Selling your home can be a stressful, complicated process. How can you relieve some of that stress? Take some hints from “Your Guide to Selling Successfully” and hire an experienced Realtor® who knows your area well and can confidently guide you along each step of the way. And speaking of the steps along the way, what follows is a brief description of what you can expect when you make the decision to sell and what you’ll need to do to get yourself and your property ready for market.
Mark Murakami, Broker, Forest Hill Real Estate Grey County
First Talk to Your Lender
Do you have a mortgage in place on this property or a Home Equity Plan? That doesn’t mean you can’t sell but it does mean you need to find out whether or not there will be fees or penalties connected to your sale. There are often fees, for example, related to paying out your mortgage ahead of time or to de-registering Home Equity Plans. What you need to know is how much it could cost you and whether or not there is an option for your lender to waive that fee or blend it into your next mortgage, should you need one. If you do expect to finance your next purchase, will there be any fees (for an appraisal, for example) connected to that? It is always important to have a clear understanding of your finances BEFORE you make any plans to buy or sell.
Mark Murakami, Broker at Forest Hill Real Estate Grey County
Choose a Realtor®
As with most business relationships, it is important that you work with someone you trust and with whom you feel comfortable. In an active market, it can be easy to be swayed by the agent who gives you the highest suggested list price for your property (remember, a list price IS NOT a sale price) or who is open to cutting commission in order to get your signature on the listing paperwork (sometimes agents will agree to undercut other area agents if your listing will be the only one they have or if there’s a shortage of listings in your neighbourhood – which should tell you something about how effective they are). Make an informed decision when you select your agent. Meet with a few Realtors®, hold informal interviews and see who you click with. Do your homework and ask questions. A good agent will be able to explain current market conditions, how they arrived at their suggested list price for your property (tip: they shouldn’t just give you a number, they should be able to back it up), how they handle marketing and answer your questions in a way that demonstrates their knowledge, experience and makes you comfortable knowing that your sale is in good hands. Not sure where to start? Think about the names you’ve seen on local For Sale/Sold signs, ask friends and family for the name of an agent they had a good experience with and search for online presence among your local Realtors® – Google Reviews are an easy way to see what your neighbours thought about the services they received.
Asking Price Is Key
Settling on a competitive list price is one of the most important elements of selling your home or property. An asking price that is too high can make you look greedy, uneducated on your local market and can quickly turn off potential buyers. An asking price that is too low leaves you in danger of leaving money on the table and putting yourself at risk financially. An asking price that is both fair and reasonable, based on market conditions, will help to make sure you attract serious buyers, optimize your saleability and enjoy as much exposure as possible. How do you arrive at this magic number? Choose an agent who can logically and clearly explain your local market activity and statistics, recent area sales (and more importantly, local properties that have NOT sold) and the current value of homes like yours.
Marketing To The Masses
Today more than ever, it is important to work with an agent/brokerage that can provide effective marketing so that your property is seen by as many potential buyers as possible. The days of putting a For Sale sign on the front lawn, an ad in the local paper and waiting for a buyer to call are long gone. Today’s buyers start their search before they even leave home by looking at properties online. You need an agent who can provide expertly designed and tailored digital marketing, high visibility and a steady presence both online and through social media. Why should this be important to you? Because if other agents don’t know that your property is available, how will buyers know about it? In that vein, more and more buyers are coming to Grey County from the GTA and other larger centres so it is important that your agent can make out of town agents aware of your listing by sharing the details through real estate Boards other than just the one that’s closest to home. A buyer or agent in Toronto won’t know your home is for sale if all your agent does is put a sign in the ground and submit a small ad to the local small town paper. For maximum exposure you need maximum visibility both within your neighbourhood and outside of it. Believe it or not, this is not a standard of service that is offered by all Realtors® so be sure to ask agents what type of marketing services they can provide.
Your Guide to Selling Successfully
Crossing the Ts and Dotting the Is
In most cases, when your agent has worked hard to advertise and market your property effectively, you’ll receive an offer. In a very active market, you may even receive more than one! Once negotiations are complete, you may find that your buyer wishes to conduct an inspection, needs an appraisal done for their lender or requires additional information about the property in order to wrap things up on their end. Your Realtor® can guide you through this process and handle much of the “back and forth” for you. Your agent and lawyer will work together to make sure all documentation is complete and in order and that everything is in order as you approach your closing date.
Your Guide to Selling Successfully