Selling a Home
Before you start the selling process, it is important to understand what you are getting yourself into. A home sale can happen quickly, and you want to make sure you are prepared for when it does. Whether you’re looking to move into a bigger home for your growing family, downsize to a downtown condo or offload an investment property, knowing what is expected of you can mean avoiding annoying hiccups along the way.
Selling a home is like a dance. Before you start to tango, it is good to understand the value of your home. Knowing what the appraisal and market value of your property is, what financing you qualify for, and the importance of a home inspection and repairs, means you can get the most from what you are selling. Taking these steps before you list your property will allow you to sell with ease.
Be Ready to Sell
First things first, make sure you are prepared to take the plunge. You might be unsure, or it could just be your nerves getting the best of you. This is a big decision after all. Before you commit, it is good to think through the decision and make sure you feel emotionally prepared to leave you’re home filled with memories, negotiate with buyers, and hear critiques on repairs. You should also be equity positive, meaning you’re sure you won’t owe more than the home is worth.
Sometimes it’s not the ideal market to sell, but it’s the right choice for you. Changes like a growing family, a new job or fluctuations in your personal finances will all be deciding factors in when you sell. The season may also play a role. Many families with school age children wait until spring or summer to buy a new home. And even individuals without children probably don’t want to fuss with moving during the winter holiday season. For these reasons, you’ll likely benefit from more buyers during the Spring and Summer months if you can wait.
Do your Homework
You’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. Things can move or fall apart quickly when it comes to home sales. As a seller, you’ll want to have your documents ready. You will need to provide certain documents to potential buyers so you’ll want to make sure you have access to all the papers that could be requested. Examples of these papers are condominium documents or inspection reports. These reports will also give you insight into the advantages and disadvantages of your property.
Once you have all your documents in order, you’ll want to know what kind of market you are about to enter. You’ll want to know if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. If it is a buyer’s market, property supply is strong and buyer demand is weak. In a buyer’s market, you’re more likely to hear buyers think they received a good deal. If you’re entering a seller’s market, buyer demand is strong and property supply is weak. A buyer in a seller’s market may worry they’re paying too much for a property because they’re competing with other buyers for a limited supply of properties. In a balanced market, demand from buyers is keeping pace with the supply of properties for sale. It is also helpful to know tenant’s rights and what the mortgage market is like, because these are things that could sway the decision of your potential buyer.
Use a Seller’s Agent
One of our seller’s agent is your best bet for the best price on your home. Our team are a great resource for understanding the market you wish to sell in. From insider knowledge about recent property sales, to what repairs and improvements you should invest in, we will be there to help you understand how the market operates. We will also make sure the right buyers see the property. And if you are looking to buy and sell simultaneously, we can guide you smoothly through the process.
Any seller’s agent has a legal responsibility to look after your best interests. You may be spending a lot of time together, so having someone that makes you feel comfortable, and understands your interests is crucial. Skill and experience are important, and a seller’s agent is there to make your life easier.
Sign a Listing Agreement
A listing agreement is an important piece of paper. This agreement serves three purposes. Firstly, it outlines your relationship with your agent, it expresses the limits of your agent’s authority, and it defines the amount of time your realtor has to sell your home. Secondly, it includes a lot of information about your property. This information is then used by your agent to help potential buyers find your home. Finally, the agreement provides all the necessary information a potential buyer will need before drafting an offer for your home.
Determine your Asking Price
Deciding on the best price for your home can be tricky. If you set your price too low, you could miss out on thousands of dollars or even have buyers suspicious of a price that looks too good to be true. On the other hand, if your price is too high, potential homebuyers may ignore your property. And once a home has been on the market for a while, potential buyers generally assume a seller is getting more desperate and will likely lowball their offers.
On top of this, factors like what demographic of people are moving in and out of your neighborhood, new work opportunities, the economy, and more can all affect your asking price. If mostly retirees are moving into your neighborhood, a four bedroom home will likely perform less well than a two bedroom bungalow. But the reverse is true if larger families are moving in. Your seller’s agent will have the stats and research necessary for making an informed decision about your home’s asking price.
Prepare your Home for Sale
Even a great agent will struggle to sell a home that’s dirty and disorganized. If you’re committed to selling your property, it’s important to make sure it is in sellable condition. Having an objective opinion is helpful to point out little problems like chipped baseboards or clutter that you don’t notice. Before you start painting or begin repairs, get rid of all the junk that’s collected over the years. If you can’t part from your clutter, get a storage locker. Remember, in this case, less is more. When just the essential furniture is present, your home feels bigger, more neutral, and inviting to potential buyers. It gives them the opportunity to imagine their own photos on the wall. Once you’ve decluttered, clean everything, and complete your list of repairs. When you do, you’ll be in a much better position to get the sale you want.
Let your Agent Work for You
It’s finally time to put up the sale sign! Your work is done, all you need to do is keep your home presentable and let your seller’s agent do what they do best. Our team will use a variety of traditional advertising, internet marketing, and open houses to attract potential buyers. And remember that if bold, potential buyers come to your door asking for a quick look around, it’s best to direct them towards your agent. Any potential homebuyer will be more comfortable looking over the property and imagining themselves living there if you aren’t there looming. So, whenever your agent comes to show off your home or hosts an open house for a couple hours, go to the grocery store or see a friend instead of sticking around. If you have any pets, take them with you. You don’t need to lose potential buyers because your dog is barking.
Understand your Financial Options
Unless you own your home, there are a lot of mortgage considerations you’ll want to keep in mind. A lot of money is about to pass through your hands. If you’re selling off an investment property, you may be keeping most of the cash, but if you’re selling your permanent residence, chances are good you’ll be buying a new one with the money you make from your home sale. If you have a mortgage, it’s time to talk with your lender, and possibly a lawyer or mortgage broker.
Receive and Negotiate Offers
Your agent is required to show you every offer. Be prepared to discuss each offer your agent receives. Your potential buyer’s agent may also be at the meeting, but the buyer doesn’t usually attend. At some point, you or your agent will likely ask the potential buyer’s agent to leave so that you two can discuss the offer privately. Together with your agent, you will decide whether to accept, reject, or counter the offer. This is the time to negotiate conditions, price, and closing dates.
Close the Deal
Once your negotiations are successful and you have a legally binding agreement, it’s time to let your seller’s agent and lawyer take the lead to close the deal. You can focus your attention on satisfying any remaining conditions and getting your home selling to-do list done.
You’ll need to contact your utilities. You can ask your lawyer if they’ll hand the transfer of utilities because often, they will. You’ll also need to cancel or transfer your home insurance, choose a moving company, and let the government know that you’re moving. This means telling your post office and potentially changing your driver’s license and auto insurance.