Thinking of Selling your house?
- You need to gather all important information regarding your property (deed, survey, tax bill, mortgage statement, utility bills, information on property upgrades/home improvements, etc.)
- Make esthetic repairs (leaky faucets, paint, cleaning, loose door knobs, electrical fixtures, etc)
- Clean the house inside-out (Kitchens, bathrooms, windows, cobwebs, stains, etc.)
- Declog closets, declutter common areas, desk space, counter tops, etc.
Find a Realtor (21 Questions to Ask a Listing Agent)
- Look for a realtor/agent who are experienced in your neighbourhood and make sure they are full time agents. Interview a couple of them to see who you are more comfortable with.
- Ask all your questions and concerns to see how they treat their clients. Do they have your best interests in mind?
- Figure out how they would market your property, what commission do they charge, what they give to the cooperating agent, what their track record is, and what they expect of you to help the sales process.
- Be cautious with agents who suggest listing your property at the "highest price" and not be able to meet those claims. Or agents who are "area specialists" as they might not have your listing a priority.
- Understand the "Working with a Realtor" agency relationship brochure.
- Choose the agent who you feel comfortable with, one who listens to your concerns and understands your needs. This is your biggest investments, you have to have confidence in your agent.
- Interview me and see what it means to have the Steven Ho Real Estate Signature Service advantage.
The Listing Agreement
- This is a contract between you (the seller) and the listing broker (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Signature Service). Your agent (me) is a legal extension and representation of the brokerage. The listing is the property to be sold and it consists of the terms of the sale. This also includes the agency relationship of all the ethics, duties and obligations that I as a realtor (your agent) must abide by.
- The listing agremeent is a form from TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) and realtors must abide by the rules and regulations (REBBA - Real Estate and Business Broker's Act) set to act in our clients' (your) best interests.
- The agreement states that the relationship is set for a specific length of time and the price for our services to bring you an acceptable offer and completion of selling your home.
- The listing agent agrees to share a commission with the co-operating agent (the agent who represents the buyer), the amount is put on the MLS listing.
- Commissions are negotiable and the only amount listed on MLS is what is paid to the co-operating agent so that the total commission paid is kept confidential.
- The agreement consists of a "holdover" clause. This states that if a buyer who was introduced to your property during the listing period and if that buyer purchases your home after the listing agreement expires, the agent will still get compensated for his marketing efforts. This is to protect the agent from the buyer and seller making a private deal after the listing expires.
Setting a Listing Price
- Setting the price to list your home is the key to selling it timely for the best price.
- The market value is set by the market, not by me and not by you.
- Homes sell for the best value and timely when the price is set property right from the get-go.
- Comparing your property to recently sold, currently for sale, and properties that didn't sell (expired listings) in your neighbourhood to see what would be the optimal price point.
- The ideal pricing strategy is pricing your property slightly more than properties recently sold and marginally less than current comparable properties on the market.
- Home buyers compare the cost of similar properties, factoring in which properties suit their needs the most and the price that is most fair for them to pay.
- Factors that don't affect value are: what you paid for the property, the cost of rebuilding the same property today, the amount invested in home improvements, etc.
- Overpricing can be a big problem because it reduces the number of interested buyers, lower number of showings, disqualifies potential buyers, helps the competition sell, skews appraisal results, extends time on market, and a bunch of other consequences that negatively affect your listing process.
- How much is your house worth? I can provide you with a quick, free, No Obligation Home Evaluation
Activity on a new listing occurs in the early period of listing. This happens because real estate agents show active buyer clients listings that recently come on the market.
Agents will arrange for the buyers to see newly available listings. Once these active buyers have seen the property, showing activity decreases to only those buyers that are new to the market.
Therefore, it is imperative that sellers have their home in the best condition and at the best price when initally entering into the market.
Showcasing your Home
- A marketing strategy is to hold an open house for agents the earliest day possible from the initial listing day to allow agents in the neighbourhood to preview your home so that they can tell their clients about it.
- It is the responsibility of the seller (You) to maintain the house looking good for showings. Having the house clean and tidy, neutral odour, pets, and family members should try to be out of the house during showings. Curtains should be open during the day and closed at night with the lights on.
- The seller (you) should try to be off the property during showings. Showings are by appointment only so the buyers will always be accompanied by an agent and we will keep a record of those who are coming through your house.
- Keeping a lockbox outside your home is an essential practice to allow agents to show their buyers your home without the seller (you) being there.
- Another marketing tactic is to hold an open house for the public.
- When the buyer agent puts an offer on your home, I am immediately notified. I will then notify you so that we can arrange a time where I can show you their offer.
- Often times the listing agent (me) and the buyer agent will meet with you to present the offer. I would go through the offer with you, explaining the terms and conditions that are composed in the offer so that you can understand what the offer consists of, and what it means to you.
- You can request the buyer agent leave the room so that we can discuss the implications of the offer.
- I will advise you on the wording of clauses and conditions that are normal and those that aren't and what may be concerning.
- Sometimes the offer lists items that the buyer wants to be included in the sale and what is excluded.
- The offer also has an irrevocable date, this is the time limit that you have to either accept or reject or counter the offer before the offer is null and void.
- If you counter the offer, you are not bound by the original offer as it is now the buyer who either accepts, rejects or counter your counter offer. This continues until there is a meeting of the minds where both parties come to an agreement or the negotiations are terminated.
- When the offer is accepted, the buyer provides a deposit to the listing agent (me) once the offer is accepted. The deposit is held in the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Signature Service trust account and is counted towards the remaining balance of the purchase price on the closing date.
- Once an agreement is reached and all conditions are waived, your lawyer takes all the documents and prepares the land transfer papers, makes sure that all the adjustments are made, and then meets the buyer's lawyer on the closing date to exchange the keys for the remaining funds.
- The total commission is usually deducated from the deposit and if there isn't enough, your lawyer will pay the balance of the commission owing when the funds are received from the sale.
Have any questions?