Selling a home

Have you ever considered repairing your own car? (Assuming you are not a Mechanic by trade). Anyone can buy the tools and parts, however, most of us just don’t have the knowledge, training, experience or the extensive commitment of time to do the job properly. Besides, there are plenty of experienced licensed professionals to do the work for us.

There is also an excellent choice of licensed real estate professionals to help you sell your home. Nevertheless, you may be tempted to do it yourself and “save” the real estate commission. For most of us, this is false economy and makes no more sense than trying to rebuild our car’s transmission.
Selling your home is a complex procedure, involving large sums of money, stringent legal requirements and the real potential for very costly mistakes. It requires a tremendous amount of time to follow-up on every detail promptly and properly. I have these qualifications and expertise, and am committed to spending the time it takes to help you sell your home successfully.

I will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis for your home to help on deciding with how to price your property. This will include researching all the sales activity in the area from the MLS database, researching all the comparables currently listed, number of days a similar property was on the market with its location and price, research the property's ownership, the municipal tax records and its current zoning. These are just a few of the many steps I will be taking in preparation of market evaluation of your property.

Over pricing

A property generates the most interest within the real estate community when it first goes on the market and the number of showings is the greatest during this time, if it is priced at a realistic market value. If the starting price is too high and the price is dropped later, the property will miss the initial market excitement and fail to generate as much activity. Eventually it may become necessary to drop the price below market value to compete with new, well priced listings.
If a home is priced lower than the comparables, the seller could receive multiple offers to drive the price up to market value. There is little risk in pricing a home too low, but the main risk remains in pricing it too high. When choosing a Realtor, never base your decision solely on their opinion of the value of your home.

Presenting your property

I cannot emphasize enough on the fact that home staging helps sell homes faster and attracts more potential buyers. It is very difficult to sell a vacant home or an overly crowded home, both of these could immensely benefit from having a home staging consultation.
A vacant home needs to be showcased to the public, fully furnished, as the general public is not able to visualize for example, how a bed and a desk would fit in a small bedroom. On the other hand, a crowded home needs to be decluttered to show the potential and the space that home has to offer to the interested buyers. I am connected to several professional home stagers in the city and as part of my services, I provide free Professional Home Staging consultation to clients that list their home with me.

Here are some tips on home staging:
  1. Consider hiring a professional. Do a little math and make a few calls to see what it would cost to hire someone to handle the staging for you. Professional stagers have an arsenal of furnishings at the ready and can hammer out a neutral, professional design much quicker than you can. If you're determined to do the work yourself, see about getting a consultation from a professional stager.
  2. You don't need to stage the whole house. Whether you hire a pro or decide to go the DIY route, you don't need to stage every single room. Stage the main living areas — living room, dining room, kitchen — and at least one bedroom, preferably the master. You should also stage any room that has a confusing purpose to show how it can be used. So if there's an awkwardly sized bedroom, stage it to show that it will fit a bed and dresser comfortably, for instance.
    Homeowners can do many things to stage their home at little or no cost. The most important thing to keep in mind is that buyers must be able to envision themselves living in your home.
    "No one will buy your home until they can mentally move into it".
  3. Clean, get rid of clutter and depersonalize. Staging is about making your home look nice, but remember that buyers have other senses and that a bad smell can be a deal-breaker. Nothing smells better than clean.
    Check that all rooms are spotlessly clean, have washed windows, smell good and have been aired before showings.
  4. Be resourceful when hunting for furnishings. If you have friends and family with updated or neutral furniture, see if you can borrow a few pieces to stage your home. If you need to stage a room as a bedroom but you don't have a bed, get an inflatable air mattress that rises off the floor to regular bed height. Once you get the linens on, it will look just like a regular bed, and you can use it for guests in your new home.
  5. Show off hardwood floors. If you have hardwood floors in good shape that are covered by wall-to-wall carpeting, remove the carpet and clean the floor.
  6. Remove heavy window treatments. Buyers are looking for homes with lots of natural light and that lighter, less formal window panels give any room a lighter, airier feel.
  7. Freshen the walls. Paint is always the least expensive way to make a major change to a home.
  8. Remember the rule of three. The golden rule is three items per surface, whether it's a wall, tabletop or mantel.
    The rule of three applies to small rooms, as well, while larger rooms may get six pieces — four chairs, a table and a lamp in a dining room, for example.
  9. Do your research. If you're not sure what a staged home should look like, spend a half-day going to open houses to see what works and what doesn't. Take notes.

Marketing your property

I will be marketing your home through various channels. I start with free professional home staging consultation for preparing your home for sale. Once you are ready I will have your home professionally photographed. Next your home will be marketed through:
  1. Online marketing
  2. Full colour high quality feature sheets
  3. Realtor Open Houses
  4. Public Open Houses
  5. Social Media Advertizing

Conditional Offer

You have received an offer conditional on home inspection, here are some great tips for you to help out the inspection process go smoother with fewer concerns:
  1. Make sure water, electric and gas services are on, with gas pilot lights burning. If the property is heated by oil, make sure there's oil in the tank. If any fuses are missing, replace them, and if breakers are off, turn them on if possible. Home inspectors will not turn any of these on during an inspection.
  2. Ensure pets won't hinder the inspection. Ideally, they should be removed from the premises or secured outside. Tell your Realtor about any pets at home.
  3. Replace burned-out light bulbs to avoid a "light is inoperable" report that may suggest an electrical problem.
  4. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace dead batteries.
  5. Clean or replace dirty HVAC air filters, making sure they are the correct size for the unit. You may want to consider having the heating and cooling system cleaned and inspected beforehand by a qualified HVAC technician and obtain a repair or inspection certificate from them.
  6. Remove items, debris or personal property from around the foundation. The inspector will not move these items and it will limit the inspection of the foundation and exterior of the house, which could raise some concern.
  7. Remove items blocking access to HVAC equipment, electric service panels, water heaters, attics and crawl spaces. Again the inspector in most cases will not move these items for liability reasons.
  8. Unlock areas the inspector must access such as attic doors or hatches, closets, fence gates and crawl spaces. If you don't want to leave them unlocked, make sure keys are available to unlock them.
  9. Trim tree limbs to within three metres of the roof and shrubs from the house to allow access.
  10. Attend to broken or missing items such as doorknobs, locks and latches, windowpanes, screens, gutters, downspouts and chimney caps.
  11. If the property has a wood-burning fireplace or wood stove, make sure they are clean and do not have them operating at the time of the inspection. Also consider having the fireplace or wood stove chimney cleaned and inspected by a W.E.T.T.-certified chimney sweep before the inspection.
  12. Home inspections take between two to four hours, so you should plan to be out of the house for that length of time if at all possible.
Source: London Free Press