Listed, Viewed, Sold! Steps in the home selling process
Selling your home is a big task, and an important one to pay critical attention to – as your house is typically your biggest asset. Ensuring that you’re ready to start this journey is key, and being as prepared as possible can ensure your house is sold for its’ top value. There are many important steps along the way when it comes to selling your house, and to take off some of the pressures, we’ve laid them out for you in this article.
- Find a realtor
Your realtor is going to be your best friend when it comes to selling your home. They play a critical role in this process, and you want to be sure you choose an agent who is experienced, reliable, and that you are comfortable with. Take the time to research and meet with different agents, as you don’t have to settle with the first one you meet! Finding the right realtor can make all the difference in the sale of your home. This person will be your voice when it comes to the negotiations on offers, and you want to know that your home and your future are in the right hands.
- Prepare your home
These days, a house must be in top condition to sell, especially if you want to sell your home for top value. There are a variety of ways that you can prepare your home for sale prior to listing, all of which are an important part of the process. There are several steps in the process of preparing your home, including (but not limited to) purging your home of clutter, repainting, performing repairs and upgrades, and staging your home.
PURGE – Some way or another, we all manage to collect clutter over the years. Perhaps it is memorable items, or just various collections of seasonal items that have been outgrown, forgotten, or broken that just haven’t made it out the door yet. Well, now is the time to de-clutter your house once and for all. Go through each room and determine if the items you find are a) used, b) still fit, c) in need of repair etc. Keeping in mind that you’ll have to pack and move eventually, are they really things that need to be moved along with you? Host a garage sale, or donate older items (such as clothing, sporting equipment etc.) and find some peace of mind in the minimalism.
PAINT – Repainting your home is not always a necessity, but it is often something that is done to neutralize strong colours or to give older, grimy walls a quick facelift. Neutral tones and colours tend to be the easiest to sell, as they don’t give reason to buyers to reject your house, or immediately feel like there are things they’ll have to redo.
REPAIR – Tour your home with a critical eye. There are three categories that you’re looking for when it comes to repairs and replacements prior to selling your home. First, you look for cosmetic problems that can be fixed at minimal cost. These are things such as torn window screens, or crooked light fixtures, alongside torn carpeting (that can be replaced, or removed), and walls in need of painting. These quick cosmetic fixes make your house more appealing to people, and are generally easy to do. The second category you are looking for are functional repairs and upgrades such as out-dated appliances. Examine the condition of your plumbing, electrical, heat, air-conditioning, and appliances. Ensuring these are all in top working order will remove a reason for people to reject your house. They will also give your house more appeal to cash-strapped buyers who would be primarily concerned about immediate expensive expenses. Lastly, consider the problems you can’t fix – such as the location of your house or noisy neighbours. You will need to price your house and market it accordingly to include these considerations.
STAGE – Last but certainly not least, you will need to stage your home. Staging your home is perhaps the most fun, and rewarding aspect of selling your home. Give your house a full sparkling clean, including windows and remove all clutter. The key aspect of staging a home is to give it that “move-in ready” look, and to allow potential buyers to envision themselves living there. Arrange your furniture in a way that maximizes space, and remove personal touches from the home. Ensure lighting is welcoming and ambient, giving a warm and inviting feeling to your home.
- List your home
Now that all the repairs are done, and your house is viewing ready, it’s time to list it on the market! That is where your realtor comes in. First, you will discuss what market value is on your home, versus what you wish to list it for. Your realtor will handle creating the listing and marketing your home in the best way to increase potential buyer interest. It’s show-time!
- Entertaining offers
Keeping your house show-ready at all times has paid off, and now you have an offer on your house. What’s next? Welcome to the negotiation station – where you and your realtor review the offer and determine what you agree, or disagree to on it. Negotiations occur with your realtor being your voice, so be sure they know exactly how you feel on what you want for you home. They will discuss your wants with the buyer’s agent. A counter-offer is when you send back the buyers offer with changes, countering their initial offer. It is possible that they will also counter your offer, hence the negotiation stage of selling. You will often receive an offer with conditions. This means that the offer stands provided these conditions or terms are met (such as following a house inspection, the buyers obtaining suitable financing, etc.). Should you accept their conditional offer, and all inspections are clear, then your home is conditionally sold.
- Preparing to move
The time for packing has come. Good thing you went through your home previously and purged unneeded clutter! Starting the packing process can feel like an overwhelming step, and oftentimes it is a difficult one to start – but necessary! The easiest solution is to start in one room, leaving unpacked only the essentials (some clothes, bedding etc.) that way you can still continue to live but have already taken the first big steps towards your moving day.
- Closing Day
Closing day has arrived! The boxes are packed, the house is empty and you are ready to take the next step of your journey into your new home. There are just a few last minute pieces to put together to finalize the sale of your home before you’re off the hook – typically on closing day, the keys are exchanged through your lawyer. The buyer generally picks up their keys in the afternoon, and things such as house insurance and electricity etc. are the responsibility of the buyer. At this point all the appropriate paperwork has been filed, and it’s time to leave one house behind for the beginning of your life in another.