The Home Selling Process
1. Choose a Realtor®
Many people wait until they have their house ready to sell before they start interviewing Realtors®. I recommend that you find your Realtor® as soon as you seriously start to consider selling - sometimes it's a few months and sometimes it is a few years. The point is, a Realtor® can help you make choices and decisions that can make your home easier to sell and put more money in your pocket.
2. Understand the Market
The Market changes daily. Do not assume that what you were told or read last year or last month, still applies. This is also where a Realtor® can help by keeping you abreast of the changing market so that you can make more informed decisions about your move. In a hot market it might not make sense to wait another month so you can paint the house. In a slow market, it may be smart to take a little extra time to make sure your house stands out from the rest.
If you are at the point where you are ready to sell, your Realtor® can help you understand how the local market conditions affect the price.
There are 3 types of markets:
1. Balanced Market - The number of homes is equal to the demand or number of the buyers. Typically, this type of market shows that demand is equal to supply, homes sell within an acceptable time period and prices are generally stable.
What does this mean for you? You may experience a more relaxed atmosphere with buyers having a reasonable number of homes to view and choose from.
2. Seller's Market - The number of buyers wanting to purchase homes exceeds the supply of available homes on the market. Typically, this type of market has smaller inventory of homes, many buyers, homes sell quickly, and prices usually increase, there may even be bidding wars.
What does this mean for you? You may experience more negotiating leverage and obtain a higher selling price for your property.
3. Buyer's Market - This occurs when the supply of homes on the market exceeds the demand. Typically, there is a high inventory of homes, few buyers compared to availability, homes stay on the market longer and prices tend to drop over time.
What does this mean for you? It may take longer to sell your home with less negotiating leverage in terms of selling price.
3. Prepare Your Home for Sale
The best way to prepare your home for sale is to walk through it by yourself or if you are really brave - ask a friend to join you and take notes of all the little things that need to be done. I suggest you ask a friend because we all become blind to our own homes. For instance, I don't even notice the dated yellow paint in one of the rooms in my house, but a friend might point that out.
This is also why you want to be informed about the market - it will help you decide to what extent you do updating and repairs. Of course, a good cleaning & de-cluttering will always be worthwhile!
There is a secondary part to preparing your home for sale and that is "staging". These are the little last-minute things you or a stager can do to help your house present at its best. Moving a piece of furniture out or adding the ubiquitous bowl of green apples to your kitchen counter!
4. Set the List Price
A comparative 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 your neighbourhood. Those that have recently sold represent what buyers are prepared to pay. The homes currently listed for sale represent the price sellers hope to obtain. And those listings that have expired were generally over-priced or poorly marketed.
I 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.
5. Market Your Home
Getting your home in front of the right buyers is a skill and an art.
Because the vast majority of buyers start their search on the internet, professional photography is a minimum expectation, with videography and aerial (drone) footage of the home and area being the norm for larger or higher-end properties.
Sellers often are surprised to learn that buying a home is a process of elimination. People are busy. Buyers only want to physically go to the houses that have the greatest potential of meeting their requirements. This is why it is important that your home is presented professionally, online.
The art comes into knowing who to target and how to reach them. My background & education are in sales & marketing; I was target marketing long before the interest made it easier. Remember - sometimes it isn't about getting your message out to as many people as possible, sometimes it is about getting your message out to the right people - those most likely to want and appreciate (and pay for!) the features of your particular home or property.
When interviewing Realtors® don't just ask them about their marketing, but why they do what they do and how it benefits you.
6. Negotiating the Offer
A tip I was given when I started selling real estate was to make sure my clients wanted the deal more than I did.
That is one way to be sure that I was doing "the right thing" for my clients.
To flip that around, if you are working with an agent who is living cheque to cheque or conversely, is obsessed with being #1, then you have to ask whose best interest are they negotiating for?
A professional Realtor® will negotiate on your behalf, to help you get the best price, terms & closing date within the timeframe you have to sell.
7. Handle Closing Details
Selling a home is the largest transaction in which most people are ever involved. It is complex and requires attention to a myriad of details. Your professional Realtor® will make sure that all the conditions and requirements of the offer are met within the timeframes allowed, and that communication channels stay open.