Selling Your Home

Are you contemplating selling your home?

There are a multitude of reasons why people sell their homes.  However, there is one thing that ever seller has in common; that is the desire to sell their home for as much money as possible, as quickly as possible and with as little aggravation as possible.  If the home you are interesting in selling is your principal residence, you may be relieved to hear that it will not be subject to capital gains tax.  Unfortunately the same is not true for investment or recreational properties if they are not your primary residence.  

Before embarking on the selling process, take a few minutes to evaluate why you want to sell.  Have you outgrown your home?  Have your children left home and left you with too much space?  Are you relocating for work?  Is it the neighbourhood that has you considering your options?  Perhaps you simple want a change of scenery?  Whatever the reasons, taking the time to evaluate now, will establish a good framework when searching for a new home.

You Buy or Sell First?

This question is often on the lips of those thinking about selling their home. This can be a bit of a conundrum and is not an easy question to answer. Should you manage to sell your existing home prior to finding a new one, you may find that you are living in a hotel room or with friends for a while.  This may also be the case if you are unable to negotiate closing dates for the sale of your existing home, and your new home, that are not in alignment.  Should, on the other hand,  you find your dream home before you've sold your old one, you may be faced with carrying two mortgages for a period of time.

So how might you mitigate these potential hazards?  The best defense is always a good offence; Do your homework and have a good idea about the neighbourhood and type of home you're looking for. It’s also helpful to honestly evaluate of your family's needs and your budget.

Speak to your sales representative and start your new home search as soon as your existing home is listed and presented to the market.

If you've found a home before you've sold your existing one, include the sale or your existing home as a condition of purchase in your Offer to Purchase.  In the event that you are unable to sell your existing home in a reasonable timeframe, this condition will protect you and allow you to withdraw your offer on the purchase of the new one.  You should note however, that the use of this kind of condition when presenting an Offer to Purchase, is not always well received by the vendor.   Oftentimes it may require you to make your offer more attractive to the vendor by increasing the amount you are willing to pay.  Further, purchasing a new home before you sell you existing one could be somewhat risky if you are relying on the proceeds of the sale to buy your new home.

In the event that you sell your existing home before finding your new one, be sure to include the purchase of a new home as a condition of sale when entertaining offers.  Once again, these conditions afford you only so much time before you must either waive the condition or walk away from the deal.  Bear in mind that you may wish to proceed with closing the sale of your existing home even if it means you are living in a hotel or with friends for a short time.  A buyer with a sold house, is always in a stronger position to negotiate a deal with a prospective vendor.


Make Your Home More Attractive to Potential Buyers

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and our personal tastes are subjective.  All of our homes reflect our own unique style and while we may love what we’ve done to the place, potential buyers might disagree.  Work with your sales representative to depersonalize your home in order to make it more appealing to prospective buyers.   Most buyers want to be able to visualize their stuff in a home they are considering.  At times, they have difficulty looking past your belongings and your sense of style.  Your sales representative will be able to offer you an impartial opinion about how your home stacks up against other homes on the market and how your home may, or may not, reflect current design trends.  Your sales representative will also be able to offer you insight into what items might need attention in order to maximize your return. 

Remember, your sales representative is your advocate and wants to see you sell your home as quickly as possible and for as much money as possible. 

Advertise Your Home on MLS®

This service is only available to real estate sales representatives. It is a database of all the homes for sale through sales representatives. Details about your home will be available to other sales representatives searching for homes in your area, in the range of your asking price. The MLS® system is a powerful too when it comes to selling your home.


Arrange Showings

In addition to giving your home the once over with a mop and dust cloth, have your sales representative prepare a home feature sheet. This is a one page synopsis of your home that highlights lot size, room dimensions, features and upgrades as well as utility costs and taxes. Prospective buyers will take a sheet and refer to it while viewing your home. Plus, it makes for a great reference sheet when the buyers are comparing properties.

It is always a good idea to vacate your home for the viewing.  This affords the potential buyer an opportunity to ask candid questions of their sales representative and to view your home without the added pressure of having you there.  Rest assured, the buyer’s sales representative will stay with the prospects to offer some protection against theft or property damage. Your sales representative will have prepared feature sheets; be sure to leave these accessible to your potential buyers.  It is customary that visiting sales representatives leave behind a business card to let you know that they have viewed your home with their clients.  Keep these for future reference.