You’ve been thinking about it, you’ve scoured MLS for other options out there, you may have even chatted with a real estate agent. Selling your home is a big deal, and you want to do it the right way, the first time, and that can mean something different for everyone depending on your goals. However, there are some things all homeowners have in common when trying to sell:
1. We all want to receive the highest possible price,
2. We want the process to minimize inconvenience, and
3. We want a realtor that is professional and treats us with the utmost respect
For any homeowner, pre-listing preparation can minimize the chances of failure and heartache when selling your home. Laying this groundwork will ensure the best possible experience and outcome.
Your first step to success is to suss out a few great agents that work in and are familiar with your neighbourhood. Recommendations from friends and neighbors is a great place to get names. The key point is to ensure the REALTOR® works and has a good track record in your neighbourhood. Don't hire an out of area realtor. You want someone who has the experience you need and can provide you with realistic market value estimates to best achieve the sale.
Second is the preparation of your home. Depending on your home’s overall condition, this is the step that requires the most time and attention. A home full of clutter, obvious wear and tear, and in disrepair can cost you big time when it comes to your asking price, so don't ignore this critical step.
During this “staging” step, I recommend being ruthless and getting rid of stuff you don't need. Call in Junk Removal or your charity of choice to take possessions you no longer require. Even closets and storage areas should be reduced of stuff you no longer need; serious buyers do tend to check out every nook and cranny of their potential buy.
Next, walk through your home and identify any wear and tear issues that need repair. Damaged walls, peeling paint, old water stains on ceilings, lose knobs, leaky faucets, dirty grout or mouldy shower enclosures are just a few common areas. We always suggest homeowners have their own pre-listing Home Inspection Report obtained. This will allow you to identify problem areas.
If your home was built prior to 1965 and you have no evidence that an oil tank was ever removed, then obtain a scan for a buried oil tank. This costs $100 - $150 and is worth every penny. Hire an oil tank removal specialist to do this.
Whether you're selling in January or July, make sure your gardens are groomed. A nicely groomed garden shows pride of ownership. Grass should be repaired if there are bare patches, and bushes and trees pruned. Having some winter flowers go a long way and don’t forget to clean out the gutters.
The research and staging of your home for sale can be overwhelming. This is where having a good REALTOR® familiar with your area is invaluable. They can help with your pre-listing checklist and assist in coordinating all the work that needs to be done.
So, when is best to take that final step and put the For Sale sign up? This is a more personal matter. The best time is when it's best for you, the homeowner. It's tough trying to time markets. If you live in Vancouver and you're looking to sell in 2016, here is what we do know:
1. Housing prices are at all-time highs and overall market sentiment is very positive.
2. The supply of homes on the market is very low.
Chinese New Year is quickly approaching and has proven to be a great time to sell in our market.
Low supply, strong demand, positive sentiment and Chinese New Year are ideal reasons to be on the market for sale by January 25th. If you need any help, advice or a professional opinion, contact us any time. We are always here to help your next real estate transaction be a big success! Make 2016 your year.
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!