Sellers Guide 101
The selling process is a combination of excitement, stress and new experiences, whether you are an experienced or first-time seller. There are several moving parts and points to consider, which is why it is important to have a trusted professional consulting you at each step of the process.
STEP 1 – Define Your GoalBefore your start the process, take some time to figure out why you are selling and define your goals. Every market is different, and the selling process can feel like a sprint or a marathon - be prepared for both.
These important questions will help you define your goals:
- Is there a timeline?
- Are you relocating?
- Are you looking for a bigger home or to downsize?
- Looking for a different neighbourhood? City or suburban?
- Looking for different amenities?
- Are there any financial considerations?
STEP 2 – Select A RealtorLook no further, we are here to help! We eat, sleep and breathe real estate so, it's our mandate to ensure that you're educated and informed on real estate trends throughout your selling experience. It is important to work with a realtor who is not only committed to working with you, but who is also dedicated to getting your home sold in the shortest time for the most amount of money.
STEP 3 – Price Your PropertyNow that you have selected your realtor, you need to price your property. Pricing it too high against similar properties and your house will not sell. If you price it too low, then you may not get the true value of your home.
The value of your property is influenced by:
- Buyer demand
- Prices of properties on the market
- Recent sales
- Availability for financing
STEP 4 – Prepare Your HomeWhen preparing the home for sale, it is important to have the mindset that you are no longer selling your home, you’re selling a property.
Where to start:
- De-clutter: If it is not needed, remove it and put it in storage. Think of this process as a head start to packing.
- Remove photographs and memorabilia. It is important for buyers to be able to visualize themselves in the home.
- Clean the home inside and out. We always recommend hiring a professional. They will clean the areas you would never consider.
- Minor repairs: These repairs are not supposed to break the bank. If it’s a cheap and easy fix, then fix it. Minor repairs could become a major factor in whether the buyer will actually buy.
- Pay attention to rooms that smell; odours are a complete turn-off.
- Don’t forget about the outside, first impressions are everything.
STEP 5 – Market the HomeMaking people fall in love with your home online is more important than ever. Putting your property on MLS should only be the first step. We at Team Vilensky, believe potential buyers should have the ability to experience every detail, safely, from the comfort of their homes.
These are a few ways we market your home:
- High-end professional photography.
- 3D virtual tours and online video marketing.
- Social media campaigns and local online advertisements.
- Professional print advertising and direct mail.
- Yard signs and directional signage.
- Networking and referrals using our large database.
STEP 6 – Show the HomeDespite how tempting it is to want to “help” your sale by being home while Buyers tour your property, it’s actually really uncomfortable for the Buyers if you’re present. Buyers want to explore. They’ll open closets and cabinets, check inside the kitchen appliances and lift your area rugs to check for scratches on your hardwood floor.
Before you leave, make sure to:
- Make the beds (yes, every day!)
- Clean the kitchen – no dishes in the sink, items on the counter
- Tidy the bathroom – put away products, hang up towels, no clothes on the floor
- Take the garbage out
- Clean the litter box
- Sweep/vacuum/wash floors
- Put away cash and any valuables
- Leave all lights ON
STEP 7 – Negotiate the OfferThe most complex moment in the sales process comes when you get an offer on the property. An offer can be drafted with or without conditions, known as a firm or subject-free offer, and a conditional offer.
You can reject or accept the initial offer or submit a counter offer. Offers can be countered back and forth between the parties until one of you accepts or rejects, ending the negotiations altogether.
Typically, counter offers will state that the seller has accepted the buyer’s offer subject to the particulars such as:
- Higher price (if buyer’s offer doesn’t match sale price)
- Increase the amount of the deposit
- Refusal to pay for certain reports or fees
- Altering closing and/or possession dates
- Modifying the contingency time frames
- Excluding personal property
STEP 8 – Remove ContingenciesOnce both parties accept the sales contract and its contingencies, they will start to work towards removing these conditions, and set a specific time frame to do so.
Your realtor will advise you on what contingencies you can remove, based on the results, once the appropriate due diligence has been completed. Ideally, both parties should have been able to negotiate a reasonable time to remove these conditions.
However, an experienced realtor will be able to advise you on the right course of action should the contingencies not be removed by its due date. This does not mean the deal is dead.
STEP 9 – Close the DealAfter all the contingencies have been removed, it becomes the responsibility of the legal and financial institutions to prepare all the necessary paperwork. Should there be any issues, your realtor will contact you.Contact your Escrow Company and provide them with instructions on how you would like the funds deposited from the sale.
At closing, you will sign all your legal documents, including paperwork related to the transfer of ownership. There is usually a representative from the Title Company to facilitate the exchange.
When closing is finished, you should not only be prepared to hand over the keys but also any copies of documentation that relates to the property and its amenities. You will receive a copy of the documentation you signed together with a statement of costs.
STEP 10 –Turn Over PossessionAfter a completed closing, you are no longer the owner of the property. Unless the contract or another side agreement states otherwise, you must relinquish possession of the home by giving the buyer all keys, garage door openers, and all other devices that control the home’s systems and appliances.
You are expected to have completely moved your household and your possessions out by this time as well. Unless you have an agreement with the buyer that allows you to stay longer, you can be evicted, or the buyer may sue you for damages caused by your breach of the sales contract.