Langley Home Seller’s Guide

Whether you’re getting ready to retire, you need to downsize, or you’re simply dealing with an empty nest, selling your home can be an emotionally fraught time. Big changes are on the horizon, but, at the same time, you’re preparing to leave a place where you’ve spent a good portion of your life. That’s why it’s so important to have someone you trust on board. It’s good to have someone who can walk you through the process because there’s a lot of preparation that goes into selling your home before that For Sale sign goes up in your front yard.

Here’s a quick run-down of what’s involved when you sell your home of many years. After you read this, you should have a pretty good idea of ’s in store when you finally decide to take the plunge yourself.

Get Early Advice

The minute you’ve resolved to sell and move, get your realtor involved right away so that he or she can help you. Realtors are full of helpful knowledge that will assist you in the sale of your home.

Study Your “Working With a Realtor” Brochure

Once you start a relationship with a realtor, you’ll receive a handy document called “Working with a Realtor.” Go over it in detail with your realtor. This is not an exciting step, but it’s an important one because it explains the agency relationship you have with your realtor. It also describes how this relationship may change during the course of your business together. Besides, it explains the need for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information that your realtor may require in the course of representing you and selling your property. It can be a little complicated, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Prepare Your Home

One of the biggest questions sellers often have is, “How am I ever going to get this place ready for sale by myself?” That’s where your realtor comes in. They can assist you in finding people who can help you.

We have worked with handymen, plumbers, cleaners, you name it. We will not give you specific recommendations, as some may view this as a conflict of interest. However, we will provide you with a list of people who can potentially help you, and you can speak to them and choose the one you feel best suits your needs.

Learn How Commissions Work

The seller pays the realtor’s commission. Both the realtor of the seller and the buyer share the commission. The commission split is not usually 50/50 because the selling realtor carries all of the expenses for advertising. They typically get a bit more to cover these expenses. You are responsible for your lawyer or notary public charges, including costs for the clearing title and GST.

Reconsider Those Expensive Renovations

Don’t make the mistake of spending a lot of money on renovations or decor before talking to a realtor. Many homeowners fall into the trap of paying for expensive home renovations because they think it will increase their likelihood of selling fast or getting a higher price. That doesn’t always pan out, so talk to your realtor first.

Get to Know the “Multiple Listing Contract”

The “Multiple Listing Contract” is the actual contract that you will sign that puts your home on the market. Your realtor will go over the contract paragraph by paragraph and explain what each means. Again, if you have questions, feel free to ask.

One of the more essential items on the Multiple Listing Contract is the asking price for your home. Your realtor will help you with this by preparing a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). This document compares your property to similar properties in the area sold recently and properties still on the market. This document leads us to suggest a “listing price” that we feel is appropriate for your property. However, the ultimate decision regarding what you feel the asking price should be is still yours. It’s essential to get the price right. You don’t want your property to become stale or have people disregard it because it’s too expensive.

Plan to Be Away While the Property is Being Shown

Keeping your home ready and available for showing at any time can be a stressful experience. Realtors will often advise potential buyers that the seller (you) will need at least 24 hours notice to show your home. If you living in your home, this time gives you a chance to “tidy up” before your realtor shows it to a prospective buyer.

Most realtors suggest you try not to be home when they are showing the property. Being present may cause you to stress because potential buyers can sometimes be critical of some of your decorating or furnishing choices. It’s also better for potential buyers because they feel less pressure if you’re not there. Don’t worry; the realtor is there to protect your property.

Tidy Up and Get Rid of Stuff

In reality, it’s often the small things you do to spruce up your place that have the most impact. Just giving everything a good cleaning is a great start. De-cluttering is probably the single most important thing! Take everything you can out of a room, and then go a step further and remove one more piece. The idea is to make the space look as large as possible. Take personal pictures off the wall too. Remember: you want potential buyers to imagine themselves in this home. If there are pictures of your family all over the walls, it’s hard for them to do that.

Understand the “Property Disclosure Statement”

Another essential document your realtor will ask you to fill out is the “Property Disclosure Statement.” We can assist you in terms of helping you to understand the questions, but we do need you to fill it out completely. It includes questions such as, “Are you aware of any problems with the water system?” The purpose of this document is to advise potential buyers of any problems that the home may have.

Be Prepared for the Offers

What do you do when you receive your first offer? Your realtor will call you and advise you that an offer has come in. Typically, the realtor of an interested buyer will email the offer to your realtor.

On some occasions, the other realtor will ask if they can present the offer in person. Your realtor will speak to you to see how you feel about this, and then you can proceed with whichever method makes you feel most comfortable. If the realtor is presenting the offer, listen and ask only questions that you need to ask to clarify the offer. Remember, you do not want to “tip your hand” when negotiating for a fair price and conditions. Use your best poker face while negotiating.

After you are alone with your realtor, they will explain the offer to you. Remember, an offer is more than just the dollar amount they are offering. There will be subjects attached to the offer that form a substantive part of the offer, and you have to review each one carefully.

An important point to remember is that the original offer is no longer on the table when you counter an offer. In other words, if you counteroffer and they refuse your counter, you can’t go back and say you will accept the original offer. It’s no longer there!

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