Information for Sellers

How Our Agents Help – 5 Reasons to use a Royal LePage REALTOR®

Helping You Sell Episode 1: Prepare Your Home For Sale

Helping You Sell Episode 2: The Listing Process

Helping You Sell Episode 3: Marketing Your Home

Helping You Sell Episode 4: Negotiating Offers

Helping You Sell Episode 5: Closing Your Home Sale

Improving the Value of Your Home: Updating Your Bathroom

Home Staging – Furniture Placement

Home Staging: Lighting

Improving the Value of Your Home: Making Your Home Energy Efficient

14 IMPORTANT FACTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU TRY TO SELL YOUR OWN HOME 

Occasionally, one can see “For Sale By Owner” signs, and some owners think that selling their own home will not only save them money, but believe they have an advantage over the sellers that have their home listed by a reputable Real Estate sales professional. Before you decide to take on this very important and legally complicated process…remember not even most Real Estate Lawyer’s recommend selling your own home yourself in today’s market. Here are a few of the reasons why:

 

  1. You are limiting your exposure to potential buyers (less than 10% of what a good real estate broker will generate) which theoretically means your home will take ten to fifteen times longer to sell on the market.

 

  1. The longer a home is on the market the lower the selling price is. Why? Because most buyers think that if the home has not sold after this long… there must be something wrong with the home.

 

  1. The selling/buying process begins AFTER the buyer leaves your home. Most sellers think that all it takes is for someone to see their home, fall in love with the great decor… and the offer automatically will follow. Remember that the buying process begins after they leave your home. If a real estate sales representative does not represent the buyer, and they are looking on their own…they usually leave the home and start to talk themselves out of the buying process. Real estate professionals are trained on how to overcome buyers remorse–a very common occurrence.

 

  1. Because of the limited exposure you will very likely end up with a lower selling price. Remember, in order to generate the highest price possible for your home… selling means exposure. You need the maximum exposure possible, to generate the highest price possible.

 

  1. Most buyers find it extremely awkward to negotiate or even to talk directly with sellers and therefore avoid FSBO properties.

 

  1. Lack of negotiating experience and lack of pertinent information often will result in a lower selling price, or worse yet, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits.

 

  1. The majority of qualified buyers are working with experienced real estate professionals.

 

  1. Many serious buyers will pass by a FSBO home merely because they recognize that it is not in the real estate mainstream, this can some times make them wary.

 

  1. As most local buyers now retain an experienced real estate sales person to represent them as their buyer-agency, you will probably be negotiating against an experienced professional.

 

  1. Expected savings in broker’s fees will also be greatly reduced if you offer a selling commission to entice real estate sales representatives to bring potential buyers.

 

  1. If you are planning to use a Lawyer to help you negotiate the offer, then your lawyer’s fees will be considerably higher.

 

  1. Only real estate sales representatives have access to the up-to-date market information. News reports cannot approach the timeliness or specificity available to real estate sales people. Further, real estate sales representatives are involved in home sales much more frequently than the average homeowner is. This familiarity leads to a degree of expertise that provides an edge on negotiating and successful selling.

 

  1. You only pay the commission to the real estate broker, if they successfully sell your home at the price you are happy with.

 

14. Accepting an offer is one thing, ensuring a safe and successful closing is quite another. Real estate transactions usually always have problems on closing. At times, expecting the Buyers and Sellers Lawyer’s to fight it out or resolve the problems, can sometimes mean the deal is lost. This is the time that your experienced real estate professional, can be the most important. Your Real Estate professional can act as a great mediator. Lawyers MUST act only on their client’s instructions and are not paid to negotiate.

How to Get the Most Possible For Your Home

Your home may be your biggest asset. When the time comes to sell your home, it is very important to plan this event carefully, choose optimal timing, pricing and marketing, and attend to details that would increase the appeal of the residence. The goal is to ensure that, after all expenses, your net return is the highest possible.

There are many factors that affect the sale price of a property. Some of them are ‘fixed’, like location, or current market conditions. Some of them, however, can be changed to produce the best selling price and selling conditions.

 

Timing:

If you have a choice with regard to timing, it may be best to expose your home to the market while there is less competition and while there is high demand. Traditionally such a time comes in the spring. In the Toronto real estate market spring comes early, usually at the beginning of February. It may not be wise to wait until the flowers in the garden are in bloom. By that time many properties become available, and the advantage of having an early start is gone. If you think your garden is a real asset and would increase the perceived value of your home, why not take some beautiful pictures and mount a display?

This is one of the most important aspects of a successful sale. In the recent frantic real estate market a house that was priced low enough to appear as a ‘bargain’ would attract a large number of offers, and, as a result, often sell above the market value. You may find some examples of such sales in my Neighbourhood Statistics section (left menue). It is ill advised, however, to list too high. If, in a swift market, a house doesn’t sell within a week or two, it raises questions. Buyers might think there is a problem with the house. More likely, however, there is a problem with pricing. Your agent should be able to determine what would be the most advantageous listing price, to invite multiple offers.

 

Marketing:

It is important to have a good marketing plan. Most houses are sold on the open market using MLS exposure. Majority of buyers hire Realtors to help them in their search and to negotiate the purchase. But today’s tech-savvy buyers like to be involved in the process and also search the Internet for suitable properties. It happens often enough, that a buyer finds and falls in love with a property that is totally different than what he initially described to his Realtor. Therefore it is extremely important that your house be exposed to the Internet traffic, and that the Realtor whom you hire to market your property is comfortable with Internet marketing and has a good Internet presence (website).

 

Street Appeal:

When the buyers approach your front entrance, it is the first time your property will be judged. Do not deceive yourself that small defects, like peeling paint or a crooked step, would not be noticed. Look at your home objectively, and put yourself into the buyer’s shoes looking for faults. Small defects are usually easy to fix, and fixing them will put money into your pocket.

 

Front Hall:

The first impressions are made here. Make sure the front hall is as neat and attractive as possible, and also that it is well lit. Put away extra coats and footwear. In the winter provide a rug for wet shoes and boots.

 

Kitchen and Bathrooms:

Kitchen and bathrooms are the selling areas of your home. If your kitchen or bathroom could use some refreshing, don’t decide to get them renovated before getting advice from your Realtor. The aim is to leave the most money in your pocket, and often a small improvement goes a long way. Generally, it is wise to unclutter and clean the counters and the fridge door, place fresh, attractive towels in the bathroom, perhaps buy a new, pretty shower curtain and decorative soaps. Strategically placed potted plants add to the ambience.

 

Basement:

In the frenzy of preparing the house for showings it sometimes happens that the basement becomes cluttered with the ‘overflow’. If possible, however, it should also be neat, and should provide access to all the important parts that make the house function – the furnace, electrical panel, water heater etc.

 

General appeal and atmosphere:

If you don’t feel confident that you can create the best atmosphere that will make your home irresistible to the prospective buyers, you should ask me for an opinion and advice. It has become increasingly popular to hire a company that arranges the furniture and objects, sometimes adding from their own collection, to maximize the appeal of a home. This is called ‘staging’. Please contact me before you are ready to sell so I may advise you and structure an action plan to prepare your home for sale.