CT Real Estate


CTRE Sales Guide Intro

Selling your home is a complicated process. So, how do you make sure that you’re on the right track every step of the way? 

For starters, familiarise yourself with the sales process and what you should be keeping in mind. 

Below, we’ve put together a guide with tips to help you sell your house successfully. 

We cover a range of topics most relevant to homeowners looking to sell their property. These include: 

Part 1: Thinking Of Selling Your Home? Here Are 4 Things To Consider

The prelude to selling your home

Selling a home is not an overnight process so it’s important to get some homework done before you even decide. 

Part 2: When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Property?

Is there such a thing as the right time to sell?

Here, we explore the time factors that influence the selling price of properties and how you can ensure you get the best returns. 

Part 3: The Home Selling Process: An Overview Of Selling Your Property In Melbourne

The selling process, from start to finish

An overview of the selling process from start to finish – from prepping your home pre-sales to the final settlement.

Part 4: What’s The Difference Between Private Sales And Auctions? Decide What’s Best For You 

How should you sell?

Understand how private sales and auctions work and which method is right for you. 

Part 5: Do I Need A Real Estate Agent To Sell My House?

Consider getting a real estate agent

Learn about the different services real estate agents provide and if you might need one.

Part 6: Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Property

Make sure you start off your sale on the right foot and avoid common mistakes that will cost you

We round up common, yet avoidable, mistakes each homeowner should stay clear off when selling their home. 

Part 7: The Hidden Costs Of Selling Your Property

Get a realistic idea of what it costs to sell your home

Hidden charges can add up quickly, so it’s good to be aware of them ahead of time so you can be prepared. 

Part 8: How Much Is My House Worth?

Find out the value of your property

Get your property appraised or valued and find out what you can do to make it rise in value and impact on your final selling price. 

Without further ado, let’s get started with Part 1.

The Home Selling Process: An Overview Of Selling Your Property In Melbourne

The process of selling your home can be overwhelming. It’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in these multiple steps and unsure where to begin. But fret not, we’ve got you covered.

Below we outline the sales process and what to expect from beginning to end.

The sales process can be summarised as follows:

  • Get your property appraised
  • Do your research
  • Prepare your property for sale
  • Negotiation with interested buyers
  • Contract exchange
  • Settlement

We’ve broken up the sales process into 3 sections:

  1. Presales process
  2. Sales process
  3. Post sale process

Let’s start with the presales process first.

Presales Process

Before you put your property on the market, get some research done. Start with an appraisal of your property to determine the value of your home. CT Real Estate can do this for you free of charge by comparing your home to other properties in the area.

Research Target Buyers
Look into the local buyer profiles, demographics, purchasing power and age. Understanding your buyer base will help you decide how you can best market your home to them.

Then decide on how to sell your home. Is it an expression of interest, auction or private sale? The right method will usually depend on your financial circumstances and how urgently you need to sell.

Prepare Your Home
Preparing your home for sale can make a huge difference to the final selling price, potentially adding about 5-10% of a markup. Making your home look its best will also directly impact how quickly your home gets sold.

Here are the steps involved:

  • Decluttering: A cluttered home can make the space look smaller than it really is. Declutter as much as possible, getting rid of items you haven’t used in a while.
  • Repair work: Re-do paintwork and cracks in the wall to make the space appear more inviting. If there is any repair work that you’ve been putting off for months or years, now is the time to get it done.
  • Staging: When in doubt, hire a professional to style your home and get it prepared for a sale. You’d be surprised what a difference this can make to your final price.
  • Advertising: Once all the prep work is done, consider getting a professional photographer to capture your home at its finest. It would be a waste to go through all this trouble only to market your property with below average pictures.

Sales Process

Once the presales process is through, move on to the main event: the sales process.

This is the more complicated part of the process because of the paperwork involved. To get started, get a free sales appraisal of your property with us.


Ready For Inspections
Once you’ve advertised your home for sale, interested parties will make appointments to inspect it. Be sure to present your property in its best light and impress your potential buyers.

