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Selling tips & advice

Whether you’re selling land, a development site or even an established property, it’s important that you put your best property foot forward. Selling property can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many moving parts that go into selling your property, and the more information and knowledge you can acquire the better placed you’ll be. Here are some tips that will help you on your way:

Know what you’re selling

We give the same advice to buyers – knowledge really is power and you need to know exactly what it is you are selling. Research the market and suburb thoroughly. Look at past sales history for the area; educate yourself on zoning or future zoning opportunities (proposed urban growth areas; your property could be located in one); and planned or pending infrastructure such as proposed new developments, public transportation upgrades, and retail or recreational facilities. Future nearby construction or re-zoning opportunities, or maybe even the potential for a second dwelling or granny flat. These opportunities can all add significant value to your property today before the purchaser capitalizes on this value tomorrow.

Timing can be everything

As with most markets, the property market moves up and down in cycles and is susceptible to domestic and international economic conditions. The state of the economy, mortgage interest rates and local supply and demand can have an impact on the real estate market. One of the obvious considerations to maximising your financial return is to leverage the market to your advantage. Selling when the market is hot, and buying when the market has cooled.

Seasonality is also a consideration of timing. Traditionally, the months of autumn and spring are considered the two peak seasons for selling property. The days are warm and bright, the grass green and the warm weather makes for pleasant viewing of properties, or attending auctions. There is argument that these seasons allow you to present your property in the very best light. Conversely and often overlooked, some experts believe that winter also presents an opportune time to sell. With fewer listings in the market there is less competition and this in turn may attract a greater proportion of keen buyers.

If you have the opportunity to pick and choose the right time to sell, taking into account market cycles and seasonality can serve you well. Although sometimes personal circumstances may mean that the timing of the sale is out of your hands. And while it might be ideal to balance all of these factors, with an experienced agent, solid pricing and marketing strategies, properties will ultimately sell during any season.

Selling method matters

It is true that the strategy you employ to sell your home, whether it be auction or private treaty can have an effect on your final sales price. Although both methods have their pros and cons, both are equally effective if employed in the right location, in the right market and at the right time. Your trusted agent will be able to guide you on what method will get you the ultimate result.

Private treaty

Private treaty is the usual approach to selling property. When you sell your property by private treaty, you will set an asking price (normally estimated within 10%), and the property is listed for sale at that price. The property can also be listed as a price range or call for offers over a certain price (as disclosed in the agency agreement) or even an expression of interest without a requirement to disclose this price to potential buyers. This method is beneficial as it allows you greater control over the sales process, and you have a good amount of time to consider all potential offers.


An auction is a gathering of potential buyers who publicly bid for a property. As the seller, you and your agent set a reserve price. It is important that you are comfortable with this price as this is the lowest price you will accept for your property. Auction can be the right option when you are in need of a hasty sale – whether you need to sell your property by a certain date or have already purchased your next home. It can also be a good option if your property is unique and not easily valued, or if you are in a sought after location. Auctions are also beneficial in hot property markets where demand is strong.

Read more on the pros and cons of auction vs private treaty here.

Selling by Tender

Although not the most common approach to selling land, property or a development site, selling by tender provides vendors with an opportunity to use the spirit of competition to their advantage in highly competitive markets; where demand is higher than supply or where the property is totally unique. Selling by tender allows the vendor to offer a broad price range, rather than advertise the property with a pre-determined price. Essentially, selling by tender is a type of closed silent auction where the vendor will invite purchasers to submit their highest and best offer before a pre-determined date. Offers are presented to the vendor in sealed envelopes; meaning prospective buyers are unaware of what offers other competitors have made.

Perfect property presentation

It’s no secret that a clean, clutter-free, well-presented property will be more attractive to potential buyers. Often simple cosmetic changes can be made with minimal time and expense to increase the value of your property. Since buyers compare competing properties, we suggest a few practical tips to make yours stand out:

  • Eliminate clutter: Your property will feel larger and brighter, while allowing prospective buyers to explore it comfortably, envisioning their own personal touches;
  • Repair: If you think something is too much trouble to fix, chances are buyers will, too. Making repairs allows you to present your property in a better light and increase its value. Not conducting repairs gives potential buyers leverage to negotiate the purchase price down;
  • Cleanliness: Presenting a clean home to a buyer shows them the home has been valued and cared for. Lawns and gardens should be well maintained and garages or sheds kept neat and tidy;
  • Presentation: Place fresh flowers in the home, bake some cookies or brew fresh coffee. These aromas are welcoming and homely, and can help make buyers feel at home. Make sure you open all of the blinds and turn on all of the lights, especially in dark rooms. Make the beds, put all clothes away, turn off the televisions, and be sure the kitchen and baths shine; and
  • Leave: Potential buyers are much more comfortable and will be more likely to discuss how they feel about a property if the seller is not at home during the inspection.

Perfect land, acreage or development site presentation

As with selling a house, presentation when selling land, acreage or even a development site is just as important. Here are some great tips to ensure your site is prepared and presented in the best possible way:

  • Consider your property from the air: In order to give prospective buyers a good indication of property size, condition and inclusions we’ll often use a drone to provide high-quality air imagery. This means there is nowhere to hide, so you need to remove any junk, old falling down sheds, scrap metal, miscellaneous objects or any questionable utility from the property. Make sure you clearly show all property boundaries by removing or trimming overgrown flora (check with council or the RFS first) and by ensuring all fencing, gates and entry points are in a good working condition;
  • Boundaries clearly identifiable: Not all prospective buyers can visualise boundaries from a plan. Corner survey pegs should be clearly visible, or replaced if need be. For home lots it’s a good idea to show setbacks on the survey too. Information on location of services such as water, electricity and sewer is all information that can help buyers see the potential in a property and encourage a prompt and successful sales result;
  • Provide an indicative layout plan: If your site has development potential, it is important to draft an Indicative Layout Plan (ILP) showing purchasers the potential layout of the subdivision, including the net development area, proposed street pattern, surrounding land uses etc. This will not only provide thorough information to prospective developers/purchasers, but will also demonstrate you understand the true value and potential future use of your site;
  • Highlight vantage points: If your property has mountain, water or river vistas ensure you capitalise on these. Remove any obstructions and add some comfortable furniture so that prospective buyers can sit and take in the view;
  • Gardens and external grounds freshly mown, neat and tidy: Remove all piles of grass clippings, soil, old tree stumps and any overgrown bushes or unwanted clutter you may have collected over the years. Ensure your property is attractive to buyers from the moment they drive in the front gate. This includes ensuring the council reserve is freshly mown and all visible fencing, gates and security systems are in good working order.

For further information on how to put your best property foot forward, or to make an enquiry, contact the team at Urban Greenfield today.

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