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10 Things To Do When Selling Your Home
Financial Matters

10 Things To Do When Selling Your Home

Our friends at Homewise outline 10 important things to do when preparing to sell your home.

Selling a home is a big decision and requires much more than packing up boxes and putting up a “For Sale” sign. Your home is an important asset, which is why it’s crucial to be prepared for every scenario when you decide to put it on the market. To attract buyers and get the best return on your investment, here’s a checklist of the top 10 things to consider when selling your home.

1. Understand the current real estate market

Before you put your home up for sale, it’s helpful to understand the current real estate market landscape. This will give you an idea of what to expect as it relates to the average home price in your neighbourhood, potential interest rate fluctuations (which can impact your mortgage) or whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market.

Understanding these factors will help you determine if selling is the right move for you. It can also guide toward a realistic selling strategy so you can get the most out of your home sale.

2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage to understand affordability for your next purchase

If you plan to sell your home, you’re likely looking for a new one at the same time. Before you put it on the market, you should highly consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

Pre-approval will help you understand what you can afford and what you’re eligible to borrow as you make your next home purchase. And this doesn’t have to be a complicated or long process. These days, you can get pre-approved online in a matter of minutes.

3. Find a good real estate agent

If you’ve decided to work with a real estate agent, consider interviewing at least three candidates before making a final decision. This will ensure that you’re working with someone who truly understands your needs and expectations and will happily guide you through the process of selling your home.

4. Determine how much you’re willing to negotiate

Setting clear expectations with your realtor and determining how much you’re willing to negotiate is key. This will streamline the entire selling process and give your realtor a better understanding of your desired outcomes.

That’s why it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved will give you insight into your maximum home affordability and can help you understand exactly what you need from your sale. Some other factors to discuss with your realtor are:

  • Closing dates

  • What’s included in the sale of the home (e.g. kitchen appliances, light fixtures, and furniture.)

5. Get your home appraised

Before you list, consider getting your home appraised to determine its intrinsic value. Some factors that affect a home’s value and overall attractiveness include:

  • Location

  • Surrounding school districts and amenities

  • Curb appeal

  • Updated appliances

  • Home renovations

  • Average home prices in your neighbourhood

Having this information will inform your listing price and determine what incoming offers you’re willing to accept from buyers.

6. Timing of sale

Market conditions and seasonality often impact the housing market’s level of supply and demand. For example, spring is one of the most popular times to put your house on the market because it brings better weather and creates more curb appeal for buyers.

While that’s important, you also need to consider if the timing is right for you. Does selling your home make sense given your current financial situation? Is selling the right move for your family and your career? Ideally, you’ll want to sort these things out before you list your home to ensure you’re confident in your decision.

7. Prepare your paperwork

Once your home is listed, and potential buyers begin showing interest, you’ll likely receive a range of inquiries. Having documents like utility bills, tax bills, renovation details, warranties, and mortgage details organized will help you actively address many of these inquiries among interested buyers.

If you’re selling a home for a loved one who has passed away, additional paperwork such as their Will, bank account statements, home insurance, and homeowners policy are also useful to have on hand.

8. Pay all outstanding bills

When selling your home, it’s in your best interest to stay on top of your bills, such as your monthly mortgage, utilities, and maintenance, until you finalize the home sale.

This also applies when you’re an executor for someone who has passed away, as you will be responsible for taking care of any outstanding expenses and fees.

9. Declutter and de-personalize your home

Before a showing, consider decluttering your home and packing away any personal items that take up a lot of space. This will transform your home into a more neutral and welcoming place that makes it easier for buyers to envision themselves living there. If it’s within budget, consider hiring a professional staging company to help you revamp and reorganize the interior of your home to enhance its overall appeal.

10. Virtual or in-person open houses

Once buyers show interest in your listing, they’ll want to see your home from the inside. Given the current environment, many home sellers have explored virtual open houses that allow buyers to view homes at a distance.

If you’re hosting open houses in-person, be prepared to make arrangements and create time blocks for potential visitors. You may also want to have extra masks and hand sanitizer available at the front entrance of your home. Not only will this make visitors feel comfortable, but it also helps you keep your home safe and sanitary as well.

Overall, like any big decision in life, being prepared is essential. So, when it comes to successfully selling your home, take the steps needed to get ahead of things to save time, confusion, and potentially a lot of money.

This is a guest post from our friends at Homewise, an online service helping Canadians get the best mortgage.

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