If you’re selling your home via private sale, interested buyers will make an offer and your agent will negotiate on your behalf. There may be a little back and forth during this stage to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the agreement. In an auction, however, the property will be presented to the public for sale and go to the highest bidder.

Once both parties have agreed on all the terms and conditions it’s time to sign the Contract of Sale. This process will be facilitated by the agent or solicitor and the buyer will be required to pay a deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price.

Post Sales Process

Completing the Sales Contract
Once you’ve signed the contract, your lawyer will work together with the buyer’s team to ensure you’ve met all legal obligations. The settlement process takes between 30-90 days after the contract is signed, depending on your agreement.

Final Settlement
It’s time to make all payments and lodge all documents with the land registration office. Once that happens, you’ll receive the final settlement payment and the keys will be handed over to the new buyer. The possession of the property takes place on the day of settlement, or whatever is agreed between the parties.

Post Settlement
Once you’ve officially moved out and into your new home, remember to take care of certain housekeeping matters such as redirecting your mail, utilities and internet bills.

To Sum up…
Having an overview of the sales process will help you know what to expect and prepare for it as best as possible.

That said, you will likely face some challenges in the more complex parts- such as preparing the necessary documentation and being aware of your legal rights and obligations as the owner of the property. In these situations, it’s best to seek the help of an experienced property agent to guide you through it.

Thinking of selling your home?  To get started, get a free sales appraisal of your property with us.

When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Property?

Timing the sale of your home is never easy. You may have heard that certain periods do better than others but how do you know which is best for you?

It all boils down to supply and demand and how this will affect your selling price. Below, we’ve highlighted what to consider when you’re deciding on when to sell your property.

1.  Phases Of The Real Estate Cycle

The real estate market goes through 4 main phases in each cycle:

  • Recovery
  • Expansion
  • Oversupply
  • Recession

Understanding these phases will help you identify when it’s most appropriate to sell your home.

Look Out For The Expansion Stage
While you will see sales and purchases throughout the year, the best time to let go of your property is during the expansion stage. Here, interest rates are low which makes it easier for buyers to secure loans to purchase properties. Also, demand is high because of the market having completely recovered and its generally easier to find new tenants.

The second best time to sell your home is during the recovery phase. This is a popular time for real estate investment since property prices are lower.

How do you identify each phase?

Interest Rates
High interest rates usually happen when the economy is in the recovery phase. This can act as a deterrent for home buyers or real estate investors because it’s more expensive to service their mortgage.

Low interest rates usually happen when the economy is experiencing a recession. This will make homeownership more affordable and encourage more real estate investments.

Market Reports
Observing how the real estate market is behaving will give you an idea of what phase it is currently in. If there is increased demand for housing, it’s likely that the market has entered the expansion phase.

If supply has exceeded demand and there is a property glut, the market is in the oversupply phase.

Enlist The Help Of A Professional
Sometimes, identifying the cycle of the real estate market can be difficult and may require some technical knowledge. Reach out to CT Real Estate and let our team of professionals assist you.

Nevertheless, the phase of the real estate market is only one part of the multiple factors that will affect the sale of your property.

2. Depends On Area And Type Of Property

Identify what you’re working with before you begin trying to time the market.

What is the area and type of property that you’re looking to sell? Beach homes for instance sell better during the summer months while homes with gardens fetch better prices in spring.

Similarly, certain types of properties are in demand at specific times of the year. For example, studio apartments or smaller dwellings do well on the market right before the start of the year as people move closer to their offices or universities.

To understand the trends for your property, do your research. Go online and survey properties similar to yours in the area. How many have been sold recently and at what prices? Is there a noticeable pattern?

This part will involve a lot of research and technical understanding so it’s also best to reach out to an experienced professional to guide you through this. CT Real Estate are experts when it comes to Melbourne real estate. They can help you process through tough questions like:

  • Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market now for the area you are looking at?
  • What is the demand for your property type?
  • What is the asking price of properties similar to yours in the same area?


3. Reason To Sell

The reason you have decided to sell your home will also affect the timing of your sale.

Job relocation
Many decide to move because of a change in their job. In this case, you’d need to schedule the sale of your house to coincide with the schedule of your new job.

