1. Find out How Much your Home is Worth
If you’re thinking about selling your home you’re going to want to know how much it’s currently worth considering the current real estate market in your area, as well as your properties features, location and upgrades. A Kingstonhomes4u agent will complete a Market Analysis/Market Evaluation – for FREE!
A Market Evaluation will include research on your neighbourhood, and what comparable or similar properties around you have recently sold for. Taking into consideration the specific features of your home they will then determine a range in value, and recommend what they think is a fair and reasonable asking price.
2. Assess Your Current Financial Situation
After you have reviewed your Market Evaluation you will need to sit down and assess your current financial situation. You will need to consider the cost of selling – most notably is your mortgage penalty. If you are breaking your mortgage term early your lender may penalize you for the interest potentially lost. This could range anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands. Make sure to contact your lender early, and then consider how much equity you would be left with after paying this penalty, real estate costs and closing costs (i.e. lawyer fees). This information will help you determine how to proceed with the sale, such as your minimum sale price, and how much potential equity you’ll have when everything is done.
3. Decorating, De-cluttering & Repairing Damage
You’ll want to make sure your property looks its best for both the listing photographs and for showings. Ideally, start by packing away a lot of your decorative items, nick-nacks and general clutter. You want to maximize your space and highlight the features of your home that will make it appealing to a potential buyer. If you can, reduce some of your furniture or re-arrange large pieces to define each room appropriately. Remove any trash, do a thorough cleaning of all bathrooms and your kitchen, and take the time to fix any minor repairs (such as burnt-out light bulbs or leaky faucets) before you start showing your property.
4. List your Property with an Agent
Your Kingstonhomes4u agent will usually meet you at your home to have you sign the Listing paperwork and take photographs. Your home will be listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a real estate system allowing agents to list and search for properties.
You will also agree on the commission fee for your agent (usually a percentage of the final sale price), and determine what exactly is included in the price – referred to as ‘Chattels’ and ‘Fixtures’. Chattels are moveable items such as appliances, some smaller sheds, and window blinds. Fixtures are permanent improvements to your property like lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, built-in medicine cabinet, or curtain rods/drapery hardware.
5. Advertising, Showings & Open Houses
Once your property is listed it will be posted on the MLS system, as well as other websites and notice boards, and a ‘For Sale’ sign places on your lawn. Make sure to discuss what types of marketing your Kingstonhomes4u agent typically uses, and view previous listing they’ve had to see if you like their strategy.
Kingstonhomes4u agents use their own personal website, Century21.ca (which automatically posts your listing to over 40 other websites), as well as sites like kijiji.ca, Facebook and Twitter. Your listing is also sent out in a ‘Just Listed’ mass-email to our client database, and Open Houses will be scheduled accordingly.
Tips for Successful Open Houses:
- Make sure your property looks its best! Remember to turn on lights and open window coverings for the best first impression.
- Lock away any valuables and personal documents (i.e. bills, passports, jewelry...etc)
- Avoid strong smells. Over-use of perfumes or room deodorizers can potentially be more of a turn OFF than a turn ON. Keep it natural and light (i.e. Vanilla)
- The #1 Rule: Don’t Be There. While we know it isn’t always possible for you to leave your house, we recommend that you and any pets leave during all open houses. There’s nothing more stressful to a potential buyer than feeling pressured not to make any comments for fear of offending you.
6. Receiving an Offer
All offers will be presented to you in person by your agent, and you will have the opportunity to discuss the details with them and your family before you make a decision: Accept, Counter-Offer, or Reject. Not only will you have to consider the price they are offering, but also any conditions they’ve included (i.e. obtaining financing, completing a satisfactory home inspection, or selling their current property), the closing date they’ve offered, and any extra chattels they might have asked for (i.e. your BBQ or shed).
Once you’ve negotiated everything successfully you will be presented with a signed copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale from your agent. You will need to advise your lawyer that an Agreement has been signed – they will take care of the legalities in regards to your closing such as the transfer of Title, discharge of your mortgage, and distribution of the proceeds from the sale.
7. Getting Ready to Move
The Buyer may have negotiated pre-determined dates with you to further view the property before closing, usually to take measurements or to bring through a contractor or friend if they are planning immediate renovations. Keep in mind that you must notify your agent immediately if anything changes about your property or situation. You are still responsible for the maintenance of the property until closing.
Get ready to move by starting to contact your utility, cable, internet and phone companies about transferring your service. You will also want to arrange transfer or cancellation of your homeowner’s insurance.
We recommend that you book your moving truck or moving company in advance – and make sure to leave all appliances and other chattels that you agreed to sell to the new homeowner. Any extra house keys, shed/garage keys or door-openers should also be left in the house.
On closing day your lawyer will pay off your mortgage, distribute the proceeds from the sale, and give you a cheque for the net proceeds = Equity!