HOME LOANS

How to get the best price for your house

About this post

Spring is the peak selling season for Australian residential property. But it's a tough market for vendors with a record number of houses now on the market, research shows.

If you're thinking of listing your home for sale this year, your success could be determined by the preparation you put in now. Follow the right process and you'll improve your chances.

Don't take it personally

Getting your house ready for sale should start with a big clean up and clear out. Don't even think about calling an agent before you've got rid of your junk and de-cluttered, said interior design expert Juliet Love.

"Nine times out of 10 buyers will go for a house that is spacious and clean, rather than a cluttered property," she told News Ltd.

"Clutter makes whatever positive features your property might have invisible to potential buyers, so by removing any extra furniture, plus all the bits and pieces gathered over time around your home, you will allow your property's good features to stand out."

Financial expert, and television personality, David Koch recommends taking emotion out of the sale.

"When you decide to sell, it's no longer a home, it's a product," he writes in his blog for news.com.au.

"Buyers have no attachment to your home; they're seeing it in a very different light, so you have to see your home through the eyes of a buyer."

Do the legwork

There is so much information and tools available online to help with the process of sale.

You'll need to do your homework, so attend auctions to see which houses are selling and which aren't and the reasons for success. Paying for research reports and home valuations reports may also be worth considering, according to Koch.

"Your biggest asset is up for sale. Getting an extra 5 percent on the sale price can equate to a bonus $40,000 to $50,000, so there is a lot at stake," he said.

Money matters

A potential buyer doesn't care about what you paid for the property, what you owe on your home loan or what return on sale you need to fund a new property you are interested in buying. Rather, they will likely have conducted similar market research and have certain expectations about price – in other words, they will be looking for a bargain.

"It's a tough market, buyers have plenty of options, so your price has to be attractive to get their attention," said Koch.

Vendors that are also in the market to buy a new property should revisit their finances and understand the features of an existing home loan, where possible.

Michelle Hutchison, spokeswoman for RateCity, said some home loans offer a feature called "mortgage portability".

"It's a mortgage that allows you to release one home and substitute another using the same documentation, usually to reduce stamp duty costs," she said.

"But with interest rates so low, and exit fees abolished, it's worth doing a quick home loan comparison such as at RateCity to ensure you're getting the very best deal on your home loan."