Selling your house can be just as stressful as purchasing a home. This “Guide to Selling Your Home” has been prepared by Royal LePage Real Estate Professionals to assist you in answering your questions about the process. We’ve outlined the steps that will help you to obtain the best results when you list your property for sale.
We’ve broken down this guide into sections to guide you through the process. Those steps include:
- Understanding market conditions
- Pricing your property
- Putting together a marketing plan
- Signing the listing agreement
- Elements of an offer
- Moving tips
Don’t forget to read our blog for additional advice on selling your home including Tips to Help You With Your Move, how to be a successful seller and top 10 staging tips.
Understanding Market Conditions
The real estate market is always changing. It helps to understand how market conditions can impact your position as a buyer or a seller. The O’Quinn Team can provide you with current real estate market conditions and explain their impact. There are 3 types of markets that have an affect on your real estate goals.
A buyer’s market exists when the supply of homes on the market exceeds demand. This happens when there’s a high inventory of homes with fewer buyers, resulting in homes staying on the market longer. The potential for your home to be on the market longer could lead to less leverage in negotiating the terms and selling price.
A seller’s market is when the number of buyers exceeds the supply or number of homes on the market. Characteristics of a seller’s market include many buyers, homes are selling quickly and prices begin to increase. When selling your home in a seller’s market you may have a stronger negotiation position and obtain a higher price for your property.
A Balanced market occurs when the number of homes on the market is closely matched to the demand or number of buyers. This market tends to see homes sell within an acceptable time and prices, and prices are generally stale. You can expect a more relaxed atmosphere in a balanced market as buyers have a reasonable number of homes to choose from.
Pricing Your Property
Determining the right asking price for your property is the single most important decision you will make. The decades of collective knowledge and experience at the O’Quinn Team gives us an advantage when working with you to determine the most appropriate selling price.
Once you’ve achieved a realistic sale price, you can count on your property being professionally marketed and promoted to bring more buyers to your door. You can also expect to sell your home for the best possible price in the least amount of time.
The Benefits of Pricing Right
- Your property sells faster, it is exposed to more qualified buyers.
- Your home doesn’t lose its “marketability”.
- The closer to market value, the higher the offers.
- A well-priced property can generate competing offers.
- Other real estate professionals will be more enthusiastic about presenting your property to their buyers.
Determining the Value of Your Home
The market ultimately determines the true value of your property. Before you compare your home to similar properties and establish a competitive list price, the following points should be considered;
- Community Amenities
- Buyer Supply
- Financing Options
Getting to Know Your Market
A market analysis is an indicator of what today’s buyers are willing to pay for a home. It compares the market activity of homes similar to yours in the neighbourhood. Properties that have recently sold indicate what buyers are prepared to pay and the homes currently listed for sale represent the price sellers hope to obtain. Generally, listings that have expired are typically overpriced or poorly marketed. The O’Quinn Team will prepare a comparative market analysis for your home based on the most current market information. Together, we will establish the proper list price for your home.
Understanding the Factors that Influence Overpricing:
- Extensive renovations/hidden cost
- Desire to purchase in a higher-priced area
- Original cost of the home was too high
- Lack of real market information
- Building in “bargaining room”
- Perceived emotional value
The Risk in Overpricing
Many sellers believe that if they price their home high initially, they can lower it later. Often, when a home is priced too high, it experiences little activity. Gradually the price will come down to market value, but by that time it’s been for sale too long and some buyers will be wary and reject the property. On occasion, the price is dropped below market value because the seller runs out of time. The property sells for less than it’s worth.
You may think that interested buyers can always make an offer regardless of listing price. But if the home is overpriced, potential buyers looking in a lower price range will never see it. Those who can afford a home at your asking price will soon recognize that they can have better value elsewhere.
The Importance of Early Activity
As soon as a home comes on the market, there is a flurry of activity surrounding it. This is the crucial time when Real Estate Professionals and potential buyers sit up and take notice. If the home is overpriced, it doesn’t take long for interested parties to disappear. By the time the price drops, a majority of buyers are lost.
