Collings Real Estate, Edit

10 Tips for First-Time Sellers in Australia

March 25, 2019
Tips for first time home sellers in Australia

The world of real estate is highly rewarding for those with the know-how, however, for a first-time seller, it is a whole different story. Selling your home in Australia for the first time may turn out to be the most overwhelming and stressful experience if you have no idea how it works. Here are ten tips for the first-time seller to help you successfully sell your home stress-free.



I understand you may want to sell your property as soon as possible, but timing is crucial. If you do not sell at the right time, you may not realise the properties full potential. You will need to do a little digging to see the prevailing trends in real estate. Holding off on putting the property on the market for a couple of weeks as you wait for the right time won’t be as bad as having to sell at a price that does not meet your expectations. Periods which may not be the best time to market your property include holiday periods such as the months of December & January and long weekends. The property market is driven by supply and demand, and it is best to list your property when demand is high, and supply is low. You’ll need to do your own research on the property market in your local area. When the market conditions are right for sale, then go ahead and list your property for sale.



A common misconception is that it is more beneficial to price the property well above the market value and negotiate down to ensure market value is achieved. This method of sale generally backfires, as it deters potential purchasers from even considering the property as they believe the property is overpriced. This is especially the case in a buyers’ market when there is a lot of property for sale. A more rewarding strategy is to ensure the property is priced at a level that attracts multiple interested parties, which will create a multiple offer situation that will drive the price beyond expectations.

If you are unsure about the current market value of your property, you should engage either a valuer or trusted Northcote real estate agent to assist you. Your council rates notice will also give you a free, approximate indication, however, I wouldn’t rely too heavily on this.


Home Improvement

Preparing your home for sale is a great way to attract potential buyers and also increase the property’s value. You don’t want a potential buyer to find any structure or cosmetic damage. There are two tricks that will ensure your home sparkles like a new one: cleaning and repairs.

It is time to thoroughly clean the house inside out. It needs putting in the work from floors, walls, curtains, cabinets, closets, kitchens, bathrooms to the ceiling. I am not suggesting a full renovation, but make sure everything is presentable. You can replace the curtains with affordable new ones. Painting the walls is also a good way to give the house a new look. Most purchasers will pay a premium for a property that is ready to move in, so ensure you make the most of this.

Repairs will go a long way in making the sale easier and more rewarding. Undertake the repair of leaking faucets, door handles, closet doors, cabinets and any other part of the house that needs repairing. Anything that is left unrepaired will impact negatively on the value of your house. Remember not to spend too much on repairs and cleaning that you run into a loss when you finally sell the home. Keep the budget under control.

The exterior makes the first impression of your home. Regardless of how good the inside looks, if the outside is not appealing, most buyers will be disinterested. You need to prepare the exterior to present so well that the buyer makes up their mind to buy it as soon as they land their eyes on it. The exterior ranges from the landscaping to the walls and roof.

Plant some shrubs and colourful flowers. Make the front yard highly appealing with the right landscaping. Paint the walls with the right colours and have the entryway look welcoming. Experts reveal that a house that looks good from the outside sells faster and at a higher price than an average looking exterior.

You can add a couple of accessories to your exterior like a bench, flower vases with fresh flowers, a patio and anything else that will bring the exterior to life. Remember to stay within your budget even as you do these improvements to your home.

home improvement

Property Presentation

You will need to remove clutter from the house. Make it look as clean and as spacious as possible. Most real estate experts call this cleaning process ‘depersonalising’.

Staging the property with furniture is a great way to present it at its full potential as most buyers do not have the vision to project what property may look like furnished. The stylist who elects the furniture will be able to match the right colours/styles dependant on the properties characteristics and will select the right size furniture to ensure it is presented immaculately. Lighting is also a key factor in ensuring the property is well presented, and it could be worth investing in better bulbs and lampshades should your property lack the appropriate lighting.


