Selling your home should be simple.
Whether you are selling your first condo, or are a seasoned "flipper", selling your home should be a simple process for you.
I will take on all of the hard work for you! Have a look through my in-depth guide and I will take you through all of the steps.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.Preparing your property for sale is a must. Many buyers buy with emotion while envisioning their life in the home they're viewing during a showing. Cater your staging to the demographic that will most likely buy your home, that is anyone and everyone. Do it right and you will be surprised how fast you get an offer. There are four steps to home prep:
Step 1 – De-clutter and De-personalizeLet's face it, we all have too much "stuff". Too much "stuff" can be distracting to prospective buyers. Your first step should be to eliminate as much clutter as possible - knick-knacks, storage boxes, your giant shoe collection, etc... But don't stop there. It’s also important to de-personalize your home as much as possible to aid potential buyers in envisioning themselves living in your home (that also means putting away family photos, mementos and trophies).
Step 2 – CleanWhat do you expect when you walk in to a hotel room? Think of the cleaning you need to do so that your home will be presentable on the same level as walking into a 5 star holiday resort. Wash the dust off the baseboards, wipe the cobwebs from the corners on the ceiling, clean inside your fridge and oven, vacuum inside your closets and clean your kitchen cupboards, dust under whatever little of your "stuff" you left out, and have the carpets professionally cleaned (if you have any). If you allow me to do showings without much notice and you are not at home during the day, sadly, the cleaning won’t stop. Every day, you’ll need to make your bed, put away the dishes, and clean up after the kids.
Step 3 – StageStaging optimizes the use, look and feel of every room in your home. It can mean anything from adding, removing or re-arranging furniture, painting those bright pink walls, replacing broken light fixtures or picking up some fluffy towels for the bathroom. Whether you decide to bring in a professional interior designer, stager or just work with me, your Realtor, making your home appeal to the largest number of buyers doesn’t have to be expensive. It will mainly take a little of your time. Just remember: the effort you put into transforming your home will surely impact how long it takes it to sell, and the price you will get. An immaculate space shows care and pride.
Step 4 – RepairLife is a busy place, and we all have a tendency to procrastinate fixing little things – that dripping faucet, the peeling wallpaper in the den, the loose hinge in the kitchen cabinet, the squeaking bedroom door. If you can't find the time, or don't have the skills to fix these "little things", bring in a handyman to remedy them. This will go a long way to show potential buyers that your home has been well-maintained. Don't forget to make sure there are no burnt out light bulbs!
Optional Step – Pre-listing home inspectionIf you own a house (as opposed to a Strata property), obtaining a pre-listing home inspection before you put it on the market can help you identify any issues that might be objections for buyers. Having information about any potential issues, you can choose to either a) fix them before putting the house up for sale, or b) factor it into your asking price. Whatever the case may be, having accurate information puts you in control of how any deficiencies will affect the price you get for the house.
How I can help you prepare your home for sale
- I will give you frank advice on what you can do to help get top dollar for your home.
- I will help with coordinating the preparation of your home if you need it, and can give you recommendations to trusted home professionals including handymen, painters, plumbers, gardeners and more.
- If you are looking for a full home staging makeover, I can arrange an interior designer or stager to help make your home look its best.
- If you don't have time for a thorough cleaning, I can arrange professional cleaners to clean the places you probably don’t.
There is a relation between value, and worth.
Then there is also reality in the current market.
Your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. That being said, if the right buyer will see the value in your property, the right pricing strategy will make the difference between how much money is left in your pocket and how much is left on the buyers' table.
Should you price your home for a bidding war or should you price high and plan to negotiate?
Does the time of year you decide to list factor into your asking price? Should your price be a whole number (1,000,000) or end in 9’s (999,900)? Does it even really matter?
Your asking price is the equivalent to the first number in a negotiation. It is imperative to select the right asking price. If you price too high (because your neighbor says it's worth a gold mine, for example), you risk being on the market for a long time. As the real estate market is dynamic, you risk getting less than you might have (had you priced at market value). If you price too low (hoping for a bidding war), you may be leaving money on the table.
When it comes to determining how much YOUR home is worth, I look at:
- Recent sales in your neighbourhood, and comparable neighbourhoods in your area
- What properties that are currently listed on the market
- What the current market conditions are dictating
- The advantages and disadvantages of your home, its location, and all variables in between
Again, it is important to remember that the price of your home is dynamic and varies constantly based on who you’re competing with.
When is it time to lower the price?
If your property does not deliver the interest to sell it in a timely fashion (based on the average days on market for your property type, in your area), I will go over the possibilities as to the potential causes. If the price you listed your property at was optimistic, this is the time to re-evaluate the situation. If the market has dipped in price and we have not corrected accordingly, this is also the time to re-evaluate. Every 30 days I will re-assess the current market state for you and we will (together) discuss the plan going forward, as well as make any adjustments to our strategy.
How I will help you price your home:
- I know the market and the comparable sales. I live and breathe real estate. When I am not out looking at properties with clients, I am doing it myself.
- I physically go out to view all of your competition before and during the listing, so I know how to price your property accordingly.
- I know what sells, what doesn’t, and why. Chances are if it looks to good to be true from the outside, there is a reason inside.