Agree on a Marketing Plan
Your property is not something you sell everyday. In fact, for many people it is their largest asset and a house is very complex to market and the process needs to be well organized. To do the job properly a plan is needed.
The O’Quinn Team works with their clients to prepare a personalized plan for you, highlighting all the strategies to market your property. At Royal LePage, your property will be aggressively promoted through Royal LePage’s own property advertising publications, other Royal LePage offices and Real Estate Professionals, the MLS information library (unless it’s an exclusive listing), and the Internet.
Signing a Listing Agreement
The first formal step in marketing you property is to enter into a Listing Agreement – a contract the commits Royal LePage to actively market your home for a specified period of time. It also commits to a pre-established marketing fee that is paid upon the successful closing of the sale.
The O’Quinn Team will require the following documents at time of listing;
- Plan of Survey or Location Certificate
- Certificate – A survey of your property which outlines the lot size and location of buildings as well as details of encroachments from neighbouring properties. This may be required in certain areas to complete the sale of your home. Your legal professional may recommend that you obtain a survey, especially if significant changes have been made to your property.
- Property Tax Receipts – Most Listing Agreements require that the current annual property tax assessments be shown.
- Mortgage Verification – Few homeowners know the exact balance on their mortgage as it is paid down. You will be asked to authorize your mortgage lender to provide the figures required.
- Certificate – This document is a legal description of your property and proof that you own it.
- Other Documentation – In some instances, it may help the sale of your property if you can provide prospective buyers with information on such items as annual heating, electrical, and water expenses, as well as any recent home improvement costs.
NOTE: In many provinces you will be required to sign condition disclosure statement.
Preparing to Show Your Home
First impressions are Lasting Impressions. You will want to make sure that buyers looking at your home are left with the best possible impression. The O’Quinn Team will help you achieve that goal.
- House exterior in good repair
- House number easy to read
- Eaves troughs, down spouts and soffits in good repair
- Garage/carport clean and tidy
- Litter picked up
- Cracked or broken window panes replaced
- Lawns and hedges cut and trimmed, garden weeded and edged
- Walks shoveled and salted
- Boot tray inside front door
- Doorbell and door hardware in good repair
- Porch and foyer clean and tidy
- Chipped plaster and paint touched-up
- Doors and cupboards properly closed
- Leaky taps and toilets repaired
- Burned out light bulbs replaced
- Squeaky doors oiled
- Mirrors, fixtures, and taps cleaned and polished
- Seals around tubs and basins in good repair
- Floors cleaned, garbage containers emptied
- Inside of closets and cupboards neat and tidy
- Appliances cleaned
- Countertops neat and polished
- All lights turned on
- Air conditioner turned on in warm weather
- Halls and stairs cleaned
- Drapes opened during daylight
- Carpets freshly vacuumed
- Fresh flowers in various rooms
- Jewelry and valuables locked safely away or taken with you
- Valuable property, such as objects of art, vases and figurines out of reach, out of sight, or locked away
- Pets absent, where possible, or contained during the showing, and litter boxes clean
The Major Elements of an Offer
|Price:||Depends on the market and the buyer, but generally, the price offered is different from the asking price.|
|Deposit:||The deposit shows the buyer’s good faith and will be applied against the purchase price of the home when the sale closes. The O’Quinn Team can advise you on the suitability of the amount of the deposit being offered.|
|Terms:||Includes the total price the buyer is offering as well as the financing details. The buyer may be arranging his/her own financing or may ask to assume your existing mortgage if you have an attractive rate.|
|Conditions:||These might include “subject to satisfactory home inspection”, “subject to the sale of the purchaser’s property.|
|Inclusions and Exclusions:||These might include appliances and certain fixtures or decorative items, such as window coverings or mirrors.|
|Closing or Possession Date:||Generally, the day the title of the property is transferred to the buyer and funds are received by the seller, unless otherwise specified (except in Manitoba and Quebec).|
NOTE: In B.C. the possession Date is usually 1 to 3 days after the closing.