Sellers Information
Selling Your Home  •  Selling Costs  •  Marketing System  •  Selling Tips  •  Choosing a Sales Representative
Home Improvement Tips  •  Closing The Sale •  Moving Checklist

Selling Your Home

There are a million different reasons why people sell their homes, but every seller has one thing in common: the desire to get as much money as possible from their existing residence as quickly and as hassle-free as possible. (If your home is your principal residence, you won't have to pay capital gains tax on any profits from the sale. If, on the other hand, it is an investment property, prepare for the tax man!)

Before you begin the selling process, really evaluate why you're moving. Do you have too few rooms, or too many? Has your job moved to another city and you're relocating? Are the neighbours driving you away? Or are you simply looking for a change? A complete analysis of your current position will set a good foundation for your next home hunt.

Buy or Sell First?

Buy or sell first? That's tricky. After all, if you find a purchaser for your existing home, before you've found a new one, you may find yourself living out of a suitcase if convenient closing dates can not be negotiated. On the other hand, if you find your dream home before you've unloaded your old one, you may be faced with carrying two mortgages for a time.

So how do you manage? Easy. Do your homework and have a good idea about the neighbourhood and type of home you're looking for. Do an honest evaluation of your family's needs and budget.

Speak to your sales representative and start your new home search as soon as your existing home hits the market.

If you've found a home, before you've sold your existing one, use "sale of your existing home" as a condition on your offer. If you don't sell your house within a fixed period of time, you can choose not to go through with the offer. This, however, is a difficult condition for many vendors to agree upon and you may find that you have to forgo your price negotiating power.

Purchasing a home before you sell could be a risky strategy if you're counting on the proceeds from the sale.

If you've found a purchaser before you've found your next home, use "purchase of a new home" as a condition when you sign back the agreement. Again, it will only be for a fixed time. Even if you have not found the ideal next house by the time the deal closes, you may still wish to proceed with the offer. As a buyer with a "sold house" you will be in a better position to negotiate price.

Make Your House More Sellable

While we all believe that our home is our castle, our personal tastes may not appeal to everyone. Your sales representative will work with you to give you an impartial analysis of your home - how it relates to other "competing" homes on the market and how your home reflects current design and style trends. Your sales representative will also take a good look at the general condition and upkeep of your dwelling.

Overall, your sales representative will work with you to position your home on the market so that your sales experience will take place as expeditiously as possible.

Advertise Your Home on MLS®

This service is only available to real estate sales representatives. It is a database of all the homes for sale through sales representatives. Details about your home will be available to other sales representatives searching for homes in your area, in the range of your asking price.

Arrange Showings

In addition to giving your home the once over with a mop and dust cloth, have your sales representative prepare a home feature sheet. This is a one page synopsis of your home that highlights lot size, room dimensions, features and upgrades as well as utility costs and taxes. Prospective buyers will take a sheet and refer to it while viewing your home. Plus, it makes for a great reference sheet when the buyers are comparing properties.

The Open House:

This is usually not a pleasant experience. The upside is that you usually won't have to be there to act as a guide. The downside is that you might have a series of open houses over a few weeks, with people poking through all areas of your home. And you'll have the constant pressure of keeping your home looking its best.

The Viewing:

When a sales representative has a client who is interested in your home, they will first call to make an appointment with your sales representative. If you're lucky, you'll have time for the last-minute tidying. Of course, you can say no if the prospective purchaser wishes to come at an inconvenient time.

During the viewing, make sure you give the viewer and the sales representative a feature sheet and get the sales representative's business card. Give viewers the freedom to wander around your home by themselves. Following may make them uncomfortable. The sales representative will stay with the prospects to offer some protection against theft or property damage.

Understanding the Costs of Selling a Home

Jill's Team is committed to helping you be an informed seller. It's important to understand the costs that may be your responsibility when selling Toronto Real Estate.

SELLING COSTS

When selling a property, it is important to bear in mind that you may be responsible for the following costs:
  • Real Estate Commission: This is usually based on the sale price of the property and can vary from one real estate agency to another. Be sure to ask your agent what their company charges.
  • Legal Fees: These can range from $ 500 to $ 1,200 depending on the firm and amount of legal work that is necessary.
  • Discharge of Mortgage: These will be specified in the mortgage document or as negotiated with the mortgagee. Costs to discharge the mortgage will include a legal fee and, if applicable, a penalty, which is sometimes equal to three months interest on the mortgage or based on an interest differential calculation.
  • Moving Costs: These can vary quite a bit, depending on the company you use and the distances involved. For a three-bedroom house, allow between $700 to $1,400.
  • Survey: Often you can improve your chances of selling your house promptly by providing a survey. This can cost between $600 to $1,000.

The costs given above are approximations only. For a more accurate assessment of your potential selling costs and for any other real estate information about the Greater Toronto Area, contact us at Jill's Team.

