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FAQ's on selling your most valuable asset

When is the best time to sell property?

There are a few factors that play a part when it comes to listing your property that won’t have much to do with the time of the year. Things like personal circumstances and market conditions are going to play the biggest role in choosing when to market your property. However, if the market is right and it is time for you to sell, then it makes sense to opt for the time of year best suited to attracting buyers. Here, we take a look at the benefits of listing your property at different times of the year.


Selling in warmer months:


Traditionally, spring has long been considered the best time of year to sell a property. Your garden and outdoor area will probably look their best in spring, and temperatures mean more people will be out and about and likely to look into an open home. This being said, in Australasia, we see a lot of properties enter the market heading into autumn, with March, April and May usually attracting a large number of new listings and auctions. Whilst this means there’s also a lot of buyer activity, if you’re wanting to set your property apart from the crowd you might consider listing your property earlier in the year. Listing a property around February means you’ll get the jump on listings that tend to come onto the market from March onwards, and it also means you’ll start to attract buyers after a long holiday period. This may target buyers who have had time off over the Christmas and New Year period and have had time to reflect on their next big move for the coming year, including buying a new property.


Selling in cooler months:


Whilst not the traditional time of year most agents will tell you to list your property, winter could still be the right time of year to list your home for sale. One advantage to listing your home during the cooler months is the relative lack of competition, with other sellers holding off until the spring period. With fewer homes on the market, your property has a much better chance of standing out.


Selling over the school holidays:


There’s lots of commentary on whether or not listing your property for sale during a school holiday period is a good idea. One school of thought is that this is a great time of year, with people able to view open homes and even attend auctions held mid-week. Another suggests this isn’t the best time of year, with people often travelling away from home, or switching off during their downtime. According to the end of year auction data from Harcourts Group Australia, looking at the percentage of clearance rates, December actually achieved more sales through auction than October and only slightly less than November, with 55.89% of properties selling before or at auction in December 2014, compared with 53.41% and 56.35% respectively. These figures would suggest that buyers are no less active, at least at auctions, during school holidays. There are merits to listing your home at several different times of the year, so ask your Harcourts sales consultant which time of year they would recommend for your home and location, as they’ll be able to draw on their market insights and knowledge and make an informed suggestion for your situation.


How do i chose the right sales consultant for me? 

When it comes to selling one of your most valuable assets, your home, it makes sense to take the time to choose a qualified and knowledgeable sales consultant who has the right tools and strategies at their disposal. When speaking with sales consultants, don’t be afraid to ask the right questions to make sure you trust your consultant and to make sure you’re confident they have the experience to sell your home quickly and for the best price.

The following are a few things to consider:


Is your salesperson qualified?


To sell real estate in Australia or New Zealand, you need to be a qualified sales consultant, and that means you need to hold the proper valid licence. In New Zealand, the Real Estate Agents Authority issues real estate licences to sales consultants and ensures they undergo continuous professional development as well as monitoring registered agents to maintain a high standard of professionalism. In Australia, sales consultants in each state must register as a real estate salesperson after the successful completion of a Certificate of Registration Program. It is a valid question to ask your sales consultant if they hold the proper licence.


Is your salesperson experienced?


Experienced sales consultants don’t just know all there is to know about selling real estate, they also know about your local market, average house and unit prices, what kinds of homes and even features are popular with buyers, important negotiation strategies, and how to effectively market your home. That’s why it’s vital to sit down with a prospective sales person and ask detailed questions about your market, how much homes have sold for in the area, and what they’ll be doing to market your property. An experienced sales consultant should be able to take you through all of this in great detail and answer any questions you might have.


Is your salesperson focused on you?


It’s about people. Successfully buying and selling real estate is so often about understanding human needs and aspirations. That’s why Harcourts people not only receive in-depth professional training (the benchmark for the industry) but are also committed to creating meaningful and genuine personal relationships. The huge volume of referrals and repeat business generated is proof this method works. A complete consultative approach is what makes the Harcourts way of doing things so seamless.Alongside the trust, honesty and integrity of Harcourts’ personal hallmarks, an intimate knowledge of local markets and current property trends help to establish our consultant’s credentials. Combined with a solid work ethic and well-developed negotiation skills these qualities ensure that the Harcourts consultant leads the field.


Is your salesperson able to achieve the right result?


Achieving the quick sale of your property for the right price can depend on more than your sales consultant alone. A consultant needs the right tools at their disposal and the support to use them effectively. At Harcourts our sales consultants have a full range of marketing, research and technological tools available to them at all times. Working within a highly motivated team environment, the business, customer support and online services that they can draw upon are truly impressive. It’s this network that helps produce the best results. That’s what helps us to achieve over 60,000 written sales every year - that’s one property sold by Harcourts every 11 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.



How do i prepare my home for selling?


Top tips for attracting potential buyers and higher offers:




The first tip is the simplest. It’s obviously a must to clean and tidy your home before an inspection, but it’s crucial to also get rid of clutter that could stand in the way of a potential buyer picturing themselves within the home. That means getting rid of personal nick knacks and photographs, unnecessary furniture or furniture within a room not designed for that purpose, for example a bed within a space traditionally used as a living area. Even if it means putting belongings and furniture into storage until the property sells, the investment will be worth it.




Make any aesthetic repairs well before inspection. Things as small as a chip in paint in an interior wall could detract from the overall feel for the home, so get these things up-to-date before your open home. You could also invest in updating features like tired curtains, older fixtures and fittings, or laying new turf if you have a patchy lawn.




Once clutter free, consider using a home stylist or home staging service. The results can be dramatic. Home stylists will take a look at your space, and then loan you the furniture which is the size and style best suited for your home, which will make a space look bigger, comfortable and liveable. Again, this will help potential buyers to see themselves living in the space.




Before even getting to your first home inspection, consider using a professional photographer to take quality, well-lit pictures of your home. After going to the trouble of updating, de-cluttering and staging your property, the last thing you want to do is turn people away before they’ve even inspected your home. Professional photos are taken with professional equipment, they can make spaces look bigger, well-lit and showcase them in the best possible way. Plus you benefit from the experience of someone who knows exactly how to take a photo that appeals. This way, you attract buyers looking online, scanning through ads, and looking through the paper. It’s about piquing interest to attract buyers to inspect in the first place. Your property may not need all of the above, so it’s really about taking a look at your home objectively from a potential buyer’s perspective and assessing what needs to be done. What would distract you if you were inspecting the property? What would you want to replace or update if you were thinking of making an offer? If you were to say to yourself “this place is great, but…”, how would you finish that sentence? Once you’ve made a list of the possible things your property needs, you can employ the top four tips above to make your home a standout to the sea of potential buyers out there.