Real Estate

Selling - Use a Realtor

Some homeowners think that selling their own home will save money and give them an advantage over the Realtor-using majority. Before you start down this complicated path, here are a few reasons why using a real estate professional is important:

  • You will be drastically limiting your exposure to potential buyers, which means it can take between 10 and 15 times longer to sell your home. Houses that take a long time to sell usually sell for less because buyers believe there must be something wrong with them.
  • Most buyers use a Realtor in their home search, and most buyers' agents will typically not work with For Sale By Owners because they will not be paid.
  • Lack of negotiating experience can result in a lower selling price, or worse, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits. It is probably unwise to pit your negotiating skills against those of experienced professionals.
  • If you plan to use a lawyer to help you negotiate, your lawyer's fees could be considerably higher than a Realtor's commission. Unlike Realtors, lawyers do not get paid for proactively representing your best interests or mediating delicate situations.
  • You only pay a commission to your Realtor if they successfully sell your home at a price you are happy with.

Getting Ready to Sell

Price

The best chance for selling your property is within the first 7 weeks. Studies show the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net.

Problems with Over-Pricing

  • Reduces number of potential offers.
  • Lowers agents response, consequently number of showings.
  • Limits qualified buyers and could create appraisal issues.
  • Competing homes become more attractive in comparison.
  • Wastes money and time for the seller.

Cleanliness

Buyers are turned off by even the smallest amount of uncleanliness or odour, resulting in a loss of thousands to the seller.

  • Make your home squeaky clean, generating a faster sale and more money as a result.
  • Create space by eliminating old junk and clutter. It will make an easier move for you too.
  • If you have pets, or a home exposed to smoke or diaper changes, extinguish all odours. Buyers will notice.

Accessibility

Top-selling agents will not show your home if both the key and access are not readily available.

  • Have an electronic keybox.
  • Be absent during showings, including pets, allowing the buyer to feel at ease and spend more time.
  • Brighten the home by keeping all lights on, drapes open.
  • Keep all interior doors unlocked and accessible.
  • If you have to stay home during a showing, don't offer information, let the buyer's agent do their job.

Paint and Flooring

Paint is your best improvement investment for getting the greatest return on your money.

  • Paint when there are chips, exposed wood or it looks faded.
  • If the carpet is worn, dirty, outdated or an unusual colour, seriously consider replacing it. Buyers don't want to spend the time or money on improvements before they move in... they'll move on.

Curb Appeal

Your front yard immediately reflects the inside condition of your property to the buyer.

  • Trim any trees or bushes blocking visibility of your home from the street.
  • Grass should be mowed, trimmed and edged.
  • Walkways should be swept or shoveled.
  • Remove all debris and parked cars.
  • Repair any broken or damaged fencing.

Further Resources

If you feel your home needs a little more than a touch up, see the Home Staging Checklist.