you're planning to sell your home in the next few months or just
studying up for that eventuality, there's no time like now to prepare.
If buying a house seems complicated, selling involves even more
responsibilities and expenses.
Here are some common steps to selling your home:1. Prepare Your Home for Sale
before you're ready to plant that "For Sale" sign in your front yard,
there is work to be done to prepare your home for sale.
how keen your eye was to every small detail and defect in the houses
you saw as a buyer? Now that door to your bedroom that never quite
closed properly or that leaky faucet that you never got around to
fixing will be seen by a potential buyer with that same keen eye.
making the obvious repairs today - even if you don't plan to sell until
a year from now. These repairs can cost money and take time. Plus
fixing it now will allow you to enjoy the results before it's time to
If you plan on doing some improvements before the
sale, the best place to start is where the buyers start: at your curb.
Potential buyers base a large part of their decision on a property's
"curb appeal," so make yours say something positive. That means a tidy
front yard, a house with well-painted trim, a tidy driveway and a
clear, welcoming entryway.
Inside, the biggest return on your
investment continues to be improvements to the kitchen, followed
closely by improvements to the master bedroom. If you're making these
improvements shortly before selling the house, consider painting and
decorating the rooms in neutral colors, the most appealing choice to
the greatest number of potential buyers.
Inside and outside,
start reducing the clutter. When it comes time to show your home, less
will mean more. Potential buyers don't want to see how your closets
overflow with clothes, how every room feels cramped with furniture, or
how the yard is difficult to maneuver with that rusty swing set in the
way. That is why experts from TopNotchMovers in Edmonton advise to move your personal belongings fom the old house to the new one to make sure that it is spacious and ready for the new owners. So downsize now; it not only will make the preparation for showing your home easier, it also will make packing for your move faster.
2. Find a Real Estate Professional
you've been through the home-buying process, you already know how
complicated the real estate business can be. While you can opt to sell
your home yourself, it can be time-consuming and often not worth the
money saved on commissions.
However, if you do hire a real
estate professional as your selling agent, do your homework. Ask
friends and family for recommendations, interview several candidates,
attend a few open houses and watch the professional in action. Do you
think this person would present your house well to potential
When interviewing TINA or another candidate,
ask him or her to prepare a "comparative marketing analysis" for your
house. This might include a demographic of the neighborhood, the
quality of schools in the area and a suggested list price for the
If you've chosen TINA or another real estate
professional to help sell your home, you'll have to sign a contract
stating that you'll work solely with them for a designated number
of months, often between one and six months. This means no other real
estate professional will be allowed to sell your home on your behalf
during this time.
So put some thought into the professional you
choose and if you decide to choose me, I will help you sell your home
to a qualified buyer for the highest market price in the quickest, most
3. Get Your Paperwork Together
you sign the Listing Agreement with TINA she will need a lot of
documents from you to prepare your home for sale. Among the things she
will want to see are:
* Pay-off Notice: A letter to the lender stating intention to payoff the mortgage.
Assessments or Easements: If there's a tax assessment or easement on
the property, documents stating such will have to be included in the
* Property Taxes: Proof of property taxes paid.
Utilities: Provide a record of the past 12 months' utility
want to make it clear now which items in the home you want to take with
you – the heirloom chandelier in the dining room, the washer and dryer
set you just bought last month – and which can stay behind as part of
the home sale. TINA can help show you which items you should put away
or replace before your house goes on the market.
4. Price Your Home
are a number of factors that will affect the success of your home sale.
They include: location of the home, interest rates, economic
conditions, time of year, condition of the home, marketing the home,
terms of the sale and accessibility to the home.
Some of these
are not within your or TINA's control – location of the home, interest
rates, economic conditions. The other factors are items you should
discuss with TINA to determine what would benefit the sale of this
For example, marketing your property in more
innovative ways, such as on an Internet site like this one, may broaden
the pool of potential buyers. If you can, waiting for a good time to
sell your home – spring or fall, the most popularly home buying times –
also may help it sell faster except in this Seller's market, anytime is
a good time. And pricing the home properly can make a huge difference
in whether a house is snapped up within the first several weeks of
listing or sits on the market for more than a year.
