Preparation Tips for Sellers

If you plan to put your house up for sale on the market you probably want to do what you can to prepare for that listing day. There are also things you can do to prepare for your meeting with your listing agent.

Talk to your Realtor to Prioritize Improvements

The renovations you'd want to do to your home may be to your taste, particularly after spending time in the house, however they may not be renovations that will generate their expenses back in higher asking prices. We've written before about renovations that can increase home values because as realtors, we work with buyers as they consider their offering prices which are more often influenced by some renovations and upgrades than others. If you can get an experienced realtor who you have a relationship with to walk through your home with you and advise on the renovations they see making a difference on your selling price, you could save yourself a lot of time and money you may otherwise have spent doing work that wouldn't likely make much of a difference come sale time.

Clean Up, Inside and Out

Whether you're interviewing different realtors to choose which one to work with or you know that already and you're ready to sit down with your chosen realtor to discuss the listing details themselves, you want your home to inspire the realtor. You went that realtor to be excited about showing your home to prospective buyers, whether they will be your chosen realtor or not! Some listings more than others have such an impact on realtors that they want to get on the phones right away to the buyers they have waiting on the sidelines for the perfect place. Of course listing agents can see a home's beauty and value despite its flaws, blemishes, and household clutter, but they are not immune to the 'wow' factor, the more excited they are about your place, the more that will authentically come across when they're describing it to their buyers.

Almost Ready to List? Get Your Paperwork in Order

For those of you who are seriously organized people, putting together the paperwork necessary for selling your home will be a breezy and quick process, but most people take a bit of time gathering up these documents. The documents are often referred to when the sellers agent is working with you to fill in the listing paperwork, but it also may be required to answer questions prospective buyers have, and of course much of it will be required once there is an accepted offer and the sale process begins. Getting these documents and the paperwork together before you meet with your realtor to list the property will make it a much smoother process to get it on the market.

Examples of the documents you should get ready before you are ready to list include:

  • Mortgage loan information
  • Final purchase and sale agreement (from when you purchased the property)
  • Deed and Title
  • Property tax information, most recent tax statement
  • Insurance information
  • Lease agreement where rentals are relevant
  • Inspection and Survey Reports
  • Permits and documents regarding work done on the house including contractor invoices
  • Newer appliance receipts and warranties
  • Property Survey
  • Any outstanding liens/disputes

Market Research (Pricing)

The more realistic your pricing expectations are, the easier (and probably faster) it should be for your listing agent to sell your home. We've written before about reasons it can be a bad idea to overprice your home, which is one of the most common mistakes we see working with sellers. Of course you don't want to under-price your property either! While your realtor will likely do a properly researched comparative market analysis (CMA) you should pay close attention to what properties comparable to yours are being listed for, and where you can know, how much they are selling for. Perhaps your neighbours have just listed their home for (let's say) $500,000. It is in much worse condition than yours, however it has a little but of a water view and it's bigger. You may want to make an assumption based on that house on what to list yours for, but that wouldn't be enough information for you to determine the most realistic price point for you to list your home at. They may have drastically overpriced or under-priced their home, which would skew your asking price way off when the differences between the homes are also accounted for. When you're getting ready to meet with a realtor to list your home, watch the market beyond your block. Watch for houses that sell very quickly, pay attention to the ones that have stayed on the market for a long time, especially houses that are similar to yours in condition, age, size, neighbourhood quality, views etc. If you give yourself some time to watch carefully in advance of your time to list, you may develop realistic expectations about how to price your own home by noticing particularly which homes that are similar are selling quickly, there is usually little sense in emulating the ones that sit on the market for a long time.

Preparation Can Make The Process of Listing a Home Run More Smoothly

Photography Credit HERE