Seller's Guide

If you are thinking about selling your house there are probably a number of items you are curious about...

How much is my home worth?

What is the current economic climate and how will it affect the sale of my property?

What should I do to get my house ready to sell?

I have the experience and dedication to help you get your home SOLD. Have a look at my seller's guide. I have outlined the steps I will take to help you complete a successful sale of your home!

It all starts with an Initial Property Visit.

It all starts with an INITIAL PROPERTY VISIT.
Before I can properly assess the value of your home I have to come by to view your property and take notes with respect to the exterior construction materials, interior finishing and fixtures, mechanical components, landscaping and any other items that will affect the value.

This initial visit allows us to get acquainted and for me to familiarize myself with your home.

I will then take the information I gather to put a proper market evaluation together for you. I can usually have your evaluation complete within a couple of days.

Once I have the work completed we will meet up a second time where I will go through your C.M.A. Comparative Market Analysis in detail
One of the many benefits of working with a professional REALTOR to sell your home is my ability to provide you with a “Comparative Market Analysis” or CMA. A CMA allows me to ensure that you and I are pricing your home competitively and at the highest price that the market will bear.

The CMA is made up of two areas with homes comparable to yours. Homes that are for sale right now and homes that recently sold. When we review homes in these two categories, we see trends that help us to properly price your home. Homes that are similar to yours and are currently for sale gives us a good idea of the homes serious buyers will be seeing.

Homes that recently sold give us a good indication of what the market will bear, and allows us to see trends in increases or decreases of sales price.

I put this market evaluation together in an appraisal-style format using the same principles and applications that a Real Estate Appraiser would use.

With this information I can provide you with the best possible chance at selling your home for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.

Part of the market evaluation includes my Marketing Strategy for you home.
It is important to have the proper Marketing strategy to maximize your exposure to get the right buyer through your door and facilitate an offer on your property. My marketing strategy is designed to accomplish just that.

Multiple Listing Services The MLS is the Number 1 resource I can provide you access to when selling your property, is a listing database that commands the majority of real estate transactions. In Calgary we have over 5000 Brokers, Agents and their buyer clients looking for your home on the MLS. It is very important to capture these Agents and Buyers attention. To do so, I take pride in hiring the best professional photographers to take high quality digital images for us to showcase your property on the MLS. Having great images and a strong online presence is key to enticing perspective buyers. I also use the professional images in all other aspects of my marketing strategy.

Another Important item required to sell your home is a Land Survey or Real Property Report.

One of the most important steps in listing your home for sale is getting a certificate of location.
This guarantees to the buyer that your property meets municipal guidelines.

Commonly known as a REAL PROPERTY REPORT, or the older Survey Certificate, an up-to-date Certificate of Location is a vital legal document in the home selling process. It must be forwarded to the lawyer handling the sale prior to the closing.

Prepared by a qualified survey, the certificate of location specifies the exact size and location of your property, the size of the building and type of structure. It notes conformity of local zoning regulations and by-laws, and includes drawing of exterior (and sometimes interior) ground plans. The certificate of location must accurately reflect any external changes made including additions, garages, decks, event the relocation of a storage shed. Certain items falling under a pre-determined height (landscaping, for instance) are exempted.

If no improvements have been made, the original survey may remain in effect indefinitely. In some instances however, surveys must be updated routinely.

It is the responsibility of the seller to provide a copy of the RPR with compliance to the buyer as outlined in the purchase agreement.

We are almost ready to put your house on the market, but before we do, have a look at some House Preparation suggestions I would make.
First impressions count with buyers. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, so a small investment in time and money can give your house the advantage over competing homes in your neighbourhood when it comes time for your sales representative to show it to a prospective buyer. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home for showing.

  1. Repair leaky taps and toilets
  2. Clean furnace and humidifier
  3. Tighten doorknobs and cupboard latches
  4. Repair cracked plaster
  5. Touch up chipped paint
  6. Clean and repair windows
  7. Repair seals around tub and basin
  8. Replace burned out light bulbs
  9. Oil squeaking doors

  1. Clean and freshen bathrooms
  2. Clean refrigerator and stove
  3. Clean furnace exterior
  4. Clean washer, dryer and laundry tubs
  5. Clean carpets

  1. Clear halls and stairs of clutter
  2. Store surplus furniture
  3. Clear kitchen counters and stove
  4. Make closets neat and tidy

  1. Arrange to be absent during the showing
  2. Turn on all lights
  3. Turn on air conditioning when necessary
  4. Light fireplace
  5. Open drapes in the daytime
  6. Play quiet background music
  7. Clean and tidy porch and foyer
  8. Does the doorbell work?
  9. Is the door hardware in good shape?
  10. Is the air fresh?

