1. Selling your Home? Want to Sell Quickly?
Three words. Price it right. In other words, you want to be at a price so the home is attractive to Buyers. Set your price just under the market. If comparable homes are priced around $385,000 then you should price yours at $380,000 or better yet, $375,000. Most public search sites search in $25,000 increments so a home priced at $379,900 won't even be seen unless the prospective Buyer searches to $400,000 or the price is $375,000 or less.
The longer a home is on the market, the less chance you have of achieving the higher sale price. You want to be the one that sells, not the one that sits on the market for a long time. And, another upside is that thanks to a fast sale you are in a better negotiating position on the purchase of the new house.
2. A Pre-Approval is not an Approval
Many Buyers make the mistake of getting a pre-approval and then think they are done. They start racking up credit card bills, or opening new lines of credit for thing for their new home to be.
The problem is that before the closing the lender can look at everything again, including credit and then there is a problem. Never over extend on credit cards or loans until after the closing. Better yet, wait a few months so you are comfortable with all of the expenses.
3. Selling May Take Longer Than You Think
Often Seller's believe their home will take less time to sell than it actually does. This puts stress on Sellers who make plans around unrealistic timeline expectations. Talk to your REALTOR about these timelines. Here are some rough guidelines:
- Getting your home ready to sell. This can take as little as a couple days to a month or more depending on what needs to be done. You may not need to spend much money, but de-cluttering is a must.
- How long does it take to sell? This varies widely depending on location (even from district to district), price and even the time of year. The average home in Calgary last month was on the market for 48 days.
- Closing. Most Buyers are looking for a 30 to 90 day possession time frame.
Therefore, plan on a three to six month timeframe. And, that is with a home that is priced right in a good market.
4. Some "Buyers" are just not ready (or able) to buy
Often a Buyer will get "pre-qualified" but that is not "pre-approved". Pre-qualified means they have told a lender that they make X amount of money and have good credit so based on that the lender gives them a number of what they may be able to borrow on a mortgage.
Pre- approved means they have applied for the load and have supplied the lender their financial information, employment letter confirming income.
5. Yes, Virginia, it does have to smell good
Little things matter. Little things are often not little. The old saying that "you never get a second chance to make a good first impression" is more true than ever when selling your home. Buyer's need to enter your home and have it look good, feel good and smell good. The needs to be "show home ready" when there is a showing. Unmade beds, laundry on the floor, and bad odours will turn off a buyer...fast. Here is a small check list:
- The home should be clean. A place for everything and everything in its place.
- The home needs to smell good. Have the carpets cleaned. You could even bake some cookies or buns and leave them out for the Buyers.
- Leave the lights on.
- The temperature should be set to a comfortable temperature. Too cold (or too hot) is a turn off.
You want the first impression to be warm, inviting, comfortable and well maintained.
6. REALTORS® don't make as much as you think.
The REALTOR® you hire to sell your home (or find you a new one) probably isn't making as much as you might think. First, the commission is split between the company that has the home listed and the company that brings the Buyer. Then that commission is split between the company and the REALTOR®. Then the REALTOR® has many expenses like licensing costs, Board fees, MLS® fees, advertising costs and automobile expenses just to name a few.
After all is said and done, the REALTOR® may be lucky to take home 1% to 1.5%. Still not bad, but nowhere near the public perception of 3% to 6%.