Property upgrade or downgrade
A change in the size of your house could be another reason you’d like to sell. Whether you’re looking for a bigger space because of a growing family or you prefer to downsize after retiring, this can affect the urgency of selling your home.

Family reasons
Perhaps you’re moving to be closer to family. If this is for health reasons, selling your home may require some urgency. Otherwise, if you’re not rushing you could take your time selecting an appropriate home that is close enough to your family.

Financial reasons
Another common reason to sell your home is to gain a cash profit. Depending on how soon you may need the funds, this will influence the time of your sale. Do you have the flexibility of waiting it out to get the best possible price? Or are you ok to settle at a reasonable price so as to not drag the sales process on too long?

Whatever the reason, it will likely influence how quickly you need to complete your sale. Contact CT Real Estate to get advice on how you can time the sale of your home to fit into your schedule.

4. The Season To Sell

Certain cities have stronger seasonal effects vs. others, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. In these cities, when you decide to sell will play a bigger role in the selling price.

Below we look at how Melbourne property prices change according to season.

Let’s go through the seasonal trends affecting sale prices throughout the year.

Typically, most people tend to observe a higher demand during spring time as the weather is more appropriate for viewing houses.

It also helps that the warmer season allows homeowners to display the best features of their property then, such as their garden in full bloom. With more buyers out and about to view properties, you will see more bids for a property which is then reflected in higher sales prices.

Summertime might be the best season to sell specific types of properties, such as beach houses or other waterfront properties. However, generally summer is seen as a bad time to sell a home. This is because summer is in the middle of the holiday season and most people are too preoccupied with this to be viewing houses.

Other than spring, autumn is the second best time to sell your home. It’s a milder season versus summer and winter, which makes viewing houses easier. While this season is not as active as spring, it is still considered a busy period in the real estate market. There are considerably fewer listings versus springtime, which means less competition for you. Not a bad option too.

Winter is generally seen as the worst period to sell your property. The weather is not appropriate for house viewing, which could be a huge deterrent in closing sales. Also, your home may not look its best in minimal natural light and wetter weather conditions.

In Melbourne, most locals escape the worst of winter by getting on a plane and vacationing in more temperate climates. Because of this, you’ll find that there are less potential buyers around.

All in all, selling your property during winter is not a dead end. With less transactions happening during this season, there is less competition which would make it easier to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re unsure about which season is best, contact our experienced team to discuss and weigh up your options.

The Question Of When

We’ve explored what you should be considering when timing the sale of your property and by now, you can see why it’s tricky to pinpoint an exact time.

What’s optimal will always be unique to your situation.

That said, having a knowledgeable expert provide personalised and professional advice can make all the difference to your success.

If you are considering selling your home, CT Real Estate is happy to help. With decades of experience in Melbourne’s real estate, we are well equipped to assist you on all property matters.


Thinking Of Selling Your Home? Here Are 4 Things To Consider

Are you considering selling your home but you’re not sure if it’s the right decision or if you’ll fetch a good price? You’re not alone. Selling a property is a huge deal and requires some careful thinking.

Before taking the plunge, it’s best that you fully understand what you’re getting into. We’ve rounded up 4 things you should be considering before deciding whether or not to sell your house.

1. Understanding Your Reasons To Sell

Looking To Downsize
Perhaps you’re at a time in your life where you’re considering a smaller space. This is common for retirees or couples whose children have already moved out. Whatever the reason, a smaller home might be a better fit for you because it will be easier and cheaper to maintain.

Looking To Upsize
The other reason is that you’re looking to go bigger and better. This is common for couples who have a growing family and need more space. Also, some may choose to make the upgrade because they’re simply in a better financial position and can afford a larger home.

Cash Profit
Another reason is that the property market is doing well and you’re willing to let go of your home to take a profit from it. There are multiple factors that will influence how successful you are at selling for a profit. To maximise returns, you will need to

  • time it right,
  • set the right price and
  • keep the underlying costs of selling a home under control.

Let’s go through these below.

2. Real Estate Market 101

Understanding the environment of the real estate market is vital if you’re thinking about selling your home at the right time.