Our Marketing System

With our 40 years experience in the real estate business, we have been able to fine tune our services and develop the Royal LePage Signature Realty Home Marketing System.

MARKETING SYSTEM

Using the Royal LePage Signature Realty Home Marketing System, we will...
  • price your property accurately for the fastest sale at the best possible price;
  • do thorough research of the homes in your price range;
  • actively promote your home to targeted audiences;
  • market your property world-wide on the Internet using the latest in interactive technology; and
  • contact out-of-town buyers through the national referral network.
Our services include:
  • placing a FOR SALE sign on your front yard to advertise your home;
  • holding OPEN HOUSES on agreed dates;
  • issuing HIGHLIGHT SHEETS describing the features of your home;
  • distributing BROCHURES to homes in your neighbourhood, so that your neighbours can spread the word to friends who may be looking for a home in your area;
  • placing REGULAR ADVERTISEMENTS in appropriate publications to publicize the strong selling points of your home;
  • featuring your home on our extensive, interactive WEB SITE;
  • promoting THE ADVANTAGES of your home with fellow Realtors, and
  • conscientiously working to find REFERRALS FROM OTHER CITIES whose needs might match your home.

At Jill's Team, we work in partnership with our clients. We will actively seek input from you on the sales process, and we will keep you informed on all aspects of the MARKETING OF YOUR HOME.
And, last but not least, we undertake to go that extra mile to get you a prompt sale for the most money.

Determining the best price to ask...

Once you have decided on a Realtor to represent you in the sale of your home, the next and most important decision you have, is to determine the best price to ask. Do you want the most money, in the least time and with the fewest problems? If so, a realistic asking price will help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar. By pricing your home close to market value you ensure that the difference between your asking price and the price an informed purchaser will be willing to pay is less, resulting in the greater likelihood of competing offers.

Your home will also be less likely to become stale on the market, resulting in potential purchasers questioning why it hasn't sold yet. A house that is overpriced by 10% of it's actual market value is much less likely to sell within the first 30 days than one priced within 5% of it's true value. Not only will an over-priced home take longer to sell, it is also likely to sell for less than it's actual value. This is due to the negative effect often associated with properties that have been on the market for a longer than average time.

It should be pointed out that recommended listing prices are usually based on recent sales and current market conditions. It is always difficult to walk the line between getting the most for a property while at the same time remaining competitive enough to attract serious offers. Too often we are influenced by the price we would like to get versus a more realistic price that the market will actually support.

How you feel about testing the market will determine how much higher than the current selling prices of similar homes you will wish to ask for your property. You can always start at a higher price than the market indicates and then, if necessary, reduce your price at a future date. The drawback to this is that it could take longer than usual to sell and you could end up simply helping to sell other similar homes as they may look comparably better value than yours. While in the meantime your home has become stale on the market.

This is where the experience and knowledge of good Realtors such as ourselves is invaluable. We spend a great deal of our time and energy keeping our fingers on the pulse of the market and have the resources, connections and ability to keep you up-to-date with its' constant changes. We are your best source for determining and getting the highest price possible. Call Jill's Team at (416) 443-0300 for immediate attention.

SELLING TIPS

Sell Your Home Successfully

Valuable information on how to maximize the sale of your home from the professionals with Jill's Team.

Pricing your home



When selling your home, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is the asking price. Homebuyers shop around, so you'll have to set a fair market price if you hope to sell. At the same time, you will want to get as much as possible for your property.

Some things to consider when deciding on your price: The age and condition of your home, Whether it needs updating, What similar homes in your area have sold for, Whether property values in your area have been increasing or decreasing, Whether there are a lot of homes for sale in your area. Setting the right price can be very difficult, so we suggest you get a real estate professional from Royal LePage Signature Realty to help you.

Ensuring your home looks its best

With a little effort on your part, your home can be sold more quickly and at a better price.

Marketing Your Home

Unless you are extremely lucky, it is unlikely that someone will walk in off the street and buy your home. Usually a serious marketing campaign has to be undertaken. Perhaps you have the time and resources to do this yourself, but a better idea would be to let Jill's Team do it for you. Click here to read about our marketing strategy.

Determining the best price to ask....

Once you have decided on a Realtor to represent you in the sale of your home, the next and most important decision you have, is to determine the best price to ask. Do you want the most money, in the least time and with the fewest problems? If so, a realistic asking price will help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar. By pricing your home close to market value you ensure that the difference between your asking price and the price an informed purchaser will be willing to pay is less, resulting in the greater likelihood of competing offers.

Your home will also be less likely to become stale on the market, resulting in potential purchasers questioning why it hasn't sold yet. A house that is overpriced by 10% of it's actual market value is much less likely to sell within the first 30 days than one priced within 5% of it's true value. Not only will an over-priced home take longer to sell, it is also likely to sell for less than it's actual value. This is due to the negative effect often associated with properties that have been on the market for a longer than average time.

