It is more than putting a sign on your lawn. So much goes into selling a home. You could even say it’s a bit of a science. You want to get the best price for your home but also stay within market conditions.
The first step is to educate yourself and choose an experienced agent who knows your neighbourhood inside and out. Your agent will be able to guide you through the buying and selling process in order to ensure your best interests are at the forefront.
At Royal LePage, we’re committed to helping you and our agents have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest, to be completely transparent and accountable.
Deciding to Sell Your Home
There are many ways to add value to your home. It’s a good idea to connect with your agent before starting any major renovations before listing your home. Your agent can give you an assessment on your home, offer comparable property prices in your neighbourhood and ensure that you see your return on investment without going overboard.
Freshening up your walls with a coat of paint, re-caulking your shower or adding a backsplash to your kitchen are great ways to give your home new life and appeal to potential buyers without breaking the bank.
Curb appeal is your first impression. Cut the grass, remove weeds and freshen up the front of your house with flower baskets for a pop of colour. Tending to chipped paint or washing the siding also makes your house ready for potential buyers by putting your best foot forward.
A home inspection may be something you want to consider before putting your house on the market so that if there are any major repairs or issues you can address them ahead of time and reduce the risk of jeopardizing a potential sale. It’s highly likely that your future buyer will ask for a home inspection so being ahead of the game gives you an advantage.
Listing Your Home for Sale
Set a price – this part isn’t as easy as you might think. There are many factors to take into consideration. If you price it too high buyers may overlook it, price it too low and you could lose thousands of dollars. Your agent can help with this by creating a profile of your property and offer comparable listings within your neighbourhood. A comparative market analysis will show you what houses in your area have sold for in recent months, and a total market overview.
Market your home – this is where your agent’s expertise and invaluable experience comes into play. Aside from MLS® and newspaper advertising, their social platforms and networking will drive potential buyers to your home and make your home stand out in this market.
Home Staging Tips
The goal is to get potential buyers to picture themselves living in your home. Cleaning and decluttering your home are of most importance when making a striking impression. A few tricks of the trade when staging your home:
- Clean your house from top to bottom including carpets, drapes, tiles, ceilings, and trim.
- Dispose and declutter anything that makes your home feel smaller than it actually is.
- Tidy and organize. Everything should have its own place.
- Put away personal photographs and memorabilia. You want buyers to picture themselves in your space.
- If your home is empty, considering renting or borrowing furniture. Keep it simple and classic, nothing too trendy.
Preparing for an Open House – protocol for showing your home has changed due to Covid-19. At Royal LePage, the safety of our clients, colleagues and communities is our priority. As such, we have put together these guidelines to help ensure your safety and the safety of those viewing your home. See the attached .PDF file for the full list of guidelines.
Some last minute tips to make the most impact with your Open House
- Make your rooms bright and airy but opening blinds and curtains and turning on lights in darker spaces.
- Light a scented candle.
- Fresh flowers on the dining table.
- Put away your valuables.
- When the Open House is over, ask for some feedback so you can make any necessary tweaks before the next showing.
Reviewing and Accepting an Offer on your Home
Fortunately, your agent is here to guide you through the Offers to Purchase and educate you on specific terms and what they mean as not all offers are created equal. Make sure you review every detail. Some offers may ask that appliances and furniture be included, minor repairs be completed before moving in or extended closing dates. All of this will be carefully weighed and discussed with your realtor so that they can help you make the best decision that is right for you. If you accept, CONGRATULATIONS! If not, please see the next step.
Negotiating and Counter Offers
The first offer may not be quite right, or you may have multiple offers to review. Either way, this is one step you will be happy to have your agent right there beside you.
Counter Offers – take a good look at what the offer includes and decide is it worth turning it away for something such as the inclusion of draperies or a small appliance? Or is the price substantially lower than you’re willing to accept? Having a strategy in place before you begin accepting offers knowing what you’re willing to compromise on will make this process easier. And if the offer doesn’t sit right for you, don’t be afraid to reject it.
Multiple Offers – having key terms such as “pre-approved financing” and accepting all conditions without exception can sometimes outweigh the price tag when it comes to deciding which offer to accept. One thing to keep in mind though is that patience and respect are paramount. Your agent can provide sound advice through this process.
Home Closing Process
Closing Day is the official day you take ownership of you new home. A few things to keep in mind before turning the key are your closing costs. These fees need to be paid by or on the closing day and include mortgage application fees, inspections, legal fees, insurance, registration and more.
Home Moving Tips
The day has finally arrived! Here are a few tips to help the transition go smoothly:
- Make a moving checklist that includes timelines starting weeks before you move right up until the day itself.
- Plan for packing by clearly labelling each box with its contents and where it goes in your new house.
- Make sure you get comparable quotes from moving companies or look into the cost of renting a moving van asking friends and family to help.
- Cancel your cable and utilities and transfer any rented appliances (like water heater or furnace) to the new homeowners. While you’re at it, make sure to have the gas, electricity, cable and phone hooked up at your new home.
- Inform your key contacts – work, Canada Post, doctors, friends, credit card companies, etc of your change of address.
- If you have children, make sure to talk to them and explain why you’re moving and reassure them that the friends they’ve made can continue to be their friends. Ask for their opinion too on things like what colour to paint their rooms. Try and make it exciting for them.
- On moving day, plan an easy meal like picking up some take out. Moving is stressful enough without having to cook.
Congratulations! You’re all moved in. Enjoy your new home!
Sources Cited: Royal LePage Canada (royallepage.ca)