Eight Steps to Sell Your Home
1. Define your needs
Write down all the reasons that you have for selling your home. Ask yourself questions like "Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?" Perhaps your home is no longer the Right Size Home for you. For example, you may have a growing family which is prompting your need to find a larger home. Your need to sell could also be necessitated by your need to move because your employer is transferring you to a facility in another city. For your goals, write down if you'd like to sell your home within a certain time frame or make a certain amount of profit. I will work with you to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.
2. Name your price
Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your home. Setting the right asking price from the start will attract buyers and create the greatest amount of activity from other real estate agents. You will need to consider the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighbourhood are selling for, and the state of the overall market in your area. It's often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so my expertise is invaluable at this step. Your goal is to find fair market value and I know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighbourhood and the average time that those homes have been sitting on the market.
Remember: You're always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3% of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller must drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
3. Prepare your home
Most of us don't keep our homes in immaculate condition. We tend to overlook things like piles of boxes in the garage, a broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. Try looking at your home from your buyer’s perspective and see it through their eyes. First impressions are extremely important. It is a great idea to remove family photos, mementos and personalized décor. This will help buyers visualize your home as theirs. Clutter is a significant negative when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knick-knacks from your shelves and you have cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.
It is time to get your home in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer's first impression. I will help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways that you can stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.
5. Get the word out
Now that you're ready to sell, I will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including:
- The internet
- Media Advertising
- Agent-to-agent referrals
- Yard and neighbourhood Signs
- Open Houses
- Print Materials
6. Receive an offer
I will show you every offer that is submitted and with each offer I will inform you right way on whether the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. You and I will review each of the proposed contracts, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:
- Legal description of the property
- Offer price
- Down payment
- Financing arrangements
- List of fees and who will pay them
- Deposit amount
- Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
- Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home
- Closing, adjustment and possession dates
- Other Conditions
7. Negotiate to sell
Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. I am well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in our area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. I also know what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some of the items that are negotiable are the price, financing, closing costs, repairs, appliances and fixtures, and the move-in date. Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, I will prepare a contract.
8. Prepare to Close
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. I can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer's agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing.
Important reminder: A few days before the closing, you will want to contact the entity (Lawyer/Notary) that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so. (of course I will assist you every step of the way)
9. Close the deal
A few days prior to closing you will need to meet at your lawyer/notary office to review the conveyancing documents and the statement of adjustments. Once signed by all parties, the documents are lodged for registration. After registration takes place, your lawyer/notary will look after all the disbursements.
After the closing, you should complete a checklist for turning the property over to the new owners. I can provide you with a helpful checklist to assist you with this task.