The Stages of Selling a Home

Are you thinking about selling your home?

For many people, buying their home was the largest purchase they've ever made. But there may come a time when you need to move out. Maybe your family has outgrown the space, and you need more room? Or perhaps you got a job in another city or province.

You might think that because you previously purchased a home, you know what's to expect from selling one. But the two processes can be very different. To help, we're going to walk you through the various stages included in selling a house.

We know that it sounds complicated, but with an experienced realtor and some personalized expert advice (like from us at Regalway Homes), you'll get to the other side of the process and walk away from your old home with a massive smile on your face!


1. Should You Sell?

The first step of selling your home is determining if you should put it on the market at all.

Do you know how much it will cost to sell? Yes, the end goal is to walk away with the value of your home in the bank, but there are fees and expenses along the way. For example, does your home need any renovations or repairs before you put it on the market? Do you want to hire a home stager to put the house in its best possible light? And you can't forget about broker's fees, lawyer's fees, potential capital gains taxes, your mortgage payoff, and much more.

You should also consider how much it is going to cost to move to a new home. If you're selling, you should already have a plan to move to after the sale into a temporary or permanent residence. If you're planning on buying a new house, you need to make sure that you're qualified.

We recommend that our clients get pre-approved for financing before you put your current home on the market.

2. Find a Realtor

We've recently written a blog with all the questions you should ask when interviewing realtors, but here’s some of the info you’ll need:

You don't want to go with the very first realtor you interview. Shop around to find one who has experience selling homes in your area. You also want to have a personal rapport with them. Even if they're the best realtor in the province, it won’t matter if you don’t feel that you can effectively communicate with them.

Different realtors will likely quote you various commissions, usually between 5% to 7%, which they'll split with the buyer's agent. It might be tempting to go with a realtor who quotes a lower commission, but this can be shortsighted. A more experienced realtor could get you a higher sales price and sell your home faster. That can often be well worth the 2% difference in commission.

3. Determine Your House Value

If someone asked you to guess what your home is currently worth, your first answer would likely be wildly incorrect! That's why you should be working with a professional to determine your home's actual value.

Your realtor should be able to help with this, as they will know the prices of comparable houses in your area, and the average cost of square footage.

Buyers almost always hire a professional appraiser to put an accurate price on your home, but hiring an experienced realtor can get you a price as close to that appraisal as possible. If you list the home for more than it’s worth, the buyer will not be able to get a loan from the bank to cover the cost and your hard work could be for nothing. In addition to the time lost, you may need to reduce the price which never looks good on home listings, so this is a critical time in the selling process.

4. Prepare Your Home

Once you've decided to sell your home, it essentially becomes a product. And as such, you want to put it in the best light possible.

The easiest thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to declutter. This will make your house look cleaner and also help you when it comes time to move. We always recommend removing any personal photos because it makes it harder for potential buyers to see themselves in the home.

You should take stock of any necessary repairs that you've meant to make around the house. You should fix even the smallest bit of damage to make the house as appealing as possible. If the paint on the walls looks a little faded, this would be the perfect time to paint them!

Remember that the exterior of your house is the first thing that prospective buyers see. With that in mind, you want to make sure that your front and backyards are looking their best. Always keep the grass mowed and bushes trimmed. If you can afford some landscaping, an attractive front yard can set the stage for a great showing.

Once you've fixed and cleaned everything up in your home, you need to maintain it until the day of the sale. Hopefully, agents will be coming in regularly to show your home, often with very little notice. You and your realtor shouldn't be there during showings, as it can make buyers nervous. (During coronavirus, we are limiting the number of viewers in houses and open houses are not very common.) That is why you must make sure your home is in show-ready condition at all times.

5. Market Your Home

Marketing your home should primarily be the job of your realtor, but that doesn’t you shouldn’t be involved in the decision making.

They should list your house on MLS, as well as dozens of other potential marketing channels. Never underestimate the power of print media. A printed weekly real estate guide is often still put out in many regions around Canada. Your house should also be marketing on social media, listing sites, and even through email newsletters! To help, ask your realtor if you can show the listing on your own Facebook page and perhaps any online neighbourhood groups.

6. Receive Offers

It’s super exciting when a serious offer comes in, but it’s only the first step.

Unless you have real estate experience, going through an offer can be very confusing. That is why you need a realtor who can walk you through everything clearly. You want to discuss everything with them, including the proposed price, pre-approval letters, proposed closing dates, and the offer's expiry date. You can then make a counteroffer to the buyer. This counter might include much more than just renegotiating the sale price. You can also propose alterations to the closing and expiry dates, and even add incentives to the sale like furniture or appliances.

7. Close the Deal

Once you’ve accepted the offer, you’re well on your way to closing the deal!

There is a tremendous amount of legal paperwork involved in closing, but thankfully your realtor and lawyer should help walk you through all of it. That’s their job, after all! When closing, you need to do things like schedule any repairs, the buyer’s final inspection and book your closing date.

It's important to remember that even the most sure-fire deals can fall apart at the last second. Maybe a buyer's financing doesn't come through. Or they could pull out for no apparent reason. Don't get discouraged. Just think of this as practice for the real final deal that is to come!

8. Move!

Finally, the last step in selling your home is moving. Despite all of the work that we’ve described above, this can often be the most stressful part.

Be careful when choosing movers. We have heard some horror stories, but we have a network of trusted companies that we recommend. It’s always a good idea to work with a realtor who has a strong network to help you out.

Be sure that your moving trucks are confirmed for the correct day, preferable with a comfortable period between your moving-out date and your buyer's moving-in date. All of your possessions (except those included in the deal) need to be out of the house, as the buyers now own it.

Selling your home can be incredibly complicated. The process could take a few weeks or even up to a year or more. What's important is that you have professionals behind you who can fill the gaps in your knowledge and experience, guiding you to get the best price possible for your home and property.

If you’d like to learn more about buying and selling homes as an investment strategy, we suggest booking a consultation with us today. We will work with your Realtor to help you through all of the stages until you've successfully sold your home!

Regalway Homes | info@regalwayhomes.com | +1 844 977 2679

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