Why use an agent?
Selling a home takes more than just putting a "for
sale" sign out front. You need an agent with experience and training to help you
determine the right price, come up with an effective marketing strategy, and
anticipate and solve any problems that come up during the selling process. A
real estate professional can help you with every part of selling your home, and
offer you a smoother, hassle-free experience.
When you're selling your
home, there are a number of advantages to working with an agent:
- He/she knows real estate values in your neighbourhood and will help price
your home competitively by preparing a market analysis of homes that have sold,
competing homes that are still on the market and homes that were on the market
but didn't sell.
- He/she will establish a marketing strategy for your home, ensuring that it's
exposed to as many potential buyers as possible.
- He/she takes care of the tasks involved in selling a house, ensuring that
the transaction is simple and low-stress for you.
- He/she is an expert in the home selling process and will advise you of your
rights, options and obligations.
- He/she is an experienced negotiator and will work for you to get you the
best possible price.
Effective marketing for your home
An agent can help you market your home by exposing it to as many potential
buyers as possible. The first step is putting it on the MLS ®. But listing your
property is only the beginning; your agent will prepare a personalized plan that
includes everything he/she plans to do to sell your property. At Royal LePage,
your property will be aggressively promoted through:
- A posting on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS ®)
- Royal LePage property advertising publications
- The Royal LePage web site
- Other Royal LePage offices and real estate professionals
- Mailings to potential buyers in your area
Pricing your property right
If you price your
property too low, it may sell quickly, but you'll lose out on money. If you
price it too high, it may not sell at all. Your agent can help you figure out
the best asking price for your home.
The benefits of the right
A well-priced property may generate competing offers, which will
drive up the final price. Other real estate professionals will be enthusiastic
about presenting your property to their buyers. Your home will sell faster
because it is exposed to more qualified buyers.
Listen to the
As part of your pricing strategy, your agent will put together a
comparative market analysis, which is a good indicator of what today's buyers
are willing to pay. It compares the market activity of homes similar to yours in
- Homes that have recently sold represent what buyers are willing to pay.
- Homes currently listed for sale represent the price sellers hope to obtain.
- Listings that have expired are generally overpriced or have been poorly
Don't overprice your home
believe that if they price their home high initially, they can lower it later.
Instead of making you more money, this strategy could end up hurting you.
The elements of an offer
- Early activity is key. As soon as a home comes on the market, agents
and potential buyers sit up and take notice. If it's overpriced, interested
parties will quickly lose interest. By the time the price drops, the majority of
buyers are lost. When a home has been for sale too long, buyers will be wary and
may reject the property.
- You'll miss the right buyer. You may think that interested buyers can
always make an offer, but if your home is overpriced, potential buyers looking
in a lower price range will never see it. And those who can afford a home at
your asking price will soon recognize that they can get a better value
- You could run out of time. You may end up having to drop your price
below market value if your home doesn't sell initially. Price it right the first
time, and you won't end up having to sell it for less than it's worth.
Here's a quick reference to everything you need to
know about accepting on offer on your home.
on the market and the buyers, but generally, the price offered is different from
the asking price.
Shows the buyer's good faith and
will be applied against the purchase price of the home when the sale closes.
Includes the total price the buyer is offering as
well as the financing details. The buyer may be arranging his/her own financing
or may ask to assume your existing mortgage if you have an attractive
These might include "subject to home
inspection," "subject to the buyer obtaining financing," or "subject to the sale
of the purchaser's property."
5. Inclusions and exclusions
These may include appliances and certain fixtures or decorative items, such
as window coverings or light fixtures.
6. Closing or possession
Generally, the day the title of the property is transferred to the
buyer and funds are received by the seller, unless otherwise specified (except
in Manitoba and Quebec).
Renovating for resale
Renovations don't have to be
expensive or extensive to offer you a good rate of return. In fact, a quick coat
of paint can go a long way to boosting your selling price. Just make sure your
new décor is tasteful, with shades of white and tame versions of popular
The kitchen and bathroom are your best bets for renovation with
the highest payback. Take a look at these average rates of return for home
- Interior painting and décor - 73%
- Kitchen renovation - 72%
- Bathroom renovation - 68%
- Exterior paint - 65%
- Flooring upgrades - 62%
- Window/door replacement - 57%
- Main floor family room addition - 51%
- Fireplace addition - 50%
- Basement renovation - 49%
- Furnace/heating system replacement - 48%
- New lighting - 84%
As an expert on home sales trends in your neighbourhood, your Royal LePage Sales Professional can suggest which areas of
your home could benefit from renovation and increase its
Preparing your home for an inspection
selling your home, be prepared for a visit from a home inspector, who will be
checking out the property on behalf of possible purchasers. Take a look through
your home using these steps, and repair any problems to ensure that your
inspection is a success.