Economic Trends
Just like any investment vehicle, real estate will be influenced by economic factors. GDP growth for instance is one of the main drivers of property prices and rental rates.

Growth trends of GDP per capita and median home prices tend to move in tandem with each other. Meaning, the better the economy and the higher the GDP per capita, the more likely for your home to sell at a higher price. This is because as a country moves towards a higher income nation, citizens are able to accumulate enough wealth to buy a home.

Other than GDP, higher inflation will translate to higher property prices and rental rates. Keeping these economic indicators in mind will help you make an informed decision if you’re thinking of selling your home.

Home Grants
Australia has a couple of government policies in place for home buyers and investors. Some notable ones include:

In addition to the above grants, stamp duty in Australia has been abolished for first time home buyers purchasing a house for $600,000 or less. As for foreign investors, the stamp duty is between 3.5% – 5.5%, depending on the state.

Having this information handy will keep you aware of where your potential buyers are coming from and how you can plan and time your sale accordingly.

Supply vs Demand
The real estate market is essentially all about supply and demand. When demand exceeds supply, prices will rise. When supply exceeds demand, prices will fall. The degree of how much change there is in price depends on the imbalance between supply and demand.

When deciding whether or not to sell your home, you’ll need to first consider the supply and demand in your specific area. Some factors that may contribute to a rise in demand include:

You can find information on these developments within Victorian suburbs from the Department of Treasury and Finance website here

Factors that could contribute to an increase in supply however include:

  • Increase of new residential projects 
  • Release of housing or land packages

Before deciding whether to sell your home, you should have a good understanding of the supply and demand for your particular area. Some things you could look out for include:

  • Days on Market (DOM) data: Indication of how long properties remain on the market. If properties are getting sold quickly, this could indicate that the market is in boom.
  • Rental yields: Rising rental yields are an indication that there is a strong demand for rental properties.
  • Vacancy rate: This metric will indicate the vacancy rate of properties i.e. is there low tenant demand or a glut of rental properties.

Taking note of the competition is always a good idea. Observe the listings in your area, especially those with similar properties to yours. Have these properties gone up in value recently and have there been lots of sales? Has YOUR property or overall location become more popular?

This will give you a better understanding of the market you’re operating in and how you can plan your sale to your advantage. Which leads to the next point.

What’s The Value Of Your Home?

Do Your Research
Research your suburb and find out what are its advantages and disadvantages. A few key questions you should be considering are:

  1. Is your suburb well connected with accessible public transport?
  2. Are there amenities such as notable schools (look into schooling zones), grocery stores and parks? 
  3. How safe is your area? What is the crime rate?
  4. Is there noise pollution from nearby highways?

These factors will play a big part in the demand for housing in the area and subsequently the pricing. An indicator of strong demand in your area is if properties are on the market for a shorter period of time or if there’s little change in asking prices.

Appraisal And Valuation
It’s important to note that these are not the same. An appraisal is an estimate done by a real estate professional to determine how much your house would be worth if it were to be put on sale. It’s just a guide and therefore has no legal standing. If this is what you need, book a free appraisal with CT Real Estate here.

Valuations on the other hand give you the exact value of your home. A trained valuer will evaluate your property by considering multiple factors such as location, home features, ease of access and dwelling size.

If you’re deciding to sell your home, it’s important to get a valuation done to ensure that you are listing the accurate and reasonable price of your property. Overstating the price could turn away potential buyers while understating it could cost you.

How To Get The Best Price For Your Property?
There are multiple factors that will impact the value of your property. However, if you’re adamant about selling, you’ll need to accept that you have little control over its market value.

You could renovate certain parts of your home to add to its value but ultimately, external factors will still heavily influence its price.

While we can’t control the market, we can equip ourselves with a better understanding of it. This is where reading market reports for your area or speaking to a real estate agent would come in handy. Reach out to our dedicated team at CT Real Estate to find out more.

4. Consider Getting An Experienced Real Estate Agent

A good agent can make a huge difference to the final price of your home.

Experienced In The Area
A local agent that has experience selling property in your area would be a big plus. This would mean that they already have a network of reliable business connections to work with.