It should be pointed out that recommended listing prices are usually based on recent sales and current market conditions. It is always difficult to walk the line between getting the most for a property while at the same time remaining competitive enough to attract serious offers. Too often we are influenced by the price we would like to get versus a more realistic price that the market will actually support.

How you feel about testing the market will determine how much higher than the current selling prices of similar homes you will wish to ask for your property. You can always start at a higher price than the market indicates and then, if necessary, reduce your price at a future date. The drawback to this is that it could take longer than usual to sell and you could end up simply helping to sell other similar homes as they may look comparably better value than yours. While in the meantime your home has become stale on the market.

This is where the experience and knowledge of good Realtors such as ourselves is invaluable. We spend a great deal of our time and energy keeping our fingers on the pulse of the market and have the resources, connections and ability to keep you up-to-date with its' constant changes. We are your best source for determining and getting the highest price possible.

The Offer!

So you've had your home on the market for a while, and at last a prospective buyer is making "an offer." As the seller, you have three options: you can accept the offer, reject it, or give a counter offer. A counter offer usually encourages a buyer to continue their negotiations. Perhaps you have received offers from several different buyers with different terms and conditions. You may prefer to take slightly less from a buyer who is willing to pay cash, instead of waiting for someone else who would pay more but must sell their own home first. Jill's Team has the experience and knowledge to help you choose the best offer.

The Closing

Once you've accepted an offer for your home, there are still many details that have to be taken care of. The buyer will probably engage a professional house inspector to inspect the property; the buyer's mortgage company may send out an appraiser to ensure your property's true value. Also, the buyer's legal advisors will want to search its title. You can try to handle all these details yourself, or you can get Jill's Team to look after them for you so that the entire selling process is carried out as smoothly as possible.

Sale Preparation
  • First impressions count. Keep the grass and shrubs neatly trimmed. Fertilize the lawn to make your grass look lush and green. Plant flowers in the front yard. Replace downed shutters, gutters, and downspouts. Remove debris from gutters and downspouts. Paint any trim that is blistering. Replace torn screens on windows and front and back doors. If it's fall, rake up the leaves. If it's winter, keep the driveway and walk ways clear. Make your home as inviting as possible.
  • Make sure the porch is clear of clutter and the front door is clean and freshly painted, if necessary.
  • Have a big clean up. Clean up in the living rooms, bathrooms and kitchen. Wash the windows, clean the fans and ventilating hoods. Clean and polish the floors. Have the draperies and wall-to-wall carpeting cleaned. Have the carpeting stretched if it is loose.
  • If necessary, do some minor redecorating to ensure that the woodwork, paint work and wallpaper are fresh and clean.
  • Bathrooms sell houses, so keep yours spotless. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. Display your best towels, mats and shower curtains.
  • Fix all minor problems. Leaking taps, burned-out light bulbs, sticking or squeaking cabinet and closet doors. All of these are easy to fix so don't let little problems give a bad impression of your home.
  • Get rid of all hazards and make your home a safe place. You may have learnt to dodge the toys on the floor, the frayed carpet on the stairs, the slippery rugs and extension cords, but think about the potential buyers and ensure that they have clear access to all areas of your home.
  • Make your house look spacious by rearranging the furniture to maximize space. Clean out your closets and remove items from the floors of walk-in-closets. Clean out the attic and basement to make sure they are free of unnecessary clutter.
  • Ensure that the bedrooms are as attractive and cozy as possible. Get rid of excess furniture to make them seem more spacious. Use attractive bedspreads and ensure all drapes are clean and in good condition.
  • Let the sun shine in. Pull back your curtains and drapes so your home looks bright and cheery. Make sure the whole house smells fresh and inviting. Use solid deodorizers in all rooms and closets. Have fresh flowers in various rooms.
  • When showing your home in the evening, turn on all the lights - both inside and outside. Lights add color and give a welcoming ambience.
  • Have the fireplaces lit in cooler weather.
  • Stay out of the way. You don't want potential buyers to feel like they are intruding, so keep out of their way, and keep the number of people in the house to a minimum. Let your buyers have a good look around without being interrupted or embarrassed.
  • Keep your pets out of the way, and preferably out of the house. Remove all food bowls, etc.
  • Lock all jewelry and valuables safely away, or take them with you when your property is unattended. Valuable property such as art, vases and figurines should be out of reach, out of sight or locked away.
  • Keep the noise down. If you must have music, make sure it is quiet and inviting. Turn off the radio and TV.
  • Don't apologize about your home's shortcomings. If a prospect makes a derogatory comment about it, let Jill's Team handle the situation.
  • Don't try to sell prospective buyers any unwanted furnishings.
  • When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to the expert.
  • Help your agent to help you by scheduling all showings through his or her office.

