Calgary Real Estate Informed Sellers Guide by Emin S. Ozkan
8 Steps to Becoming an Informed Seller in Calgary Real Estate Market:
Selling a home is one of the largest financial transaction you will make in a lifetime. If you’re like most home owners, you’re struggling with a few questions.
You might have questions like, What’s my home worth? What can I do to make my home as attractive as possible? And of course, the big one: How do I get the most for my home?
This guide is designed to educate you on the basics of home selling process. If you still feel you need more information. My job is to make the task easier – just ask.
Emin S. Ozkan
RE/MAX Complete Realty
1. Choosing Your Agent
Most sellers use a real estate agent because selling your home is not a simple process. Buying or selling real estate is a major financial task and it involves potential for costly errors. Here are some good reasons to use a REALTOR:
- Pricing Strategy – The biggest factor in selling your home Is the price. REALTORs have access to information and tools to evaluate your homes worth
- Negotiating Approach – Negotiations can be hard and can be lengthy to finalize. You need someone with knowledge of the Calgary Market Conditions to negotiate on your behalf.
- Marketing Plan – REALTORS can attract more potential buyers for your home by listing it on MLS and various other sites. In todays market most buyers are using internet when searching for their home. Good REALTOR will recommend methods to make your home look great.
- Showings & Legal Paperwork – There’s more paper work involved in sale of a home than you might think, and showing your home is not only awkward, it can really complicate your schedule.
A real estate agent takes away the burden of all these things, and works to get your home sold for the best price in the fastest time.
2. Price Right to Profit More
Setting the price of your home can be challenging. If you set it too low and you leave money on the table. If you set it too high, you miss potential buyers and your property is used as comparison to other potential properties for sale. To complicate all of this, your home is an emotional asset its hard to see it objectively.
To find the optimal price – one that maximizes the sale price and minimizes the time it takes to sell – required market knowledge and strategic thinking.
Pricing is something agents spend their time careers refining and mastering. They combine intimate local and national market knowledge, an exhaustive study of similar homes for sale and an analysis of past sales to come up with the optimal list price. And then they combine that with your unique needs to pick a price that fits you.
It’s no easy task, but it’s a critical one. Pricing your home right the first time results in more exposure, more showings, more offers, and ultimately, the highest price for your home.
If you want to get as much for your home as possible within a reasonable time frame, you need to get the price right.
First, it is important to understand that only the market can determine the ultimate value of your home. That said, choosing the optimal list price is essential to maximizing your home’s value. If you price too low, you risk not getting as much as you can for your property, but price too high and you risk losing potential buyers who may think your property is out of their price range and you help your competition sell faster.
3. Prepare Your Home
After price, the condition of your home is the single biggest factor. It is important for essential property repairs and improvements to maximize your homes value.
REALTORS® repeatedly find that people can’t visualize the potential of a home. They have to see it. That means that how your home shows now is how people see themselves in it. They can’t see past the chips, leaks, clutter and stains—in fact, they tend to focus even more on those things.
How to make your home look great:
- Clean – Clean inside and out, every room thoroughly. It matters a lot!
- De-clutter – In Real Estate size is one of the most important factors. Get rid of clutter in the rooms they tend to make your home look smaller than it actually is.
- De-personalize – This is very important! You want your potential buyers to visualize themselves living in your house. Put away the photographs.
- Make minor repairs. Chipped paint, cracked tiles, squeaky hinges, leaky faucets. Fix everything you can.
- Clean again. Really. It’s that important.
Think of it this way: everything you remove from the house, clean or repair puts money in your pocket. You’re getting paid to do it!
4. Maximize Exposure for Buyers
Once you’ve found a price for your home and put it in showroom condition, there’s one more critical piece of the puzzle before buyers begin flocking in to see your masterpiece: getting their attention.
Getting the word out about your home matters for two critical reasons. First, buyers can’t be interested if they don’t know your home exists. But more important still, the more buyers you have interested in your home, the higher the potential sale price, and the faster the sale.
Marketing your home to the biggest audience possible takes more than a sign on the front lawn. The best and fastest home sales use a combination of many of the following:
- MLS Listing. The largest online database of available real estate.
- Video Tour. Online tour of your home.
- Property Website. Your home’s very own website with all the info a buyer needs.
- Online Exposure on nationally ranked real estate websites such as yourwebsite.com.
- Proactive Prospecting. Reaching out directly to people who might be interested.
- Property Brochures. Great photos, vibrant descriptions in professional take away form.
- 24-Hour Online Ads. On major online sites from Craigslist to Kijji. • Print Marketing. Print ads, just listed cards and more.
- Social Media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and more.
5. Show it off
As interest in your home rises, so will interest in seeing the real thing. It’s time to show off your masterpiece to prospective buyers.
A REALTOR® will take care of almost all of the details, but here are a few tips to maximize the showing experience:
- You should leave. Buyers want to be able to look around and discuss your home candidly. They won’t be comfortable if you’re there.
- In addition to the usual tidying, make sure your home is inviting. Turn up/down the temperature. Leave the lights on. Open the blinds where appropriate. Leave inside doors open or slightly ajar.
- Leave out any additional information that’s helpful—property brochures, floor plans etc.
- Be as flexible as you can—try to accommodate the buyer’s schedule.
6. Time to Negotiate
Now this is where things get exciting. You’ve got an offer or may be multiple offers at once! In most cases, your home’s list price won’t be the selling price. When it comes to settling on the final sale price you’re going to be negotiating. That’s something your REALTOR is an expert at, but here are some key strategies for owners:
- Don’t be offended by low ball offers. Think of it as a starting point to the negotiating process. After all, no one is forcing you to accept them.
- Always counteroffer because momentum matters. Just the act of moving a deal forward helps make the deal happen.
- Price isn’t the only thing. You can negotiate on price, conditions, terms. Don’t get stuck on one thing.
Once you and the buyers reach an agreement, the buyers provide a deposit cheque to be held in trust until conditions are waived. The conditions have a set time for removal, and usually include things like home inspection and financing.
Once the conditions are met, the buyer signs a waiver and the deal is firm. If you’ve completed all these steps, then you are a successful home seller.
7. Calculating Closing Costs
The cheque is in! Now how much do you get to keep? There are a number of closing costs to consider.
- Legal Fees. Lawyers fees vary, Sellers pay in the area of $1000-$1200 for a lawyer to after the legal details necessary to close their home.
- Mortgage Fees. Check with your mortgage lender to determine if any costs will occur when transferring or releasing your mortgage.
- Tax Adjustments. In Calgary, tax adjustments are due on June 30 of every year and these payments are made for the full year. If you sell your home before June 30 you owe your buyer for taxes. However, if you sell your home after June 30 then the buyer owes the seller.
- Real Property Report (RPR). Seller is required to provide a current real property report. It Is a legal document prepared by land surveyors. It is used for identifying the building and structures on the property. It usually costs around $500-$600 plus compliance stamp from the city which is another $100.00.
8. Meet with Emin
There’s a lot involved in selling a home. If you feel like you want some help, I’d be happy to speak with you. I will provide you with a complimentary market evaluation of your home, and answer any other questions you might have.
Emin S. Ozkan
RE/MAX Complete Realty
#200, 525 28 Street SE