The time has now come for you to move on, experience something new, and make a fresh start. But how do you go about making that final break? No, I’m not talking about your relationship with your partner; I mean the one with your home and how to sell a house successfully.
HOW TO SELL A HOUSE: get a good real estate agent
It’s true. Love’em or hate’em, if you want to sell a house quickly and profitably, the first thing you need to do is get a good agent. In 2010, 88% of home sellers sold their property through a real estate agent – that’s approximately 9 out every 10. However, finding a good agent can be tricky, so make sure you talk to at least 2 or 3 before deciding whom you want to go with. And ask questions like: If I were to work with you, how would you market my house? And For how long have you sold houses in this area? Remember, you’re hiring someone to help you sell a house and paying for the service, so it’s kind of like holding a job interview – in fact, that’s what it really is!
HOW TO SELL A HOUSE: prepare your house for sale
Readying a home for sale is a major part of how to sell a house successfully. After all, you have to make your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Unfortunately, this means more than just a quick vacuum and straightening that picture of Aunt Mildred and Uncle Rupert hanging on the wall (or Dogs Playing Poker – one of my personal favourites). There’s actually quite a bit that goes into this, if you want your home to sell quickly and profitably. First, start outside with:
- Checking the curb appeal
- Make any necessary repairs to the exterior
- Throw on a new coat of paint
- Make sure the lawn and garden look good
- The house should be free of clutter
- Eliminate any strange and/or unpleasant odours
- Freshen up the interior by repainting rooms
- VERY IMPORTANT: do a home staging. Your agent can help you with this by arranging for a professional home stager to transform your house from ordinary into extraordinary, thereby making it easier to sell.
Use this checklist, put together by the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, to help you when preparing your home for the market.
HOW TO SELL A HOUSE: Marketing, marketing, marketing!
Admittedly, this is your agent’s area but it helps to be a part of the process. Talk to your agent about their marketing plan, e.g. where they plan to advertise, whether they’ll be holding an open house, HOW THEY’RE GOING TO GO ABOUT SELLING YOUR HOME. A good agent will know the proper market value of the house and will price it accordingly – not too high and not too low. Also, they’ll make sure that your property gets maximum exposure to prospective buyers and will use their network to market it to other agents who are representing buyers. This is one of the key ingredients to a successful sale.
HOW TO SELL A HOUSE: Negotiating and closing the deal
This is where having an experienced real estate agent pays off in spades! Skilful negotiation is an important part of how to sell a house successfully and it’s essential to know what you’re doing if you want to come out on top. A good agent will handle the negotiation in a way that results in a quick and profitable sale for you. They will arrange the paperwork, ensure all the legal issues are covered and protect your interests. There’s no sense in selling your home if it lands you in both financial and legal trouble!
Knowing how to sell a house means more than just sticking a sign on the front lawn and hoping someone will call. It involves planning, preparation, expertise and a lot of hard work. That’s why most people still choose to go with a real estate agent when selling their home – and they’re right to do so!
Here’s Part 1 of a 3-Part series on how to sell a house:
Sold your house recently? Write in and tell us how you did it and any tips you might have for a successful sale!