If you are currently a homeowner, there may come a time when you need to sell your property; need is emphasized here because many people do not need to sell their existing home in order to purchase their next one. Chloe is always watchful for situations where this is true. With a little more information it may be possible for you to become a landlord, let the renters paydown the existing mortgage while you wait for a better time to sell or perphaps keep that property long term as part of your retirement portfolio all the while living in your new home. Generally speaking most Realtors are anxious to earn your listing, post a sign on the lawn, write a few advertisements and get on with the business of selling your property. Chloe's philosophy is a little different and is a testament to the life long relationship she wants to build when becoming your Realtor. While she has certainly earned her wings in the property listing arena she is far more interested in helping her clients reach their long term property and investment goals!
Many times once the homeowners realize the cost of selling . . . they change their minds. To help you decide whether it is really an optimum time to sell she has created some tools for your benefit.
Explore the real costs of selling. Do you have a mortgage? Before you even call a Realtor you should VERIFY in WRITING and ask "What the payout penalty is? Is the mortgage portable to your next home? Is the mortgage assumable? (chances are not but it doesn't hurt to ask) Unless you have an 'Open' mortgage with no payout penalty the range of payout can be substantial. Likely somewhere in the range of $7,500 to $25,000. It is important to verify this and get it in writing. There are many situations where the verbal statement of a bank employee did not match up with the actual penalty charged on the payout and you don't find out until after you have sold - it is not negotiable! It seems that if it is verbal - they don't have to follow through and you have no way of making them live up to their statement. Get it in writing and make sure it is signed! To aid you in this process you can download a Mortgage Verification Form here. Fill it out and send to your bank. The second thing to determine is whether or not your Real Property Report is still accurate and valid. Frequently the Purchaser's bank is unwilling to accept a Real Property Report that is more than a few months old and you may be required to obtain a new or updated version. Does it have a 'compliance stamp' from the municipal office where it is located?
In Alberta the current practice is for the Seller to pay both the Listing Realtor and the Buyer's Realtor in the transaction and this makes it so important to pick the community FIRST and settle well. The commission comes out of the pot of money the Seller agrees to pay on the Listing Contract and can vary depending upon the Realtor you have selected to work with and what duties you have chosen to have them perform on your behalf. Again this may range from $5,000 to $35,000 depending on the value of your property. It can certainly use up a chunk of your money. Money which you can save with a little good planning.
This decision to sell can sometimes seem overwhelming and you may not know where to start but if you have made that decision Chloe can help you every step of the way, to get your property sold quickly and for the best price possible. Let Chloe's many years of experience benefit you in the selling process. For a look at the extensive number of property transactions she has been involved in take a look at her 'Scrapbook of Sales' here:
Below you will find a number of frequently asked questions related to selling a property. Take a look through them to get an idea of what will be involved in selling your home and how Chloe can assist with the process.
The first thing you should do is to get together all documents relevant to your home. These include:
Real Property Report
Property Tax bill
2. Are there any ways that I can prepare my home to sell quickly and for the highest possible price?
Absolutely! And often all it takes is a little old-fashioned elbow grease. A property is more likely to sell if buyers can picture themselves living in the home. Here are some tips to make your home buyer friendly:
De-clutter: remove all personal items from display, including taking down family photographs and removing knick-knacks. Clear out closets, boxing up any extra clothing or donating them to charity. This is a great time to get rid of things you no longer need. As a bonus, this will help you get ready for your own move when your home sells. This takes work! You want to give the impression there is space galore, lots of room for the new owner to fit their furniture and other belongings.
Clean: Nothing sells a home quicker than the appearance that it has been well taken care of. Buyers like homes that are clean and fresh. To accomplish this be sure to vacuum daily, dust furniture and light fixtures, clean windows inside and out, wash walls, patch any holes in the walls, replace old fixtures and make any minor necessary repairs. Also pay attention to eliminating odours, like diaper pails, cigarette smoke, pets or litter boxes. You may have become accustomed to those odors and not notice them anymore but they may be overpowering to others. AND don't try to mask the smell with room freshners or deodorizers, it just compounds the problem.
Check out the view from the outside: Take a look at your property from the street. Does the exterior need new paint? Is the lawn looking overgrown? Are the light fixtures outdated? Make any necessary small repairs and put a fresh coat of paint on any areas that look faded or dirty. Depending on what season it is when you are selling your home, make sure that leaves are raked, the lawn is cut, snow is shoveled, put out flowerpots in the summer and make sure there's a welcome mat at your front door. Update fixtures like the mailbox, doorknob and doorbell, if necessary.
