Questions About Buying or Selling in Newfoundland?
Selling a Home
Step 1: Deciding to Sell
Before anything else you should take a look at your finances and determine if selling your home is a good choice. Consider both the Costs of Selling a Home and How Much Your Home is Worth to find out what you will have left over ("net in pocket") after the sale. Knowing your financial position will give you a good starting point and set your expectations straight from the get-go. Depending on your requirements you may need to buy another home after yours sells. We will walk you through this simple process to make sure you are not left without a home and also so you are not locked into two mortgages. As prudent REALTORS we will make sure your best interests are protected at all times.
Step 2: Finding Your Home's Value
Now that you've decided to list your home you will need to find out what price to sell it for. The best way to do this is to get a Market Evaluation from a qualified licensed REALTOR. A market evaluation, formily called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), will outline the recent sales of homes similar to yours to determine the most likely selling price. It will also highlight current listings that you will be competing with in order for you to determine the best listing price to get your home sold.
Step 3: Preparing Your Home for Sale
First impressions are everything. The average home buyer knows within 3 seconds of walking through the front door whether or not they've found "the one". It is important to keep the place tidy and clean, remove clutter, and depersonalize the home as much as possible. Depersonalizing means taking down personal items, such as photos, so the buyer can imagine themselves living in the house. Since you will be moving anyway we suggest boxing up as many things as possible and putting them in a closet or storage area. This is called "decluttering" and will make the rooms appear bigger and also helps the buyer visualize where their own furniture and belongings will go. Plus, you'll have a head-start on moving so you're not rushing at the last minute.
While you're preparing the inside of your home don't forget about the outside. Curb appeal is just as important. Many buyers will do a drive-by of the home before booking a viewing to get a feel of the neighbourhood and to simply see what the home looks like in person. If the front yard is a mess and yardwork needs to be done, now would be the time to do it. Afterall, you don't want all your hard work preparing the inside of the house to go to waste because the curb appeal is scaring off potential buyers. Simply keeping the grass cut and the yard clean should be good enough. In the fall you may want to rake and bag up any leaves in the yard as well.
Step 4: Listing Your Home
When you are ready to sell we will discuss your goals, time-frame, marketing plan, and answer any other questions you may have. There are 4 main documents you will be presented with at this point:
- The Multiple Listing Contract - The actual listing contract. This outlines the details of the property for sale, commission rate, dates, disclosure of personal information, what is expected of each party, and so on.
- Privacy Consent Form - In order to list your home we will need to take some personal information. This document states that you allow us to collect this information and describes the specific purposes for which it may be used.
- Agency Disclosure Acknowledgement - This creates the agency between the agent and the client and outlines the duties and responsabilities of each.
- The Property Disclosure Statement - This is a required document when listing a property for sale. Here you will disclose things like latent defects and other important information the buyer will want to know.
Step 5: Showing Your Home to Potential Buyers
The first 2-3 weeks is when your home will be the most active. This is why we suggest pricing your home correctly right off the bat because you don't want to miss out on this opportunity. Now is the time to put your home on display. Try your best to keep the home as tidy as possible. We understand life happens so it's impossible to keep the house sparkling clean all the time. Just neat and tidy is fine. Turn on all the lights, open all the blinds, and the thermostat should be at a comfortable room temperature. You'll want to appeal to all the senses so making sure the home smells good is important also. Avoid strong air fresheners. You don't want to give the impression that you're trying to hide any smells and some people with allergies may be sensitive to strong scents. We even had one client that would bake a pan of cookies if they had several showings in one evening that got a few compliments.
Step 6: The Offer
When a buyer views your home and decides that they like it they will put in an offer to purchase. Most items in the offer are negotiable and it is common for a homeowner to send back a counter-offer. This process may continue until the buyer and the seller reach an agreement. Here are a few main sections of the Offer (all of these items can be negotiated between the buyer and seller):
- Purchase Price - The price that the buyer is offering to purchase your home for. This is the most commonly negotiated item in the Offer.
- Deposit - When an offer is accepted the buyer often makes a deposit into a trust account. This deposit is held legally by a third party and is only released upon specific conditions. Usually when the sale completes the deposit becomes part of the funds used to purchase the property. If the deal falls through both parties can agree who receives the money. An example of this case would be if an unsatisfactory home inspection came back and the buyer decided not to complete the sale. In this case the buyer should get their deposit back.
- Subjects/Conditions - These two terms are used interchageably. An offer is usually subject to certain conditions. Common conditions are a home inspection or obtaining a mortgage on the property. Once the buyer is satisfied with the conditions they will remove them and you will have a firm deal. The conditions will have specified timeframes in which they will be removed, which are negotiable in the contract.
- Closing, Possession, and Subject/Removal Dates - Closing and Posession are usually on the same day. This is the day money is released and the buyer takes posession of the home. Subject/Condition removal dates are the dates in which the buyer must communicate that they are satisfied with specific conditions and remove them. These dates are negotiable. You can also ammend the contract if the buyer needs more time to meet these condition dates if both the buyer and seller agree to it.
- Items to be Included in the Sale - Some items are assumed to be included in the sale. Usually if an item is permanently attached to the property it is included with the sale. To be on the safe side there is a section where you can explicity state various items to be incldued such as the fridge, washer, dryer, dishwasher, drapery, etc.
Step 7: Acceptance
Once the terms and conditions are agreed upon and both parties sign the document you have an accepted offer. Typically there will be conditions so now you will wait for the buyer to give notice that they are satisfied with those conditions. Once this is done you will have a firm deal and then you wait till the closing and posession dates.
Step 8: Closing/Possession and Transfer of Ownership
On the closing/possession date the lawyers will transfer ownership to the buyer and they will be able move in. The funds will be disbursed and released to the proper parties. If you have a mortgage on the property the lawyers will use the proceeds of the sale to pay off the remaining balance as well as any other claims and you will receive the amount that is left over. The deal is now complete. If are buying another property we can assist you to make sure the posession dates of both sales are lined up and you can move into your new home right away.