Your property has the best chance to sell within its first seven weeks on the market, and studies show that the longer a property stays on the market, the less it will sell for. Selling your home might well be the largest financial move you will make - use the following tips to seize control of the home-selling process before you begin:
1. Establish why you want to sell your home
Your reasons for selling will direct the path you take in the process of selling your home. If you have already purchased a new home, your goal will likely be to make a quick sale on your current home. Or, if you aim to net the highest possible price for your home, you will need to prepare yourself for a potentially slower process. It's important to be clear on these reasons, as they will directly influence the amount of time and effort you put into preparing your home for sale, as well as the amount you set for your asking price.
It is essential to list your property at a competitive market value from day one. The competitive nature of the market means that over-pricing by even a few thousand dollars could mean the difference between your home selling quickly, or possibly not at all. A price set too high can potentially yield the following results: fewer showings, less agent responses, minimized offers, limited financing, less qualified buyers, or a smaller net price. These can be avoided by setting the price of your home at its market value when you first list.
If the current market value is unappealing and you do not want to list it as such, consider putting off the sale of your home. Alternatively, you could also take this time to make some updates to your home to increase the market value.
3. Do your homework
What better way to educate yourself about the nature of the market than by exploring other homes? Take advantage of Open Houses in your area, especially the ones most similar to your own. Take notes and observe floor plans, lot size, location, appearance and other features. Compare asking prices, as well as recent sale prices along with the DOM (days on market) which your Realtor® will be able to provide. It's important to go through this process before setting your own asking price. The goal is to get a sale price as close to asking price as possible. If you want to attract this price quickly, it's crucial to keep your price in line with your neighbour's.
4. Decide if an appraisal is right for your personal selling plan
An appraisal can be a positive or a negative move, depending on the outcome. It can be a good marketing strategy by indicating to buyers that your home can be financed, which will increase the chances that your home will sell quickly and for more money. On the other hand, there's no guarantee that you will be satisfied with the final picture offered by an appraisal. It is also one more cost to add into your budget, and it only lasts for a limited time period.
5. Choosing a Realtor®
Your choice of Realtor® will greatly influence your home selling experience. This individual will be with you every step of the way during one of the largest financial decisions of your life - and will make a difference in the both the sale price and speed. This is one relationship you should be picky about! Interview at least a few different Realtors® before narrowing down your choice. One initial factor to consider is whether the Realtor's® personality and enthusiasm is the right fit for you and your family. Each candidate should be able to provide you the following information: how long they have been involved in residential real estate in your area, their marketing strategy, details on recent properties in your area they've sold, and their negotiation methods.
Check out our blog post on choosing the right Realtor for you!
Prospective buyers will immediately be turned off by even a minimal lack of cleanliness or odour, which could end up costing the seller thousands of dollars, if not the entire sale! Begin by clearing your home of excess junk, clutter and furniture. Make every room sparkle and eliminate all odours. If possible, air out your house prior to showings, keep pets in the yard as much as possible and send any smokers outside. Also, too much air freshener or scents can be offensive to potential buyers as well.
7. Access to your home
Agents will be more reluctant to show your home if it isn't readily accessible - this means there should be a key immediately available for agents at all times. Safe and secure lockboxes (which your Realtor® can provide) at your property solve this problem. Also to keep in mind to prepare for showing your home: keep all lights on, doors unlocked, and drapes and blinds open. It's best to leave the property if possible during showings, as buyers will feel more intrusive if the owner of the home is present while they're viewing.
8. Updated Interior
A fresh coat of paint is a cost-effective and simple way to prepare your home for market. New paint can take years off the appearance of your home and increase its perceived value. If your carpeting or flooring appears old, worn, or outdated; then it's worth considering replacing it. The flooring or paint in one room could be the difference between your home being sold, or being overlooked.
9. Curb appeal
If a potential buyer doesn't like the outside of your home, they may choose to skip it entirely. It is essential that your home possesses a certain 'drive-up appeal' - you only get one shot at a first impression, which happens even before a buyer exits their vehicle. Ensure trees are trimmed and the lawn is mowed (or snow shovelled in winter). Freshen up the front door with a coat of paint if needed, and a new door mat if your current one is worn out. All of these little things will contribute to the overall feel of a well-cared for and welcoming home.