Your home is likely your largest asset, so selling it
may be the biggest financial move you’ve ever made, one that requires
significant thought and strategy.
However, once you’ve entered the market, the process may move very
quickly: your property has the best
chance to sell within its first seven weeks on the market. Studies indicate that the longer a property
stays on the market, the less it will ultimately sell for. So, you need to ensure you’re ahead of the
game. Get your property into top selling
shape before it hits the market in
order to increase its chances of selling within the desired window of time and
drawing top dollar.
Use the following tips to seize control of the
home-selling process before you begin:
- Establish the Reasons you Want to Sell your Home:
These reasons will direct the path you take in the home-selling
process. If, for example, you have already
purchased a new home and your goal is to make a quick sale on your current
home, this reason will chart your approach.
If, on the other hand, you aim to net the highest price possible for
your home, you would need to prepare yourself for a potentially slower
process. Be clear about these reasons,
as they will directly influence the amount of time and effort you put into
preparing your home for sale, and the amount you set for your asking price.
It is essential you list your property at a competitive market value
right from the start. The competitive
nature of the market means that over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could
make the difference between your home selling quickly or not selling at
all. Overpricing your home could potentially
yield the following results: minimized
offers, fewer showings, fewer agent responses, limited financing, limited
buyers qualified for your type of home, or a smaller net price. You can avoid these outcomes by setting the
price of your home at its market value when you first list.
If you are unsatisfied with the current market value of your home
and unwilling to list it as such, consider putting off the sale of your home at
- Do your Homework:
Perhaps the most “hands-on” approach to educating yourself about the
nature of the current market—what works and what doesn’t—is to explore other
homes on the market. Take advantage of
Open Houses in your area, particularly in those homes similar to your own. Take some notes. Observe floor plans, lot size, appearance,
location, and other features of the property.
Then compare asking prices. Go
through this process before setting your own asking price. Remember:
you want to get a selling price as close to your asking price as
possible. And if you want to attract
this price quickly, you won’t accomplish this by setting your price higher than
- Decide Whether to Invest in an Appraisal:
Getting an appraisal can be a positive or negative move, depending
on the outcome. It’s up to you to
determine how it might fit into your personal plan. Having an appraisal done can be a good
marketing strategy, indicating to potential buyers that your home can be
financed, which will increase the chances that your home will sell quickly and
for more money. On the other hand, however,
there’s no guarantee you’ll like the final picture offered by the
appraisal. Also, it’s one more cost
you’ll have to add to your budget, and an appraisal only lasts for a limited
period of time.
- Choosing a Realtor:
Your choice of Realtor will greatly influence your home-selling
experience. For better or for worse,
this person will be with you every step of the way during one of the largest
financial ventures of your life—and will make a difference in the speed with
which your house is sold, and how much it sells for. Don’t take this relationship lightly. You should consider a few Realtors before you
narrow down your choice. Of course, one
of the initial factors to consider will be whether the Realtor’s personality
and enthusiasm is a fit for you and your family. Also, each candidate should be able to
provide you with information on the following areas: the length of time s/he has been involved in
residential real estate in your area, the marketing strategy s/he would use to
sell your home, details on other properties in your area their company has sold
(how much the property sold for and how long it spent on the market), and his/her
philosophy or method of negotiation. You
might want to request a reference list of former clients as well. Choose a few names on the list and call them.
Make no mistake, prospective Buyers will be turned off by even a
minimal lack of cleanliness, or an odour.
Sellers may lose thousands of dollars if they fail to thoroughly clean
the house before they begin to show it.
Begin by clearing the house of excess junk, clutter, and furniture. Create more space. Make every room sparkle. Eliminate odours. You may be the last to notice a peculiar
odour in your house, but it may be the first thing a potential Buyer
notices. So, air out your house prior to
showing. Keep pets in the yard as much
as possible, and send any household smokers outside.
- Access to your Home:
Agents will be more reluctant to show your home if it isn’t readily
accessible. They don’t want to waste
their time running around, picking up and dropping off keys. Rather, a key should be immediately available
for agents at all times.
Also, go through the following last-minute list to prepare for
showing your home: keep all lights on,
doors unlocked, and drapes and shutters open.
If you can, leave the house while it is being shown. Head to the local coffee shop, or take the
kids to the park. Prospective Buyers
will feel more intrusive if the owner of the house is present while they are
viewing. If you can’t leave the house,
be as unassuming as possible.
- Updated Interior:
A fresh coat of paint may be one of your best investments when
preparing your home for the market. New
paint can take years off the appearance of your home, dramatically increasing
its perceived value. Likewise, if your
carpeting appears worn, old, or is an outdated pattern, consider replacing
it. The carpet or paint in one room
could be the difference between a successful sale and your home being
- Drive-Up Appeal:
If the buyer
doesn’t like the outside of your house, s/he may choose to skip it
entirely. It is essential that your home
possess a certain “drive-up appeal.”
Remember, a potential buyer’s first impression of your house is formed
while s/he is still sitting in the realtor’s car. Ensure the trees are trimmed, the walkway
swept, the lawn cut. Paint the door, and
put out a new, plush door mat. All of
these little things will contribute to the overall effect of a well cared-for
and welcoming home.
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.
Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty
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