Step by step guide to selling your property

If you are looking at selling your property, understanding the steps involved is very important. To help you navigate the process, here is an easy to understand infographic that will walk you through the 14 key steps to selling your home.

Property Appraisal

The first step to selling residential real estate is to get a LJ Hooker real estate agent to appraise your property.

The closer they are able to match your property to others sold in the area, the more accurate the appraisal will be. Agents also consider current competition, wider market trends, the properties structure and condition. Property appraisals are an excellent way of understanding your properties potential market value at that point in time.

Choose your method of sale & set a selling price

There are 4 main ways to sell your property and your agent will be able to help guide you as to which is the best for you and your property. The options to choose from include Auction, Private Treaty, Tender and Expression of Interest. It is also time to determine a selling price. This should be based on your property appraisal and in-depth discussion with your agent.

Review and sign the agency agreement

As a homeowner looking to sell, you’ll need to sign an agency agreement. A normal agreement between a vendor and a real estate agent is 90 days.

You will also need to provide your real estate agent with keys and access details and lock in weekly the open for inspection times. Normally there are 2 open homes, one during the mid week and the other on Saturday mornings. Typically, homeowners won’t stick around during open homes.

Marketing Your Property

Now comes the time to promote your property to as many willing buyers as possible.

In order to first attract their attention, professional photos will need to be taken of the property. Your real estate agent will organize this and will ensure a floor plans and professional copy writing is completed.

Your LJ Hooker agent will run an extensive marketing campaign to reach as broad a range of potential buyers as possible. The marketing campaign will be discussed and agreed with you, but for best results you should look at promotion via the LJ Hooker Boost program, on the real estate portals such as and, house signboard, printed material including print advertisements in newspapers and lette box drops, plus agent database marketing.

Open for inspections

Open inspections allow potential buyers to get a feel for the home. Make sure you spend time tiding up and preparing your home for inspection as you want to ensure your property makes a great impression on potential buyers. Your agent will record the details of attendees and provide comments and feedback to you.

When you get a willing buyer, you move onto the next step.

Negotiation and Contract

If you are selling via private treaty, tender or expression of interest, you will receive offers via your agent. They will discuss these with you and then negotiate to get the best price and conditions of sale for you.

If you are selling via auction, your property will be taken to auction. An auction is a public sale, usually conducted by an auctioneer or a qualified real estate agent and is governed by strict rules. It is advertised for a specific place, time and date and prospective buyers bid for the property with the property being sold to the highest bidder.

Once terms are agreed upon, contracts are signed and the buyers will pay a security deposit which is normally 10% of the sale price. If you sell your property via auction, there is no cooling off period, the successful bidder is legally obliged to buy the property.

Property Settlement

Property settlement is the process of transferring property from one owner to another – it is literally when ownership of a property is handed over from the seller to the buyer.

The date of settlement is specified in the contract of sale and is usually 30 – 90 days after you have exchanged contracts either at auction or via private treaty.

As settlement day approaches, both the buyer and seller’s solicitors or conveyancers, will contact each other to ensure conditions have been fulfilled and to organise payment transfers. You won’t need to actually be present for settlement to go ahead, as the solicitors/ conveyancers can do this without you.

Settlement day is when the buyer’s lender authorises the payment for the balance of the home. This means you can expect to receive payment for the property on this date.

The buyer and their solicitor will also organise the deposit to be transferred to you. This deposit is usually held in a trust account by your real estate agency until settlement day.

On this day, the seller transfers the property title (handover) across to the new registered owner and the new owner takes possession of the property by way of keys being given to the new owner. This is normally facilitated by your conveyancer or solicitor who passes them onto the buyer’s solicitor.

This means you’ll need to be fully moved out before settlement day to ensure the home is ready for the new owners.

What rooms add value to your home?

How much could fixing up one room add to your home’s value?

We’ve had a look at some very specific renovations that can add value to your property when the time comes to sell, which can cut down on energy bills and improve the practicality of a home. But what about doing over an entire room? Obviously fixing up a kitchen is a completely different beast from making over the master bedroom, with different costs involved and different amounts added to your bottom line.

So without further delay, let’s see what you should do to some of the key rooms in the home – and if it will put many extra zeroes on your sale price.

Keeping it in the kitchen

Historically, a kitchen renovation is the go-to task to add value to your home. However, it’s also one of the most expensive undertakings. According to a recent Improvenet research, the average cost of a kitchen remodel is a little over $22,000 in Australian dollars. Given that the rule of thumb is you shouldn’t spend more than 5 per cent of the value of your home on renovations, this should be within reach of many home owners.

Moreover, the work that needs doing will vary from home to home. For example, a basic IKEA kitchen setup for small areas can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, if you’re replacing cabinet fronts and splashbacks. Budget full kitchen kits can also be found for less than $5,000.

But for a full do-over, you’re looking at spending at least $10,000 – up to $25,000 for simple kitchens, and up to $75,000 for a true luxury do-over. This includes flooring, walls, countertops, sinks, plumbing, appliances – you name it, it’s covered.

While this might seem extensive, if it’s within your budget it can be very much worth it. According to, depending on your suburb, all costs can be recouped when you sell. Moreover, some vendors like IKEA provide guarantees that last up to 25 years, ensuring peace of mind that it will last.

Make sure it stays with the theme of the home though – an ultra-modern kitchen in an older cottage could ruin the home’s aesthetic and put people off!

Bulking up the bathroom

The same principles as the kitchen apply here – it can be done cheaply, but it depends on how much luxury you want to add. According to HGTV, it’s possible to renovate a bathroom for $100 per square metre. For small areas that can mean less than $5,000 without heavy customisation.

Brian Johnson from Collaborative Design Architects also told HGTV that it’s important to add a 30 per cent allowance to your budget, as sometimes things go awry, and costs can blow out. Adding a new toilet, bath or shower can make this an expensive task, numbering in the tens of thousands of dollars.

And as for returns? Gary Caulfield from Construction Cost Consultants told Westpac NZ that bathrooms can give you a return of up to $1.50 for every dollar spent on it. Gauge the suburb and likely buyers you will be getting – do they want luxury or practicality? Working this out with an agent and a professional remodeler can always be a good idea.

Adding a new bedroom

Found yourself in the enviable position of having two lounges, or perhaps a basement or attic that could be converted into a new bedroom? You might just have hit a goldmine. Mr Caulfield also told Westpac that you can double your return when you turn a three bedroom home into a four bedroom one.

But what about the cost? In a recent Domain article, it was estimated that adding a 20 square metre bedroom would cost anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000. This will be significantly less if you already have space in your house – Graeme Bell from GDB architecture converted a loft into a room for a mere $10,000!

You’re unlikely to get this cheap a renovation going unless you are an architect yourself, but it shows how it can be done on a small budget. Given the rising real estate prices in many of our cities, you could be in for significant profits too.

Don’t go overboard

Crucially though, you have to keep a cool head. Engage professionals for quotes, and get a set budget from several different firms – if they vary wildly, you need to be careful you’re not getting ripped off. On top of this, make it comfortable! If you don’t enjoy using these rooms while you live there, how can you be sure potential buyers will?