The Advantage of Being an Educated Seller

If you’re thinking of selling, you probably have a myriad of questions.

  • What's my home worth?
  • Should I use an agent or go at it alone?
  • How do I make my home attractive to buyers?

And, of course, the big one: How do I get the most for my home?

This ebook will help.

We have structured it as a kind of “roadmap” because selling your home is a journey, and the more informed you are about what to do and expect, the more successful your home sale will be.

Ideally, you want that journey to end with your property selling quickly and for the best price possible.

This roadmap will get you there. And please think of me as your expert guide along the way. If you have any questions, just ask. Ready to make your home sale painless and profitable?

Let the journey begin!

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Getting Ready for Success

The first step in the journey is to simply get started. Studies show that the earlier you begin the process of selling your home, the more successful you will be.

So where do you begin?

Start by educating yourself on how the selling process works. Getting the facts will demystify things, make it easier and less intimidating, and help ensure you make the right decisions.

In fact, that’s what this ebook is all about!

The important thing is to get the ball rolling. Make the decision to list. Even if your planned move is months away, now is always the best time to begin.

And remember. You don’t have to go at it alone. Your home is probably the biggest asset you will ever sell, and the most complicated. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do everything yourself. Talk to a good agent.

3 Ways to Make Home Selling Easy

  1. Start now

    The earlier you begin the process of selling your home, the more time you will have... and the less stressful the journey will be

  2. Understand the steps involved

    The more you know about what to expect, the less intimidating the process will be. You will make better decisions, too

  3. Talk to a good agent

    He or she can answer your questions, determine what your home will likely sell for, and help you every step of the way

If you have questions, or are curious about what your property is worth on today’s market, give us a call or send us an email.

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Working With the Right Agent

Most sellers use a real estate agent. And for good reason! A skilled agent can ensure your home sells quickly and for the best price, while making the entire process much easier for you.

Consider this:

  1. Pricing is a real art

    The biggest factor in determining how quickly your home sells is the price, and deciding that price is trickier than it seems. It takes experience and even 1% more for your home can mean thousands to your bottom line.

  2. Negotiating is hard

    Not just hard to do, but it can feel uncomfortable. If you want someone to negotiate fearlessly on your behalf, you need an agent.

  3. Marketing today is much more than MLS®

    To get the most for your home, you need qualified buyers to see it. That requires an agent who knows how to create a marketing plan to get as many qualified buyers as possible to find out about and view your property.

  4. Showings are a pain

    Showing your own home is not only a huge inconvenience to you, it’s important to know that most buyers feel uncomfortable viewing a home with the homeowner present.

  5. Paperwork takes expertise

    If you think doing your own taxes is a challenge, try navigating the paperwork for a real estate transaction! It’s takes experience and expertise to make sure everything is done correctly.

What to look for in a agent

  • The best agents are highly skilled, real estate experts

    They are on the pulse of all local market activity and have intricate knowledge of active and past inventory. They keep you informed and are by your side every step of the way

  • Great agents are marketing geniuses

    They know exactly how to set the ideal price for your property, so that it sells quickly and for top dollar. They also know how to promote your listing effectively, to attract the most qualified buyers.

  • Great agents are skilled negotiators

    Negotiating requires expertise and skill, period. Great agents have mastered this art and bring confidence and calm at offer time. They guide you through the negotiation process helping you understand what to include, what to give up and most importantly, when to walk away if reasonable terms cannot be reached.

  • Finally, a great agent makes things easy

    They dot the i’s, cross the t’s and handle all the details. They recommend reputable movers, contractors, and other professionals you need. They will give you tips and ideas. They will do the heavy-lifting, so you don’t have to. So when choosing a REALTOR®, make sure they meet this profile. It makes all the difference.

Choosing the right agent is an important decision. Call or email us anytime...

Agent? No Agent?

82%

of real estate sales are the result of agent contact

Majority

of buyers prefer to see a home with an agent, not the homeowner

on average agents get 12.6% more for a property than owners who sell without an agent.(Based on median home sale price)

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Price Smart

Setting the list price of your home is an art. Too low and you leave money on the table — perhaps thousands. Too high and you scare away buyers — perhaps forever.

To complicate this, your home is an emotional asset. It’s hard to see it objectively, as a “product” for sale.

Finding the optimal price requires a combination of expertise, analysis, and oldfashioned street smarts.

Great agents are incredibly savvy at setting a price that maximizes the price and minimizes the time it takes to sell.

In fact, pricing is something agents spend their careers mastering. They combine intimate local and national market knowledge, an exhaustive study of similar homes for sale, and an analysis of past sales to arrive at the optimal list price.

And then they combine that with your unique needs to pick a price that fits you.

It’s no easy task, but it’s a critical one. Pricing your home right the first time results in more showings, more offers and ultimately the highest price for you home.

If you want to get as much for your home as possible within a reasonable time frame, you need to get the price right.

Market Rules

The most important thing to understand is that the market rules. Buyers want to purchase your property at or near its actual market value — which may differ from the sentimental value you place on your home.

