Sale Process

Selling Your Home Where to begin

First Impressions

Remember what first attracted you to your house when you bought it? What excited you about its most appealing features? Now that you're selling your home, you'll need to look at it as if you were buying it all over again. 

A spruced up house makes a great first impression on potential buyers. An attractive property grabs their attention and makes them excited about finding a house that looks and feels well-cared for. Because buyers know they’ll encounter fewer problems if they buy it, your house becomes more appealing and stands out from the competition. So if you prepare your home correctly, you’ll save time selling it when it’s on the market. 

A good first impression makes an impact on a number of levels. It’s not just the way your house looks to potential buyers, but how it feels and smells to them, how their friends and family will react, how they imagine it would be to live there. 

With simple improvements throughout your house, you can grab the attention of potential buyers and help them see why your house is right for them.





Plan Ahead

Create a plan to enhance your property. Keep a notebook for your selling project, and as you stroll through your yard, make a list of what needs to be done. Consider what your property looks like to people driving by or walking through your door. What will they like or dislike? What needs fixing, painting, cleaning? What can you improve? Whether you paint your house or fix up the yard, your efforts don’t need to be costly; even inexpensive improvements and minor repairs go far toward attracting serious buyers. But remember, those seemingly insignificant problems you’ve learned to live with can actually discourage potential buyers.

Here are ideas for increasing your home’s appeal in order to sell it quickly at the best price.

Interior

Clean Everything 
Buyers expect a spotless house, inside and out. So clean everything, especially your windows and window sills. Scrub walls and floors, tile and ceilings, cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash scuff marks from doors and entryways, clean light fixtures and the fireplace. Don’t forget the laundry room. And put away your clothes. 

Cut the Clutter 
People are turned off by rooms that look and feel cluttered. Remember, potential buyers are buying your house, not your furniture, so help them picture themselves and their possessions in your home by making your rooms feel large, light, and airy. As you clean, pack away your personal items, such as pictures, valuables, and collectibles, and store or get rid of surplus books, magazines, videotapes, extra furniture, rugs, blankets, etc. Consider renting a storage unit to eliminate clutter in your garage and attic. 

It’s hard to get rid of possessions, but cleaning and clearing out the clutter can really pay off in the end. Packing away your clutter also gets you started packing for your next move. Make your garage and basement as tidy as the rest of your house. Simple little tasks such as storing your tools and neatly rolling up your garden hose suggest that you take good care of your house. Don’t let anything detract from making your best first impression. 

Closets 
They’re an important consideration to many buyers. By storing clothing you won’t use soon, you’ll make closets look spacious. 

Paint
A new coat of paint cleans up your living space and makes it look bright and new. To make rooms look larger, choose light, neutral colors that appeal to the most people, such as beige or white. 

Carpet
Check its condition. If it’s worn, consider replacing it. It’s an easy and affordable way to help sell your home faster. Again, light, neutral colors, such as beige, are best. If you don’t replace it, you can suggest to potential buyers that they could select new carpet and you’ll reduce your price; buyers like to hear they’re getting a deal. At the very least, have your carpet cleaned. 

Repairs and Renovations 
It’s best to avoid making major renovations just to sell the house since you’re unlikely to recoup those costs from your selling price. Make minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, gutters, loose doorknobs, and broken windows. Make sure repairs are well done; buyers won’t take you seriously if your home-improvement efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish. 

Leaks and Moisture
Water stains on ceilings or in the basement alert buyers to potential problems. Don’t try to cosmetically cover up stains caused by leaks. If you’ve fixed the water problem, repair the damage and disclose in writing to the buyer what repairs were made.

Exterior

Curb Appeal 
The "Wow" factor — that first visual, high-impact impression your home makes on potential buyers — can turn a looker into a buyer. To determine your property’s curb appeal, drive through your neighborhood and note other properties; then approach your own house as if you were a potential buyer. How does it look? Does it "wow" you? Will its curb appeal attract buyers? Note what needs improving, such as trimming trees, planting shrubs, or painting gutters. Little things convey that you’ve cared for your home, and this is your opportunity to sell that important message to buyers who are shopping from the street, simply cruising neighborhoods just looking for houses for sale. To get them through your door, do what you can to make your property look like someone’s dream home. 

Paint/Stain 
If its peeling or blistering and you can’t remember the last time you painted it, your house needs some attention. That also goes for stain that is significantly faded. A newly painted or stained exterior will help sell your house faster. And whether you do it yourself or hire someone, you’ll also increase your home’s value. 

