Many home owners in the Kamloops area are thinking about selling their home but are unsure about where to start. There are numerous real estate companies in Kamloops with even more Realtors at each company. Here is a guide to help home owners prepare and understand the steps before, during and after selling your home.
1. De-clutter, clean up and touch up: Ensure your home is in good condition and will “show” well. This means that all unnecessary items that clutter a room should be removed and stored or donated. The tidier a room, the larger it feels. Buyers will not be distracted by clutter and untidiness when viewing your home. Touch up the paint in your home. This includes re-painting rooms with neutral light colors. Dark colors tend to make rooms feel dark and small. Remember, any strong odors need to be eliminated as well. It is important to have buyers imagine themselves in a home, strong smells, bold colors and cluttered spaces impede a buyers ability to do so. It is important to put your best foot forward from the start.
2. Interview Realtors: Every Realtor is different, the marketing techniques and level of service varies between agents. Interviewing a few Realtors for the job of selling your home is essential. Ensure you find a Realtor who will:
- Keep you informed on a regular basis about progress made towards selling your home.
- Promptly return all of your calls or emails (find out what tools are in place to ensure good communication).
- Actively market your home (ask about the marketing techniques used ie. internet advertising).
- Give you honest, accurate market information.
Developing a relationship with your Realtor is essential. You will feel comfortable asking questions or sharing concerns as they arise.
3. Signing a listing agreement: Once you have chosen a Realtor to represent you, you will then sign a listing contract. You will find the following in a listing contract:
- Contract period: You will specify the period of time that you will commit to listing your home with your Realtor. This time period can range and can be from one month to numerous months.
- Physical and legal description of the property to be sold.
- Listing Price: you and your Realtor will come up with a suitable list price to put your home on the market. You have to ensure that you are not over pricing your home. Price it at a competitively so it will sell. Your Realtor will show you comparable sales that directly compare your property to other similar properties. These comparable properties must be SOLD, not current homes on the market, because homes on the market will not necessarily sell for the asking price.
- Listing Service & Cooperation: Your Realtor commits to placing your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and will cooperate with all real estate brokerages.
- Commission rate: There is no “standard” commission rate, every Realtor is different. This is an important question to bring up during the interview stage so that you know what to expect. The most important thing you can do is offer a strong buyer agent commission, otherwise it is much more difficult to sell your home. Commission is paid by you, the seller and covers both the selling agent’s commission and the buyer’s agent commission.
- Commitment to Confidentiality: Your Realtor is agreeing contractually that your personal and confidential information will not be shared with any outside parties, this includes your motivation to sell or current financial situation.
- Limited Dual Agency: Sometimes a situation arises in the sale of a property where the listing Realtor sells your home to their own buyer or the listing Realtor and buyer’s agent are from the same office. This is called limited dual agency and in this case the Realtors involved have to stay neutral and not advise either party.
- As the seller you would agree to: refer any inquiry about the sale of your property to your Realtor and accept an offer made during the contract that fulfills your selling requirements. As a seller you have the power to accept an offer that is acceptable to you, your Realtor should not force you to accept any offer that you are not comfortable accepting.
- By signing the complete document you as a seller have committed to working towards the sale of your property with the Realtor you have chosen.
- If you are not satisfied with your Realtors service, some agents will allow you to cancel your contract at any time. This is also something you should discuss during the interview process.
4. Yard Sign, Pictures, Lockbox & Advertising: Your Realtor will arrange to have a yard sign placed on your property to advertise your home for sale. Pictures will be taken of your home to place on MLS and other advertising media. Some agents will take video profiles of your home to use on websites for further advertising. A lockbox will be placed on your front door or other accessible location. A lockbox is important, it allows other agents to access your property (with an appointment of course). Only Realtors and licensed home inspectors have lock box keys.
5. Showings: Your Realtor will call you with any requests to show your home. You will be given a date and time when either your Realtor or another agent would like to show your home to their client. The showing agent will leave a card behind after showing your home. During these showings you should vacate the home in order to ensure that the potential buyers feel comfortable searching through cupboards and closets.
6. MLS Tour: If your home is close to the Kamloops city core it will be included in the MLS tour. This is where Realtors tour new listings in Kamloops and preview them for potential clients. MLS tours happen every Tuesday in Kamloops and alternates between the North and South shores.
7. Open Houses: Some agents will hold open houses at your home. This allows for your home to be exposed to potential buyers as well as allow your Realtor to network with potential buyers.
8. Price Adjustment: There may come a time where you will have to consider adjusting your list price. This market adjustment or price reduction will help refresh your listing and create more excitement about your property with buyers. With the current market, it is important to revisit price adjustments regularly in order to remain competitive.
9. Contract to Purchase: Once a buyer makes an offer. Your Realtor will assist you in negotiating the terms and conditions reagrding the sale of your home. For full details about how a Contract of Purchase and Sale works from initial offer to completion click here.
11. Accepted Offer, Subject Removal, Completion & Possession: Once an offer is accepted, the buyer starts to remove subjects such as a home inspection, financing etc. Once the subjects have been removed the offer is considered ‘firm’ and the next step is completion and possession. Completion is the date negotiated in the contract to purchase where the monies and legal documentation is completed and transferred. Possession is the date that the buyer gets the keys to their new home.
As stated earlier, Realtors use a variety of techniques to sell a home. This is why it is important to interview a couple of agents to find the right one for you. Go with your gut feeling, it is often right! If you have any questions please give me a call. I would be happy to help you.