real estate agent with examples of properties they sold quickly, strategies for quick sales and a strong marketing plan. A good local agent will have a large database of buyers ready to buy.

Choosing the right agent to sell your house

Choosing the right agent to sell your property is crucial for getting the best possible price. A good agent is a sales expert who understands the local market and has a pool of buyers to tap into. Their guidance can also make the emotional decision-making process of selling your home less stressful and save you time in the long run.

As well as managing the complex legalities of selling, a good agent ensures maximum exposure for your property and negotiates on your behalf. They proactively find buyers and keep you updated. A good agent is in contact often so it’s important to find one you like and trust.

Some tips for choosing the right agent are:

  • Compare agents by researching their qualifications, sales history, types of properties they sell and asking family and friends for recommendations. Look for a licensed agent with a proven track record of selling properties like yours.
  • Look for an agent with local knowledge of your area.
  • Attend auctions or open houses to see agents at work. A good agent nurtures relationships with potential buyers.
  • Meet with more than one agent and ask about their past sales and strategies. A good agent can explain the selling and marketing strategies they’d use for your property, and why.
  • Choose an agent who listens, understands your motivations for selling and works to your time frame.
  • How much do you lose selling a house as is?

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  • What is the best way to sell a house?

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  • What not to fix when selling a house?

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  • What makes a house harder to sell?

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  • How do you prepare a house for sale?

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  • How do you sell a house fast?

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