If you’ve got 99 problems and selling your house is one, allow us to make it 98.

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Selling FAQs

What does a real estate agent actually do?

As qualified professionals with our finger pressed firmly on the pulse of the real estate market, we’re your best asset when it comes to buying, selling or renting a property. We’re experts in the local and wider property market and can provide you with informed property appraisals, help guide you on the best way to sell your home while maximising your return and take care of all the negotiations in property sale and rental, maintaining complete confidentiality along the way.

Why should I choose Stewart & Smyth to sell my property?

We don’t like to toot our own horn (too often, anyway) but we’re pretty darn good at what we do. We’ve got a proven track record of not just delivering exceptional results to our clients but keeping them ridiculously happy along the way. If you’re looking for a stock standard, cookie cutter real estate experience, you might want to go elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a unique, cutting-edge, fun and sophisticated team behind you—we’re exactly what you’re looking for.

What is an exclusive listing?

Have you ever walked into a bar to find a section partitioned off for VIPs and manned by an impressive looking bouncer? An exclusive listing is kind of like this. It’s when you only give one agent the rights to sell your property. You make an agreement with your preferred agent and even if someone else ends up selling your home, you may still be required to adhere to the agreement you made with your initial agent.

What does an agent do at an open house?

We’re not just there to stand around and look pretty, we’re there to work baby. Work for you that is. Your agent’s job at an open house is to observe and interact with attendees to gauge interest and motivation. We’re the ultimate eavesdropper and the starter of conversations to learn more about a potential buyer’s requirements, circumstances, thoughts and feelings about your property. This helps us to chat about the aspects of a property that may be relevant to them.

At the same time, we know that a great agent recognises when a buyer needs to view the property either alone or with their family without any pressure to discuss it with us. So we ensure we stay attuned to their cues and adapt accordingly.

Is it best if I’m out during an open house?

We don’t want to kick you out of your own home but… it is best if you’re out. This is because it’s much easier for a potential buyer to mentally picture themselves in the house when they feel unhurried and relaxed. Most buyers are reluctant to intrude on a current owner’s space and your presence can sometimes mean they move through quickly without considering the property carefully.

Is decluttering important for an open house?

In short, yes. Reducing the amount of personal belongings visible for open home viewings helps the buyer to imagine themselves living in the space—and this is crucial for generating serious interest. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression and excessive cluttering can make a house feel smaller, darker or as though there is insufficient storage space.

How long should I expect to wait for my house to sell?

There a number of factors that contribute to how long a house will be on the market for before it sells so there’s no straight answer for this. Sorry. The best solution would be to come in and have a chat to us so we can give you some information on how long similar properties in comparable areas to yours have spent on the market. If you’re looking for a quick sale at the best price, the most effective way is usually by auction. This is because buyers have a sense of urgency to bid on the day or risk losing out.

What is an open listing?

The opposite of an exclusive listing, an open listing is where you engage numerous agents to list and sell your property for you. With the open listing arrangement, it’s part of the agreement that you only pay the one commission to the agent who successfully sells your home. The benefit here is multiple agents working on selling your home but you lose out on individual and personalised care and attention and it could lead to multiple negotiation methods and marketing strategies that often end up confusing the buyers, open listings are best avoided when dealing in residential sales.

Can you explain the term ‘overcapitalisation’?

When we talk about being overcapitalised it refers to when you’ve invested more money into your property than you will recoup from the sale. While it’s probable that any additional work you do on the property—such as landscaping or renovations—will add to the value, there’s no guarantee that these improvements will recover their full investment costs in the final sale. If you’re thinking about selling and considering doing some renovations, it can be helpful to speak to an agent about whether it’s worth it before you make any big decisions.

My property is leased currently, can I still sell it?

You are able to sell your property while it’s leased, but unless you and your tenants come to an agreement to terminate the lease contract, they do have the right to occupy the residence until the term comes to an end. This simply means that you need to inform any potential buyer that there is a lease currently in place and that vacant possession is not possible at the time of the sale. In some instances, such as where a buyer is purchasing a property for investment purposes, it can actually work to your benefit to have reliable tenants already in place.

If I sell the property myself, do I still have to pay a commission?

This is entirely dependent on the agreement you have made with your agent. Though most often, as you’ve likely used the promotional channels of the agency to market your property, you will be liable to pay something. If you’re unsure or have any questions, take a copy of your agreement to your conveyancer or solicitor for advice or chat to your agent.

Is it possible to sell my house on my own?

There’s no requirement to sell your property through an agency so you absolutely can choose to go through the process on your own. However, while you may save yourself in some commission fees, you will likely cost yourself a fair amount of work and pressure in the long run. Not to mention that most buyers will expect to see a reduction in the house price if they know you aren’t paying for an agent and you lose out on all the marketing, selling and negotiation skills that working with an agent brings. Call us biased but we know how much we have to offer you and that any investment in our services is absolutely worth it.

What’s a sales agency agreement?

This is a legally binding document that protects your rights. It outlines every aspect of the agreement you’ve made with your agent including the fees and commission payable and the extent to which the agent has authority to act on your behalf. The terms and conditions in this agreement are negotiable between you and your agent. You have the opportunity to request any legally permitted changes to be made. There is usually a fixed term built into the agreement although open-ended agreements can be made as long as there is an agreed alternative method to signal its end. If you have a sales agency agreement with an agent and you’re not happy with their services, it’s vital to bring the original agreement to an end before engaging any other services or you may be liable for both commissions.

What is a sole agency agreement?

This is similar to an exclusive listing agreement where you have a contract with a sole agent but where you also maintain the ability to sell the property yourself. If you do happen to find a buyer that the agent hasn’t introduced you to, you would not be required to pay any commission.

What’s an auction agency agreement?

This is essentially the same as an exclusive listing agreement but one that is only undertaken if you decide to sell your home via auction instead of being listed privately on the market for a period of time. There will be a commission payable to the agent should the property be sold via the auction.

Who pays for advertising?

Advertising costs are paid by you, the seller, and should be negotiated and outlined via your agent before you sign your sales agency agreement. Costs will depend on the type of advertising you choose to proceed with, and your agent can guide you on the best way to go based on your area and your property.

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