In the Yard 
Grab people’s attention by enhancing your yard and landscaping. If your house looks inviting and well-maintained from the street, people will imagine that it’s attractive on the inside, too.

Prune bushes and hedges; trim trees.
Keep you lawn looking healthy and green by mowing it often, fertilizing it, and keeping it edged and trimmed.
Clean up and dispose of pet mess.
Weed your gardens; add fertilizer and mulch; then plant colorful flowers.
In winter, keep your driveway and sidewalks shoveled, de-iced, and well-lit.
Stack firewood, clean out birdbaths, repair and paint fences.

The Front Door 
An attractive entry catches a buyer’s eye and says, "Welcome," so highlight this area of your house with decorative touches, such as a wreath on the door or new shrubs and flowers around the steps. For an even grander entry, clean and paint your front door, or replace it with a new one for a few hundred dollars. Don’t forget to fix and polish doorknobs, repair torn screens, and then put out that new welcome mat. 

Keep yourself organized with the following checklist. 

 
Clean and Maintain

  • Windows, sills, and screens
  • Walls and floor
  • Tile
  • Ceilings
  • Cupboards and drawers
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Light fixtures
  • Ceiling fans
  • Carpet and rugs
  • Mirrors
  • Garage
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Laundry room
  • Yard
  • Gutters
  • Replace furnace filter
  • Dust furniture, TV and computer screens
  • Closets
  • Remove clutter
  • Pack personal items
Repair

  • Leaky faucets and plumbing
  • Torn screens
  • Slow drains
  • Gutters
  • Loose doorknobs
  • Deck boards
  • Broken windows
  • Electrical fixtures
  • Water stain damage
  • Broken appliances
  • Damaged walls and ceilings
  • Worn carpet and rugs
  • Damaged sidewalks and steps
Improvements

  • Stain or paint deck
  • Store tools
  • Roll up garden hose
  • Paint or stain exterior
  • Prune bushes and hedges
  • Trim trees
  • Mow lawn, fertilize, edge, and trim
  • Weed gardens, plant flowers
  • Shovel driveways, de-ice
  • Stack firewood
  • Clean out birdbaths
  • Caulk windows and doors
  • Repair and paint fences
  • Seal asphalt driveway
  • Make sure doors close properly
  • Enhance entryway
  • Replace welcome mat
Choosing a Realtor

As a seller, your relationship with a REALTOR is vital so meet with several before making a final decision. A good place to start is right in your neighbourhood. Check FOR SALE signs to see which REALTORS are doing business in your area. Ask them about their track record, their knowledge of neighbourhood selling prices and other reasons why you should list with them. Choose a REALTOR you feel comfortable with; one who will handle the sale of your home as if it were his or her own.

What to Expect

Your REALTOR will help you understand the selling process. He or she will provide you with a full explanation of what to expect so you are not faced with any surprises along the way.

Getting to know you

One of the first things your REALTOR will ask is, why are you selling your house? Your REALTOR will also explore any time constraints you may have, your financial situation and any future plans. It Os all part of getting to know you so the sale will be handled to your complete satisfaction.

Setting the Price

Arriving at an accurate estimate of value for your home is one of your REALTORs prime tasks. It involves analyzing your home and comparing it to other, similar houses for sale or recently sold in the neighbourhood. It may also include a broader market survey, using sales statistics available only to qualified REALTORS. In the end, you will be sure the price you set reflects the true value of your home under current market conditions.

Interested in Selling Your Home?

If you are interested in selling your home or would like information on selling your home please call or simply complete the form below.

Pricing Your Property

The single most important decision you will make with your Real Estate Professional is determining the right asking price for your property.

Once you've achieved a realistic sales 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 lease amount of time.

The Benefits of Pricing Right

Your property sells faster, because 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.
Real Estate Professionals will be enthusiastic about presenting your property to buyers.

Find Out What Your Home Is Worth

For a current market analysis of your home please feel free to take advantage of a Free Home Evaluation  

 
Holding a Successful Open House

Most sales representatives will suggest a number of ways to market your home; however, if your agent has decided an open house would be advantageous, here are some suggestions to help make your open house successful.

There are four steps to follow for a successful Open House. The first three are planning, promotion and presentation. 

Once you've done all that, the only step remaining is to cross your fingers and hope for good weather!

