This article is inspired by my newest YouTube Video– check it out here;
The Top 5 Things To Do Before You Sell
1. Talk to your mortgage broker, bank, or financing professional!
This is so key, and so neglected… people think of selling and they go straight to their Realtor without checking out if moving is even financially an option for them. But that’s OK, that is why you have this article! First things first, you should get an update on what you currently owe, what your current rate is if you are on a variable mortgage and aren’t sure, and what penalties there might be for selling. Also, when you call, be sure to ask if you can port your mortgage which often is available to little or no charge depending on the company. Porting can save you money in some situations, other situations in which you can get a lower interest rate by switching companies may actually save you money. I don’t know what is best for you on this front but your mortgage broker or bank will have an idea.
If you don’t get an answer you like from the first person you go to, my suggestion is to go check with another mortgage broker or bank. I have a few amazing mortgage brokers I can guide you to meet if the person you are currently talking to cannot meet your needs! Remember, this is not a marriage, you can switch companies, and you need to do what’s best for your property investment whether this is your primary residence or you want to keep costs down on an income property!
Once you get the ball rolling on ensuring you have the best financial options go on to Step 2…
2. INTERVIEW 3 AGENTS!
You may think that this is a strange thing for a Realtor suggest on her own blog page but let me tell you this, who you hire as a Realtor is key to the success in the sale of your home and the enjoyment of the process. Not all Realtor’s are created equally, and not everyone works well with all personality types. These are just facts of life, and my best advice to all people I talk to is always this – if you aren’t 100% sure that your Realtor is the best fit and most qualified then interview 3 people.
Going into the sale of your home, or the purchase of a new one, can be a stressful event… but it doesn’t have to be. I want my clients to be sure that I am the best choice for the job, and I have no problem doing a listing presentation or buyer’s presentation with someone knowing that they are interviewing other agents. I welcome the competition because realistically I want my clients to know and see I have the confidence not only to compete for listings but to compete for my buyer’s in a multiple offer situation.
References speak a lot louder than my words, or any other person in sales, so ASK for references! Your Realtor should have a list of past sellers & buyers that are raving about their services, if not find someone else. Selling a home is a big order and sharing past phone numbers is something I always offer to assure a new client that I’ve done this before and done it well enough that people are willing to give referrals over the phone to future clients.
Lastly, you can always google your Realtor or check out their social media. Most Realtor’s have a Facebook page, some have YouTube videos, blogs, or websites such as this. Wherever you live in the world the internet can be a tool to help you find out who people are before you even meet them in person. Speaking of the internet that brings us to number 3…
3. GOOGLE YOUR HOME!
This one is quite straight-forward and self-explanatory. Google your address, what is the internet saying about your home and neighborhood… are there good or bad projects coming up? Is your neighborhood developing with nicer homes or is there high crime in your area? All the information that we can have before listing your home can prepare you for what a well-informed buyer is going to see. Now for Step 4 it’s time for you to do your homework…
4. MAKE A LIST
Start writing down everything you can think of that you have down to your home or for your home since you bought it. If you just bought new appliances that you are selling with the home, get those receipts out. If you have your hydro & gas bills, get those out or produce the average numbers for prospective buyers. Most people will be buying with a budget in mind and it saves time to have all the information out during the open house and showings.
BONUS TIP- Do a home inspection before you sell and have that out available to prospective buyers. Or you can simply tell them one is available. An informed buyer will often do their own inspection anyways but this can save you time and money if something costly and unforeseen comes up BEFORE you sell that you can fix. Then whatever you fixed can be turned from negative to positive as you are such an informed seller that you not only checked what might be wrong with your home, you got it fixed! This is something a prospective buyer would love to see and I can say from experience that homes with a home inspection binder, receipts and list of updates/renos are much more likely to generate more offers. Each offer you get means more money for the home over asking!
5. DEEP CLEAN & STAGING
If you hate cleaning, don’t worry – I do too! Just pay someone to do all detail stuff and get it ready for sale! Declutter declutter DECLUTTER! That means anything personal, take it OFF THE WALL. If your Realtor is asking you to take family photos down, it’s not personal, it’s just necessary. Not everyone has a vivid imagination so we want buyers to walk in with a clean slate of a home to imagine their photos and their stuff in it.
BONUS TIP – Staging can increase the interest in your home right from the get go by having better photos of it on the internet to draw people into the Open House & showings. I offer staging for free but all Realtor’s are different, some offer you staging companies to choose from and some will charge to do it themselves. Something else that buyers are loving is the 3D Tour with professional photos that I offer with every listing. These things are included and offered no matter what so when you are interviewing your agent you should ask what marketing techniques are included and if there are extra costs for anything. So many sellers go straight to negotiating commission without even thinking to ask what’s included. I’m sure there are some agents willing to list for less money but if you don’t have the proper marketing, professional photos, great market exposure, free-staging, optional open house etc. etc. you have to ask yourself what you are paying for! If you save money on commission but lose thousands on the value of your home by not staging it and not attracting buyers then you aren’t really saving money at all, are you?
LAST BONUS TIP – PAINT PAINT PAINT! Painting goes along with staging and if you can afford it then fixing the walls, painting and having neutral colours can vastly improve the amount you get for your home!
I truly hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any questions please leave a comment!