10 Step Guide to Selling your Home
1. Find a Realtor
2. Determine when to Sell your home
3. Prepare your Finances
4. Determine your Homes Price
5. Sign the Listing Documents
6. Prepare your Home to Sell
7. Marketing your Property
8. Showings- How to Prepare & What to Expect
9. Receiving an Offer
10. Close the Deal
#1. Find a Realtor
The most important thing to Selling your home in an efficient, stress free and timely manner is finding a Realtor you can not only trust, but relate to. Anyone can put a sign up on a lawn, but it takes hard work, proper evaluations of current sale prices in your neighbourhood, good communication, and putting together a comprehensive marketing package that will showcase your home in its best light. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
#2. Determine when to sell your home
It seems like we’ve grown up with this mentality that everyone should wait for spring to list their home. Although it might be more convenient for you as the seller to list your home when there are warmer temperatures, but when things heat up outside so does the market. The reality of the situation is that people are always moving. They don’t wait for summer to have babies, or to get married, or ever plan on losing a loved one but just as peoples lives continue all year round, so does the selling and buying of real estate. Listing your house at a time when there is less competition will ultimately help you you’re your home quicker when it is priced and marketed correctly. When there are minimal amounts of inventory the competition grows. The law on supply and demand is a theory that explains the interaction between the sellers of a resource and the buyers for that resource. The theory defines what effect the relationship between the availability of a particular product and the demand for that product has on its price. Generally, a low supply and high demand increase the price and vice versa.
#3. Prepare your Finances
Before we deal with listing your property you need to make sure you’re aware of the implications that are involved with that process. If you own your home free-and-clear, congratulations! For the rest of us, there are a lot of mortgage considerations.
“Discharging” your mortgage.
Many people use the proceeds from the sale of their home to “discharge” or pay off their mortgage. If you have what is known as an “open” mortgage, you can pay it all off without any penalties. If you have a “closed” mortgage, be prepared to pay a few month’s payments in penalties.
If you’re buying a new home, is your mortgage “portable”?
Many mortgages are “portable” meaning that you can take your mortgage money with you and buy a new home, without penalty. This can be a real bonus if the interest rate on your mortgage is lower than existing rates! If your new home is more expensive, and requires more mortgage, you’ll have to borrow the extra money at the new, higher rate.
If you find your new dream home before you’ve even started to sell your old one.
Talk to your existing mortgage lender. You may be able to arrange “Bridge Financing”. This is when your lender (the bank) is confident your existing home will sell quickly, and they agree to lend you the down payment for your new dream home.
The Tax Implications of Selling Your Home. Capital gains tax.
If the home was your primary residence, you will not have to pay taxes on any capital gain (the increase in the value of your home). If you had tenants living in part of your home, such as the basement, you will pay capital gains tax on a portion of your profits. You may also owe capital gains tax if you’re selling a vacation property. Talk with an accountant to find out what you’ll have to pay.
#4. Determine your Homes Market Value
Setting a salable price to your home the first day it’s on the market it more important than any other component. With buyers starting their search online lots now-a-days they are becoming more and more educated with sale prices of the neighborhood. Pricing your house higher than your competition will ultimately help sell your neighbors homes. My goal at the end of the day is to net you the most amount of proceeds of the sale. Putting your house on the market on the first day at a compeititve price will not only help you sell your home quicker but for a higher dollar value. If homes sit for 30, 60, 90 days on market it shows that no one is interested for that price so not only does that give the buyers more power in the transaction for negotiations but ultimately you will lose more having your property sit for a longer period of time. It develops a shelf life, and some might even wonder if there are serious defects to it if it stays on the market without action for too long. Testing the market it a thing of the past, if you want to SELL your home you have to be competitive and proactive from day one.
#5. Sign the Listing Documents
In order for your Realtor to place your property onto the MLS (multiple listing service) where it is broadcasted to multiple search engines, other realtors, and qualified buyers we need to have signed documentation allowing us to do so. Your Realtor will go through the house, measure every room, take notes on features, benefits and finishes of your home in order to place it in the best light. We will also discuss at this time what appliances and fixtures are staying and which will not be apart of the sale. Working with a Realtor is the best way to make sure your home gets into the right hands while working in other creative channels to help market your property.
#6. Prepare the Home to SELL
Whenever company is coming I make time to make sure everything is neat, tidy and clutter free. The same applies about selling your home. You want to make sure the curb appeal to your home is fresh and inviting. The exterior photo is most likely the first photo that is going to appear on the MLS so making sure people feel welcome right from the beginning is very important. Storing extra coats and shoes will create more room in entrance ways. Decluttering counter tops, removing large and unnecessary furniture, and any knick-knacks that make the space appear cluttered. Cleanliness is also very important, when buyers enter into your property they are looking for defects and things to ultimately knock off the price with negoatiations. Having a clean, home lets potential home owners know you take pride in where you live and gives them less worries as to the condition of the property. If your home is dirty and ‘run down’ it gives the buyers something to point out and their eyes look for more defects. Having more visible space in a property is allows the buyers to visualize what it would look like with their furniture and ultimately if they can see themselves calling your property their home.
