Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you sell your home.
1. Decide when to sell In real estate, timing can influence your home’s selling price. Factors like how quickly you need to sell, whether it’s a buyers or sellers market and seasonality all play a role in your home’s final selling price.
2. Find a REALTOR® who is right for you The REALTOR® who helped you buy your home is a good place to start. They already know your home and they know you, so you’ll be saving time right from the start. Or look for names on “For Sale” signs in your neighbourhood or ask your friends and family. Make sure to interview two or three candidates and choose the one you like best.
3. Sign a Listing Agreement This authorizes your REALTOR® and their brokerage to market and sell your home. It will define the legal relationship between you and the real estate brokerage and also set a time limit for your REALTOR® to sell your home.
4. Determine your home’s asking price The right asking price will attract buyers and pay you a maximum return. Setting too low a price means you could miss out on thousands of dollars. Setting too high a price will scare away buyers. Your goal is to find fair market value.
5. Add some specialists to your team Similar to when you bought your home, it’s essential to have a notary public or a lawyer handle all the various documents that change hands and make sure your best interests are being protected at all times.
6. Prepare your home for sale First impressions matter. Now is the time to see your home through a buyer’s eyes: get ride of the clutter, clean and repair as much as you can, within reason. Remember, weigh the cost of all your improvements versus the potential financial return.
7. Let your REALTOR® do what they do best Your home has never looked so good and now it’s time for your REALTOR® to market it to potential buyers. This happens with a “For Sale” sign, open houses, newspaper ads, a listing on the MLS®, the internet, and, of course, through your REALTORS®’ relationship with other REALTORS®.
8. Prepare your finances Will the buyer “assume” your mortgage or are you “discharging” it? If you’re buying a new home, is your mortgage “portable”? What taxes are involved? These are important questions to ask your REALTOR®, your mortgage lender and your notary public or lawyer.
9. Receive an offer Although your REALTOR® will walk you through the process, be prepared for some stress. You will see every offer since it’s required that your REALTOR® show you every offer that’s submitted. You will have three options: you can accept, you can reject or you can “sign back” or “counter”. Ask your REALTOR® what these terms mean. Happy negotiating!
10. Close the deal You were successful and have drafted a legally binding agreement. Are you done? Not quite yet. Contact your lawyer or notary public, contact your lending institution and consult your REALTOR®. Immediately start satisfying any conditions of the agreement that require action on your part. On closing day, your lawyer or notary public will finalize all the details and give you a cheque for the net proceeds.