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Heather Fuller
Broker, CRA

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Helpful Tips For Sellers


How do I determine the right asking price?

After inspecting your property, I review and analyze sales of other homes in your area. I evaluate your home in terms of comparability and current market activity. I know the most recent price trends in your area, and can identify your property's prinicipal selling features. Based on my Current Market Analysis of your home, I suggest a listing price that will attract offers in today's market. Of course, the final decision is up to you!

How do I create a favourable first impression?

Sometimes called "curb appeal", all sellers want the potential buyer to fall in love with their home. The most obvious tip to showing off your pride and joy is to make it sparkle -- from the windows to the basement. Usually that means getting rid of the clutter you have accumulated while you have owned the property. Then tackle the minor repairs, such as leaking taps, sticky closet doors, grouting around the bath tub, or broken floor tiles. In summer, make sure the grass is cut frequently and the flowers watered; and in winter, clear all the snow and ice from the drive and walkways.

How do I make my home look more spacious?

Often even minor furniture re-arrangement can create the impression of more space. Consider removing an over-stuffed chair or sofa from the living room and storing it in the garage or storage locker. Tidy closets look bigger than ones stuffed with clothes or boxes. Since you have to sort through all your possessions before the move, you might just as well do it before you list your home for sale!

How do I make my home look brighter?

Even though we like to conserve energy by using lower-wattage bulbs, you may need to upgrade the lighting in dark areas such as the basement. Replace any burned out light bulbs, and leave on key lights to allow buyers to find their way around.
Cleaning all windows and glass doors, both inside and out, is an obvious way to let the light shine into your home. Keeping curtains and blinds open during daylight hours also helps make your home brighter.

Do I have to leave home during showings?

Buyers prefer to inspect a home when it is vacant, so they don't have to whisper their comments. During reasonable hours, it is best to take a walk or sit outside in good weather and let the professional do the selling. If the time of day or weather conditions force you to be at home, then sit comfortably in one room and let the buyers move around freely. Let the buyer's representative do the talking -- you can direct any questions to your listing salesperson. And of course, you must keep pets from getting underfoot of buyers.
Just before you leave, do a last-minute tidy-up, and turn on the lights. Music and noisy appliances can be distracting, so turn them off. Avoid preparing meals that leave strong odours, however, cookies and bread do smell inviting!

What expenses will I have when I sell my home?

With all services, you usually get what you pay for! Good service and thorough research may cost a little more initially, but often save you costly problems later. Depending on your particular circumstances, your closing costs will include real estate commission, legal fees and disbursements, possibly a mortgage discharge penalty, and moving costs. Sometimes it is desirable to obtain a pre-listing home inspection to identify any potential problems and have them remedied before you put your home on the market.

Should I buy or sell first?

It all depends on market conditions at the time you are thinking of moving. If it is a buyers' market, then you probably want to sell first since you will have plenty of choices of homes available to purchase. If it is a sellers' market where the supply of good homes is small, then you may wish to buy first in order to be sure of having a home to move into while knowing that your existing home will sell within the time frame you have to move. Occasionally, there is a stable market where supply and demand are more or less equal -- in which case, it doesn't matter whether you buy or sell first. The choice is yours.

14 Important Facts to Consider Before You Try to Sell Your Own Home

Occasionally, one can see "For Sale By Owner" signs, and some owners think that selling their own home will not only save them money, but believe they have an advantage over the sellers that have their home listed by a reputable Real Estate sales professional. Before you decide to take on this very important and legally complicated process…remember not even most Real Estate Lawyer's recommend selling your own home yourself in today's market. Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. You are limiting your exposure to potential buyers (less than 10% of what a good real estate broker will generate) which theoretically means your home will take ten to fifteen times longer to sell on the market.
2. The longer a home is on the market the lower the selling price is. Why? Because most buyers think that if the home has not sold after this long... there must be something wrong with the home.
3. The selling/buying process begins AFTER the buyer leaves your home. Most sellers think that all it takes is for someone to see their home, fall in love with the great decor... and the offer automatically will follow. Remember that the buying process begins after they leave your home. If a real estate sales representative does not represent the buyer, and they are looking on their own…they usually leave the home and start to talk themselves out of the buying process. Real estate professionals are trained on how to overcome buyers remorse--a very common occurrence.
4. Because of the limited exposure you will very likely end up with a lower selling price. Remember, in order to generate the highest price possible for your home… selling means exposure. You need the maximum exposure possible, to generate the highest price possible.
5. Most buyers find it extremely awkward to negotiate or even to talk directly with sellers and therefore avoid FSBO properties.
6. Lack of negotiating experience and lack of pertinent information often will result in a lower selling price, or worse yet, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits.
7. The majority of qualified buyers are working with experienced real estate professionals.
8. Many serious buyers will pass by a FSBO home merely because they recognize that it is not in the real estate mainstream, this can some times make them wary.
9. As most local buyers now retain an experienced real estate sales person to represent them as their buyer-agency, you will probably be negotiating against an experienced professional.
10. Expected savings in brokerage fees will also be greatly reduced if you offer a selling commission to entice real estate sales representatives to bring potential buyers.
11. If you are planning to use a Lawyer to help you negotiate the offer, then your lawyer's fees will be considerably higher.
12. Only real estate sales representatives have access to the up-to-date market information. News reports cannot approach the timeliness or specificity available to real estate sales people. Further, real estate sales representatives are involved in home sales much more frequently than the average homeowner is. This familiarity leads to a degree of expertise that provides an edge on negotiating and successful selling.
13. You only pay the commission to the real estate broker, if they successfully sell your home at the price you are happy with.
14. Accepting an offer is one thing, ensuring a safe and successful closing is quite another. Real estate transactions usually always have problems on closing. At times, expecting the Buyers and Sellers Lawyer's to fight it out or resolve the problems, can sometimes mean the deal is lost. This is the time that your experienced real estate professional, can be the most important. Your Real Estate professional can act as a great mediator. Lawyers MUST act only on their client's instructions and are not paid to negotiate.
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