In today's fast-paced, high-stakes marketplace, it takes know-how to sell a home. That's why most sellers enlist the services of a REALTOR® - a professional who has the qualifications, experience, skills, time and knowledge to provide the advice and services needed.
A REALTOR® will market your home to your best advantage. He or she will help you set a price that reflects the true value of your home under the current market conditions. They will also explain the selling process and help you close a deal.
But even before you enlist the help of a REALTOR®, it's a good idea to try to understand the steps involved in making a successful sale.
The Marketing Plan
With your help, and based on the prevailing market conditions, your REALTOR® will develop a marketing plan that may include open houses, advertising and a variety of listing choices.
The marketing plan may also include local newspaper advertising, Internet exposure, direct mail flyers, lawn signs and listing your property through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®). An MLS® listing gives your property greater exposure to a broader audience of potential buyers and is a valuable tool when you are anxious to sell your home quickly.
The marketing plan starts when you sign a listing agreement with a REALTOR®. He or she will tell you about the option of selling your home through the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS®, which offers maximum exposure of your home to potential buyers and other REALTORS®.
Once you have agreed to work with a particular REALTOR®, it is time to set a realistic asking price. If you ask too much, you could hinder the REALTOR®'s marketing efforts before they even get off the ground. Set the price too low and buyers might wonder what's "wrong" with your home, and the proceeds from the sale will be less than they could have been.
When your home is ready to be sold, the "For Sale" sign - the most direct marketing tool of all - will go up in front of your property to catch the attention of people walking or driving by.
People who enquire about your home after seeing a "For Sale" sign are likely to be interested in your neighbourhood and already like the look of your home. A "For Sale" sign also lets your neighbours know you are selling and they may know someone who is interested in the area. Your neighbours might even be interested in buying themselves; plenty of people move on to bigger and better homes in the area they have lived in for years.
Soon after your house is on the market, an Open House may be organized for REALTORS® who stop by the check out the potential of matching the house to one of their customers. An Open House for everyone else is sometimes held on a weekend when many buyers make a point of walking or driving around neighbourhoods they are interested in.
The REALTOR® you have chosen to work with will set up the open house and you can make plans to be elsewhere for the two or three hours when visitors wander through. This lets people have a good look around without worrying about disturbing you or offending you with questions about the property they feel are pertinent.
The day-to-day contacts REALTORS® make are an extremely useful word-of-mouth type of advertising. A successful REALTOR® is often very involved in his or her community, and gets to know plenty of people. It could be one of them who decides to buy your house.
Preparing Your Home
Whether or not your home shows well to prospective buyers may determine how long it stays on the market and what it sells for. A home that is clean, in good repair, uncluttered, nicely landscaped and welcoming creates a good first impression. Add some fresh paint, flowers, a few new area rugs and you'll improve it's marketability even more. You should also act on any tips your REALTOR® provides on how to "show" your home better or add more curb appeal.
Setting an Asking Price
Deciding what the "asking price" of your home will be is one of your REALTORS® prime tasks. Your home will to be analyzed and compared to similar homes for sale or recently sold in your area.
The price should be one that you and your REALTOR® decide on together, based primarily on your home's fair market value. But you will also have to consider the strength of the real estate market, interest rates and consumer demand for your type of property.
Bringing in the Experts
Once your home has been "listed", it is essential to have a legal professional, a lawyer or notary, standing by to help ensure your rights and interests are fully protected, and to complete the sale successfully once you find a buyer.
Real estate documents, such as the Offer to Purchase, are complex and should be reviewed by a legal professional who specializes in real estate transactions.
A lawyer or notary will also look after the many complicated and time-consuming procedures involved, from the time you sign an agreement with a buyer to the actual closing. For example, if the buyer is going to assume your mortgage, your legal professional will gather all the documents required to complete the transaction and transfer title to the new owner.
I am the GUY that will make a difference!
I specialize in selling homes in the in the Okanagan Valley including Westbank, West Kelowna, Peachland with a focus on Rose Valley, Lakeview Heights, West Kelowna Estates and Shannon Lake.
Karen Guy, REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty