Selling your home for the first time can be an emotional experience. It's no longer just four walls, floors and a roof; it's where your memories are.
Below we have provided some tips on how to make the most of the sale, both financially and psychologically.
Your agent can act as your guide throughout this process, from months before the lawn sign goes up until the day it closes.
Choosing an Agent
Choosing the right agent to list and market your property is critically important. The question of course is then, who is the right agent? Ultimately it comes down to trust and confidence in the agent's ability to effectively market and then negotiate the best price for your property. It's more than just a business transaction; it is a relationship between you and the agent, and one that you both have to feel comfortable with. However you should also consider how effectively the agent will market your home. Ask for a listing presentation, and ask for references from previous clients. Determine how well they know your market area.
Exclusive or MLS listing agreements... what's the difference?
Once you have chosen an agent, you will be asked to sign either an Exclusive or MLS listing agreement which gives your agent the right to market your home for the length of time you both agree upon. An Exclusive listing agreement gives only your agency the right to sell your property and provides no automatic right for any other agency to participate in the sale (provide a buyer). An MLS listing always includes the right of all other Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) agencies to participate in the sale of your property. This increases your market exposure dramatically, from 1 to a few hundred agents and their buyers, to the 30,00 TREB members and all their buyers. Considering the dramatic increase in exposure with MLS, it's no wonder very few sellers opt for exclusive listing contracts. Exclusive listings are still used for those sellers who want to keep their sale “quiet” and are not concerned about a lack of exposure.
The Right Price for the Right Place
In some cases, your agent might recommend a list price that is slightly lower than what you might want in order to get more interest and more offers. In a multiple offer situation, buyers may start to try to outbid each other which ultimately means more money for you. When a property is listed on MLS it is exposed to all 30,000 TREB Members and their clients and in a reasonable market it is virtually impossible to under price a listing; if the listing is perceived to be under valued it will generate more than one offer, driving up the sale price to market value and possibly higher. Pricing a property isn't just a matter of deciding on a number that sounds right. There are many factors involved, such as the value of other properties in the area, the specifics and condition of your home, and the current market situation in your area. Your agent will be able to access information from TorontoMLS about sold properties in your area that isn't available to the general public in order to help you come to a decision about pricing.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking, "well, my neighbour down the street has an identical house and he got this much." Your neighbour may have also done a lot of renovations or there may be special features which influenced the sale price. Also, market conditions are always changing from one month to the next. To receive a Free assesment of your home, feel free to contact us.
Let Your Agent Do the Work
By its very nature, selling your home can be a emotional experience. So step back, and let your agent handle the details. That includes open houses, when you should go out for a few hours to see a movie or have a coffee rather than watching complete strangers parading through your home. As well, let your agent handle the negotiating process and evaluate the offers -- you may think an offer is too low or insulting when it may actually just an opening to further negotiations.
Stage Your Way to Success
The old adage that you don't get a second chance to make a first impression is no truer than in real estate. Your house needs to exude the sort of curb appeal that will bring in buyers. Sometimes that means bring in a professional "house stager" who will organize and clean the place, and arrange for repairs, painting or even renting furniture and art if the rooms look a little bare, or unclutter your home by helping you do a little early packing for your move. Developers do it with model suites -- you can too! For more information on what you can do to prepare your home for sale feel free to contact us.
Trust Your Agent
The key factor in a relationship between you and your agent is trust -- you have to have trust that your agent will represent your best interests and give you the guidance you need to make the right decisions.