1. Choosing an Agent
Selling your home isn’t a simple procedure. It involves large sums of money & extensive legal requirements. A good agent will spend the time it takes to help you sell your home in the least amount of time and for the best possible price.
Ask questions. It’s important that you’re comfortable and confident with the agent you choose.
2. The Listing Agreement
A Listing Agreement is a contract between you and your agent’s brokerage. It provides a framework for subsequent forms and negotiations. It's important the agreement accurately reflects your property details and clearly spells out the rights and obligations of all parties.
Generally, in the agreement you appoint the brokerage as your agent and give its representatives the authority to find a purchaser for your home. The Listing Agreement will outline:
- The duration of the agreement;
- Your agent's commission;
- The listing price and an accurate description of the property;
- Financial conditions of the property, including the mortgage balance, mortgage monthly payments and the mortgage due date;
- Information about annual property taxes;
- Any easements, rights of way, liens or charges against the property.
As a seller, you have ab obligation to disclose facts about properties for sale. The buyers will need to know material facts about the property; that is, anything that could materially affect the sale price or influence a buyer's decision to buy it. A major cause of post-sale disputes and lawsuits relate to defects and disclosure, but most disputes can be avoided if proper disclosures are made. Intentionally withholding information about a property when selling it can have serious legal consequences.
3. Setting Your Price
How much should you ask for? Although you may have an idea of how much your house is worth, it's important to have your home valued on its own merits by a professional. Be careful not to price your property too high or too low. If it's too high, there's no sale; too low and you lose on your investment.
As a Realtor, I have the information and expertise to assess similar properties in your area that have been sold, and am able to help you in this regard. I can also provide information on market history, such as the number of properties sold in your community the previous month or year.
4. Staging Your Home
Staging your home can be extremely beneficial in the successful sale of your home.
A home stager will assess your home objectively, and work to maximize benefits and minimize flaws. This might include decluttering, adding, moving or storing furniture and accessories; recommending minor repairs; and polishing up the décor to make it sparkle. But there’s a lot you can do yourself to prepare your home. Here are my top 3 DIY home staging tips:
1 Depersonalize. Remove trophies, children’s artwork, religious artifacts, and family pictures. You want buyers to fantasize themselves here, not feel as if they’re intruding on your personal space. Think of your house objectively as a product on a shelf.
2 Declutter. Remove extraneous furniture and accessories; rooms that are pared down feel bigger, and also allow the buyer to imagine her furniture in the space.
3 Clean. Scrub the bathroom and kitchen. Vacuum. Keep pets and odours away from the house while showing. Take out the trash. Empty the garage.
5. Listing and Marketing Your Property
I will place your listing on The Toronto Real Estate Board’s MLS System. Through the System, all other Toronto Realtors can find and view information about your property, and in effect all have the opportunity to sell your property. Your property gains more exposure, because it reaches the majority of the real estate professionals in the city. The property will also be listed through REALTOR.ca, the national consumer website that gets more than a million unique visitors per month, your property is advertised to potential buyers across Canada and around the world.
As a Century 21 Agent, I will market your listing on my personal website liveinthe6ix.ca as well as give your property it's own website and domain name. Eg. www.123queenstreetwest.com
As your listing agent, I will hold a series of open houses. There are two types. First is an agent's open house, where sales representatives from various brokerages will be invited to view your house. Each of these Agents may have a prospective buyer.
The second type of is a public open house, where members of the public are invited to walk view your home. It's an efficient way to show your home to many potential buyers at once.
As your agent, I will act as the host, providing information and answering any questions potential buyers may have.
6. Waiting For the Right Opportunity
Throughout the listing process, you need to be constantly comparing your asking price against those of similar properties in your area. Review your selling strategy regularly with your listing agent, who may help you answer the following questions:
- Is your house being shown regularly?
- Are you receiving the feedback from prospective buyers?
- Are you in touch with the marketplace?
7. Accepting an Offer
Once a buyer is found, you'll receive an offer that will:
- Detail the buyer’s price
- Specify any conditions that may apply or be attached
- State desired date of possession
- The date the offer expires
As an act of good faith, the buyer will make a deposit with the offer. You don't have to accept the offer as is. You may wish to make a counter offer that meets the original offer partway. The counter offer is one more step along the way to negotiating the final terms and conditions of the sale.
The offer, once signed by everyone, is a binding contract. Make sure you understand and agree to all of the terms in the document. Before signing, you may want your lawyer to review it. Your lawyer should also ensure that you receive compensation for prepaid expenses such as, property taxes, electrical or gas bills, or if applicable, any heating oil left in your tank.
After these are paid, you will receive any money you have coming from the sale.
Other Possible Requirements
Before closing, if the buyer insists upon any conditions of sale, you may be asked to provide a number of things.
- A current survey, or a "real property report," showing that the house sits on the property that you own; that is, that there aren’t any encroachments onto other properties.
- Title to the property (the buyer's lawyer will check this out when he or she conducts a title search to see if there are any liens on the property, easements, rights of way or height restrictions)
- Especially in rural areas, a certificate for a well or septic system, stating the system meets local standards
- Access to the property by a qualified engineer or inspector