Selling Your Property
There are many questions that go through one’s mind when preparing to sell your property. What’s the process? How do I even begin? What are my top priorities? A licensed Sales Representative can act as your guide through the entire process, from listing to closing – and beyond. Below is a basic guideline to consider when preparing to sell.
What Should Your Listing Agent be able to Offer?
- Your calls/texts/emails should be answered, or returned in a prompt manner—always
- Show up on time for appointments
- Neat and professional in appearance
- Prepared with facts and figures (ie. Comparative Market Analysis)
- Prepared with a fitting marketing plan for your property (ie. print materials, photography, social media, etc.)
- Present suggestions on how to increase the salability of your property
- Open-minded and considerate of your specific requirements
- Shows work integrity and speaks positively of others in the industry
Deciding to Sell
To sell your home, you’ll need more than just ads and signs. You need a sales representative who will work as your honest advisor, negotiator and transaction facilitator.
The goal of your sales representative is to:
- obtain the best possible price for your home
- negotiate the most favourable terms
- secure a buyer in the shortest period of time
- relieve you of any potential stress or inconvenience that may occur when selling a home
What are the six critical elements of a sale?
1. Asking Price
2. Property Location
3. Property Condition
4. Market Conditions
5. Contract Terms
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) compares your home to other homes that are currently on the market, ones that are currently under contract, and homes that have recently been sold. It can help you predict what your home would sell for in today’s market. Your Sales Representative will be happy to provide you with this data.
I can help you sell your home faster and with less stress by:
- Helping you set the right price on your home to attract the right buyers (and the sales professionals who work with them)
- Gathering data that will present your home and neighborhood in the best light
- Targeting the market where the most likely buyers will be
- Handling inquiries from people who may be more curious than serious about buying
- Showing your home to the best prospects
- Representing you effectively and professionally during the offer process
- Doing the necessary paperwork and legwork
- Guiding you through the closing (and even any questions you may have beyond the closing)
Setting the Price
When setting a realistic fair market value of your home, you’ll want to consider a few points:
- Don’t base your asking price simply on what you paid for the home. You may be asking too little or too much.
- Determine how much time you have in which to sell your home. If you must sell quickly, your sales professional may suggest a more competitive price or offer more favourable terms.
- Your Sales representative will provide you with recent data of sales of comparable homes in your area, as well as homes currently available in your price range that will be your competition.
- Don’t take a chance by pricing your home too high! It will just make your competition look better. You will lose a large pool of eligible buyers who may not even look at your home because it’s out of their price range.
- Your Sales Representative will discuss what you can do to help maximize the value of your home, making it even more appealing to buyers.
The Offer To Purchase
We will carefully review the offer to purchase submitted by the buyer. The offer tells you the price the buyer is willing to pay and under what conditions. Once you and the buyer sign it, it becomes the contract of sale.
- Accept the terms with no changes and sign the offer
- Make a Counter Offer to the buyer by making some changes. (Many counter offers may take place before the final agreement is signed)
- Reject the offer
Side Note! Once you’ve signed an offer, you may accept a “backup” offer if the buyer clearly understands the house is already under contract.
How Do I Decide On My Selling Price?
Your Sales Representative can estimate your proceeds — the sale price minus fees, taxes and insurance. If the price is less than you wanted, look at the contract as a whole. Perhaps the buyer is assuming some of the closing expenses you expected to pay.
Consider possession and financing terms as well. Consider splitting the difference if you and the buyer are within a few thousand dollars of each other. Remember: time on the market is an additional expense.
Of course, your Sales Representative will help you determine these numbers and consider all options before making a final decision.
An earnest money deposit will be held by a third party trust account until an agreement is reached or there is a closing between you and the buyer. At that time, the money is usually credited to the buyer and applied to the down payment. If the buyer fails to follow through with the contract once it’s accepted, you may be entitled to the earnest money.
Be prepared to convey the property with a deed — a legal document that transfers the title (or ownership rights) of the property to the new owner. Most buyers will require a general warranty deed, in which you guarantee that no one will bring a claim against the title.
Conditions of Special Clauses
Review the contract for the special conditions under which the buyer is offering to buy your home. A common condition is one in which the purchase of your home is contingent on the buyer selling his or her old home. Conditions may also be more specific, such asking you to provide a survey of the property, etc.
Your real estate agent will take time to explain each new clause to ensure you fully understand anything you’re signing!
Closing and Possession Date
The closing will take place at a mutually convenient time, usually within a period of 30 to 60 days. Your sales professional or attorney can help you prepare any paperwork that the contract has called for you to supply, such as the title insurance or a survey. Once you have a closing date, notify the utility and equipment (ie. leased alarms, propane tanks, furnaces, etc.), telephone, water, and other services to advise them of your final billing date (and/or lease transfer to the buyer). Utility companies should make final meter readings on the day of closing.
On closing day…
- your buyer will schedule a final inspection (“walk-through”) to see that the home is in good condition
- review closing costs
- buyer will likely pay the fee for recording the mortgage, while you may be asked to pay the transfer fee and the deed recording fee. Discuss which fees you will be responsible for with your sales professional
- Typically, you as the seller will pay the commission to the listing broker (if two agents are involved, this fee is divided between them)
- Sales Commission: commission paid to your Real Estate agent as outlined in your listing contract
- Legal fees: You will require legal services to complete a real estate transaction. These fees are set by the individual law firms
- Deed Migration: Nova Scotia is in the process of transferring their paper deed system into an electronic format. The cost of migrating your deed is payable before or when you sell your home.
Finally — it’s the moment you’ve waited for! Shortly thereafter, you’ll turn over the keys to your house — and be given a cheque you can take right to the bank.