To price a
home properly, you and TINA will have to study the local market,
research comparable properties and consider current market conditions.
This is where the "comparative marketing analysis" you requested when
interviewing for a listing agent will come in handy as a place to start.
Now check around your neighborhood, your newspaper and Internet sites like this one for:
* Your competition: Are there many properties just like yours for sale in your area right now?
* Listing prices: What are other properties like yours listing for?
* Selling prices: What are other properties like yours selling for?
on these findings, TINA has the experience to help you price your
property at the right price for a sale that benefits you.
5. Market Your Home
that sell well usually have a good marketing strategy. The same can be
said for your home. Work with TINA to decide where you want to
advertise. Will the house be advertised only with a yard sign? Do you
want your house listed for sale not only in newspapers but also on
Internet sites like this one? When can you make your house available
for an "open house" showing?
When a potential buyer arrives for
an "open house" or drives by and sees the for sale sign, you'll want to
provide a home profile handout that they can take with them. Decide
what information should be included in the description of your home
that will make it a must-see – and hopefully, a must-buy. Include one
or more photos of the home to showcase the most appealing features of
your property and help remind potential buyers of what they saw as they
visit home after home.
You may even want to include a few lines
about benefits of moving to this property, such as good schools,
convenience to mass transit and other desirable community
features. You'll work with TINA to discuss what the features and
benefits of your property are.
6. Prepare Your Home for Showing (Your Job!)
that you've decided with TINA on the market price and how you
will market your home now there's little time left to get your house
ready for visitors.
Now is the time to put on the finishing touches, just like that quick housecleaning you do before company comes over for dinner.
Keep your lawn trimmed, the rose bushes pruned, the weeds tamed. Put
away the garden hose and the tools. Make sure the bulbs in your home's
exterior lighting fixtures are all in working order. Be vigilant about
removing flyers, handouts and newspapers left on your front doorstep or
Inside: Brighten the rooms by opening the drapes,
turning on the lights, cleaning the windows. Clear the clutter on the
kitchen counter, bathroom sink, coffee table and couches. Make all the
beds. Clean all your bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Do a quick
vacuuming of the entire house, being sure to catch any cobwebs in the
corners along the ceiling. Finally, take out the garbage.
If you have pets, find a safe place to keep them during a house showing: in the garage, in the basement or at a friend's house.
leave the work to TINA. Try to be away from home during a showing, but
if you happen to be home when the potential buyers arrive, greet them
at the door then politely excuse yourself. Make yourself scarce or go
take a walk. It's easier for a buyer to picture himself or herself
living in the house when you're not there. This is your home's time to
7. Respond to an Offer
on market conditions, you may receive one or more offers for your
property from interested buyers. Each offer will include
the proposed offer price, proposed closing date, proposed
move-in date, financing, and contingencies that may include an
appraisal or sale of the buyers' current home. Let TINA help you sort
through the variables to determine whether you should accept,
counter-offer or reject the offer.
If there are multiple offers,
each offer will be presented to you in the order registered. You don't
need to decide anything until after you've seen all the offers. If you
do accept or counter more than one offer, you are required to establish
an order of precedence noting which is the primary offer, followed by
the backups in order. This will help you avoid selling the house to
more than one buyer.
8. Complete the Settlement
you have accepted an offer to buy your house, expect to make your house
available to a housing inspector, a termite inspector, an appraiser and
other inspectors. After seeing the results of the inspections, the
buyer may request additional work is completed before purchase, such as
repairing a damaged roof or fixing a leaky faucet. You should consult
with TINA to determine whether to comply with the buyer's request or
risk losing this offer.
During this flurry of activity, try to
keep your home in show condition. The deal has not closed and still may
fall through, which may mean showing your home to more potential buyers.
the meantime, the buyer is working with a lender to secure a loan for
the purchase. When the buyer has written loan approval, a closing date
can be set.
There will be a final walk-through before all
signatures are collected and the deal considered done. The buyer will
go room by room to check that everything is in working condition and,
if you had agreed to do so, any additional work requested after
inspection is completed.
Now you can prepare for your own move,
notify your utility companies of the date to transfer your account to a
new address and start packing. Congratulations, you've sold your home!