Selling Your Home

SELLING YOUR HOME

When you have decided to buy or sell a home, the services of a qualified real estate professional are of utmost importance.

The ideal sales agent will have a good working knowledge of local real estate market conditions, be prepared to deliver a high standard of service to customers, and have the support of a large real estate company. Most importantly, a good agent will save you time and money.

Here are the advantages of working with an agent:

  • An agent knows real estate values in your neighbourhood and will help set an agreeable and competitive price on your home.
  • An agent will establish a marketing strategy for your home ensuring that your property is exposed to scores of potential buyers.
  • An agent takes care of the many tasks involved in selling a house (from placing your listing to putting up the for sale sign). This ensures that the transaction is simple and low-stress for you.
  • An agent is an expert in the home selling process and as such will advise you of your rights, options and obligations.
  • An agent is an experienced negotiator and will work for to get you the best price possible price.

AGREE ON A MARKETING PLAN

Your property is not something you sell everyday. In fact, for many people it is their largest asset. A house is very complex to market and the process needs to be well organized. To do the job properly a plan is needed.

Your Royal LePage Real Estate Professional can prepare a personalized plan for you containing all activities intended to market your property. At Royal LePage, your property will be aggressively promoted through Royal LePage's own property advertising publications and Internet site, other Royal LePage offices and Real Estate Professionals, the MLS information library (unless it's an exclusive listing), and mailings to potential buyers in your area.

WHY USE AN AGENT?

When you have decided to buy or sell a home, the services of a qualified real estate professional are of utmost importance.

The ideal sales agent will have a good working knowledge of local real estate market conditions, be prepared to deliver a high standard of service to customers, and have the support of a large real estate company. Most importantly, a good agent will save you time and money.

Here are the advantages of working with an agent:

When selling a house

  • An agent knows real estate values in your neighbourhood and will help set an agreeable and competitive price on your home.
  • An agent will establish a marketing strategy for your home ensuring that your property is exposed to scores of potential buyers.
  • An agent takes care of the many tasks involved in selling a house (from placing your listing to putting up the for sale sign). This ensures that the transaction is simple and low-stress for you.
  • An agent is an expert in the home selling process and as such will advise you of your rights, options and obligations.
  • An agent is an experienced negotiator and will work for to get you the best price possible price

When buying a house

  • Agents are experienced negotiators who will manage your offers and counter-offers.
  • An agent is familiar with the neighbourhood and can give you information on local real estate values, taxes, utility costs, services and amenities.
  • An agent is familiar with the entire home purchasing process and can advise you of your legal and financial options as well as recommend appraisal, home inspection and contracting services.
  • An agent can pinpoint homes that fit your needs and dismiss those that do not, saving you time.
  • An agent knows the potential problem areas in a home and can guide you away from "lemons."
  • Royal LePage has offered the ultimate level of real estate services to our customers since 1913. Our Sales Representatives are the best in the business, our products and services are the best on the market, and our company is committed to delivering the best results. Click here to search for an agent in your area.

DETERMINING YOUR VALUE

The market ultimately determines the true value of your property.

Before you compare your home to similar properties and establish a competitive list price, the following points should be considered:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Style
  • Condition
  • Community Amenities
  • Buyer Supply
  • Financing Options

Getting to Know Your Market

A comparative market analysis is an indicator of what today's buyers are willing to pay for a home. It compares the market activity of homes similar to yours in your neighborhood. Those that have recently sold represent what buyers are willing to pay. The homes currently listed for sale represent the price sellers hope to obtain. And those listings that have expired were generally overpriced or poorly marketed.

Your Royal LePage Real Estate Professional will prepare a comparative market analysis for your home based on the most current market information. Together you and your Real Estate Professional will establish the proper list price for your home.

OVERPRICING FACTORS

Some factors that may reult in overpriceing of a home may include:

  • Extensive renovations / hidden costs
  • Desire to purchase in a higher-priced area
  • Original cost of home was too high
  • Lack of real market information
  • Building in "bargaining room"
  • Perceived emotional value

The Result of Overpricing

Many sellers believe that if they price their home high initially, they can lower it later.

