Putting up your home for sale is not an easy process, ask anybody who has ever sold a home. A long, draining process that often makes for some harrowing modern-day war stories.
People have done some outrageously ‘crazy’ things to sell their home fast. Did you hear about that innkeeper in Maine, USA? Janice Sage hosted an essay contest with a $125 entry fee with the prize as the ownership of her Inn. Sure enough, entries poured in; all 7,000 of them. Finally, she netted more than USD 906,000, which was roughly the value of her Inn. Talk about the fastest way to sell a house! She even inspired many other sellers to host their own contests.
Nonetheless, we are definitely not suggesting you go ahead and do that. Rather we want to give you a broad blueprint that can get you from “I think we should sell our home” to “Great! Look at all the offers pouring in”. Whether or not the housing market is hot or whether the competition in the housing market is high or low, there will always be homes for sale that get their buyers.
Here, we offer you chronological steps to make it as stress-free as possible.
1. Decide on a date
First things first, decide on a selling date. This would set the whole timeline in motion. The move could be because of a new job that takes you to a different city or your children starting school in a better school neighbourhood – it is always sensible to keep a schedule in mind.
The timeframe helps you tackle all the tasks in a more systematic and organized manner. More often than not, you will be at the receiving end of a lot of contradictory advice on when it’s the best or worst time to sell a house. For that, we have step 3 – hire the best real estate agent (more on that later)!
2. Be Prepared
The Boy Scouts had it right all along, preparedness is the key to success.
You need to do your homework here. Foremost, appreciate the externals factors – understanding the current market and the frequency of sales in your neighbourhood. You should check out comparable properties and attend a few open houses.
This will help give you a fair understanding of the current market dynamics, a reasonable expectation of what your home will go for and what the buyers want.
Now armed with this knowledge, you can tackle the internal factors and that is how to make your home sale-ready. Critically assess your home from an outsiders’ viewpoint and list the pros and cons of your home for sale. Next step would be to list the things that you could improve, correct or repair and make allowances in your expected home value for the things you cannot.
3. Hire an agent
The importance of working with the best real estate agents cannot be overstated. Nevertheless, what makes a real estate agent “the best”?
Our primary advice would be to think local. In order to obtain the correct representation, an agent who is intimately acquainted with the local scene is in a better position to assess your home for sale as it figures in the local market, alongside similar properties.
The agent’s demonstrated market knowledge and past results can assist you in the decision on picking him/her. You can even see them in action in an open house. However, the final and the most important factor when the agent’s credentials check out is your comfort with him. As you would be working closely with him, you should pick an agent with whom you feel the most comfortable and can communicate easily with.
4. Getting the home ready
Now that you have hired an agent for your home for sale and combined his expertise with your background work, it is time to put this knowledge to work.
Getting your home ready for listing is key to the fastest way to sell your home. One of the real estate rules is that the buyers always seek the least expensive home in the best neighbourhood they can afford. What this translates for you is putting a home for sale that fits with the neighbourhood but is not the ‘best home on the block’.
According to a 2017 report by NAR (National Association of Realtors), the most common home improvement items agents recommended to sellers were decluttering the home (93 percent), entire home cleaning (89 percent), carpet cleaning (81 percent), and removing pets during showings (80 percent).
So, deep clean your home, undertake repairs that may have been lingering for some time, enhance your curb-appeal and de-clutter (you could also refer to our blog on 4 Low Cost Improvements that can help sell your Home Fast)
We would go even further and suggest hiring a storage unit to remove the extras from the homes – giving it a larger, airier feel. We would also strongly advise going for a pre-inspection. It serves as a reality check, ensures there are no ugly surprises at the final inspection later, helps accentuate the positives and assists you in negotiations down the line. It also underlines your position as an honest seller.
Finally, staging your home prior to the listing is recommended as the NAR study stated that close to 40% of sellers’ agents stated that staging a home greatly decreased the amount of time the home is on the market.
5. Prepare the Listing
It would take your listing agent anywhere between a few days to a week to bring together all the necessary information about your home. This would include, but not be limited to, the square footage, special features, and most importantly photos. While photographing the home for sale, ensure that the yard or the driveway is uncluttered.
The same principle would apply to the interior shots. Buyers are interested in your property and not your possessions. Take many photos, it helps give a richer idea to the buyer. Professionally produced yard signs are also a good idea.
Selling price setting is another important part. How much is the home worth can be determined by looking at the per-square-foot price of recently sold homes and making adjustments for yours based on condition and features. Your agent can provide valuable inputs on the same.
Once your agent has it all, things generally happen very fast. These details are then uploaded onto the multiple listing service (MLS), which will allow the listing to be viewable to agents.
Now that the listing is complete, all you have do is keep decluttering, live in a perpetual state of clean and wait for the offers to pour in.
Want to work with the best Realtor in Mississauga? Call us for a FREE consultation.