Set the mood: Set up your home's rooms so that buyers can walk through them without bumping into furniture and so that the purpose of each room is immediately apparent. Any room which is not being used for it's intended purpose - put the purpose back in it. Arrange furniture so that it showcases the room's best feature, such as a fireplace or large window. Remove any extra furniture, paint the walls a neutral colour and put up a mirror. The neutral paint will ensure that potential buyers will be able to picture their belongings in the room and the addition of a mirror instantly makes small rooms seem bigger.
Purchase a Home Protection Plan: This insurance protects you, the seller, from paying repair or replacement costs of major items during the listing period. It also protects the buyer during their first year of homeownership.
You will be asked to sign a Listing Agreement when you select Chloe to sell your property. This is a contract between you (the Seller) and the listing Broker. As your REALTOR®, Chloe is legally considered an extension of the Broker (Century 21 The Professionals Ltd.).
The Listing Agreement describes the property that is being sold and sets out the terms under which it will be sold. This document also states your agreement to have Chloe market your property for a set period of time and that you will pay her a commission (generally a percentage of the sale price) when the property is sold.
In selecting a REALTOR® to help you sell your property, you will be making sure that your interests are looked after. REALTORS®are extensively trained, educated and bonded so you can be confident that they will navigate you successfully through the selling process. REALTORS® in Alberta must have a minimum of a grade 12 education, participate in intensive training for one month by the Alberta Real Estate Association. In order to work as a REALTOR® in Calgary, REALTORS® must also train for one week with the Calgary Real Estate Board. REALTORS® must pass all exams before they can begin working and they must remain free of a criminal record. Chloe also has a university degree in Social Work and many, many courses in marketing. She is an avid participant in the digital world.
5. I am a bit nervous about letting strangers into my home during open houses. Do you have any pointers for protecting myself during the selling process?
- Chloe will always call you to confirm a request for an appointment to view your home
- Lock up and hide collectibles and valuables
- Remember, "For Sale" signs bring in buyers.
- Remind your children to never open the door to strangers.
- If you have pets, make sure they are controlled
- Remove any dangerous items
As your REALTOR®, there are a number of ways that Chloe will help you to sell your property, including:
Setting the best sale price
At the time you sign a Listing Agreement with Chloe, you will determine the best sale price for your property. Your home will sell quickest and for the best price possible if it's set at the correct price right from the beginning. Chloe will take a look at what price similar homes in the area have recently sold for, as well as what price comparable properties are currently listed at. She will also consider market trends and the overall condition of the property.
Marketing your property
Chloe will set out to market your home so that it's set apart from other properties on the market and will attract potential buyers. She uses a variety of methods to market your property which include virtual open houses, seminars, Internet/web site exposure with both digital photographs and videographies.
In properly marketing your property online, Chloe will significantly increase your home's exposure to potential buyers. Consider this . . . according to a recent Calgary Real Estate Board survey conducted by Zinc Research, 87% of people surveyed, who were currently shopping or who had recently purchased a property, started the search using the Internet. Othe research indicates the percentage is as high as 95%. The internet has changed the way people start the search and fine tune their focus. This is particularly evident in Real Estate transactions. So what about that other 5 to 13% of Buyers . . . if they are not starting the search on the internet - their Realtor is! The era of print media is gone!
Negotiating offers and making the deal!
As soon as a buyer has made an offer it is time to negotiate. Chloe is skilled in handling multiple/competing offers and complex sales and you can rely on her to talk you through this process. You will have the option to accept the offer, reject it completely, or come back with a counter-offer. This back and forth process of counter-offers may continue for some time, until an agreement is reached. Chloe will help you arrive at an acceptable price, terms and conditions. The remainder of the process will go as follows:
Once you have accepted an offer, the buyer will submit a deposit, which will be held in trust by Chloe's brokerage, Century 21 The Professionals Ltd. This deposit will be put toward the purchase price on the closing date.
There may be conditions placed on the offer that will have to be cleared before the closing date. You can help keep the deal together by meeting deadlines and criteria, including home inspections, appropriate buyer visits, scheduled deposits and other steps.
As the closing nears, you may also need to perform repairs or do additional work to the house as agreed upon in your contract. In addition, you will need to have the house "broom clean" prior to the closing so that the buyer can complete a final walk through.
Once any conditions have been waived, the relevant documents will be sent to your lawyer. Your lawyer will arrange for you to come in and sign these documents. When you finally arrive at the closing table, come prepared with the appropriate certificates and approvals as required by your town, county and state. Ask the appropriate agency or get a list of what you need from your local Century 21 Office.
Once the money has exchanged hands and all the papers signed it's time to hand over the keys and concentrate on your next big project - getting YOUR new home in order.
Back to top
For more about why she's the best person to help you sell your property, learn more
For more information on the selling process, or to get started on selling your Calgary property, pleasecontact Chloe or fill out the form below.