As with buying a home, selling a home can be an exciting, yet complicated process. Employing the services of a professional real estate agent brings many advantages to the process of selling your property. Your realtor will perform a variety of functions, including:
- determining value through a comparative market analysis
- ascertaining the correct listing price
- completing the Listing Agreement and explaining the Property Disclosure Statement
- discussing listing options such as Multiple Listing Service ® and its benefits
- marketing your home to achieve the best possible price
- conducting private showings and/or open houses
- negotiating all offers on your behalf
- guiding the transaction through to completion and move-out
Comparative Market Analysis
The first step is to accurately determine the market value of your property. A comparative market evaluation will ascertain the value of your property which will be used to establish your asking price. Your realtor's experience, expertise and knowledge is key to helping you determine your asking price.
Discussing Listing Options
Your realtor will explain several ways your property can be listed. The vast majority are listed with the Multiple Listing Service®, which is a database of properties for sale that is accessible to all realtors as Real Estate Board members. Your realtor will walk you through the Listing Agreement, complete all forms necessary, and be able to explain the form and function of the Property Disclosure Statement.
Marketing Your Home
The Key to selling your home is Marketing. When you choose to list your home with a real estate agent, you are really contracting a marketing professional. Depending on your type of property, the target market, your time frame, and competition within the marketplace, your realtor will develop a marketing plan that suits your requirements. Marketing may involve neighbourhood promotions, print and/or online advertising, signage, open houses and private showing appointments.
Throughout the term of your listing agreement, your realtor will be in touch with you to provide you with feedback received from prospective buyers. This will determine any adjustments necessary to the asking price or marketing plan, particularly if there is new competition, or if other similar properties have sold. Is your property still competing well? If not, your realtor can help you decide what to do.
There are two types of open house:
- the first is held for real estate agents to pre-view the property on behalf of prospective buyers; and
- the second type is open houses for the general public.
Open houses can be an efficient way to showcase your property to a larger number of individuals at a specific time, but they are not suitable for all properties. Your realtor can advise you on which option would best serve your needs.
As the listing agent, your realtor must present to you all offers received. Depending on market circumstances, you may receive a number of competing offers at the same time. Realtors are trained to deal efficiently with these situations and ensure that you, as the seller, obtain the best possible price for your property. Your realtor is there to protect your best interests at all times and has the skills to negotiate a contract that fits your requirements.
Once a suitable buyer is found, your realtor can be of immense help during the sometimes stressful negotiation period. They have been through this procedure many times and know the finer points of offers and counter offers. A seller without a professional on his or her side could be at a distinct disadvantage during this process. Having a Realtor working for you during negotiations keeps you at “arm’s length”, greatly reducing the anxiety involved in selling and allowing clear, objective decisions to be made.
Completion and Move-Out Completion, possession and adjustment dates will be specified within the Contract of Purchase and Sale. On the completion day, legal ownership of your property is transferred to the buyer. Prior to completion, your realtor can help you select a legal representative to take care of the completion procedures. Out of the proceeds of the sale, there are a number of costs that will be payable. These include:
- real estate commission
- legal fees any penalties applicable for paying out your mortgage early your share of
the property taxes