Selling your property

COVID-19 update

Real estate auctions and open house inspections can proceed, but with certain conditions.

See the SA COVID-19 website for more information.

Setting a price

Setting the price too high can put potential buyers off and you should be realistic about your expectations.

Before setting a price, consider what the current market trends are and what the demand is for a property like yours. You can do your own research by:

  • looking at the price similar properties in similar areas have sold for by checking median house prices
  • engaging an independent valuer to value your property
  • engaging a real estate agent to provide an estimated price or price range.

It is illegal to misrepresent a property's price to potential buyers. This includes advertising the property at a selling price that is lower than either an agent's estimated price or the lowest amount you would accept.

What's included in the sale

You will need to decide what will be left in the property when it is sold. These are called chattels. Usually, appliances that are hard-wired in - eg dishwasher, curtains and blinds are all included in the sale.

Consider what furniture, appliances and personal effects you don't want to be included - eg potted plants. These will need to be detailed in the contract of sale as excluded from the sale of the property.

Advertising and marketing

This is a very important part of the selling process because, how your property is advertised will affect how many people become aware of it and interested in it.

All the information about your property must be factual, accurate and up to date. Advertising must not be misleading or deceptive, including any information passed on orally, in writing or in photos. If the information isn't accurate a buyer could withdraw from a contract of sale on the basis of misrepresentation and could even take legal action.

If you are planning to advertise the property yourself things you will need to consider include:

  • where and how much it will cost to advertise - eg online, newspapers
  • how to present your property - eg to appeal particularly to families
  • taking photographs and video footage
  • printing flyers and brochures.

If you're using a real estate agent ask them to explain their marketing strategy and to show you an example of this. Check what an agent will charge you for advertising your property. You may be charged for the up-front cost of advertising your property and could potentially be paying more than the actual cost incurred by an agent. Many agents receive a discount for advertising multiple properties all at once and you are within your rights to negotiate with the agent to receive a benefit for these discounts.

Presenting your property

First impressions count and before you take photos for advertising or hold open inspections it's a good idea to consider how you would like to present your property.

What some people may find attractive others may not, and it can help if you have a particular type of buyer in mind - eg if you are selling a large house near a school in a family-focused neighbourhood you could aim to appeal particularly to families. Be careful that you are not excluding other potential buyers.

Suggestions for making a good impression:

  • finishing off any small jobs
  • consider giving the property a fresh coat of paint, preferably in light and neutral colours
  • consider whether the property would look better furnished or unfurnished
  • remove ornaments, personal mementoes and other clutter
  • paintings, mirrors, rugs, potted plants and fresh flowers could help give your property a welcoming atmosphere
  • brighten up the interior and exterior of a property with lighting and plants
  • make sure the property is clean and tidy
  • mow the lawn, weed and prune the garden.

Open inspections

These give potential buyers an opportunity to look at the property and will usually be for between 30 and 45 minutes once a week or fortnight. If there are any personal items you don't want people to see, they should be hidden and valuables should be locked away. Take any pets away from the property when open inspections are being held.

A real estate agent will organise the open inspections for you. You can ask them to make it a condition of entry at an open inspection that people must provide their contact details. This will help to secure your property against theft during the open inspection but it may also put off buyers who don't want further contact from the agent.

Selling a property yourself

Selling a property without using a real estate agent is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Many vendors choose to sell their home themselves to avoid paying an agent's fees and give themselves more control over how their property is marketed and presented.

The process of selling a property can be complex and time-consuming. There are many legal requirements that must be met. It is strongly recommended that you employ a qualified conveyancer or solicitor to help you. They will be able to prepare all the necessary legal documentation - eg the contract of sale and represent you during the settlement process.

If you plan to sell your own home you will be responsible for:

  • setting a realistic price
  • deciding how you want to sell the property - eg auction, private treaty
  • organising and paying for advertising and marketing
  • preparing your property for sale
  • organising and attending open inspections
  • ensuring all necessary documents are complete, accurate and up to date
  • organising and paying for the preparation of a vendor's statement (view a sample vendor's statement on the Land Services SA website)
  • answering questions from the public about the property
  • deciding on a date for settlement
  • deciding what chattels will be included in the sale - eg appliances
  • organising an auctioneer if selling at auction.

Related information


For an alternative version of these documents contact Consumer Affairs


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Page last updated 18 August 2020

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