Have you decided to sell your home? If so, you may be excited to get a ‘For Sale’ sign on the front lawn. But wait. There are some things you can do now that will help out later with selling what is likely your largest asset.
PRICE IT RIGHT
Every seller hopes to get the best possible price for their property but pricing it right from the start is critical. If you price it too high and are forced to reduce, prospective buyers may think something is wrong with the home or that you’re desperate to sell. Overpricing may leave your property on the market longer than planned, which will mean more mortgage payments, property taxes and maintenance costs. Underpricing, on the other hand, will cost you in profit.
Determining the right sale price takes research. That includes finding out what comparable homes in your neighbourhood have sold for and deciding whether yours has something extra special to offer. This is difficult when only a year ago, buyers were willing to spend $100,000 or more over already high listing prices. It’s important to understand how the market has dramatically fluctuated in the last year so you can price your home right.
PICK THE AGENT RIGHT FOR YOU
There are many reasons why a realtor is essential when selling your home but deciding which realtor is best for you takes some homework. Jot down the names and numbers of realtors on ‘For Sale’ signs in your community. Talk to friends who’ve sold houses and had good experiences with their agent. Attend open houses and observe how that agent interacts with other people. Visit a local real estate office.
Take the time to interview candidates but don’t simply choose the one who suggests the highest asking price. Make sure you feel comfortable with him or her and that they show a genuine interest in helping you. The right realtor will help you decide whether now is a good time to sell, the best way to market your home and how you can get top dollar for your property. The numbers don’t lie: trying to sell without representation typically takes longer and also results in your house selling for less than if you had an experienced agent representing you and negotiating on your behalf.
TIMING IS ESSENTIAL
It’s true that winter sales tend to be slower and spring sales brisker but that doesn’t mean people don’t buy houses throughout the year. Seasonality is just one of numerous factors to consider. Others include whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market and how quickly you need to sell your home.
MARKET YOUR HOME PROPERLY
Though a ‘For Sale’ sign is still an effective way to market your home, even in this age of technology, it’s hardly the only way. When interviewing prospective realtors, find out how s/he plans to market your property. Will s/he use a combination of traditional media and the power of the internet? Will s/he hold open houses? Make sure the plan is established in the initial singing of a contract.
STAGING – IT WORKS!
A potential buyer needs to imagine your home as their own so give it a deep cleaning, remove personal items that make the house look like it belongs to someone else (such as family photos and toothbrushes on the countertop) and store them neatly away. Take pets with you during viewings and have them out of the house during open houses. An experienced realtor can offer objective advice. Realtor.ca offers a helpful checklist here: https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Resource/en-CA/Home_Ready_Checklist.pdf
INVEST IN PROPER RENOVATIONS
It’s a good idea to make minor repairs, such as patching holes in the walls or even replacing worn or dated carpet and/or fixtures, but be cautious about spending thousands of dollars on a major renovation that may not appeal to buyers. Discuss renovations with your agent and the possible return on investment before tackling a project.
As a seller, it’s your responsibility to disclose all defects and problems with your property, such as a cracked window or previous roof leak, in writing. You may even want to consider getting a pre-sale home inspection because it lets prospective buyers know you have nothing to hide. If you choose not to address any problems that might arise, prospective buyers will at least be aware of them, which will protect you in the future.
MAXIMIZE CURB APPEAL
It’s often been said that you only have one chance to make a first impression and that’s especially true when a prospective buyer pulls up to your property. Take the time to see it through their eyes. Remove any weeds and clutter, take care of the lawn and gardens, clean and update outdoor furniture, and give the front door a fresh coat of paint.
GIVE BUYERS SPACE
You may want to talk to potential buyers about the history of your home and the renovation projects you’ve undertaken but prospective buyers won’t feel comfortable and be able to imagine the property as their home if you’re there. Remember, a lockbox makes it easier to show your home.
Whether you’re interested in selling and/or buying, please know I will offer you guidance and advice every step of the way!