1. The 8 Steps to selling your home
2. How can a real estate agent help me sell my home?
3. Pricing your home to sell quickly and make a profit
4. Practicing good seller’s etiquette
5. The importance of understanding your buyer
6. Tips on increasing your home’s appeal
7. Mortgage Calculator
The 8 Steps to Selling your Home
Define your needs
Why do you want to sell? Are you relocating, downsizing, or upgrading? Do you have a certain time frame in mind? Is there a specific profit margin you would like to meet?
Having a clear idea of your needs will help a real estate agent determine the best way to achieve your objectives.
Name your price
What is the best possible price for your house? Setting a fair asking price from the beginning will help to generate the most leads. The main things to consider when determining the amount are the condition of the house and the cost of comparable homes in your neighbourhood.
Trust your agent. They know the market and will help you determine the price that will get you the best offer while still selling quickly. Homes priced too high tend to stay on the market longer, which looks suspicious to buyers because they assume there is something wrong.
Prepare your home
It’s time to get your house in tip-top shape! Making a great first impression is essential. With a fresh set of eyes, your real estate agent can help you in staging your home.
Tips on preparing your home for sale:
- 1. Remove personal items such as family photos and personalized decorations. It helps potential buyers picture themselves living in the house.
- 2. Fix minor issues such as a leaky tap, a worn doormat, or a torn screen.
- 3. Keep the house clean and clutter-free.
Now that you’re ready to sell, your realtor will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to advertise your listing, including online marketing, yard signs, open houses, media advertising, agent referrals, and direct mail.
Your agent will list your home on MLS and use a variety of tactics to find the most qualified buyers.
Receive an offer
When you receive a written offer, your agent will review and explain what is expected of both parties.
The contract will include the following:
- Legal description of the property
- Offer price
- Down payment amount
- Appliances and furnishings that will stay in the home
- Closing, adjustment, and possession dates
- Conditions if applicable ie. Financing, Home inspection
At this point you have three options: accept the offer as is, present a counteroffer, or reject it.
Once accepted and signed by both parties, the offer becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to address them with your agent right away.
Negotiate to sell
Most offers will require some negotiating to reach a win-win agreement. Your real estate agent is well versed in the intricacies of the contracts and will protect your best interests. Some items they may negotiate are:
3. Appliances and fixtures
4. Move-in date
Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, your agent will prepare the contract for signature.
Prepare to close
Once you have accepted an offer, you will make a list of everything you have to do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired.
If all is good, the sale will continue. If a problem arises, the terms of the contract dictate the next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations, or to complete the sale.
Close the deal
A few days before closing, you will meet a lawyer or notary to review the documents. Once signed, they will be registered, and disbursements will be looked after.
After the closing, you may want to make a to-do list for turning the property over to the new owners. Take care of things like cancelling or changing routine services (electricity, cable, lawncare) and gather owner’s manuals and warranties for appliances.
How can a real estate agent help me sell my home?
There are countless decisions to be made when selling a home. A real estate agent offers specialized knowledge in research, marketing, and negotiating to help you meet or exceed your goals. According to the National Association of Realtors, 82% of home sales are the result of agent connections.
A real estate agent will:
- 1. Act as your advocate when dealing with buyers, buyer’s agents, and service providers
- 2. Help you establish a fair asking price
- 3. Advise you on how to present and stage your home to appeal to buyers
- 4. Devise a customized marketing plan that gets results
- 5. Screen all offers and advise on the advantages and disadvantages
- 6. Assist you in making counteroffers
- 7. Schedule and host open houses and home tours
- 8. Send your documents to a lawyer/notary
- 9. Mediate any last-minute obstacles to ensure a smooth transaction
Pricing your home to sell quickly and make a profit
The asking price for your home affects how much profit you will end up with and how quickly it will sell. Your real estate agent’s knowledge of the market and what is selling will be invaluable in helping you set your price. The objective is to find the highest price that will appeal to buyers and sell quickly.
Some points to consider when determining your home’s asking price:
Time is not on your side when it comes to real estate. In most cases, the longer a house stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell for the original asking price. You want to price your home to sell promptly.
Practicing good seller’s etiquette
When your house goes on the market, you’re opening your doors to prospective buyers, and sometimes unknown vendors and unqualified buyers. If you ever find yourself in a tricky spot, alert your realtor so they can help. What to watch out for:
The aggressive sales rep
Typically, all marketing material will state that interested buyers and sales reps should contact your real estate agent. Sometimes, a buyer’s agent will contact a seller directly. This is not reputable behaviour, and you should let your realtor know if it happens.
The unscrupulous vendor
When you put your house on the market, you will need to make all kinds of purchasing decisions. Vendors are aware of this and will sometimes flood your mailbox with offers and junk mail.
The naïve buyer
Sometimes, people may be so excited to see your home listed that they just drop in. If this happens, simply let them know your realtor schedules showings and give them your agent’s contact information.
The importance of understanding your buyer
Understanding the factors that influence a buyer puts you in the best possible selling position. Knowing the market, current trends, and what people are looking for helps you to present your home in the best possible light.
As the seller, you can control three things that affect the sale of your home: the home’s condition, your asking price, and the marketing strategy.
Other factors that may influence a buyer include location, size, and amenities.
Location is a significant factor for most buyers, with neighbourhood quality and commute time ranking number one.
Average home sizes have nearly doubled since the 1950s. Many are looking for larger houses to accommodate their growing families. Smaller homes typically appeal to first-time homebuyers or to those who are downsizing.
Preferences in amenities and floor plans change depending on trends. Your real estate agent can advise you on what items are popular at the time of your sale. Using market conditions and activity, a realtor can help you decide if renovating to include trends would be beneficial.
Tips on increasing your home’s appeal
You have about 60 seconds to create an excellent first impression! Here are a few simple ways to make your home the best it can be:
- 1. Keep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter
- 2. Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds
- 3. Paint wooden fences and the front door
- 4. Tighten and clean door handles
- 5. Clean windows and power wash the exterior
- 6. Ensure all gutters and downspouts are attached and functioning
- 7. Buy a new welcome mat
- 8. Place potted flowers near the front door
- 1. Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that makes it appear cluttered
- 2. Clean and organize cabinets, closets, and bookshelves
- 3. Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans
- 4. Shampoo carpets
- 5. Remove excess wall hangings and knick-knacks
- 6. Repair all plumbing leaks and minor issues
- 7. Clean or paint walls and ceilings
- 8. Replace worn cabinet and doorknobs
- 9. Fix or replace discoloured grout
- 10. Replace broken tiles and countertops
- 11. Replace old lamps or lampshades
Going above and beyond for showings
- 1. Turn on all the lights
- 2. Open curtains in the daytime
- 3. Bring pets with you when you leave for the showing
- 4. Buy new towels and bedding
- 5. Play quiet background music
- 6. Light the fireplace
- 7. Set the dining room table for a lovely dinner party