Check out the following link for my suggested Things to fix before you list! As well as my staging tips!
Having a comprehensive marketing plan from the first day you are live on the MLS to the next three weeks is very important. Depending on the type of property you have, and what is available to us in your neighbourhood I have LOTS of great, impactful and proven methods to marketing that will help get your home sold in a timely fashion. Not only will your home be broadcasted across multiple search engines but I also use my network of fellow colleagues, realtors, and local contacts to help get the word out about your property and any potential buyers looking. I also make sure to feature your property on my Real Estate webpage through Instagram and Facebook.
#8. Showings- What to Expect and What to Prepare
Living in a house for sale is a little bit like living in a show home. Beds made everyday, putting things away where they belong after you use them, keeping clutter out of site, it sounds simple but it does take extra mindfulness to accomplish it daily. As you are the owner of the house you can dictate when people are allowed access to your home. You also have to keep in mind having a house buyers can only see on limited availability could be the difference in purchasing your home or the one down the street. Being flexible with showings puts you in the best position for buyers to view your home especially if they are a shift or trade worker. If you currently reside in the house you are selling I always recommend to turn on all lights. Having a bright inviting space is always more welcoming then a dark cold house. Turn on the fire place, turn on exterior garden lights and make sure your house is clean and tidy. With each showing I will give you as much notice as possible but understanding sometimes we don’t get much notice from buyers so having your house show ready at all times is very important.
**DURING COVID-19 I RECOMMEND YOU LEAVE ALL LIGHTS ON, ALL CLOSET DOORS OPEN TO MINIMIZE CONTACT INSIDE THE HOUSE**
#9. Receiving an Offer
So this is the moment we’ve been working towards. We have an offer. We have three options to work with at this point.
- Accept the Offer
- Counter Offer their Offer
- Not respond
Accept the Offer- if you’re happy with the price, terms, conditions and possession date we have ourselves a conditional sale! This means the buyers have to fulfill their conditions (typically financing, home inspection, gas lines, permits, etc) and if everything works out they will remove conditions now finalizing the sale of your home. So start packing!
Counter Offer their Offer- This happens when we don’t like one or several terms or conditions of their offer. We can counter them on price, terms, conditions, possession date, etc. Therefore the combination of the original offer to purchase and the counter offer form one document. If the buyers don’t agree with what we have on our counter offer they will either write us a new offer or walk away from the transaction entirely. You don’t ever counter offer a counter offer.
Not respond- You feel that the price, terms and conditions aren’t at all satisfactory and you’re choosing to not respond to their offer.
#10. Close The Deal
Your REALTOR® and lawyer will do most of the work.
Thank goodness. Closing a deal involves many, many complicated and time-consuming legal maneuvers. That’s why you’ve hired pros.
YOUR CLOSING CHECKLIST
You still have plenty to do yourself, and here’s a comprehensive list.
- Contact your lawyer and notify them that an Agreement has been signed. Make sure they’re ready to close the transaction.
- Immediately begin satisfying any conditions of the agreement that require action on your part. They have definitive dates for completion and failure to do so can result in a lot of hassles, or even spoil the whole deal.
- Notify your lawyer and lending institution if the buyer is assuming your mortgage.
- Contact the utilities, telephone and cable companies about transfer or removal of service. Note: expressaddress.com will transfer your utilities to your new home
- Call your insurance agent and arrange cancellation or transfer of your homeowner’s insurance. If the home you are selling will be vacant for more than 2 or 3 days, make sure your insurance company is notified.
- Contact a moving company to arrange your move on or prior to the closing date.
- Send out your change of address notices and advise the post office. Notify the Ministry of Transportation about your new address for driver’s license and registration.
- Notify your REALTOR® immediately if anything changes about your property or your situation.
Contact With Your Lawyer
If you plan to “discharge” or pay off your mortgage with proceeds of the sale, your lawyer will obtain a statement from your lender showing your outstanding balance on the mortgage, and any penalties you’ll have to pay to discharge the mortgage.
A few days before closing, your lawyer will ask you to sign the paperwork that enables the title to be transferred to the buyer.
On closing day, your lawyer will receive and distribute the proceeds from the sale, pay off your mortgage and other costs, and give you a cheque for the net proceeds.
As hard as it is to say goodbye I hope that you feel good about leaving your home to the new owners to then create their memories in. Make sure everything is clean and move in ready for the new owners, and leave all manuals for the appliances and systems.