Who does what when selling your home?

Posted: by Jane Ahern

Someone asked me what steps and timelines apply when selling a house, and who does what, when?

To put it simply, the first and hopefully last step a seller will have to take is to choose the sales agent.

Choosing a sales agent you can trust

Find out which agent/s do well in your area and show a strong record of local sales. Many sellers check out the agents’ reviews on agent rating websites. It’s best to get at least 3 appraisals from different agencies, mixing up real estate franchise offices with smaller local boutique agencies. Local agents often run these.They are often local agents who have looked after an area for years, got tired of the large office and franchise requirements, and branched out on their own with their business coming from referrals and repeat customers.

A good agent will then guide you through the whole selling process. In the ACT you will need to have a conveyancer/solicitor to prepare your contract of sale and a building, pest and EER Report carried out by a building inspection company. The report forms part of the contract, and the agent should be able to give you a list of solicitors’ and inspection companies’ names to choose from. They will also arrange the inspection for you, attend on your behalf while you are at work and generally take the stress away from your shoulders. A good agent is one you can trust – and one who will just get on with it, working diligently to achieve the best possible result for their seller.

How long will it all take?

Well – how long have you got? It can take as long as you need, or, if all the boxes line up and the real estate goddesses are kind, I have seen a home marketed and contracts exchanged within 3 weeks! This is rare of course and needs enthusiastic, motivated cash buyers prepared to pay whatever it takes to buy their dream home, 1 open home, and freedom from the limitations of a mortgage supplier’s valuation.

Generally speaking, allow 3 months to comfortably sell a home in the ACT, from deciding to sell, to handing over the keys to the new owners. Here’s a rough time line:

  • Assume it takes 2 to 3 weeks for sellers to tidy their home, de-clutter and have any maintenance and repairs carried out before the building inspection:
  • 1 week for the solicitor to complete contract preparations after they have the Building Report
  • 4 weeks of open homes
  • 4 weeks (or 30 days) settlement period after the date of exchange, when the new owners receive the keys to the door.

Who does what – and when do they do it?

That’s pretty well been answered – the chief players in the real estate zoo are predominately the Agent Lions. They should be organising contracts, supplying the contact details of trusted tradies, etc. as required, writing super doper killer marketing copy to attract buyers to the home like bees to a honey pot  – (Agent Bears?), organising styling to make a property pop, and photography to showcase it. In addition, they will be engaging with buyers at open homes, keeping sellers fully informed all the way through the sales campaign, negotiating the best possible sale price and overseeing smooth exchange and settlement processes.

Just another busy day in the real estate zoo then – you can’t feed the Agents, but cups of coffee will be gratefully accepted…




  • Kristina at

    Nice blog site!

    • Jane Ahern at

      THank You!


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