CREA – The Canadian Real Estate Association – provides a number of different and useful resources to help the public buy or sell a home. A summary of the tips will be provided in a series of two articles. This second part will start with a summary of CREA’s advice for house sellers.
Tip 1 – Choose a realtor. Selling a house is not a simple procedure and has the potential for costly mistakes. A realtor will help you sell your house in the least amount of time and for the best price.
Tip 2 – Sign a Listing Agreement, a contract between you and your agent’s brokerage company which gives them the authority to find a purchaser for your home. It must reflect your property details and state the rights and obligations of all parties. The agreement will outline:
- Duration of the agreement
- The realtors compensation
- The listing price and an accurate description of the property
- Financial conditions of the property, including the mortgage balance, mortgage monthly payments and the mortgage due date
- Annual property taxes
- Any easements, rights of way, liens or charges against the property
Ask about disclosure, which is the seller’s obligation to disclose facts that could affect the sale price or influence a buyer’s decision to buy, and minimize the risk of post-sale disputes and lawsuits.
Tip 3 – Set the right price for the house, not too high as it won’t sale and not too low as you’ll lose on your investment. The realtor has the expertise to assess prices of similar properties sold in the area and/or have the house valued by a professional.
Tip 4 – Listing and marketing the property. Your realtor will place your MLS listing on a real estate board’s MLS System, providing information about your property to all other realtors that are members of that board, the majority of the real estate professionals in your community.
An open house might be recommended by your realtor. There are two types:
- An agent’s open house for representatives from the listing company, who may have a prospective buyer
- A public open house to show your home to many potential buyers on a short period of time. Your agent will act as host, answering questions
Tip 5 – Wait for the right opportunity. There are three reasons why a home might not sell as fast as others: location, condition and asking price. Location cannot be changed, but the condition could be improved and the price can be adjusted to be competitive against similar properties in your area.
Review regularly your selling strategy with your agent and ask:
- How often is the house being shown?
- What feedback are you receiving from prospective buyers?
- How well is your property competing and what else can you do?
Tip 6 – An offer for the house will be received once a buyer is found and it will include the buyer’s price, any conditions that may apply, proposed closing date and a date when the offer expires. You may wish to make a counter offer that meets the original offer partway. As an act of good faith, the buyer will make a deposit with the offer.
The comments provided by CREA to help house sellers are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.