YOU DESERVE EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE
We understand that you’re embarking on one of life’s biggest decisions.
That means, you need sound advice with the experience and expertise to back it up. No matter where you are or where you want to live, you can count on us for unsurpassed local market knowledge and a vast referral network. When you see our Royal LePage sign on a lawn, you know it’s a sign you can trust, because Helping You is What We Do.
If you’re selling your home, here’s how we will help:
- conduct a complete property profile of your house, including current condition, locations, surroundings and special features
• do a comparative market analysis that will show you what houses in your area have sold for in the recent months
• set a price for your home with the goal to sell it fast while maximizing your profit
• Market your home through newspaper advertising, list it on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), create a “features sheet” or video, conduct Open Houses and use blogs, social media channels, various websites and their own personal peer network for contacts and referrals
• negotiate with the buyer on your behalf
• help you secure the assistance of other professionals you’ll need during the process make sure all the required paperwork is fully completed, accurate and that deadlines are met
• work with you to resolve any challenges that may arise
8 STEP SELLER’S GUIDE
Step 1: Deciding to Sell your Home
Everyone has their own reason for selling their home. One thing, however, is universally true: the desire to get as much as you can for your home. There are a lot of ways you can add value that you might want to consider, such as:
- Renovating– this can be something as simple as freshening up the walls with a coat of paint or updating your door knobs and lighting with more contemporary styles all the way to major renovations like installing a new kitchen, bathroom or hardwood floors. Before you do anything though, it’s probably wise to know how much value a renovation or remodel will actually add to your sale price and how much other comparable homes in your neighbourhood are selling for. Using us as your agent is a great source of information. We can give you an assessment on your home so you don’t embark on expensive renovations before knowing
- Enhancing curb appeal– first impressions mean a lot. Which is why you want your home looking its very best when a potential buyer is standing at the bottom of your driveway or simply passing through the neighbourhood. So, make sure the lawn is cut and raked. If there are some dead patches of grass, overseed or sod. Trim bushes and trees, even add a few brightly coloured flowers. Touch up any peeling paint around exterior windows and doors, stain the fence or deck, clean up your garage or shed and ensure that your home looks just as enticing at night by making sure it’s well lit
- Getting a home inspection– the last thing you want is for the deal to fall through due to an unpleasant surprise. It’s also highly likely that the buyer will ask for a home inspection anyway. So you may want to consider taking the initiative yourself. That way, if there are any major repairs that need doing now, it won’t jeopardize the sale of your home or force you to lower the price later on
Step 2: Choosing Us to Sell Your Home
Now that you’re ready to sell, the next thing you should do is list your home with us. Because the reality is, selling a home involves a great deal of research, paper work, effort and most importantly, trust. We will provide a wealth of knowledge and breadth of services that will help you accomplish your goals.
We’re committed to helping you and it is our fiduciary duty to act in your best interests, to be completely transparent and accountable.
Step 3: Listing Your Home for Sale
Your home is about to make its big debut on the market. And there’s more to it than sticking a sign on your lawn and doing an MLS listing. Establishing a home’s true worth can be tricky. We will be there to make sure your home is poised for success. Here’s how we can help:
- Set a price– this isn’t as easy as you might think. Price your property too high and buyers won’t be motivated. Price it too low and you stand to lose thousands. We can help by doing a complete property profile of your house, including current condition, location, surroundings, special features like a view from the property or high ceilings; a comparative market analysis that will show you what houses in your area have sold for in recent months, and a total market overview. We will take into consideration as many factors as possible to accurately assess the fair market value of your property so it sells fast while maximizing your profit
- Market your home– no matter how well your home is priced you will need a sound plan to attract buyers. That’s where we will offer invaluable experience. In addition to social media advertising and listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®), we will work with you to create a “features sheet” or video to make your home stand out from the pack.
Step 4: Home Staging Tips
The way your home looks to prospective buyers can make a striking impression. The goal is to get buyers to feel like they can already see themselves living in your home. There are a few tricks of the trade that can help you do this:
- Home staging– this literally means, getting your “set ready” for buyers. In other words, cleaning your home from top to bottom including carpets and drapes, kitchen and bathroom tiles, walls, ceilings and trim. Next, dispose and declutter which entail getting rid of those items in your home that make rooms feel smaller than they actually are. Then, organize. Tidy up cabinets, bookcases, closets and toys and put away personal items such as photographs, souvenirs and other memorabilia. If your home has empty rooms, stage it with the right furniture. You may be able to borrow some nice furniture from family or friends. There are even places to rent furniture for staging. Keep it simple and classic, nothing too trendy that could potentially turn off a buyer
- Prepping for an Open House– a successful open house is key for generating quick interest in your home. Some last minute tips? Make your rooms bright and airy by opening blinds and windows and turning on lights in darker rooms. Help the buyers imagine themselves in your home by setting the dining table or putting out some fresh flowers. Light a scented candle. Leave some refreshments out. And for your own security, make sure you store all your valuables. When the open house is over, ask us for feedback so you can make a few tweaks before the next one
Step 5: Reviewing and Accepting an Offer on your Home
Not all offers are created equal. Fortunately, we are here to help you review an Offer to Purchase and discuss all the details. Here are a few things you should do:
- Get to know the terms– the main factors on most offers will include the price the buyer wants to pay, details about the offer and financing as well as any conditions, inclusions or exclusions the buyer wants to make contingent on the closing. These offers can be “firm” which means that they’re willing to buy the home exactly as it is. Or, the offer could be “conditional” on things like a home inspection, approval of financing or the sale of their existing home
- Review every detail– it’s not just about price. The buyers may have asked for other things to be included like appliances, draperies or chandeliers. They may have even requested some minor renovations like reshingling your roof or repairing your driveway. Some buyers may have asked for longer or shorter closing periods or made it contingent upon something else like selling their current home. All these factors influence what the offer truly looks like. We will help you decide whether to accept, reject or make a counter offer
Step 6: Negotiating and Counter Offers
Perhaps the price was lower than you were expecting. Maybe the buyers have asked for some extra inclusions. In some cases, you may have multiple offers from different buyers to entertain. This is one stage where you’ll be glad to have us by your side to help. Here are some things to consider now:
- Counter offers –take a good look at what the buyer is asking for, then ask yourself, “Is it worth losing a sale for a minor inclusion like a rug or drapery?” Maybe not. So, the best strategy is to have one. Know ahead of time what you’re willing to compromise on and, as far as price goes, how much. Finally, if you feel you’re not going to be able to come to terms, don’t be afraid to reject the offer
- Multiple offers– you may be in the situation where you receive offers from several buyers. Now, you have the opportunity to compare and decide which offer, based on price and conditions best suits you. Things that could make one offer more attractive than the other are pre-approved financing, the buyer has already sold their existing home or they’ve agreed to all conditions of sale without exception. One thing to keep in mind though is that patience and respect are paramount. We will certainly provide sound advice in this scenario to arrive at the best outcome for you and the fairest to all parties
Step 7: Home Closing Process
Closing day is the day you officially take ownership of your new home. It’s an exciting time for sure. But there are a couple of details you need to keep in mind before you get handed the keys:
- 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.