Also, the agent would have a better understanding of the properties as well as potential customers and what it takes to close a sale there.

Strong Sales Strategy
This goes without saying – you’ll need an agent that can actually sell. Having an agent that has a successful track record of selling multiple properties is a good sign.

A professional should have strong negotiation skills and a reliable sales strategy to ensure the best possible outcome for their clients.

Ability To Understand Your Needs
You should prioritise getting an agent that works for you and not the other way around. Getting an agent that understands your needs concerning the sales, be it the price or the timeline, is important.

A good agent would take the time to listen to your concerns and present a tailored solution that keeps your desires front and centre.

In Conclusion

As we’ve seen in this article, there are many things to consider when you’re thinking about selling your home. You’ll need to factor in the reason you’re considering the sale, the condition of the market, government policies, the value of your home and its location.

It can be easy to be overwhelmed with all of this information. This is why you should consider enlisting the help of a professional. An experienced agent would understand the ins and outs of how the housing market in your area and would be able to guide you through it- often impacting on the final selling price of your home.

CT Real Estate has deep knowledge of the real estate market in the Melbourne CBD area and the city fringes. If you’re thinking of selling your home in this area, contact our dedicated team to get started.

Calculating The Costs Of Renting Out Your Property

Like most investments, owning a rental unit comes with some ongoing costs. And before you start making money on your property, you will need to spend some. A prudent home owner will have to carefully consider what to spend on and how much.

This is important because the higher your expenses, the more money you will need to make to get the return you are aiming for. So for a good estimate of how long it will take you to start seeing your desired returns, you need a clear handle on your total expenses. 

Things like insurance, maintenance and council rates can come as a surprise to new landlords so be prepared. Some of these costs are fixed with no way around it, but for others you may choose to opt out. Let’s go through a few of them together. 

Landlord insurance

While it isn’t mandatory by law that you purchase landlord insurance, it is highly recommended and for good reason. Landlord insurance covers you for things like damage to your property, theft or burglary and loss of rent among others. 

As much as you may trust your tenant, there are events beyond your control- ie. loss of employment could lead to an inability to pay rent. Having insurance is a safeguard against the things you cannot predict will happen and provides peace of mind if they do. 

Insurance can cost from as little as $1 a day. But cheap doesn’t always mean best. Look for a plan which gives you the most value and coverage for a reasonable price. Bear in mind that because it is an investment related expense, it is tax deductible so do keep your receipts. 

Property management

While a minority manage their own property, about 75% of landlords opt to go with a professional property manager. They cost anywhere from 6%-10% of your rental income and charge about a week’s rent whenever you get a new tenant.

The reason most landlords hire a property manager is because they have the expertise to set you up for success, protect your assets and help you make more in the long run. Their responsibilities include everything from advertising, to screening tenants, to collecting rent and maintenance. 

While it may be tempting to do this on your own, it is very time consuming and stressful when you don’t have the same knowledge and connections. Once again, in most cases, agent’s fees are tax deductible. 

Strata fees, council rates, water

There are a few fees that landlords have to absorb. The first is council rates. This is a mandatory sum paid to your local council for their services that’s usually paid quarterly. These rates do vary so it’s best to check what they are for your area. 

If your property is a townhouse or a unit in an apartment block, you will have to factor in strata fees, also known as body corporate fees. This is used to help maintain the shared spaces including pools, gyms, parking and gardens. 

When it comes to water, there isn’t a hard and fast rule. Prior to this, landlords used to cover water rates but that is changing. It depends on your agreement with the tenant and how this affects their rent. 


Maintenance will vary depending on the age and make of your property. It’s understood that as the landlord you will have to ensure that your place is in livable condition. This includes fixing broken heaters, leaking roofs or even just giving the place a new coat of paint. 

Some people set aside a percentage of their rent for maintenance (about 5%-10%). But honestly, you can’t always predict what will need repairing and maintenance costs are often determined by what needs attention that year. 


Like other streams of incomes, rental is taxable. If you have positive cash flow- your income is higher than your expenses, it’s likely you will be taxed. However in the case where you are negatively geared- expenses are higher than your income, you will likely be entitled to a tax refund.

