Selling guide

How to sell your home quickly: five tips

Ready, set, sell.

There are all sorts of reasons you might want to sell your house quickly. Perhaps the market is running hot right now, or you’re looking to relocate for work, or maybe you want to realise some finances to buy a new house.

Whatever your circumstances, you need to sell now, we hear you.

In this article, we’ll give you some actionable tips on the best ways to sell a home quickly, so you can get where you need to go. On your marks, get set, sell.

How to sell a house quickly in New Zealand

1. Have all your paperwork ready

It’s an incredibly frustrating feeling, when you have interested buyers nibbling on your bait, if your paperwork becomes the roadblock to the sale progressing. But trust us, it happens.

Paperwork delays can happen at multiple stages of your home selling journey. When buyers are first interested in your home, they’ll probably want to see things like title documents or plans. Closer to sale time, you might be able to stop time-consuming buyer conditions being added to the sale and purchase agreement if you’re able to produce things like builder’s reports or LIM reports.

If you’re using a real estate agent, they should put together an info pack they (or you) can give to buyers to help answer any questions they may have, and retain momentum after open homes or private viewings.

If you, or your agent, can present buyers with the documents they need to see, this can speed things along.

2. Get the price and sale method right

If your beautiful home has been listed for some time, and you haven’t had the interest you were expecting, there’s a good chance your pricing is wrong (another reason could be your marketing strategy, but more on that later).

So, how much is your home worth? This is never an easy question to answer, but there are a few resources you can use to help you:

  • Trade Me Property Insights: our free online property valuation tool is a great place to start researching the right pricing for your home. Trade Me Property Insights lets you view records, rateable values (RVs), estimates and recent sales for over 1.5 million NZ properties, including your own and those in your neighbourhood. This means you can get a good handle on how your pricing ideas compare.
  • Agent appraisals: if you’re selling your home through an agent, they’ll give you an appraisal of what they think your home is worth when you first interview them. Request an appraisal here.
  • Professional valuations: whether you use an agent or not, you’ll get a more in-depth valuation from professional property valuers.

It’s also a good idea, in the run up to putting your house on the market, to keep an eye on the latest property news, particularly in your region. If the market suddenly changes direction, you might need to adjust your pricing at the last minute.

In addition to the price, you need to think about how you’re planning to sell. Again, researching your local market will be key here. But popular methods of sale when speed is important include listing your home ‘by negotiation’ and auctions. In particular, if you can accept pre-auction offers, this can be an especially efficient way to sell.

3. Adopt the best marketing strategy for your home

If you’re working with a real estate agent, they’ll play a big part in getting the word out about your property sale. However, they’ll also expect you to make contributions to discussions about marketing, and potentially put money towards these efforts.

Make sure you have these conversations early on, so everyone’s on the same page about which channels you’ll use, and how much it might cost you.

If you’re selling your home privately, you’ll need to think about who your target buyer group is, and how you can get your home in front of them. Not only does this mean creating a fantastic Trade Me Property listing, but also thinking about social media channels, and other forms of advertising.

Top tip: photos are really important when listing a property on Trade Me. If you don’t back your own photography skills, it can pay to get a professional photographer, and potentially some home stagers, to help you get this right.

How do you plan on getting your property in front of its target audience?

4. Complete outstanding repairs

You’ll know if your home requires the kind of maintenance that might put a buyer off. Remember, if a buyer asks you (or your agent) about outstanding repair issues with the house, you have to tell them the truth.

Repairs can slow you down in different ways. A clearly uncared for property can make buyers less likely to follow up after an open home (and this means fixing little things ahead of open homes) while big structural issues can lead to time-consuming conditions being included on sale and purchase agreements closer to the sale.

5. Hire a real estate agent

For some, hiring a real estate agent just isn’t for you. If you’re part of this group, feel totally free to ignore this one.

However, our 2019 Property Data Science Seller Type Study showed that agents sell more quickly on Trade Me, compared to private sellers. In fact, there’s a median difference of 30 days, with the median sale time for private vendors sitting at 58 days, compared to 28 days for agents.

So, if you really want to sell your home quickly, hiring a real estate agent might make the difference you’re looking for.