Selling your home for the first time can be a stressful and emotional experience. There is so much to do, many requirements to meet, and tasks to coordinate and keep track of. Here, Tony provides first-time home sellers with 5 tips to keep in mind when going through the process of selling their home for the first time in Brampton.
While you certainly have experience with buying a home at this point, selling a home is an entirely different beast. When buying your home, you likely relied on your emotions, how you felt about a prospective home and whether or not you could envision a future for yourself there. When selling, however, you are on the other side of that interaction. Your concern should be on checking all the required boxes and maximizing your potential for profits from the sale of your home.
To that end, Tony has provided you here with 5 things to keep in mind as you start the process of selling your home for the first time.
1. Price Your Home Accurately
The price of your home can make or break the selling process for your home. So, make sure you do your research. If you are selling your home on your own, ensure that you understand what the market looks like. How much are homes like yours selling for? How much are homes in your area selling for?
You don't want to price your home so high that nobody buys it and ends up having to reduce it. And you also don't want to charge less than your home is actually worth. Because of this, it is often a good idea, especially when selling for the first time, to use a listing agent and realtor to acquire an informed estimate of the selling price of your house.
You can compare the amount they give you against online estimates or your own research, but they are professionals and generally have a good sense of what the value of your home is after taking all of its unique qualities into account.
2. Review Your Listing
When your home is posted online, make sure that you review the listing yourself. While your realtor knows the important information to convey to potential buyers, as well as the facts about your home and property, a new set of eyes is always helpful and you may pick up on aspects of your house that you think are worth highlighting.
You should also keep an eye out for how the photographs in the listing look, before and after it is posted. Pictures of your space that show off how it looks are expected by buyers and if you don't think the images are up to snuff, it may be time to ask your realtor about taking more (or hiring a professional photographer yourself if you are selling in your own).
3. Educate Yourself About Required Forms and Paperwork
There is a lot of required paperwork to be done throughout the selling process, both legally and depending on the services you will be paying for throughout the process. It is generally a good idea to ask your realtor for more information about these forms and for an explanation in non-legalese about what each of them means. Some of the paperwork you may need to sign throughout this process in Ontario includes:
- Realtor Contracts - detailing how realtors work with sellers and buyers throughout the process
- Listing Agreement - contains the terms of your agreement with your realtor for listing your home
- FINTRAC - a government-mandated form that helps to verify you and prevent money laundering
- MLS Data Agreement - contains the information and details about your home for use in the MLS (multiple listing service)
- Agreement of Purchase & Sale - the standard agreement which will be modified with additional clauses throughout the sale of your home
- Confirmation of Cooperation - the commission agreement between you, your age, and the buyer's agent
- A Staging Contract - if you are not staging your home yourself, or if your agent provide staging
- Seller’s Direction Re: Offers - outlining your preference for offers from buyers, including deadlines, etc.
- Lockbox Authorization Form - authorizing your agent to place a copy of your key in a lockbox for buyers to access your home during showings
- Open House Authorization Form - authorizing your agent to conduct an open house in your home to bring in potential buyers
4. Be Flexible and Accommodating
Buyers have their own priorities and their own schedule, and those may often run differently from yours. A successful and profitable sale of your home will require you to be accommodating of buyers' needs, even if they are inconvenient for you.
If it helps, try to envision the way you were feeling and what your priorities were when you purchased the house you are now selling. That mindset is likely what many buyers will be coming into this process with and may help you understand what they need or why they do what they do.
Whether it is being flexible with the timing of home showings, cleaning before each showing, or anything else which may come up throughout the selling process, being accommodating and flexible for your buyers will help to ensure a quick and satisfactory sale.
5. Stage Your Home
The importance of staging your home for a successful and satisfactory sale cannot be stressed enough.
The selling process means it's time to clear out the furniture, knick-knacks, and clothing that you don't need anymore, reduce clutter, and finally tackle the to-do list which has certainly grown since you first moved into your home.
From chipped paint, leaky faucets, and missing doorknobs, to old carpeting, ugly light fixtures, and more. This is the time to reduce the clutter in your home and make all the fixes (big and small) that your house needs to look its best for prospective buyers. This is a lot of work, and sometimes requires some extra investment, but it will be reflected in the final sale price of your home.
Before making any choices in the staging process, if your agent proves staging services or you have hired a stager, contact them with a list of potential fixes or updates you think should be made. They will let you know what is a high priority and what you don't have to worry about and will provide you guidance in arranging your space to make sure it appeals to buyers.