Are you thinking of selling your home? Do you think you can do it on your own? Think again! Selling your home is not a simple undertaking. From marketing to decluttering to determining the best asking price, there are many moving parts involved when getting your property ready to hit the market. Luckily, home sellers don’t have to do it alone.
While it won’t be a breeze, the help of an experienced and knowledgeable REALTOR® can add a lot more certainty to the sales process. Bringing a wealth of local market expertise, creativity, and fine-tuned negotiation skills, REALTORS® are a guiding hand through the entire selling journey.
Paul Albert recently sold his home with the help of Ben Sweet, a REALTOR® and associate with Re/Max iREALTY Innovations in Calgary, Alberta. This is his success story.
Deciding the best time to list
Strategically choosing when to list your home on the market is an important step to ensuring sales success.
For instance, the real estate market is seasonal, and the spring and fall seasons tend to generate more sales activity than the winter. It’s also important to consider whether your property falls within a buyer’s or a seller’s market, which weighs the number of homes for sale against the buyer demand for them.
Albert’s family was preparing to relocate early in the new year. By listing their home in the fall, Sweet advised his clients could skip the end-of-year market slowdown and still sell their home in time for their move.
“Ben was of the opinion that we ought to be getting it on the market now, because there’s a dead period [starting] November, December, January, into February,” said Albert.
Based on your personal timeline and other market factors, your REALTOR® will be able to help you determine the most advantageous time to put your property up for sale.
The price is right
Pricing your property accurately is crucial — you’ll want to hit that sweet spot of being priced competitively without over- or under-valuing your home.
Thankfully, REALTORS® have exclusive access to the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), the most advanced and accurate tool to gauge a neighbourhood’s home price levels and trends.
Using more than 15 years of MLS® System data, the MLS® HPI tracks changes in home prices over time, equipping REALTORS® with important national and local market insights.
By considering the value home buyers assign to various housing attributes, the MLS® HPI provides an “apples to apples” comparison of home prices across the country.
In Albert’s case, Sweet took his clients on a tour of four or five comparable listings to help determine their starting price point. After some further discussion, the team was able to land on a price that aligned with their sales goals.
“Ben was super helpful just in terms of getting us to the right listing price that he thought would get a lot of action right away in that first weekend on the market, and ideally create a multiple offer situation, and that is what ended up happening,” said Albert.
When pricing your home for sale, ask your REALTOR® about how local comparables factor into your asking price.
Harnessing marketing tools
In order to make your listing stand out to as many buyers as possible, you’ll want to have a strong marketing plan in place. This means high-quality photos, multiple social media posts, and even staging your property for maximum online visibility.
As part of their listing experience, Albert explains his REALTOR® gave suggestions on how they could spruce up the house to increase buyer appeal, from updating the kitchen hardware to touching up caulking.
“Small things ended up making a big difference. Same with the stager that he had come in. It really helped us,” said Albert. “We’ve got two little kids and a dog, [so it] helped us kind of declutter and get it more showing-worthy, and all of that was clearly beneficial because we had a lot of activity very quickly on the house.”
Ask your REALTOR® about how they plan to advertise your property. Your sales professional may opt to try a mix of traditional marketing, like newspaper ads and signs, with digital methods like virtual open houses.
Negotiate your best offer
Once your attractively-priced listing and eye-candy marketing take effect, offers should start rolling in.
Your REALTOR® is your No. 1 support system during the negotiation process, and acts as the liaison between the buyer and seller to broker the best deal for the property. In a multiple offer scenario, Sweet was able to iron out the details with the buying teams and produce three ideal offers for his clients to choose from without the sellers having to do any heavy negotiation themselves.
“All of that was pretty simple as well, and everything went well,” said Albert. “There was barely any back and forth even just clarifying a few points surrounding some items in the home.”
In the event of an offer, your REALTOR® will be able to clearly outline the terms of each agreement and support you in your next steps when you decide to accept, counter, or reject an offer.
If you’re ready to list your home for sale, or are simply looking for advice on selling your property, enlist the help of a REALTOR® who can guide you through every step of the way.
This article was previously published in the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate News.