You often hear about how much work is involved in buying a new home. While this is true, selling your house requires just as much energy and planning! The transition of leaving your home and passing it to a new owner can be emotional and stressful. Whatever your reasons for selling, odds are you had some good memories in your home. With that in mind, you probably want to make the selling process as painless and smooth as possible.
There are a lot of steps sellers need to take, and everyone’s selling experience will be a bit different. However, there are some common elements to selling that everyone needs to keep in mind. Make sure you take care of these items before putting your house on the market!
Find a real estate agent
Securing a good real estate agent will be the most important part of selling your house. Your agent will help with every step of the process – they will help you determine a fair asking price, understand what your home is worth, and assist with handling offers from buyers. Since they are such a valuable part of your experience, make sure you do your research and select an agent you trust. This is your home you’re selling, so it’s good to be selective.
Whatever you do, don’t try to sell your home without using an agent. The “for sale by owner” method holds too many risks and is far more likely to result in disaster. Buyers’ agents might not even show your home to buyers if they know the sale lacks a real estate professional on your end. Real estate is a full-time job, and it requires a lot of knowledge and time. Agents assist with price negotiations, paperwork, and the ins and outs of selling. Don’t skip out on them!
Complete any necessary updates
You want your home to be as valuable as possible when it’s time to sell. This means attracting buyers to how it functions and how it looks from the outside and inside. Think about curb appeal when you’re selling your house. Does your home have a nice street view, or could it use some work? Think about your driveway and gardens, for instance. The outside of your home will immediately influence buyers, so make sure it’s in good condition!
It’s important to invest in projects that will increase the value of your home. These can include kitchen and bathroom updates, roofing replacements, fresh windows and doors, etc. You can read more about the highest value home renovations here. You can also invest in some smaller updates and tasks that might not seem super important but will have a big impact on your home’s appeal. For example, you can replace any door knobs or locks that are dated or jam easily. You can (and should) also scrub your home until it sparkles. Allow buyers to imagine themselves living in your home!
Stage your home
It’s not as easy as you might think to make your home universally appealing to buyers. Your tastes will be different from someone else’s, and your personalized style might make it hard for buyers to picture themselves in your house. Hiring a stager is a good way to turn your home into a modern, neutral space. Stagers have experience in the market, and they know what furniture and decorations will attract people.
It’s also important to remove your personal artifacts and belongings when you’re showing your home. You want to present your house as a space that invites a new owner to make it their own. You don’t want people feeling like they’re visiting someone else’s house – they should feel like they’re glimpsing into their future home.
Prepare for expenses
As much as it costs to buy a home, remember that selling your home will cost money too. At the end of the day, you’ll still make more money from your home sale than you’ll need to spend on expenses. However, make sure you’re ready to pay certain costs. These include staging costs and completing any repairs or renovations, like those mentioned above.
It’s also a good idea to get an inspection done before you put your home up for sale. This will put you at ease knowing that your home is in good condition before it goes on the market. Finally, remember your real estate agent will take a commission from your home sale. This is usually a certain percentage of the selling price, so it won’t cost you money out of pocket, but it means getting less back from the sale.
Closing day preparations
At last, you’re preparing for closing day! This is the last hurdle you’ll have to face before your home sale is complete. Make sure your lawyer has all necessary documents and paperwork from you ahead of time. This includes mortgage information and current tax bills. You should also do a reading on your utility meters on closing day, so you know how much you’ll owe for the month before the new owners take over. Finally, don’t forget about your mail! Notify Canada Post to have your mail forwarded to your new address, until you have a chance to officially change your address and update the necessary people/businesses.
Selling your house is a big move, so follow these steps to make it as smooth as possible for yourself. If you have questions about buying or selling a home or refinancing, get in touch with me here!