As with most things in real estate, planning is critical to your success. Check your calendar and pick a date that won't conflict with other events that could divert your potential visitors. You won't get many home browsers on Super Bowl Sunday or Mother's Day! Ask your real estate professional for advice on how to showcase your home to its best advantage. Remember, when it comes to showing appeal less is more. You want to create an atmosphere of spaciousness. Get rid of the clutter to maximize your space. Have a garage sale, empty the closets and take the time to give those things away to charity. Besides making your home look great for showing, it'll give you less to do on moving day.
Remember that a home that looks well kept will create favourable impression. Make sure you cut the grass or shovel the sidewalk as the season requires.

Then it's time to start promoting. Your real estate professional is the expert here, and can advise you what marketing techniques will be used to promote your event. Whether it’s direct mail, advertising in Home Guides or the newspaper, or website promotion, your representative will effectively promote your event. However, you can add to the process by partnering in the promotion too. Post notices on bulletin boards in supermarkets, libraries or community centers. Anyway that you can spread the word will add to the process.

For your Open House day, your representative will also counsel you on how to present your home to its best advantage. Leaving on all the lights, having a fire burning in the fireplace, soft background music playing, and coffee brewing all add to the ambience and make a welcoming impression. But as any real estate professional will tell you, the best thing that you can do to make your open house a success is to get out and stay out! All joking aside, you'll get better results when your visitors feel free to poke about, linger, and ask very direct questions of your real estate agent. If you're present, they'll feel more constrained, and your sales representative may not even get an opportunity to identify any concerns they may have, and attempt to offer them options and solutions. So pack up the dog and the kids, and enjoy your day away trust your real estate professional to do the job right. After all, they're the experts!

        

Negotiation and Closing

Negotiating to Sell


Most home purchase offers involve some level of negotiation. In dealing with this aspect of the real estate process it is essential that you retain an agent with experience in negotiating. A qualified agent focused on protecting your interests will save you time and money.

Services provided include:

  • Representing you through the offer, negotiation, and acceptance process.
  • Reviewing the written offer with you to make sure that you thoroughly understand what the buyer is offering and what he/she is asking in return.
  • Helping you understand the issues contained in the offer and how they will effect you.
  • Protecting your best interest throughout negotiations.

Points of negotiation may include:

  • Price
  • Financing
  • Closing costs
  • Necessary repairs
  • Appliances and fixtures
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Closing and occupancy time frame

CLOSING DATE

For the average buyer as the closing date approaches nerves can become frayed. At this time a veteran, professional real estate agent can help assure you of a quick and easy closing by:

  • Coordinating the necessary documentation with your closing officer
  • Communicating with the escrow company or closing attorney
  • Staying in touch with your lender
  • Assuring that you are ready for the closing by confirming the proper form of payment made out to the correct party


It is during closing that the property is transferred from one person to another. If everything has been attended to prior to this day, the closing should go smoothly. Your agent can provide you with the necessary support essential during this final phase.

Services include:


  • Explaining the process to you
  • Explaining the closing documents to you
  • Being present at closing to make sure all goes as planned
  • Being present at closing to mediate any last minute issues
  • POST-CLOSING: You're not Finished Yet!


Congratulations on selling your home! You now have a specific time period during which you will move out of your former home. Your agent can help you:

  • Make a checklist of utility companies who you’ll need to contact to change the name on the account or to shut off service
  • Make a checklist of what you must do to the property prior to turning it over.


Ready for the Big Day?

A few days prior to closing you will want to contact your lawyer to make sure all paper work is in order. Additionally, you’ll want to have made arrangements for your move. (If you need to do this, please check out our Relocation Center.) An agent can be a big help during this time.

Some areas in which they can assist you include:

  • Insuring all proper documentation is prepared
  • Check that all parties are properly prepared for closing
  • Double check on closing time and location
  • Aid in contacting relocation services


SOLD: Now What? 

You’ve sold your house but you are in no way finished. You now possess a list of things that must be accomplished prior to closing. Your agent can coordinate everything that needs to be done to insure the sale.

Ways in which an agent can help you include:

  • Creating a time frame for repairs and improvements
  • Coordinating any actions needed to finalize the sale
  • Monitoring work so it is accomplished in a timely fashion


The contract will stipulate specific actions that must be accomplished prior to closing. Some of these may include:

  • Home Inspection
  • Property appraisal
  • Home repair
  • Appliance and/or fixture replacement