Listing Your Home for Sale
The first step toward putting your home up for sale is the listing appointment. Your Real Estate Sales Representative will meet with you at your home to create the listing, explain the process and draw up a listing agreement.
Here are some of the terms to familiarize yourself with and help your understand the process.
• Listing Broker: An individual Real Estate broker whom the seller hires to represent the seller through a contract called a “listing agreement”. He/she is associated with the listing broker and they split the listing commission between them.
• Selling Broker: This is the real estate agent who produces a buyer for the property and divides the commission with a listing broker. This transaction is considered a “co-operative” sale because the house is listed by one broker and the buyer is provided by a second broker. If the listing broker also produces the buyer, then he/she receives both listing and selling commission.
• Doing your homework: Both the home seller and the listing Sales Representative have some homework to do before the listing appointment. The listing agent will study recent area sales of homes comparable to the seller’s and also comparable homes currently for sale. The e home seller will gather all the documents requested by the Sales Representative.
• Property information: Now it’s time to gather all the information about your property that will be presented in the listing. This includes the home, floor plan and all its special features. Be ready to provide specific details about schools, churches, daycare, nearby metro, and other desirable community features, as well as home features that might not be immediately visible. As prospective buyers will be comparison shopping it is important that you explain to your listing Sales Representative why your home is special.
Property Profile Folder: Your listing Sales Representative needs a number of documents and specific information to prepare a highlight sheet on your property which will be left in your home for prospective buyers. These materials may include:
-Pay-Off Notice: A letter signed by the home seller and mailed to the lender by the listing broker to notify the lender of the intention to pay off the mortgage in order to minimize prepayment of interest penalties to the seller. This should include the lender’s address, loan balance, assumability, years remaining on present mortgage, PITI and the interest rate, if possible.
-Septic and Well Inspection: If property is on septic/well, current inspections by local health authorities are required while the home is occupied. Your Listing Sales Representative will usually arrange for inspection after the contract is endorsed.
-Order Lender Appraisal. Lenders usually require an appraisal to assure that the property is adequate collateral for a loan. Appraisal may be ordered before (paid by seller), but is more often done after an “offer to purchase” is accepted (paid by buyer).
-Assessments/Easements: Your Sales Representative will ask if any tax assessments or easements exist on the property that must be paid or included in purchase contract and passed on with the land when sold.
-Property Taxes/Condominium Fee: As the home seller you will be required to provide a record of property tax or condominium fee payments which buyer will reimburse on a prorata share to home seller at settlement.
-Home inspection: Many lenders of new mortgages may also require an inspection certificate that shows house is free of major defects.
-Utilities: Home seller should provide record of past 12 months utility bills, including gas, electric, sewer, water, and trash where applicable. Most buyers will want to know the history of utility costs.
-Other helpful documents. If possible, home seller should provide listing Sales Representative with deed, house location survey, condominium bylaws or home owners association documents, subdivision map, house floor plan, previous title search abstracts, legal description of property (subdivision, section and lot), warranties on major systems or Home Owners Warranty, if still in effect, and copy of home owners insurance policy for endorsement in purchase contract.
• Personal property items: The home seller must be also ready to provide a specific list of the personal property items that are included in the property for sale such as washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, microwave, draperies, drapery rods, remaining heating oil, firewood, disposal, swimming pool chemicals, awnings, storm doors and windows, screens, blinds, shutters, window air conditioner, etc. Home seller must also tag or remove items which do not convey.
• Listing Agreement: Once the home seller is ready to put the home on the market, the listing agreement is filled out indicating a specific period of time the agreement is in effect (“listing period”), and signed by the seller. You’ve now hired a listing broker.
Selling Your Home and Choosing the Right Realtor
Your relationship with a realtor is vital to a stress-free and satisfying home buying or selling experience, so meet with several before making a final decision. If you are looking for a realtor, ask friends, neighbours and colleagues for a referral. You can also check FOR SALE signs to see which realtors are doing business in your area.
Spend time talking to them. Ask them about their track record, their knowledge of neighbourhood selling prices and other reasons why you should list with them. You want to select a realtor who you feel comfortable with and confident that he/she will handle the sale of your home as if it were his or her own.
What to Expect During the Home Selling Process
Your realtor will help you understand the selling process by providing you with a full and detailed explanation of what to expect. This includes getting to know you and why you want to sell your home. It is good idea to share any time or financial constraints and future plans so that he/she may devise a selling strategy that will help achieve your goals.
Pricing Your Property
Arriving at an accurate estimate of value for your home is one of your realtor’s main tasks and impacts selling your home for the best possible price in the least amount of time. This 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 real estate agents. You want to sure the price you set reflects the true value of your home under current market conditions and attracts the right qualified buyers.
The Benefits of Pricing Right
• Your property sells faster as realtors are enthusiastic about showing your property to prospective buyers
• A smartly-priced property can generate competing offers
• Your home doesn’t lose its “marketability.”
• The more realistic the price in terms of market value, the higher the offers
Find out How Much Your Home Is Worth
Take advantage of a free home evaluation for a current market analysis of your home’s value.
The Little Improvements that Bring Big Returns
Sprucing up the exterior and interior of your home before listing it for sale will make your property attractive and can add to your returns. It doesn’t have to be a major or expensive project. Here are some little steps you can take to make a big impression and increase the perceived value of your home.
• Keep lawns cut
• Trim hedges and shrubs, weed and edge gardens
• Plant colourful, flowers in pots
• Touch up paint
• Clear driveway and clean up oil spills
• Clean out garage
• Power wash
• Apply fresh paint or varnish your door
• Clean porch and foyer
• Ensure the doorbell works
• Repair broken screens
• Repair door locks and key access
Ensure your home smells clean and fresh
• Turn on lights
• Turn on air conditioner/heater
• Open the drapes
• Light the fireplace
• Eliminate pet odors and stains
• Clear halls and stairs of clutter
• Clear closets of unnecessary clothing and stuff
• Remove empty boxes and containers
• Store surplus furniture
• Clear kitchen counters and stove tops
• Put away personal photos so buyers can envision the house as theirs
• Repair leaking taps and toilets
• Clean furnace and filters
• Tighten door knobs and latches
• Repair cracked plaster
• Apply fresh coat of paint or touch up where necessary
• Clean and repair windows
• Repair seals around tubs and basins
• Replace defective light bulbs
• Oil squeaking doors
• Repair squeaking floor boards
• Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds
• Clean and freshen bathrooms
• Clean fridge and stove (in and out)
• Clean around heating vents
• Clean washer and dryer
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.