That said, choosing the right list price is essential to selling for the highest price possible. If you price too low you risk not getting as much as you could have for your property. In fact, you could lose thousands. But if you price too high you will lose potential buyers who may think your property is out of their price range.

It all sounds complicated, and it is. The good news is, a great agent will help determine the true market value of your home and price it just right.

Want to find out what your home will likely sell for on today’s market? Give us a call!.

Pricing Is Tricky

Home for sale in the $250,000 - $500,000 range.

  • Price set just 15% too high

    Few qualified buyers bother to see it

  • Price set just 15% too low

    Risk of losing $37,500-$67,500 on the sale

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Preparing to WOW Buyers

Once you have set the price, your next step in the journey is preparing your property so that it looks attractive to buyers. Ideally, you want your home to look like a showcase.

This is more important than you might think. REALTORS® repeatedly find that people can’t visualize the potential of a home. They have to see it. That means that how your home shows — today — is how people see themselves in it. They can’t see past the chips, leaks, clutter and stains. In fact, they tend to focus even more on those things.

The 3 R’s of prepping your home for sale

  • Remove

    Get rid of as much clutter as possible. Give it away, sell it at a garage sale, put it in storage, or take it to thedump. Just get it out of the house. You want your home to look spacious and tidy.

  • Repair

    Chipped paint, cracked tiles, squeaky hinges, leaky faucets. Fix everything you can. If you need a contractor, your agent can recommend one.

  • Renew

    Clean, clean and clean again. (It’s that important!) You want your home to look guest-ready. Organize each room so that it looks like a showcase. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way to dramatically improving the look.

Sound overwhelming? You don’t need to do it overnight. Your agent can point you to someone who can help, or you can break it down into just one small task a day.

And here’s good news: Everything you remove, clean or repair helps to sell your home faster and for a better price. So it’s like getting paid to do it!

Consider Staging

Remember the last time you visited a high-end furniture showroom or a new model home with its gorgeous livingrooms, bedrooms and bathrooms? That’s staging.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, staged homes sell 49% faster and for 7-11% more money. In fact, you can expect nearly half (49%) of the buyers to be positively impacted if your home is staged.

You can hire a professional stager, or have the Knowles/Woolsey team help. Or you can follow some of our basic Home Staging tips yourself. Either way, we can help!

We would be happy to give you a few personalized staging tips and ideas - give us a call!

Staging

Staged homes sell 49% faster for 7%-11% more money

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Getting the Word Out

Now that you have made your property look its best, you want as many qualified buyers as possible to see it.

In other words, you want to get the word out. To everyone.

These days, marketing requires more than an MLS® listing and lawn sign. You need a strategic action plan to promote your listing so that all the right buyers find out about it, get excited about it, and — most importantly — come to see it.

Homes that sell fast and for a top price tend to use a combination of the following:

Online Marketing

  1. MLS®

    A detailed listing on the largest database of available real estate

  2. Photos

    A picture really can paint a thousand words so be sure to have professional photos that compliment each room and feature.

  3. Video

    A behind the scenes, online look at your home and neighbourhood. More than 1 in 5 buyers will watch such videos when searching for a home.

  4. Websites

    Over 90% of buyers start their home search online.4 A great agent will ensure your home is showcased on as many websites as possible.

  5. Social

    Facebook and YouTube have the largest user base, but Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest are gaining ground.

Offline Marketing

  1. Prospecting

    Great agents tap into their network of eager buyers and proactively call or door knock neighbourhoods to discover potential new buyers.

  2. Feature Sheets

    Great photos, inspiring descriptions in professional take-away form are a great reminder for viewers who are still deciding.

  3. Open Houses

    A good way to showcase your home to agents and potential buyers.

  4. Print

    Print ads in local newspapers are not as effective as they once were but they are still used today. Postcard drops informing the local area of a new listing are also an option.

And that’s just a partial list!

It’s unfortunate when a home doesn’t sell because a qualified buyer never finds out about it — and ends up purchasing a competing listing. But that happens every day.

Don’t let it happen to you. Work with a great agent who can create the right plan for selling your home.

Want some initial ideas on how to get qualified buyers flocking to see your home? I can help. Give me a call.

The Power of Promotion

The higher the number of qualified buyers who find out about your listing, the more likely you are to sell at a top price.

Poorly promoted listing

Few qualified buyers find out about it

Moderately promoted listing

About 50% of qualified buyers find out about it

Expertly promoted listing

Nearly 100% of qualified buyers find out about it

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Showing it Off

At this stage in the journey, it’s getting exciting! You have qualified buyers coming to see your property. One or more may fall in love with your home and make an offer..

How do you turn lookers into buyers? Follow these guidelines:

  1. Don’t be there

    Buyers want to feel free to look around and discuss your home candidly. That’s why, according to the research, they prefer to see a home with an agent rather than the homeowner.