Often, when a home is priced too high, it experiences little activity. Gradually the price will come down to market value, but by that time it's been for sale too long and some buyers will be wary and reject the property.

On occasion, the price is dropped below the market value because the seller runs out of time. The property sells for less than it's worth.

Missing the Right Buyer

You may think that interested buyers "can always make an offer," but if the home is overpriced, potential buyers looking in a lower price range will never see it.

Those who can afford a home at your asking price will soon recognize that they can get a better value elsewhere.

The Importance of Early Activity

As soon as a home comes on the market, there is a flurry of activity surrounding it. This is a crucial time when Real Estate Professionals and potential buyers sit up and take notice.

If the home is overpriced, it doesn't take long for interested parties to lose interest. By the time the price drops, a majority of buyers are lost.

SELLERS GLOSSARY

AMORTIZATION PERIOD:

The actual number of years it will take to pay back your mortgage loan.

APPRAISED VALUE:

An estimate of the value of the property. Conducted for the purpose of mortgage lending by a certified appraiser. This appraisal is not to be confused with a building inspection.

ASSUMABILITY:

Allows the buyer to take over the seller's mortgage on the property.

CLOSED MORTGAGE:

A mortgage that locks you into a specific payment schedule. A penalty usually applies if you repay the loan in full before the end of a closed term.

CONDOMINIUM FEE:

A common payment among owners which is allocated to pay expenses.

CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE:

A mortgage loan issued for up to 75% of the property's appraised value or purchase price, whichever is less.

DOWN PAYMENT:

The buyer's cash payment toward the property. The difference between the purchase price and the amount of the mortgage loan.

EQUITY:

The difference between the home's selling value and the debts against it.

HIGH-RATIO MORTGAGE:

A mortgage that exceeds 75% of the home's appraised value. These mortgages must be insured for payment.

INTEREST RATE:

The value charged by the lender for the use of the lender's money. Expressed as a percentage.

LAND TRANSFER TAX, DEED TAX OR PROPERTY PURCHASE TAX:

A fee paid to the municipal and/or provincial government for the transferring of property from seller to buyer.

MATURITY DATE:

The end of the term, at which time you can pay off the mortgage or renew it.

MORTGAGEE

The borrower.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE:

Applies to high-ratio mortgages. It protects the lender against loss if the borrower is unable to repay the mortgage.

MORTGAGE LIFE INSURANCE:

Pays off the mortgage if the borrower dies.

MORTGAGOR:

The person or the financial institution that lends the money.

OPEN MORTGAGE:

Allows partial or full payment of the principal at any time, without penalty.

PORTABILITY:

A mortgage option that enables borrowers to take their current mortgage with them to another property, without penalty.

PRE-APPROVED MORTGAGE:

Qualifies you for a mortgage before you start shopping. You know exactly how much you can spend and are free to make a "firm" offer when you find the right home.

PREPAYMENT PRIVILEGES:

Voluntary payments in addition to regular mortgage payments.

PRINCIPAL:

The amount borrowed or still owing on a mortgage loan. Interest is paid on the principal amount.

REFINANCING:

Paying off the existing mortgage and arranging a new one or re-negotiating the terms and conditions of an existing mortgage.

RENEWAL:

Re-negotiation of a mortgage loan at the end of a term for a new term.

SECOND MORTGAGE:

Additional financing. Usually has a shorter term and higher interest rate than the first mortgage.

TERM:

The length of time the interest rate is fixed. It also indicates when the principal balance becomes due and payable to the lender.

TITLE:

Legal ownership in a property.

VARIABLE-RATE MORTGAGE:

A mortgage with fixed payments, but fluctuates with interest rates. The changing interest rate determines how much of the payment goes towards the principal.

VENDOR TAKE-BACK MORTGAGE:

When the seller provides some or all of the mortgage financing in order to sell their property.

PREPARING FOR INSPECTION

One step which is inevitable in the home selling process is a visit from a professional house inspector.The following are steps which should be taken to ensure your inspection is a success. It is a good idea to be aware ahead of time of any serious problems which may be present in your home so you will be prepared to deal with them.