Showing your home is what sells it.Now that your home is prepared, listed, priced right, and the marketing has worked, potential buyers want to see it. My best advice for effectively showing your home to potential buyers:
1. Be flexible with your showing timesSelling your home is typically an inconvenience. Or is it? Most people work from 9-5 Monday-Friday, so they will most likely want to come see your home in the evenings or on weekends. Unfortunately, if you work the same schedule some showings may coincide with the time you just want to relax. If this happens, take a different approach and think of this time as an opportunity to go for walk, catch up with family and friends, listen to some music, read, etc. If you want top dollar for your home, you will want to be flexible with when you allow potential buyers to see it.
2. Leave your property during showingsWhile I’m sure you could sell any potential buyers on your renovations, most of them are not comfortable looking around a home when the sellers are home, so it is best to let them explore without you looking over their shoulder (or telling them about the trials and tribulations of getting everything to where it is now). Again, take this time as an opportunity to go for walk, catch up with family and friends, listen to some music, read, catch a movie or move in with a friend for half an hour. Do whatever you need to do that will allow potential buyers free reign to explore at their own pace.
3. Make sure your home is always in its best conditionMake the beds, take out the trash, do the dishes, vacuum the floors, and remember to take your dog with you. Picture a hotel room upon check-in, or one of those homes on makeover shows. A home that shows well, also shows pride in ownership. Furthermore, it gives potential buyers confidence that it has been maintained.
4. Open housesWhile the official stats say that less than 5% of properties sell as a result of an open house, my personal experience is that they are much more effective than that. Open houses allow potential buyers, other Realtors, and (let’s face it) curious neighbours to come see your home in an inviting, low-pressure environment. Many buyers not in the market, buy homes they fell in love with at an open house.
5. FeedbackWhat matters in selling your home is what potential buyers are seeing and feeling. By responding to any concerns and objections (constructive criticism) in a timely matter will reduce how long your home is on the market.
How I will effectively show your property:
- When I host public open houses, my only goal is to sell YOUR property. While certain Realtors will try to seize this opportunity to build their own clientelle and will look for buyers without agents, my only goal is to sell your property. Period.
- I follow up with every Realtor who shows your home and solicit feedback so I know how buyers are reacting to it, and so I can let you know if there is anything we can change to make every showing a jaw-dropping experience.
- I will give you a call, send you an email, text, send a carrier pigeon (or whatever form of communication is most convenient for you) to provide you with weekly status reports about the number of inquiries received about your property, any potential showings coming up, as well as any feedback about your home, and anything that is happening in the market while your property is listed.
It's negotiation time!All of our hard work has paid off, and I just told you the exciting news that you are getting an offer!
Here’s what to expect:The offer may be presented to you and I in person by the buyers' Realtor, I might receive it by email and present it to you in person, I may forward the email to you and present/discuss it over the phone if you are away, or, it may arrive by fax. The offer will contain some, or all, important points of negotiation:
- The deposit amount
- The price
- The closing date
- The irrevocable time/date the offer is open until
- The conditions (typically referred to as subjects)
- Accept the offer as is – Congratulations, you’ve just sold your home!
- Make a counter-offer (with better conditions and/or price that are more favorable to you) – the buyer can accept your counter-offer, make another counter-offer or walk away altogether.
- Decline the offer and walk away.
How I help you negotiate to get you the best offer on your home:
- I will negotiate on your behalf as though I would be selling my own home. I won’t be bullied or pressured into making a move that you are not comfortable with.
- I know and understand the legal wording of the conditions backwards and forwards, and will help you decipher the fine print. I will take the mystery out of all that legal jargon and do everything in my power to make the process as painless as possible for you.
- If the buyer is not willing to negotiate a firm offer with you, or the price/conditions are not agreeable to you, I will remain at your side and continue to persevere to get your property sold.
Once subjects have been removed, and you have a firm deal (the Buyer has submitted a deposit, both you and the Buyer have agreed on the price and terms, and there are no more conditions to waive), the closing process starts. This process requires you to be in close contact with your lender (to finalize any outstanding financing obligations) and your lawyer (they will need some information and signatures, and will arrange paying off anything outstanding to your lender).
During the final days before you give possession to the Buyer, you will need to sign a lot of paperwork, and of course, meet with me to drop off the keys to your old home.
The closing date is the day when the ownership and possession of the property are transferred from you to the Buyer. This happens after all legal and financial obligations have been met. Closing the sale will be a team effort: in addition to yourself, your lawyer and your lender will all be involved in helping close the deal. Of course, I will be there to answer any questions that you may have.
At the time of closing, your lawyer, accountant and real estate agent can help you estimate your costs. Some of the fees you can expect to pay are:
- Lender fees, if applicable (click HERE to calculate discharge fees, portion of payment, penalties on closed mortgages, etc.)
- Adjustments (you may have to pay a portion of the taxes, utilities or other expenses)
- Capital Gains Tax (if the property you are selling is not your primary residence)
- Legal fees (plus applicable taxes)
- Realtor® commission (which comes off the statement of adjustments from the proceeds of the sale)
- Moving costs
Your lawyer will calculate the final amount owed to you, and your lawyer (or lender) will provide you with a bank draft (or most likely electronically transfer the funds to your account) of the balance.