Buying and Selling: It’s so Much More Than a Sign on Your Lawn
There is more science to selling your home than you might think. It takes experience and insight to ensure that a property lists for the highest possible asking price, while maximizing the audience reach and remaining mindful of market conditions.
Tips for Selling
1. Deciding to sell
Everyone has a personal reason for selling their home but all sellers share a mutual goal of selling their property for the highest price possible. There are many simple ways to add value to your property prior to selling, well worth considering.
In some circumstances, major renovations like installing a new kitchen, bathroom or flooring can add a great deal of value to a property prior to selling. Simple upgrades like a fresh coat of paint or modernizing finishes and light fixtures can also enhance the appeal of your home.
- Make a list of all the things you simply can’t live without, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms needed, proximity to schools or work and storage needs.
- Next make a list of wishes such as a pool, finished basement or mud room.
Brush up on Types of Home Ownership
- Always check with a trusted agent, like myself, prior to remodeling to ensure that these investments will pay off when your property goes to market.
- I am also happy to connect you with my network of competitively priced, reliable, efficient people such electricians, painters, home stagers, handymen and handywomen.
- Please know that I will only recommend people to my clients who I would trust to do work in my own home and the homes of family and friends.
Enhance Curb Appeal
First impressions are so important. Having the exterior of your home looking its very best is key to attracting potential buyers. Make sure that your lawn is maintained, cut and raked. Trim surrounding bushes and trees and consider pots of brightly coloured flowers. Fresh paint, a recently stained fence and clean garage will give passersby an unspoken promise that the interior will match.
Get a Home Inspection
I always recommend sellers take the initiative to get a home inspection, prior to the buyer obtaining one, to help avoid unpleasant surprises. Having the opportunity to make repairs before putting your home on the market will also avoid jeopardizing the sale of your home or forcing a sale at a reduced price.
2. Listing Your Home
Establishing a home’s true worth can be tricky but I am here to help make sure that your home is poised for success.
Setting the Perfect Price
Choosing the right price for your home can be a complicated equation. Overpricing your property could deter buyers but a price too low might result in a loss worth thousands. Before setting a price, we will complete a property profile of your house, including its current condition, location, surroundings and special features. A comparative market analysis will show you what houses in your area have sold for in recent months. By considering as many factors as possible, I will be able to accurately assess the fair market value of your property, ensuring that it sells quickly and maximizes your profit.
Marketing Your Home
Despite how well your home is priced, you will still need a sound plan to attract buyers. My goal is to always make your home stand out from the rest. Beyond newspaper advertisements and a listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®), I will market your property through blogs, social media channels, various websites and using my own professional and personal network.
3. Setting the Stage
I must confess that there are few things I love more about real estate than executing a great open house. I will always attend to highlight the best features of your home and make sure that every detail is perfect. Engaging with visitors at an open house is one of my strengths and these conversations frequently provide an opportunity to collect valuable feedback. By being present and listening, I will also be able to gauge interest levels and identify possible conditions in preparation for incoming offers.
The goal when preparing your house for a showing or open house is to welcome and make an impact. A few easy steps can transform a space, making any potential buyer feel like they are already at home.
- Start with a full top to bottom cleaning including carpets and drapes, kitchen and bathroom tiles, walls, ceilings and trim.
- Declutter and dispose of items serving only to visually decrease the size of rooms, or consider renting storage.
- Organize cabinets, bookcases, closets and toys, tucking away personal items such as photographs and memorabilia.
- Stage empty rooms with the right furniture. These pieces can often be borrowed from family or friends and there are also local companies who rent furniture for this purpose. Choose simple and classic pieces for the widest appeal.
Open House Prep 101
- Open blinds and windows to make everything fresh and airy.
- Turn on lights in darker rooms for additional brightness.
- Set the dining table, put out some fresh flowers or light a scented candle.
- Summer refreshments left on the counter are the perfect touch on a hot day.
- For your own security, make sure to store all of your valuables well in advance.
- Ask for feedback to make your next open house even better.
4. Reviewing and Accepting an Offer
Not all offers are created equal. I will help you review each Offer to Purchase, discuss all the details and help you decide whether to accept, reject or make a counter offer. Here are a few things you can do to prepare.
Get Comfortable with the Terms
Most offers will include the price the buyer wants to pay, details about the offer, financing and any conditions, inclusions or exclusions the buyer wants to make contingent on the closing. These offers can be “firm” which means that they are willing to buy the home exactly as it is. Or, the offer could be “conditional” based on factors such as a satisfactory home inspection, approval of financing or the sale of an existing home.
Review Every Detail
The buyers may have asked for other things to be included like appliances, draperies or chandeliers. They may request minor renovations like roof or driveway repairs. Some buyers may ask for longer or shorter closing periods or make the offer contingent on selling their current home. All of these factors can influence whether the offer is truly as good as it appears. Prior to receiving offers, I always encourage sellers to carefully consider what they would be prepared to include or repair, and the associated costs, so that they can respond quickly and confidently to these kinds of conditions.
5. Negotiating and Counter Offers
Things can get a little hairy when offers start flying. Sometimes the offer is lower than expected or the buyers have asked for extra inclusions. In some cases, you may have multiple offers from different buyers to entertain. Fortunately, I thrive during this time period and have a proven track record of successfully negotiating even the most challenging deals. Here are some things to think about in advance.
- 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?”
- The best strategy is to have one! Know ahead of time what you are willing to compromise on and what is the lowest offer you are willing to accept for your home.
- Never be afraid to reject an offer if it doesn’t meet necessary criteria.
- Multiple offers, from several buyers, can be exciting but also overwhelming. Together we will carefully compare and decide which offer, based on price and conditions best suits you.
- One offer may prove to be more appealing based on factors like pre-approved financing, the completed sale of the buyer’s existing home or a buyer’s willingness to agree with all conditions of sale, without exception.
6. Smoothing the Move
Although moving is bound to bring a bit of sadness, a new home promises to compensate with plenty of excitement. Hopefully a few of these suggestions will help to smooth your move.
- Make a moving checklist, detailing a plan that moves from tasks to be finished weeks in advance all the way up to moving day.
- Cancel your cable and utilities and transfer any rented appliances (like water heater or furnace) to the new homeowners. Make sure to have gas, electricity, cable and phone service hooked up at your new home.
- Inform key contacts of your change of address.
- Collect competitive quotes from reliable moving companies.
- To save money, consider renting a moving van (This is the time to bribe your friends and call in favours!)
- Simplify unpacking by clearly labeling boxes with their designated destination within the house. A small floor plan helps movers to work more efficiently.
- To make things easier for nervous children, let them choose the colour and décor of their new room. I have seen simple acts like this make a big difference.
- Remember that moving day is stressful and be kind to yourself!
- Finally, CONGRATULATIONS and I truly hope to be there to shake your hand.