Chances are, if you've lived in your home for more than a few years, you can likely turn a tidy profit. That's great news. But sealing the deal requires more than just a handshake. You'll have to consider if now's a good time to sell? What's the best way to get the word out? How do you get top dollar for your property? These are just some of the questions that a REALTOR® can help answer.
Determine your home's asking price
Lots of people out there want to buy your home. The right asking price will attract attention and get you maximum return. With the help of a REALTOR® you can set a fair market value on your home to get the most out of interested buyers.
You don't want to set your price too low or too high
Setting too low a price means you could miss out on thousands of dollars that some buyer would have paid. Setting too high a price can scare away willing buyers and leave your home on the market for too long. When you lower the price, people may assume you are under pressure to sell, and lower their offers even further. REALTORS® know the general factors affecting your market, so work with them to get a price that's right for you.
REALTORS® know the general factors affecting your market
Maybe larger families are moving into your neighbourhood. That makes homes with three plus bedrooms and large yards more appealing. Perhaps a large employer is opening a plant nearby, which will increase demand for housing in general. How are interest rates affecting people's willingness to take out big mortgages? You can ask your REALTOR® these questions and, more importantly, how he or she can affect the price of your home.
REALTORS® can calculate your home's value within your market
Using the extensive background information available to REALTORS® through a real estate Board's MLS® System, they can compare your home to a collection of similar homes that have recently been sold in your area. No two homes are the same, but REALTORS® are very good at adjusting their calculations according to the differences.
Yes, first impressions matter
It's nearly impossible to replace the initial flurry of interest and activity a new listing will generate. REALTORS® in your area will want to see your home right away and tell their buyers all about it. Be sure you're priced and poised to capitalize on this first wave of excitement.
Sign a listing agreement
Signing the listing agreement officially gives your REALTOR® the green light to start selling your home. See what's involved.
The "Listing Agreement" authorizes your REALTOR® brokerage to market and sell your home. This agreement serves three purposes.
- It defines your relationship, including the limits of your REALTOR®'s authority.
- It provides detailed information about your home which can be placed on a real estate Board's MLS® System to help potential buyers find you.
- It forms the basis for drafting offers on your home.
Highlights of the Listing Agreement
This describes the legal relationship between you and the real estate brokerage, and sets a time limit for the REALTOR® to sell your home.
Exclusive or Multiple Listing Service®?
"Exclusive Listing" means that only your brokerage can find a buyer for your home. REALTORS® generally recommend a "Multiple Listing", which allows them to put your home on a real estate Board's MLS® System - a great tool to market your home and help find a buyer.
You have the final say over this magic number, but your REALTOR® will have very useful advice on what price will attract buyers. Learn more about choosing the right asking price in Step 4: Determine your home's asking price
Real estate commission
This may be a flat fee or a percentage of the final sale price. The compensation is agreed upon between you and the individual brokerage.
A physical description of your property
Your REALTOR® will itemize the lot size, your home's age, the style of construction, number and size of the rooms, and any outstanding selling features such as "backs onto ravine" or "fabulous kitchen renovation".
This includes the lot number, land surveys and the zoning code.
Let people know the numbers like the minimum deposit you require or if you have a low-interest rate mortgage that can be assumed.
This lets everybody know how long you need to move out once your home is sold. 60 or 90 days is typical, but if you can be flexible this may help sell your home faster.
How the home will be shown
Your REALTOR® can make the arrangements for viewing appointments. Any specific instructions, such as "make sure the cat stays in" can also be noted.
What exactly is included in the price? Chattels and fixtures
Chattels are moveable items like washers and dryers, microwaves and window blinds. They're not automatically included in the sale, but sellers will often include them to sweeten the deal.
Fixtures are permanent improvements to a property like central air conditioning, installed lighting and wall-to-wall carpeting. Fixtures are assumed to be included in the sale of the home unless you note otherwise. Maybe the dining room chandelier is family heirloom that you wish to take with you. The line between chattel and fixture can get blurry, so go over every item with your REALTOR® to make sure you have no regrets when it comes time to sell your home and everything that comes with it.