1. Make sure the structure is sound.
Check to see if any renovations have damaged the structure. Look for termite
damage. Ensure that "settling" hasn't caused damage to the foundation or support
beams and joists.
2. Check if electrical and wiring systems are
safe. Loose wires or incorrectly installed or wired receptacles, switches or
electrical box problems are hazardous and should be fixed. All homes should have
a minimum of 100 amp service.
3. Look for leaks. Water can leak
into unexpected places, causing extensive damage over time. Examine the
underside of sinks and dishwashers, along ceilings, on floors or along basement
walls. Plumbing fixtures, water-using appliances, drain pipes, water supply
inlets and outlets, basements and roofs can all be causes and sources of water
4. Resolve safety issues. Make sure windows open easily
and lock securely, and entrances/exits can be securely locked. Correct hazards
such as hidden curbs, loose railings and stairs, uncapped wells, etc.
5. Check plumbing. Faucets should run easily and shut off
completely, bathtubs should be properly caulked and grouted, toilets should be
bolted down securely, drains should be clog free, and the water heater should be
in good working order.
6. Make sure your heating and cooling systems
work. Make sure they are up to date, clean, in good working condition and
have clean filters. Check refrigerant in air conditioning units.
Have a friend take a look. A general, unbiased overview of your home by a
neighbour or friend may reveal issues you might have overlooked.
Glossary of terms
Amortization period: The actual number of years it will take to
pay back your mortgage loan.
Appraised value: An estimate of the
value of the property, conducted for the purpose of mortgage lending by a
Assumability: Allows the buyer to take over
the seller's mortgage on the property.
Closed mortgage: A
mortgage that locks you into a specific payment schedule. A penalty usually
applies if you repay the loan in full before the end of a closed term.
Condominium fee: A payment among owners, which is allocated to
Conventional mortgage: A mortgage loan issued for
up to 75% of the property's appraised value or purchase price, whichever is
Down payment: The buyer's cash payment toward the property
that is the difference between the purchase price and the amount of the mortgage
Equity: The difference between the home's selling value and
the debts against it.
High-ratio mortgage: A mortgage that exceeds
75% of the home's appraised value. These mortgages must be insured for
Interest rate: The value charged by the lender for the
use of the lender's money, expressed as a percentage.
tax, deed tax or property purchase tax: A fee paid to the municipal and/or
provincial government for the transferring of property from seller to buyer.
Maturity date: The end of the term of the loan, at which time you
can pay off the mortgage or renew it.
Mortgagee: The financial
institution or person that lends the money.
Applies to high-ratio mortgages. It protects the lender against loss if the
borrower is unable to repay the mortgage.
insurance: Pays off the mortgage if the borrower dies.
Mortgagor: The borrower.
Open mortgage: Allows
partial or full payment of the principal at any time, without penalty.
Portability: A mortgage option that enables borrowers to take
their current mortgage with them to another property, without penalty.
Pre-approved mortgage: Qualifies you for a mortgage before you
start shopping. You know exactly how much you can spend and are free to make a
firm offer when you find the right home.
Voluntary payments that are in addition to regular mortgage payments.
Principal: The amount borrowed or still owing on a mortgage loan.
Interest is paid on the principal amount.
Refinancing: Paying off
the existing mortgage and arranging a new one or renegotiating the terms and
conditions of an existing mortgage.
Renewal: Renegotiation of a
mortgage loan at the end of a term for a new term.
Additional financing, which usually has a shorter term and a higher interest
rate than the first mortgage.
Term: The length of time the
interest rate is fixed. It also indicates when the principal balance becomes due
and payable to the lender.
Title: Legal ownership in a property.
Variable rate mortgage: A mortgage with fixed payments that
fluctuates with interest rates. The changing interest rate determines how much
of the payment goes towards the principal.
mortgage: When the seller provides some or all of the mortgage financing in
order to sell their property.