The first thing that pops into your mind while thinking about steps to sell your house is stress, a lot of paperwork, and time and money consumption. If one plans meticulously and is aware, then one can shorten the whole process. The current real estate market demands different properties with different configurations. After the pandemic, there has been an uptick in pricing and bidding wars.

In addition, in the current market where competition is high, and the inventory is extremely low, you as a seller get your chance to make the most out of it hassle-free. All you have to do is follow a few real estate guidelines. In this blog, we will walk you through market awareness, and how you can save time, energy and money. 

Get An Agent With The Market Awareness

Get An Agent With The Market Awareness

The internet gives you the luxury of getting an agent for your home. It makes it simple to get relevant information such as designation and sales history. You can choose the right agent to work with you as per your budget, requirements and preferences. Their online portfolio gives you a raw idea of how long they have been in the industry. Selling your home could be a tough job if you don’t know the current market’s conditions and valuation. Real estate agents with a strong portfolio can make the whole property- steps to sell your house effortless for you. However, before shortlisting your agent, get the information about where they market their listing and ensure they use apt photographs of the property to justify the asking.

In addition, almost every homeowner must have thought, what if they sell their home themselves instead of paying a commission to the agent? This process is commonly referred to as “For Sale By Owner”, or FSBO. The net amount sellers may save on such fees can be about thousands of Canadian dollars, usually 5% or 6% of the total selling price. 

However, in order to save the amount, you’ll have to take total responsibility. The market for your property will be less than the exposure a real estate agent may get you. Real estate agents do everything to meet the ends. Moreover, they also handle all the negotiations, marketing, closing details and larger exposure to potential customers. You need to take the market conditions into account while working with an agent as the real estate fees have fallen to all-time lows. Awareness of the market condition may reward you with a break at the closing table.

Setting a Timeline Is Salient Before Selling Your Home

Setting a Timeline Is Salient Before Selling Your Home

Although it sounds simple and quick it isn’t. Selling your home may take weeks to months, sometimes even years. This is why it is highly recommended to have experts assist you in selling your property for the desired price and that too quickly. 

Once you make up your mind that you are selling the property, start with the basics, and look for real estate agents with substantial experience in the market. Moreover, we also encourage you to get a pre-sale home inspection to identify the issues that may hold your property back from getting sold. This facility helps you save time, money and energy on last-minute contradictions. Professional real estate agents send photographers to snap some pictures of your property that assist them in justifying the asking price to potential buyers. Before the photographer visits, get your property deep cleaned to make it look fresh and well-maintained. Refer to the below-mentioned checklist of things that must be done before selling your home:

    • Research and interview professional realtors
    • Declutter the space by moving unnecessary items to the storage unit.
    • Get a professionally shot photograph for the real estate market listing.
    • Ensure the property is deep cleaned prior to the visit of prospective buyers and photographers. 
    • Get your home inspection done to identify any issues (optional).

Pre-sale Home Inspection

A pre-sale home inspection falls under the optional things to do before selling your home. However, it provides great assistance to know what could be the reason that may hold your property from being sold at your desired price. A detailed pre-sale inspection rapport identifies any mechanical and structural defects before you list your home for sale. It may cost you a few dollars, but will definitely flag the defects and issues that a buyer may point out while doing the inspection on their own.

Getting the preliminary inspection gives you a head start the steps to sell your house. In simple terms, by the time you list your home for sale in the housing market, it should be ready to sell, rapidly and drama-free.

Spend Wisely on Essentials Only

If your property needs renovation or requires costly upgrades, ensure that the changes you do pose a higher Return on Investment (ROI). Let’s understand this with an example – the house you are about to sell doesn’t need a granite countertop as you won’t get the return you are expecting. Moreover, such improvements are not necessary in steps to sell your home for top dollar. While selling something, go with the quote of Thomas Bertram Lance “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’

Furthermore, if the inventory levels are low in your area, then a professional real estate agent can assist you in what you need to do as they know the expectation of the prospective buyers in that particular area. Suppose the buyers are not looking for a steam shower and super skylights then it doesn’t make sense to add it in the house as you won’t get the return you are expecting after giving your home a premium touch. In order to gain the utmost selling satisfaction you can add modern kitchen cabinets, new carpet, fresh paint job. These updates cost less but give higher returns.

Feature Your House on the Housing Market

Feature Your House on the Housing Market

Refer to the information below that will give you a raw idea for steps to sell your house in no time:

  • Focus On Creating an Online Appeal

The current era demands a different version of everything, now buyers are exposed to more property online than ever before. This digitisation gives an upper hand to online append rather than curb appeal. Creating an online appeal gives you more buyers who might be interested in purchasing your property. However, you need to create a quality appeal, as it purely determines whether the buyer on the other end initiates to fix an appointment or just scrolls to the next listing.

