by Kent Braaten
on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 at 12:00pm.
Unlike selling your old MacBook, which you can just post to Facebook Marketplace and have sold overnight, selling your house takes a bit more planning and preparation. You can’t just pick a price off the top of your head, post it online, and make a deal over text message. No, there are strategic steps that need to be taken to ensure you sell your house quickly (and legally).
Step 1: Choose the Right REALTOR®
When selling your house, you’ll want to make sure that someone is looking out for your best interests and that you’re being represented properly. That’s why working with a listing agent is so important. They work to not only market your home effectively, but they will also help you navigate the current market to ensure you get the best deal possible for your home.
To choose the right agent, you won’t want to just Google “real estate agent Saskatoon” and pick the first name you see. Instead, you’ll want to cultivate a few different names, read some reviews, and ask around for recommendations from your friends and family. Then, with a few names in hand, you can start your interviews!
Meet with potential real estate agents before agreeing to anything and be sure to ask them about important questions, like what their experience level is, how long they plan on listing your home for, and what their commission rates are. You’ll also want to make sure that you can get along with this person! Remember, your house could sell next week or it could sell next month, and you’ll want to make sure that you can hold a conversation with your REALTOR® without pulling your hair out.
Step 2: Find Out How Much Your Home is Worth
When it comes to pricing a house, we all seem to be wearing rose-coloured glasses about what we think ours is worth. But, no matter how much you might think you’d pay for it—or how much you actually did pay for it all those years ago—your home is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. (And, just a tip, they don’t have any sentimental connections to the home that may have them willing to pay a higher price)
To ensure your home is priced accurately, your listing agent will perform a home evaluation. Essentially what they are doing is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), where they look at current market trends and what other homes like yours have been selling for in your area. They then use those metrics to identify where your home fits amongst those to give you an idea of what buyers are currently willing to pay!
Step 3: Get Your Home Ready to Sell
To get it ready, you’ll want to stage your home to sell by cleaning and decluttering, as well as doing any necessary repairs. Remember, first impressions are everything and making the best one is essential for selling your home! Try to move things around to make the spaces seem much bigger and let in as much natural light as possible.
Of course, if you want to enlist the help of a professional, your REALTOR® should be able to point you in the direction of a home stager here in Saskatoon to help you put your best foot forward.
Step 4: Put Your Home on the Market
Once your home is ready to sell, your REALTOR® will begin their marketing plan to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible. This should include taking photos and/or videos, and getting listing your property on MLS to populate on all the major real estate sites, like realtor.ca and point2homes.com. They will write a captivating description of your home to highlight its best features and entice buyers, and they may also spend some money advertising your property across social media and even in paper mail.
To get the best idea of how your home is being marketed, just ask your REALTOR® what they are doing to get your home out there!
Step 5: Host Showings & Open Houses
Buying a house isn’t like buying an outfit online—you can’t just return it if it doesn’t fit. This is why showings and open houses are still an essential part of the buying process. This gives buyers a chance to “try it on”, so to speak, and envision themselves living in the space. So, as a seller, you need to be willing and able to make these in-person viewings happen. And if you’re hoping for a quick sale, you’ll also want to be as flexible as possible to get people into your home sooner.
Step 6: Entertain All Offers
Given that your home is marketed well and priced right, offers will come in. However, more often than not, they won’t be your “absolutely perfect, just what we asked for” offers. They may be offering below your asking price or requesting less-than-ideal conditions. That being said, you should never just throw out an offer without considering it first.
Take into account all the details of all offers and consider how much you are willing to compromise to sell your home. And remember, you are never limited to just accepting or rejecting an offer—feel free to offer a counteroffer and see what the buyer says! Of course, a good, experienced real estate agent will help guide you through this process to ensure you get the best deal possible.
Step 7: Accepting Offers & Entering Escrow
Once you’ve accepted an offer, your REALTOR will be working hard toward your closing date. They will be corresponding on your behalf to open escrow, order the title policy, and arranging the buyer’s appraisal and home inspections. During this time, it may feel like you are just counting down the days until your move, but trust me when I say your real estate agent is still working hard to make sure everything comes together, especially if there are still contingencies in place. With that in mind, keep the line of communication open between you and your agent, and still allow for the flexibility of anything the buyer might need.
Step 8: Close the Sale
When all is said and done, and your closing date arrives, the time will have come to sign the final paperwork and officially hand over the keys to the new owner. And once those keys leave your hands...congratulations! You’ve officially sold your home!