  • Ensure that past home renovations have not damaged the structure the home. Other structural damages to look for are whether termites have caused extensive damage, if settling of the home over time has caused damage to the foundation, and/or whether support beams and joists are strong and sturdy or cracked or otherwise damaged.
  • Ensure that the electrical and wiring systems are safe and acceptable. Loose wires or incorrectly installed or wired receptacles, switches or electrical box problems are all hazardous and should be corrected. All homes should have a minimum of 100 amp service.
  • Ensure there are no leaks evident. Water can run and leak into odd and unexpected places, causing extensive damage over time. If there are signs of water leakage, they can quite be often spotted by examining the underside of sinks and dishwashers, along ceilings, on floors or along basement walls. Plumbing fixtures, water-using appliances, drain pipes, water supply inlets and outlets and basements and roofs can all be causes and sources of water damage.
  • Ensure that safety issues are resolved in your home. Trim foliage which may impair a safe view of the area around the home, ensure that windows open easily and close and lock securely and that entrances/exits to the home are able to be securely locked. Hazards such as hidden curbs, loose railings and/or stairs, unused wells which are not capped, etc., should be corrected.
  • With respect to plumbing, ensure that all fixtures are in good working and free from large cracks. Faucets should run easily and shut off completely, proper grouting and caulking should be present around bathtubs, toilets and other fixtures should be bolted down securely and drains should be clog free. The home's water heater should be in good working condition also.
  • All heating and cooling systems may have to be checked to ensure they are relatively up to date, clean, in good working condition and have clean filters. Refrigerant should be checked in any air conditioning units and may require proper servicing.
  • Also, a general, unbiased overview of your home by a neighbour or friend may reveal matters which need to be dealt with that you may overlooked.

SHOWING YOUR HOME

First impressions are lasting impressions. You will want to make sure the buyers looking at your home are left with the best possible impression. Your Royal LePage Real Estate Professional can help you achieve that goal.

Exterior

  • House in good repair
  • House number easy to read
  • Eaves troughs, down spouts and soffits in good repair
  • Garage/car port clean and tidy
  • Litter picked up
  • Cracked or broken window panes replaced
  • Lawns and hedges cut and trimmed, garden weeded and edged
  • Walks shovelled and salted
  • Boot tray inside front door
  • Doorbell and door hardware in good repair
  • Porch and foyer clean and tidy

Interior

  • Chipped plaster and paint touched-up and replaced
  • Doors and cupboards properly closed
  • Leaky taps and toilets repaired
  • Burned out light bulbs replaced
  • Squeaky doors oiled
  • Mirrors, fixtures, and taps cleaned and polished
  • Seals around tubs and basins in good repair
  • Floors cleaned, garbage containers empty
  • Inside of closets and cupboards neat and tidy
  • Appliances cleaned
  • Countertops neat and polished
  • All lights turned on
  • Air conditioner turned on in warm weather
  • Fresh air in house
  • Fireplace lit in cooler weather
  • Halls and stairs cleaned
  • Drapes opened during daylight
  • Carpets freshly vacuumed
  • Fresh flowers in various rooms
  • Jewelry and valuables locked safely away or taken with you
  • Valuable property, such as objects of art, vases and figurines out of reach, out of sight, or locked away
  • Pets absent, where possible, or contained during the showing, and litter boxes clean

PRICING YOUR PROPERTY

The single most important decision you will make with your Royal LePage Real Estate Professional is determining the right asking price for your property.

Once you've achieved a realistic sales price, you can count on your property being professionally marketed and promoted to bring more buyers to your door. You can also expect to sell your home for the best possible price in the lease amount of time.

The Benefits of Pricing Right

  • Your property sells faster, because it is exposed to more qualified buyers.
  • Your home doesn't lose its "marketability."
  • The closer to market value, the higher the offers.
  • A well-priced property can generate competing offers.
  • Real Estate Professionals will be enthusiastic about presenting your property to buyers.

RENOVATING FOR RESALE

When it comes to home renovations, one plus one does not necessarily equal two. The money invested in improving your home will not always translate into an equivalent return in the selling price of your home. However, with planning it is possible to both increase the salability of your home and even profit from your home renovations.