  • Showcase Your Property in the Most Efficient Way

Realtors will often sell the property of the owner who stages their home correctly. To do so, remove all the personal belongings, and excess furniture and declutter the whole space. Arrange the existing room’s furniture with a purpose and optimal flow. If you happen to sell your home in a slower market or the unit is a luxury one, then hire professional stagers, they will assist in making your property stand out from the rest.

  • Pick Somebody Else to Showcase the Property

Letting someone else show your property to potential buyers could be a great way to let them imagine themselves in the property. Moreover, they won’t hesitate if they like your property and want something to be fixed, rather than just walking away for another property. You can ask your real estate agent to be present, as buyers are generally accompanied by their own agent.

Be Fair With The Asking Price

Even if the real estate market is competitive, buyers are not going to pay a penny more than what they are getting. It is salient to be fair in terms of your property listing price. Listing your property at a higher price doesn’t justify what you are offering and market conditions, and then it may backfire. You need to fix the property price without overlooking the market pricing of similar properties. In case you are offering something extra than your competitors, then you might get the desired value. However, such properties target selective buyers only which may result in a delay in selling your home. 

Negotiate if Needed

Once your property officially rolls out on the market and you start getting potential buyers. This is exactly the time when your real estate agent becomes your best advisor. If the housing market is competitive and favours the sellers, then it is very likely that you may get the price you are asking and something more than you ask. Similarly, if the market condition is tight you should be open to negotiating. 

If the market favours you, you get multiple offers to sell your property. Before selling your house to the one that bid the highest, consider the aspects mentioned below:

    • Payment form (Financing or Cash)
    • Type of finance
    • Net down payment amount
    • Proposed closing date
    • Contingencies

Note: Be mindful of the fact that if the buyer is relying on financing, the property must be appraised. 

Foresee Seller Closing Cost

In the case of the sale and purchase of property, both the seller and buyers have closing costs. From a seller’s POV, the net payment amount is usually around 5-6% of the property value. The below-mentioned information features some other costs that need to be paid by the seller:

    • Government transfer tax
    • Recording free
    • Liens (If any)
    • Attorney fees

In addition, as the seller, you will have to pay if any negotiated credits need to be paid at closing in case of repairs and closing costs. The closing/real estate agent will provide you with the list of the cost that needs to be cleared by your end at the closing table. However, the buyer has to pay a bulk of closing costs, somewhere around 2-4% of the property value.

Consider the Tax Implications

The tax code favours the seller if you have an understanding of tax implications. If you happen to live in the property for at least two years out of five before selling, the property won’t owe taxes on the profits up to CAD 250,000. In case of a married couple, the tax exemption increases to CAD 500,000. However, on condition that the profit is more than CAD 500,000,  you need to report it to the IRS as a capital gain on your tax return.

Be Ready With All The Necessary Closing Paperwork

steps to sell your house requires a lot of paperwork. The earlier you organise all the paperwork, the easier it is to sell your property. Refer to the information below to know more about the required paperwork:

    • Home purchase contract
    • Mortgage documents (if any)
    • Occupancy certificate, property survey, compliance certificate with local codes
    • Tax record documents
    • Insurance of homeowners
    • Home inspection report (if any)
    • An appraisal from your property purchase

To Sum Up

The steps to sell your house are not as complex as you think. After the pandemic, the real estate market has changed drastically. Buyers are ready to go the extra mile to get what they want. All you need to do is think from the buyer’s perspective, like what the buyers must be seeking. You don’t want to spend more time and money and steps to sell your house? Guess what, even your buyers want to do the same. So it is highly recommended that you get the paperwork done, along with the pre-inspection. 

On top of that, get yourself professional help through real estate agents as it will save a lot of your time, and money. Such agents are capable of giving your property a higher exposure to the market via the online medium.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Can I sell a house with a mortgage?

Yes, you can sell your home with an open mortgage even without paying any penalties for breaking the contract. However, in the case of a closed mortgage, there will be penalties before the term is up.

How much will I make selling my house?

It’s a rather subjective question, the value you get for your home depends on the property size, amenities, location, market conditions and valuation.

What is a real estate commission?

The real estate commission is usually calculated as a percentage of the property sale. In Canada, the standard real estate commission is about 4-5% of the property’s value plus HST. However, it is negotiable and can range from 3.5% to 5%.

Are there any mortgage penalties when I sell my home?

If you are selling your home before the term is up then there will be some penalties.

Do I have to pay capital gains tax when I sell my home?

If you sell your house with a profit up to CAD 250,000 then it will have a tax exemption and if you happened to be a couple then the exempted amount will be up to CAD 500,000. However, any profits beyond the limit will require the IRS to report and as a capital gain on your tax return.