    If you’re at home during a showing, buyers may not feel comfortable viewing your property thoroughly and, as a result, not come to appreciate all your property has to offer. So go for a walk, have lunch out, anything. Just be away when a buyer sees your home.

  2. Be flexible when scheduling

    Restricting viewings to “Saturdays 3-6” will seriously limit the number of buyers able to see your home. Yes, showings can sometimes be a pain, but the potential is getting an offer. So be flexible. Schedule viewings as often as possible.

    Also, be willing to have a buyer see your home on short notice. (They are often the most eager to buy.)

  3. Make your home inviting

    Ever notice how model homes are always neat and tidy — and never have closed doors! That’s because the more inviting a home is the more likely the buyer is to make an offer.

    You don’t have to do much to prepare. Make sure your home is clean. Put away personal items like family pictures (that way a buyer can imagine themselves living there.) Leave lights on and open curtains and blinds, where appropriate. Make sure pets are cordoned off or, better still, take them out.

    And don’t forget the yard. Cut the grass, trim the hedges, and sweep the walkway. Often, buyers will form an initial “good or bad” impression by the time they have entered your front door.

  4. Have helpful information available

    These include property brochures, floor plans and contact information. If you are selling your home in the winter, summer pictures help buyers visualize how great your home looks in the sunshine. Got a great neighbourhood? A list of area features — parks, schools, running paths — will give buyers a clearer picture

If you would like some practical ideas for making your viewings more successful, give us a call anytime.

Where good impressions are made

Curb appeal

How your home looks from “the curb”. Make sure what they see looks great.

Foyer

What the buyer sees as soon as they walk in the front door. Make sure this area is clean, uncluttered and spacious.

Kitchen

Often the first room a buyer sees! Ensure countertops are cleared and everything shines.

Bathrooms

Store away personal items, such as toothbrushes and cosmetics.

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Negotiate Like a Master

When you get an offer — or ideally multiple offers — you are this close to selling your home. But, as they say, close only counts in horseshoes! Skilled negotiation is required to ensure that the deal is made for the highest price possible, with ideal terms and conditions.

Negotiating is a skillset that is difficult to master. That is why it is important that you have a skilled agent handle this for you — someone who works in your best interests.

Chances are, an offer will be higher or lower than your asking price. Don’t be concerned or offended. It’s normal. In fact, the best way to think about an offer is as a starting point to a conversation. The buyer is interested. They have proposed a price. The conversation has begun!

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Counteroffers are normal

    Expect some back and forth. They offer. You counteroffer. You eventually come to an agreement.

  2. Momentum is important

    Things happen fast at this stage. That’s why having a good agent to represent you is vital.

  3. Price isn’t the only thing

    You can negotiate on conditions, closing dates, assets included with the property. Don’t get stuck on one thing.

  4. Once you agree, the buyer provides a deposit cheque to be held in trust until the conditions are met. The conditions usually have a set time for removal, and usually include things like a home inspection and financing.

    Once the conditions are met, the buyer signs a waiver and the deal is done.

    Congratulations. You have sold your home!

    It’s important not to underestimate the power of a skilled negotiator. If you have any questions about the process, we’re here to help.

The power of savvy negotiation

Just 1% more for your home can mean thousands more in your pocket

$300,000 range = $3,000

$400,000 range = $4,000

$500,000 range = $5,000

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Wrapping Up the Details

Once the deal is made, your journey isn’t over. There is still paperwork to be done and calculations to be made.

If you are working with a great agent, they will handle all those details for you, and ensure everything is done properly, including coordinating with your real estate lawyer.

So although there are many t’s to cross and i’s to dot, a great agent will take care of those details. What a load off your shoulders!

How Much Do You Keep?

  1. Legal fees

    Lawyer’s fees vary, but often have structured fees for the sale of homes posted on their websites. On average, you can expect to pay $1,000 for a lawyer to look after the legal details necessary to close your home.

  2. Mortgage fees

    Check with your lender to determine if any costs will occur when transferring or releasing your mortgage. There could be penalties for discharging your mortgage earlier than it’s term and there may be a discharge fee to remove a mortgage from title that can range from $100 to $250.

  3. Disbursements

    These fees cover additional legal expenses such as travel, copies, couriers, registration fees and preparing document transfers. Budget about $500.

  4. Moving costs

    These vary depending on location, distance, and amount of possessions to be moved. If you are moving yourself, you should factor gas, rental vehicles and moving supplies.

  5. Step-by-step we stay by our seller’s side to ensure everything goes smoothly before, during and long after the sale. To learn more about our approach to working with clients, please give us a call.

An Expert by Your Side

As you have discovered, selling your home can be an exciting and rewarding journey — if you do the right things.
That's where we can help.

If you would like to discuss selling your home, please feel free to give us a call. We will provide you with a complimentary market evaluation (so you know what your home will sell for on today’s market), and answer any other questions you have.

By the way, by having this initial conversation you are under no obligation to hire us as your REALTOR®.

So let's talk. Find out how you can sell your home quickly and for the best price possible.