Now that your home is prepared properly it is time to show your home to perspective buyers until we facilitate An Offer!
We have offered good value for your property and you have done an amazing job preparing your home for showings. Because of this we have facilitated an offer from an interested buyer.

The offer will outline the terms and conditions for the sale including; Price, Deposit, Closing Date, Inclusions, Terms and Conditions.

When I receive an offer on your property I will come and sit down with you in person to go over the offer in detail. The items we will focus on are Price, Deposit, Closing Date, Inclusions, Terms and Conditions.

Price: Often times buyers will start with a low ball offer. I will guide you with my negotiation experience in order to obtain the very best price for your home. Most often the final price is the most important aspect of a real estate transaction but other items can affect the sale and even that final price.

Deposit: When a buyer submits an offer there is an expectation from yourself as the seller of a deposit. An acceptable deposit is typically determined by the purchase price of the property and amount of time between the offer and closing date. The deposit is held in trust by my listing brokerage's trust account and becomes part of the buyers downpayment on closing. The deposit is not at risk until the buyers have removed their conditions. For example: If a buyer completes a home inspection and it isn't satisfactory they can void the agreement and are entitled to their deposit back.

Closing Date:This is an agreed to date where, as a seller, you are to provide vacant possession to the buyer. Often times this date can affect value for a buyer or seller and I can use this to leverage your position in negotiations.

Inclusions: The offer outlines a list of included items in the purchase. Anything that is "attached" to the property is considered part of the sale. To guarantee that items that aren't "attached" directly to the property we include them in the offer to ensure they are in the property when you take possession. Most often this list includes appliances, but can be anything agreed upon by the buyer and seller, a hot tub or shed would be a good example.

Terms: A term can be used as a function to have the buyer or seller complete a specific item or provide access to the property for specific reasons. An example of a term that I always use is " Seller agrees to allow buyer access to the property up to 24 hours prior to closing for the purpose of a walk-through". There are a number of other reasons we may include a term in the contract depending on certain circumstances. I will make you aware if we should have additional terms included in the contract if required.

Conditions: A buyer may include conditions in their offer to ensure the quality of the property and also to complete financing arrangements. As a seller you may also have conditions depending on the situation. Below are a few typical conditions a buyer may include in their offer.
  1. Financing Condition: To satisfy this condition the bank will perform an appraisal on your home to make sure the value is enough to justify lending a buyer mortgage funds. Also, at this time the lender will verify the buyer's income and debts to ensure they are a suitable candidate for a loan.
  2. Property Inspection Condition: The property inspection is subject to the buyers approval and must be performed by a licensed Home Inspector. If the home inspection identifies any deficiencies the buyer wants to address they must provide us with a copy of the property inspection report to verify deficiencies and then they may try to re-negotiate the price or remediation before moving forward with the transaction. Again, my experience will be invaluable if we run into this situation.
  3. Condominium Document Review Condition: If the property you are selling is a condominium a buyer will likely request all of the condo documents and have them professionally reviewed. Meeting minutes, financial statements, insurance certificate, condo plan and reserve fund reports are just some of the documents that are available through the condo board the will require to have reviewed. As a condominium owner you should have a separate file where you keep any and all documentation your condo board/corporation provides you with.
    It should take 7-10 business days for the buyer to satisfy their conditions. Provided all goes well they will send us a waiver removing their conditions and at this time your home is officially SOLD!

All that remains is to prepare for The Closing.
The Closing: Before we provide the new buyers with the keys to your home on possession date there are just a few more items to take care of.

Lawyer Meeting to Sign Purchase Documents: To complete the sale you have to meet with a Real Estate Lawyer and sign the transfer and payout documents that will remove you as the legal owner and discharge/transfer any registered mortgages on title. This meeting will occur within the 2 weeks prior to your closing date and could be as late as a day or two before the buyer takes possession. The cost for the lawyer often depends on the price but you should budget between $1200-$1500. Check out my Preferred Service Providers for a link to my lawyers of choice.

Possession Day: To prepare the home for the new owners it is nice to leave them a note with any pertinent information such as what day is garbage day, where the mailbox is located or any other relevant items. It is expected that the home is in the same state of repair as it was when you made the agreement with the buyer in the first place. I would suggest that you leave the home in the same condition as you would hope a previous owner would for yourself. You can leave any extra keys and garage openers in the home. Technically the contract states that the buyer can take possession at Noon on the closing date but often times the funds are transferred between 10am and Noon. I personally keep a set of keys to administer to the new owners realtor once all of the funds have been transferred to your lawyer, not before!

Congratulations! You have completed the sale of your home and are off to your next adventure!

I hope this detailed seller's guide has been informative for you. Should you have questions about any of the content or about the process please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss.