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How to sell an apartment

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Samantha is a Sydney-based real estate and home improvement writer. She is currently Head of Marketing at OpenAgent.

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Selling an apartment or unit in Australia can be a significant decision that requires careful planning and strategy. Whether you're looking to upgrade, downsize, or relocate, it's important to understand the unique considerations and steps involved in the selling process. 

In this article, we will guide you through the essential aspects of selling an apartment in Australia, providing valuable insights, tips, and strategies to help you navigate the market with confidence and achieve a successful sale.

Steps to selling an apartment 

1. Assessing the market

Before selling your apartment, it is important to thoroughly research the current market conditions and trends in your area. This involves gaining a comprehensive understanding of the demand for apartments and the pricing dynamics specific to your location. 

Factors such as the desirable location, nearby amenities, and recent sales data of similar properties should be considered. 

2. Engaging a real estate agent 

Finding a reputable real estate agent with expertise in selling apartments is essential. Take the time to evaluate their track record, market knowledge, and marketing strategies.

Look for an agent who has experience in your local area and a proven ability to attract potential buyers. Collaborating with the agent, you can develop a tailored selling plan that aligns with your goals and maximises the exposure of your apartment to the right target audience.

3. Preparing your apartment for sale 

Preparing your apartment for sale is crucial in making a strong first impression on potential buyers. Ensure that the exterior of the apartment unit is clean and well maintained, including the walls, windows, and any damages or blemishes that may be on the front door. 

Inside, declutter and depersonalise the space to create a neutral environment that allows buyers to envision themselves living there. It is also recommended to address any necessary repairs and consider minor upgrades to enhance the overall appeal and value of your apartment.

4. Determining the right price 

To determine the right listing price for your apartment, conduct a comparative market analysis. This involves evaluating recent sales data of comparable apartments in your building or neighbourhood. Consider the size, condition, location, and amenities of these properties in relation to your own. 

Balancing your expectations with realistic market conditions will help you set a competitive price that attracts potential buyers while ensuring you receive fair value for your apartment.

5. Developing a strong marketing strategy 

Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is crucial for attracting potential buyers to your apartment. Collaborate with your real estate agent to create a compelling listing description that highlights the unique features and benefits of your property. 

Utilise professional photography and virtual tours to showcase the apartment's best attributes and create a captivating visual presentation. Additionally, explore various marketing channels such as online listings, social media platforms, and traditional print media to reach a wider audience.

6. Showcasing the apartment 

Plan and schedule open houses or private viewings to allow potential buyers to experience your apartment firsthand. Prioritise staging the space to maximise its appeal and highlight its key selling points. 

Showcase desirable features such as panoramic views, modern amenities, or recent renovations to captivate buyers and create a memorable impression.

Read this guide to find out how to get your property ready for an open house inspection. 

7. Evaluating and negotiating offers

When offers start to come in, carefully review each one, considering all terms and conditions. Work closely with your real estate agent to negotiate favourable terms that align with your selling objectives. It is important to assess the financial strength and reliability of potential buyers to ensure a smooth transaction.

8. Completing legal and financial requirements 

Engage a conveyancer or solicitor experienced in property transactions to handle the legal paperwork and contracts involved in the sale of your apartment. They will guide you through the necessary disclosures and documentation requirements, including property inspections, to address any buyer's concerns and ensure compliance with legal obligations.

9. Closing the sale 

Coordinate with all parties involved, including the buyer, real estate agents, conveyancers, and lenders, to ensure a seamless closing process. Prepare for settlement by organising the required paperwork and funds in a timely manner. 

On the closing day, hand over the keys and transfer ownership of the apartment to the buyer, completing the successful sale of your apartment.

What's the difference between selling an apartment and a house?

Documentation and legal requirements

Both selling an apartment and selling a house involve various legal and documentation requirements. However, apartments often require additional documentation related to the strata management, including bylaws, meeting minutes, and financial reports. 

Sellers must ensure that all necessary disclosures and documentation specific to the apartment are readily available for potential buyers. Selling a house typically involves more straightforward documentation, such as the property title, contract of sale, and any relevant certificates or permits.

Cost to sell 

Selling a house often comes with higher costs compared to selling an apartment. There are several factors that contribute to the higher expenses involved in selling a house. Here are some points to consider:

  • Firstly, houses typically have larger land sizes and more extensive property features, which can require additional maintenance, staging, and marketing efforts to attract potential buyers.
  • Since agent commission is based on a property’s selling price, commission costs on apartments tend to lower as they are generally cheaper than houses. 
  • The selling process for a house may involve more negotiations and longer time on the market, resulting in additional costs such as ongoing mortgage payments, utility bills, and property maintenance. 
  • Houses are subject to higher transaction costs and legal fees, which are calculated based on the higher sale price.

Limited property customisation or renovations 

Another key difference is the level of control you have over the property. Unlike a house, in an apartment, sellers have less control when considering common areas and shared facilities, which may impact the overall appeal of the property. 

Most owner’s corporations aim to maintain visual harmony and overall aesthetics of the apartment building. If you’re considering adding some unique customisations or renovations to your apartment or unit, you must remember to first get the correct approval to avoid any legal issues later down the road.

  • What are the steps to selling an apartment?

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  • Does it cost more to sell an apartment?

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  • How long does it take to sell an apartment?

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