Putting Your Home on the Market
When preparing your property for sale, you probably don’t want the process to take over your life. Knowing what needs to be done will save you both time and money. In this article, we will review essential items to consider, items required before signing a listing contract, and even estimate your closing costs because half of a battle is preparation!
The first step toward putting your home up for sale is to meet with your real estate sales representative at your house, the “listing appointment”.
ITEMS REQUIRED BEFORE THE LISTING APPOINTMENT:
A list of exclusions & inclusion: usually, all window coverings, electric light fixtures, and existing appliances stay with the property. But you may specify something you want to take with you – for example, the chandelier in the dining room.
A copy of the survey. The survey is an essential item in the sale of the home. If you do not have one, do not worry, but your agent should mention it in the listing documents.
Floor plan. It is helpful to have a floorplan, but many homeowners do not have it, especially if the home was resold before.
Easements and rights of ways. You may think the right of way is yours, but you might be wrong!
Keys & permission to use a lockbox.
The year of construction
Any property defects requiring disclosure
Any upgrades or warranties still in effect
Information on any rentals (water heater, air conditioner, etc.) and the amount you pay monthly for rentals. Your agent will specify all rental items in your home.
Receipts for improvements
Alarm code (if any)
Property tax bill for the current year
Important upgrades and the year of replacement, if applicable, for windows, roof, furnace, hot water tank, etc.
Consider making a high return on investment improvements. Simple things like decluttering, painting, caulking, and rearrangements can make a big difference. It is also not unusual when the investment of $5,000 spent on painting translates into thousands of dollars in return.
WHAT ITEMS TO CONSIDER DURING SHOWINGS?
Is it OK to use a lockbox? Your real estate agent will coordinate viewings and open houses with prospective buyers and buyers agents through a lockbox.
Are there any times of the week or day when you do not wish to show your home?
Would you like showing or offers to begin on a specific day of the week? You may want to sign a listing contract a little earlier and start showings a few days later to prepare your home for viewing.
Will you be out of town while your home is on the market? Should a Power of Attorney be prepared for someone who will be in town, or do you prefer negotiating offers by email?
Would you consider an offer date?
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO DURING SHOWINGS?
Arrange to be absent during showings if possible.
Whenever you leave your home, always assume that it will be shown during your absence, even if there aren’t any showings scheduled yet. So, before leaving your home, ensure that the lights are on and drapes and blinds are open. Make sure the interior is well-lit.
Remove personal items and family photos. It will help potential buyers see themselves in your home.
Set a comfortable temperature. Turn on the air conditioning during the summer or the heating during the winter.
Play quiet background music.
If you cannot be absent, be inconspicuous. Do not follow prospective buyers around. Be invisible unless you are asked a question. Be pleasant and friendly, but do not divulge any information which may come back to haunt you during negotiations.
Do not allow anyone to show your home unless they have made an appointment with your listing brokerage.
Address all inquiries about your home to your real estate professional.
Calculate the costs of selling a home, including real estate commissions, closing costs and any outstanding mortgages and liens.
REAL ESTATE COMMISSION
That amount varies, and you can negotiate it. The average commission in Ontario is 5% plus 13% H.S.T
DISCHARGE OF MORTGAGE
There may or may not be a penalty.
Please check with your lending institution. You can take advantage of an open mortgage. The monthly cost may be a little higher but will save you on the penalty. Your mortgage advisor will help determine the best possible solution for your situation.
Your moving costs can significantly vary depending on your method (i.e. renting a truck, packing yourself, having a professional mover make the whole move for you, etc.).
Selling a home with a realtor can be straightforward if you follow these steps. Choose a realtor with experience selling homes in your area and with whom you feel comfortable working. Also, be prepared for the emotional aspects of selling your home, especially if it has been your family’s home for many years.
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