Here’s a handy seller’s guideline!
Whether you are contemplating a bigger home for your growing family or considering downsizing to a nice new condo by the water, there are plenty of things to think about – before, during and after – when listing your home.
Of course, your realtor will help guide you through the entire process, but there are some steps that you can take to ensure you keep from being overwhelmed. No matter what your reason for moving, following is a general outline of things that you should take into account along the way.
Before listing . . .
Most importantly, find the right realtor for you. You want to work with someone you can trust who has experience, knows the area and will be able to provide the attention to detail that you expect and deserve. Don’t have someone in mind? Talk to friends, relatives and neighbours to ensure you get the right professional.
Figure out what your existing home is worth. A home evaluation is key. Know what you’re working with and whether there are things to do that will help it sell more quickly.
Clean, clean and clean again! There’s no getting around it – you need to tidy, de-clutter and de-personalize. Put yourself in the potential buyer’s place. Do you think they want to look at your overflowing junk drawers and crowded closets? If the thought of de-cluttering doesn’t spark joy, bring in some help. You’ll be glad you did.
When your home is listed . . .
Above all, be available. If you aren’t able to allow access to potential buyers, you’re losing opportunities to sell. Requiring people to book way in advance or having very restrictive timeframes for viewings makes it difficult to get people through the door, and that’s what it takes to get things sold. Yes, it sometimes means heading out on short notice, but hopefully that will lead to a shorter listing time.
Keep it clean. And because of your excellent availability, you’ll want to have your home in ship-shape form so that you can allow those showings on short notice. Stay on top of laundry and the lawn, and get the family used to picking up after themselves – it may take bribery, but it’s a small price to pay. In fact, this is a great time to start packing up family pictures and winter clothes – items that won’t be needed in the near future can be kept in storage or at least out of sight.
Once an offer arrives . . .
Rely on your realtor to let you know the process. As a professional licensee, your realtor is obliged to show you all written offers. Your realtor will tell you what you need to know during the process of receiving and reviewing offers. Together you will decide whether you want to accept the offer as it stands, make a counteroffer or reject the offer.
Obviously, this is crunch time. It’s important to review any and all offers carefully. Look at “subject” clauses surrounding the offer to see whether these specific conditions can be fulfilled. Because you’ve chosen a reliable, experienced professional, they’ll help you understand and navigate this part of the selling process.
Have a lawyer or notary in mind. Typically, the buyer’s legal representatives prepare the various necessary documents for transferring ownership, but you’ll also need legal counsel acting solely on your behalf to ensure your interests are being protected. They will do a number of things for you, such as checking the buyer’s documents, ensuring your mortgage has been properly discharged and that no further obligations remain, arranging for signing transfer documents and outlining where purchase money should be disbursed.
Get ready to move . . .
And the sooner, the better. Whether it’s packing up or notifying the post office and utilities, don’t leave things to the last minute. A quick Google search about packing and moving checklists and tips will help you get things rolling or, if you need it, connect you with professional movers.
Selling is an exciting time, but it can be daunting. Follow these guidelines and keep your cool while your realtor gets things heating up.