Step-by-Step Seller's Guide
Did you just get a great job offer so you need to relocate? Did you find the home you really want but still need to sell the home you already have? Are you getting ready to retire and the house is too big to take care? Whatever the reason, you’ve come to the conclusion that you need to sell your home. This article will give you an overview of what to generally expect when selling your home in Calgary or surrounding areas.
Listing Your Home
Now that you’re seriously considering selling your home, the first question that may cross your mind is “How much is my house worth?” How much you’re going to get for your home depends on the following three main factors combined:
Of these three, you only have control over the last two: the condition of the house and the listing agent. The most crucial decision you can make is selecting the right agent because your agent should be able to help you manage the other two factors: the housing market and the condition of the house.
Select the Right Agent
If you’ve lived in or around Calgary long enough, chances are you know at least one person who’s a licensed real estate agent. But as with any profession, there are good ones, mediocre ones, and incompetent ones. A good agent will help you navigate the housing market and prepare for probabilities. A good agent will guide you through getting your house ready and other decisions related to improving the condition of your house. A good agent will know the current and historical market performance of homes similar to yours and will accurately identify how yours is different and account for pricing adjustments accordingly.
But even a good agent may not be the right agent for you. Of course, there are basic things you should expect from your agent, but there are also other considerations you should bear in mind:
Before interviewing any agent, please read this: Interviewing a Realtor to Sell
Signing the Listing Agreement
Once you’ve decided on the agent you want to work with, the next step is signing a listing agreement with them. The listing agreement commits you to an exclusive arrangement with the agent for a set period of time. The typical time period is three months, but in sluggish housing markets or in the luxury home market, three to four-months are the norm. Make sure your agent explains the entire contract and you understand it before you sign anything.
Pricing Your Home
Knowing where the housing market is heading is critical when pricing your home. Market conditions vary, based on everything from supply-demand issues to buyers’ attitudes. What’s the economic outlook? Is there job growth or job security in the area? Are interest rates going up or going down? What kind of a loan can someone get these days, and how hard is it to apply for one? Are there too many homes similar to yours currently for sale? Are buyers feeling optimistic and willing to tie up their assets with a home purchase? These are just some of the issues that come into play in the housing market.
In addition, the market does have seasonal corrections;
This seasonal pattern should be taken in conjunction with current market indicators in determining your pricing strategy. Your property will generate the most interest when it first hits the market, and if it’s priced below or at market value, it will generate the most showings. Start too high and you may miss the excitement and have to drop the price later, causing it to sell below market value.
Preparing Your Home
Homeowners sometimes forget that when you are selling your home, you are, in fact, actually SELLING A PRODUCT. As with a car, a shampoo, or a dress, selling your house means highlighting the best parts of it and presenting it in the best possible way. Fully preparing your home for sale can make a considerable difference in the time it takes to sell it. You can help eliminate buyer objections before they arise by making necessary repairs and improvements. It could be as simple as removing clutter, personalized decorations, and having the house professionally cleaned. Or it could be as drastic as repainting your entire house. If the house is vacant or has odd rooms or less than ideal lay-out, a home stager should be hired.
Marketing Your Home
Once the house is adequately prepared to accentuate its most attractive features, your agent puts together professionally photographed, produced and printed marketing materials. Your house is then included in the MLS and should receive additional exposure from online and print ads. Showings are made by appointment.
Negotiating the Contract
If an interested buyer is serious enough, he or she puts together an offer to purchase with his or her agent. The buyer’s agent then presents the offer to the listing (your) agent. Rarely does an offer get accepted as presented. There are usually a couple items that need to be revised, and this is addressed through the counteroffer process.
Should there be more than one interested buyer, there could be a multiple offer situation. In some occasions, given the bidding context, one party will exceed the others in prince and conditions and will immediately be accepted by the seller. In others, the seller will have the option of countering the highest offer or all of the offers.
Your agent should thoroughly explain to you this process and discuss with you the best negotiation strategy.
Satisfying the Buyers and/or Sellers Condition(s)
Typically most buyers will present an offer with a financing and home inspection condition on a single family home. If it is a condominium there most likely will be a condominium document review condition as well. After an offer is accepted by both buyer and seller the following must happen:
Once all conditions are waived, the selling parties brokerage conveyancing department prepares all the documents to go out to each parties lawyers.
Closing the Sale
Once the buyer and the seller have both been to the lawyer and signed all the requested documents, funds are transferred from the buyers lawyer to the seller lawyer the morning of possession. Once the sellers lawyer receives the funds, he gives notice that keys are releasable to the buyer and the property is turned over along with everything included in the purchase contract to the new owner.