This depends on the condition of your house and the duration of ownership. Often, initially your total depreciation will be high, but as time goes by, your rental will increase more than the rate of depreciation. You will be making a profit and will be paying tax on it. 

Nevertheless, do be aware to keep records of all tax-deductible expenses. This includes maintenance, management, borrowing and depreciation- all to work in your favour during tax time. 

Now that you have a better idea of your expenses you can make more confident decisions about your property. 

If you do have questions regarding your property, do speak to one of our specialists today. We’re here to help. 

Renting Out To Multiple Co-Tenants: What Are The Risks Involved?

The most common way to rent out your property is to a single tenant but should you also start considering renting out to multiple tenants?

In some cases, having multiple tenants can be financially advantageous but it does not come without risks. 

How do you decide? Below we look at some of the risks involved, but first, let’s understand what the different rental arrangements mean. 

Types Of Rental Arrangements

There are 2 main ways that you can rent out your property:

      1. Rent out the whole unit under one contract 

Renting out to a single party involves only one contract, which means it’s fairly straightforward. This is the traditional method of renting out a property, making tenant management a lot easier.

       2. Rent out to multiple tenants under multiple contracts 

If a property has multiple rooms, there is the option of renting out the individual rooms to different tenants. This method of renting, referred to as rooming, is common in areas close to universities as students are usually not able to afford renting out an entire property on their own.

A rooming house refers to a property where 4 or more people live together in rented rooms. The rooming house is managed by an operator, who also has the authority to decide who lives in the property without consulting residents.

Renting out the rooms individually is an attempt at utilising the property to its full potential. Also, in some cases you could generate higher income from renting out to multiple tenants.

Some Units May Work For Multiple Tenants 

Certain properties may be more appropriate for rooming vs. others. Such as, properties that are in close proximity to colleges or universities and have multiple rooms. 

Landed properties are typically more suitable for renting out to multiple tenants because there is more space and privacy involved. However, while renting out rooms in apartments to multiple tenants is also an option, this would depend on how much space is available. 

Having multiple tenants could mean more income. For example, you may only be able to rent out a whole unit to a family for $1500 but if you were to rent it out to multiple tenants, you could rent it at $600 per tenant. This is because, while $1800 may be too expensive for the family to bear, breaking up the charges between 3 tenants would be more affordable. 

All things considered, there are still risks to renting out to multiple tenants.

What Are The Risks Of Renting To Multiple Co-Tenants?

  • Shorter Leases 

Properties that rent out to multiple tenants tend to attract less reliable tenants which are only able to commit to short term leases

As we mentioned earlier, some of these tenants are university students that do not have stable incomes and therefore cannot commit to longer leases. Shorter leases would mean less certainty and the need to look for new tenants more frequently. 

  • Higher Maintenance Costs

Home owners are responsible for maintaining common areas such as hallways, courtyards, parking lots etc. This also includes plumbing systems, roofing, heating and cooling systems and other maintenance costs involved in the home.

Having more tenants would mean more wear and tear and may lead to higher maintenance costs. Keep in mind that each tenant may have their partners or friends dropping by and using the house. 

All of this can add up quite rapidly, which is why maintaining multiple tenant properties can end up being quite expensive.

  • Requires A Licence

Another thing you will need to rent out your property under rooming house arrangements is a rooming house operator licence. This falls under Section 16 of the Rooming House Operator Act and will require you to apply for the licence and provide necessary documentation. This will take time and cost you about $240 in fees. 

You will also need to register your house under Division 4 of Part 6 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. Failure to do so can result in heavy penalties. 

  • Higher Chances Of Vacancy 

This relates to our first point where multiple tenant properties typically have shorter leases. In this case, there is a higher chance of a gap in waiting time when one tenant leaves and you’re looking to secure a new one, making it tricky to make full use of the space. 

If this happens, it might be more difficult to ensure that income received for renting out the property covers all expenses incurred. 

  • Less Stability

If you’re renting out your property to multiple people, it is unlikely that you will be able to coordinate the lease periods. As such, rental returns may not be as steady.