Renovations do not have to be extensive or expensive to earn a high rate of return. In fact, one of the cheapest and simplest improvements yields one of the highest paybacks. According to a study (1999 Renovations and Home Value Survey) by the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC), a fresh coat of paint on interior walls returns an average 73 percent payback. So, a $1,500 paintjob could be expected to increase a home's selling price by $2,625 (a $1,125 profit).

To maximize salability ensure that your new décor is modern and tasteful. Choose shades of white and tame versions of popular colours. Steer away from too many personal touches and custom work if you plan to re-sell. It is unlikely that your investment will be recouped and it may prevent the quick sale of your home. Also, try to keep renovations in harmony with the fashion of your neighbourhood.

The kitchen and bathroom are key areas to focus your renovation attentions. With average paybacks of 72 and 68 percent respectively, new fixtures, cabinets and tiles could be well worth the money and/or time and effort. The AIC's study highlighted the top ten renovations and the average rate of return:

  • Interior painting and décor - 73%
  • Kitchen renovation - 72%
  • Bathroom renovation - 68%
  • Exterior paint - 65%
  • Flooring upgrades - 62%
  • Window/door replacement - 57%
  • Main floor family room addition - 51%
  • Fireplace addition - 50%
  • Basement renovation - 49%
  • Furnace/heating system replacement - 48%

According to another study (Prepare to Sell by HomeGain.com in California) smaller changes to a home can also reap hefty rewards. Any addition that brightens your home (such as new light fixtures) should be returned in the selling price by an average 84% of the cost of the renovation.

As an expert on home sales trends in your neighbourhood, your Royal LePage Sales Professional can suggest which areas of your home could benefit from renovation and increase its value and salability. Click here to locate a Sales Professional in your area.

SIGNING A LISTING AGREEMENT

The first formal step in marketing your property is to enter into a Listing Agreement - a contract that commits Royal LePage to actively market your home for a specified period of time. It also commits you to a pre-established marketing fee that is to be paid upon the successful closing of the sale.

Your Royal LePage Real Estate Professional may require the following documents:

  • Plan of Survey or Location Certificate - A Survey of your property which outlines the lot size and location of buildings as well as details of encroachments from neighbouring properties. This may be required in certain areas to complete the sale of your home. Your legal professional may recommend a survey, especially if significant changes have been made to your property.
  • Property Tax Receipts - Most Listing Agreements require that the current annual property tax assessments be shown.
  • Mortgage Verification - Few homeowners know the exact balance of their mortgage as it is paid down. You will be asked to authorize your mortgage lender to provide the figures required.
  • Deed or Title Search - This document is a legal description of your property and the proof that you own it.
  • Other Documentation - In some instances, it may help the sale of your property if you can provide prospective buyers with information on such items as annual heating, electrical, and water expenses, as well as any recent home improvement costs.

Note: In many provinces you will be required to sign a property condition disclosure statement.

MAJOR ELEMENTS OF AN OFFER

1. Price

Depends on the market and the buyers, but generally, the price offered is different from the asking price.

2. Deposit

The deposit shows the buyer's good faith and will be applied against the purchase price of the home when the sale closes. Your Royal LePage Real Estate Professional can advise you on the suitability of the amount of the deposit being offered.

3. Terms

Includes the total price the buyer is offering as well as the financing details. The buyer may be arranging his/her own financing or may ask to assume your existing mortgage if you have an attractive rate.

4. Conditions

These might include "subject to home inspection", "subject to the buyer obtaining financing", or "subject to the sale of the purchaser's property."

5. Inclusions and Exclusions

These might include appliances and certain fixtures or decorative items, such as window coverings or mirrors.

6. Closing or Possession Date

Generally, the day the title of the property is transferred to the buyer and funds are received by the seller, unless otherwise specified (except in Manitoba and Quebec).

Note: IN B.C. the Possession Date is usually 1 to 3 days after the closing.

Get In Touch

Chris Zaharko

Mobile: 403-874-0424

Phone: 403-253-1901

Email

Office Info

Royal LePage Benchmark

110, 7220 Fisher St SE  Calgary,  AB  T2H 2H8 

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