Right Professional

As I mentioned earlier, the world of real estate is challenging to the inexperienced seller. You may, therefore, need to get the help of an experienced, trained and licensed real estate professional to help you get the best out of your home sale.

Professional real estate agents do a lot of market research and therefore understand what pricing and marketing will work best in your neighbourhood. They also know the regulations and zoning pertaining to a real estate that you may not understand. If you select one who is tech-savvy, even better. With the rise of digital marketing, some agents are marketing property extremely effectively compared to others. The agent will help you throughout the entire process including contract negotiations. You can count on them to make the entire process smooth and seamless.

When selecting the right agent, don’t just consider selling fees. Ensure they understand the market well, have a previous track record of excellent results, have a multi-faced marketing approach, and are easy to deal with. Communication plays a big role. If you don’t feel comfortable, select someone else.

online presence

Online Presence

As opposed to the past, more and more buyers now search online for the homes they want to buy. It allows them to have all the details and virtually tour your home from anywhere in the world. They are able to compare multiple homes and when they finally show up at your doorstep, they have almost made up their minds. You need to capitalize on this opportunity.

Have as much detail of your home as possible online including the price, address, great quality images of the interior/exterior, a video of the property, as well as the size of the land (if applicable), how many beds/baths/car spots, and any other important features. Now that you have done renovations, also mention them in your listing.

Putting it online makes it visible to many buyers who may start “driving by” from the very first day you put it up. Therefore, ensure it is “show ready”.


Cost of Selling Your Home

There are costs that you will incur while selling your house. Ensure your account for costs associated with paying off your loan, conveyancer costs, taxes and other costs specific to your region. Addressing these costs early enough will make the entire process smooth.

If you hired a professional agent, they will let you know the costs associated with selling your property through them. This is generally split into two sections, a marketing fee, and a selling fee. In most cases, the marketing fee will have to be paid to the agent regardless of whether the property sells, as this is a cost they incur to market your property. This fee should cover expenses such as photos, video, signboard & online marketing to name a few.


Where Next

Even as you are immersed in ensuring your house sells, you need to know where you are moving to next. Will you be buying another home or will you be renting? A solid plan will help you smoothly go through the transition. If a buyer showed up and said they are ready to buy it as long as they move in within 30 days, will you be ready? You need to know where next you are moving. If you decide to build a new home in Victoria, it’s important to remember that a 6 star energy rating is obligatory for homes from first May 2012.

This may be the same. Therefore, ensure you have everything organised and ready. If buying a new home after selling your former one, you will need to start hunting for one early enough. It will allow your moving to be smooth and less disturbing to you and your family.



Whilst selling a house may be a personal and emotional process, you must also consider it for what it is, a business transaction. You will have to put up with strangers checking out your home. One purchaser may inspect the property 3-4 times and not proceed with purchasing. In some cases, the house may not sell as fast as anticipated. If things don’t progress as smoothly as anticipated, it’s okay, you will need to understand and not get frustrated. Consider the feedback from the agent. If the property hasn’t sold within 5-6 weeks, it is generally due to a lack of marketing from the agent, or your expectation on price does not match the markets. If you have had a lot of traffic online & at open for inspections, it may be later, however, if there hasn’t been much traction at all, it may be time to consider appointing another agent. Remember that in doing so, you will incur another set of marketing fees, so choose wisely from the start.


Be Willing to Negotiate

When offers start coming in, remember to be flexible. If your situation allows you to, offer a slightly longer settlement, or a slightly smaller deposit. Ensure you & the real estate agent understand the position of the buyer, and are able to get the deal you want by also accommodating them. Sometimes your first offer is your best offer, so remember to not neglect any interested parties. The best deals are the ones that have both sides feeling victorious.


Selling a home can be a smooth and fruitful process if you know how the real estate world operates. The above ten tips for first-time sellers will enable you to sell like an expert. Whether doing it on your own or getting a professional to help you with the process, the above basics will enable you to get the best out of the sale. Which tip do you think is the most important?

Other selling-related blogs:

Scroll to Top