Ready to list? Here are some points that will help you sell your home.


Whether you’ve lived in your home for two years, raised your children there for 20 or renovated it in four months to flip it, you want to get the best return on your valuable real estate investment.

A great agent can help. Not convinced? See what you should know if you’re considering selling privately.

And check out these tips designed to make the process of selling your home easier. If you have questions that aren’t answered here or would like to talk about your options as a home-seller in Edmonton’s real estate market, call Bev at (780) 445-8267.



Get your home ready for showings

Anonymous. Bright. Clean. In good repair. These are the four points you need to keep front-of-mind from the moment you sign to list your home to the REALTOR® open house – and until the day your house sells.

Be anonymous – Detach yourself emotionally. How? Start by packing up everything that you would take with you if you had to leave immediately, like photos and trophies. It's precious to you – but it makes it hard for buyers to picture themselves there.
Be bright – Paint white trim so it beams. Wash windows & mirrors. Open curtains & blinds. Dust light fixtures & lamps. And, on the day of a showing, turn on every light. Be clean – This is the most critical point, given that a home that appears to be dirty – whether it looks cluttered, smells off-putting or is actually dirty – will turn buyers off instantly. You can never be too clean when selling your home, so do the usual stuff, plus:  
                                                                       - Wash your doors, walls, window trim & baseboards
                                                                       - Scrub your bathroom tile, bathtub, toilet & grout
                                                                       - Clean out your washer, dryer & dishwasher
                                                                       - Tuck pet items – like the litter box – away from main areas

Keep your home in good repair – Buyers will notice cracks in walls & ceilings, watermarks & leaks, dripping faucets, torn window screens and all the little details you know are there but just hope buyers will overlook. So fix them. Eventually, you'll need to fix them to sell your home, so do it right off the bat to avoid wasting time.



De-clutter

This point fits under the one above regarding cleanliness, but it's so crucial that we thought it would help to list it separately and really explain it.

So here it is: Your home is cluttered. That is, from a buyer's perspective, your home – like most houses – is filled with items that don't 'make sense'. Remember that you're preparing to sell, so think like a buyer, and cut out all the clutter you can.

What is clutter, and what can you do about it?

Clutter is everything that doesn't appear to be useful and in its proper place. This includes:

-Knick-knacks on shelves or tabletops
-Any items that fill the space above your kitchen cupboards
-Mail, magazines & other papers on counters and/or on desks
-Stacks of books
-Children's drawings & crafts
-More than 3 framed photos or 3 vases/containers on a desktop
-Large items with bold prints, mixed patterns and other visually distracting items

Here's how you can manage your clutter without interrupting your life:

Find a place to put those items – knick-knacks go in a cabinet with solid doors, and books find a home in a bookshelf or a decorative dresser/sideboard
Recycle old magazines & newspapers, and file any mail you need to keep
Store all miscellaneous items in stackable plastic containers

By the time you're done de-cluttering, you should have no items on your bathroom or kitchen countertops (not even the toaster!). Your pantry & cupboards should have about half the usual items in them. The space beneath sinks should be as empty and clean-looking as possible. And loose cords should be tied up and tucked away.



Do a walk-through... like a buyer

This exercise can be fun – and frustrating. Think of a highly critical person you know, and pretend you're that person. Then, grab a pad of paper & pen, get in your car and drive up to your house – just as if you are that critical person considering buying your home. Park your car and make notes of all your first impressions.

-What do you see first? Is it good, bad or memorable in any way?
-Walk up the walkway. Are there cracks?
-Open the front door. Does it creak?
-Is the carpet dirty?
-Is the hardwood lackluster?
-Do the windows stick when you try to open them?

Note everything – and turn those notes into a to-do list.



Determine your list price

Invite 3 local REALTOR®s (listing agents) to provide you with a free home evaluation which will include a recommended sales price. Remember that some agents who simply want your listing will "buy the listing" by telling you what you want to hear.

The market determines the value of your home. Sellers' markets turn into buyers' markets relatively quickly. Discuss your listing price with a REALTOR® you trust, keeping in mind how quickly you want to sell. Don't list too high. And, unless you feel it will somehow work to your benefit, don't list too low.

Why list at a fair price when people will just offer whatever they want?

Because the home-selling process begins with your REALTOR® telling her agent network about your home. That brings REALTOR®s in, who bring their clients with them. If your home is overpriced, REALTOR®s will know it, and they will not waste their clients time on a viewing.

How is a home's price determined?

It starts with your location. Where in the country are you? What area of the city are you in? Is there a lot of inventory in your area, or are listings few and far between?

Then, your REALTOR® will factor in these points:

-Type of property
-Square footage of home and lot size
-Age of home
-State of basement (finished or unfinished)
-Number of bedrooms
-Number of bathrooms
-Space for parking & exposed or covered parking
-Useful upgrades

Thinking of upgrading now to get more money later?

Speak with your REALTOR® first about which upgrades will increase the value of your home. Any upgrade you are considering doing when you're about to list should be an upgrade that will have significant return.



List your home with an agent

Your REALTOR® will walk you through the listing contract, which includes your listing price, the terms of sale and personal property to be included in the sale. The contract also includes detailing the commission to be paid to your REALTOR® and when that commission will be earned.
After you sign the listing contract, your REALTOR® will begin marketing your home.
What is the difference between personal property & real property?
Basically, personal property is not attached to your home and real property is. Personal property includes items like your fridge, stove, window treatments, washers and dryers. Real property is the mailbox, chandeliers, bathroom mirrors and curtain rods.
A buyer may expect some personal and real property to come with the home. Your listing contract needs to detail exactly what will be included with the sale of the house... and what won't.



Get a lawyer & tie up loose ends

After going through negotiations with a potential buyer and getting that much-desired signed purchase contract, you're ready to tie up all the loose ends of the sale. Do you have a real estate lawyer yet? If not, ask a friend or your REALTOR® to refer one. You may also need a home inspector to satisfy any conditions that a buyer may include in his purchase contract.