All these costs might make your head spin. But you can take solace in the fact that using us as your real estate agent will be a great help in managing all of this and get you to your last step…
Step 8: Home Moving Tips
The day has arrived. And although there’s bound to be a bit of sadness about leaving your old home behind, there will be just as much excitement moving into your new one. Here are some tips for a smooth move:
- Make a moving checklistthat details a plan for things that need to be done weeks before you move all the way up to moving day itself
- Plan for packingby clearly labeling boxes with the rooms in which they belong. You might even want to provide a small floorplan for the movers so they know exactly where to take them
- Make sure you get competitive quotes from reliable moving companies. Or, to save money, find out how much it would cost to hire a moving van yourself (And bribe your friends to help you)
- Cancel your cable and utilities and transfer any rented appliances(like water heater or furnace) to the new home owners. 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, pharmacy, etc… – of your change of address
- If you have children, make sure you 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
5 COMMON SELLER MISTAKES
Selling your home—especially if you’ve never done it before—can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging. Strangers will come into your home and poke around in your closets and cabinets. They will criticize a place that has probably become more than just four walls and a roof to you, and then, to top it all off, they will offer you less money than you think your home is worth. With no experience and a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it’s easy for first-time home sellers to make lots of mistakes, but with a little know-how, many of these pitfalls can be avoided altogether.
- Not Hiring an Agent
A good agent will help you set a fair and competitive selling price for your home that will increase your odds of a quick sale. An agent can also help take some of the high emotion out of the process by interacting directly with potential buyers, so you don’t have to and eliminating tire kickers who only want to look at your property but have no intention of putting in an offer. An agent will also have more experience negotiating home sales than you do, potentially helping you get more money than you could on your own. Further, if any problems crop up during the process—and they commonly do – an experienced professional will be there to handle them for you. Finally, agents are familiar with all the paperwork and pitfalls involved in real estate transactions and can help make sure the process goes smoothly.
- Getting Emotionally Involved
Once you decide to sell your home, it can be helpful to start thinking of yourself as a businessperson and a home seller, rather than as the home’s owner. By looking at the transaction from a purely financial perspective, you’ll distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling the property that you’ve undoubtedly created many memories in. Also, try to remember how you felt when you were shopping for that home. Most buyers will also be in an emotional state. If you can remember that you are selling not just a piece of property but also an image, a dream and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and perhaps some minor remodeling to get top dollar for your home. These changes in appearance will not only help the sales price, but they’ll also help you create that emotional distance because the home will look less familiar.
- Setting an Unrealistic Price
Setting the right asking price is key. Remember the comparable market analysis you did when you bought a home to figure out a fair offering price? Buyers will do this for your home, too, so as a seller you should be one step ahead of the game. Absent a housing bubble; overpriced homes do not sell. Don’t worry too much about setting a price that’s on the low side because, in theory, this will generate multiple offers and bid the price up to the home’s true market value. In fact, underpricing your home a bit can be a strategy to generate extra interest in your listing.
- Trying to Hide Significant Problems
Any problem with the property will be uncovered during the buyer’s inspection, so there’s no use hiding it. Either fix the problem ahead of time, price the property below market value to account for the problem, or list the property at a normal price but offer the buyer a credit to fix the problem. Realize that if you don’t fix the problem in advance, you may turn away a fair number of buyers who want a turnkey home. Having your home inspected before listing it is a good idea if you want to avoid costly surprises once the home is under contract.
- Not Preparing Your Home For Sale
Sellers who do not clean and stage their homes are throwing money down the drain. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, that’s OK – there are many things you can do on your own. Failing to do these things will not only reduce your sale price but may also prevent you from getting a sale at all. For example, if you haven’t attended to minor issues like a broken doorknob, a potential buyer may wonder whether the house has larger, costlier issues that haven’t been addressed. Have a friend or agent with a fresh pair of eyes point out areas of your home that need work. Because of your familiarity with the home; you may have become immune to its trouble spots. Decluttering, cleaning thoroughly, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and getting rid of any odors will also help you make a good impression on buyers.