Choosing The Right Sales Representative

Your sales representative is a trained professional who knows all aspects of the real estate market. A sales representative will save you time, money and aggravation.

As with purchasing a home, you want to list with the sales representative who is the expert in your location. After all, potential purchasers will be calling this same "area expert" to inquire about houses for sale. There will be a few sales representatives who are knowledgeable about your neighbourhood. Call them up and interview them. You need to feel comfortable with him or her, after all, they will be working for you.

Should You Go With a Non-Exclusive or Exclusive Listing Arrangement?

If you enter into this type of arrangement with your sales representative, you are giving him or her the exclusive right to find a purchaser for your home. With this type of agreement, no other sales representative will bring potential buyers to your home, because only the listing sales representative is entitled to the commission.

You may consider this type of arrangement in a Sellers' Market during which time there are more people interested in purchasing a home than there are homes available.

Understand Market Conditions

The real estate market is in constant flux, not only as a whole but in particular areas as well. Knowing what is going on in the overall and local real estate markets will help you understand how these conditions can affect the sale of your home. We've designed the following comparison to help give you an overview of the three significant market positions. When you meet with your sales representative, ask about the current state of the market.

Buyers Market:

The supply of homes on the market exceeds demand.

Characteristics:

High inventory of homes. Few buyers compared to availability. Homes stay on the market longer. Prices are stable or perhaps dropping.

Implications:

Buyers spend more time looking for a home, and when they negotiate, they usually have more leverage.

Sellers Market:

The number of potential buyers exceeds the supply of homes on the market.

Characteristics:

There is a smaller inventory of homes with many buyers. Homes sell quickly. Prices usually increase.

Implications:

Prices may be higher or perhaps climbing. Buying decisions must be made quickly. Conditional offers may be rejected.

Balanced Market:

The number of homes on the market is roughly equal to the demand.

Characteristics:

Demand equals supply. Sellers accept reasonable offers. Homes sell within a reasonable time period. Prices generally remain stable.

Implications:

There is less tension among buyers and sellers. There is a reasonable number of homes to choose from.

Simple Home Improvements that will help you clean up

It simply makes sense to clean up both the interior and exterior of your home before listing it for sale. But that doesn't mean you have to undertake major home renovation projects on order to sell your home. With a little effort you can increase the perceived value of your home by a great margin.

Here are some simple things to keep in mind that you can do to increase the perceived value of your home and make the perfect first impression.

Exterior of Home

  • Keep lawns cut
  • Trim hedges and bushes
  • Weed and edge gardens
  • Clear driveway and clean stains
  • Clean out garage
  • Power wash home exterior
  • Touch up paint
  • Plant colorful flowers

At The Front Door

  • Clean porch and foyer
  • Ensure door bell works
  • Repair any broken screens
  • Fresh paint or varnish front door
  • Repair any damages to the door and/or locks

Setting the Right Mood

  • Make sure your home smells fresh and clean
  • Turn on lights
  • Turn on air conditioner/heater
  • Open the drapes
  • Light the fireplace

Maximize Open Space

  • Clear halls and stairs of clutter
  • Clear kitchen counter and stove top
  • Clear closets of unnecessary items
  • Remove empty boxes and storage
  • Put away personal photos so buyers can envision the house as theirs

Maintenance

  • Repair leaking taps and toilets
  • Clean furnace and filters
  • Tighten door knobs and latches
  • Repair cracked plaster
  • Apply fresh coat of pain or touch up where necessary
  • Clean and repair windows
  • Repair seals around tubs and basins
  • Replace defective light bulbs
  • Oil squeaking doors
  • Repair squeaking floor boards

Squeaky Clean

  • Clean and freshen bathrooms
  • Clean fridge and stove
  • Clean around heating vents
  • Clean washer and dryer
  • Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds
  • Eliminate pet odors and stains

Closing the Sale

Closing is a time of packing and organization. Be sure you do not pack anything that you agreed to sell! Unless you specifically mentioned certain fixtures, everything must remain in place.

You are responsible for handing over the home in the same condition it was at the time of closing. This applies to everything that was in the agreement. If the home suffers a major disaster, you are responsible for telling the buyer, at which point the buyer may walk away from the deal and have the deposit returned. The buyer may also choose to close and receive any insurance proceeds. In this unfortunate event, remember not to make any repairs until you find out what the buyer wants to do.

The Closing

Once signing the agreement, both the seller and buyer are under a legal obligation to close. If you decide not to for whatever reason, the buyer has the right to sue.

If the buyer decides to walk away from the deal, you can claim the buyer's deposit or sue for damages.

Jill Fewster-Yan, Broker, MBA
Jill@JillsTEAM.ca | Office: 416-443-0300 | Fax: 416-352-5557