You have home selling questions, and we have answers.
Here are some of the home selling questions that we get asked the most. Do less guessing and more knowing.
There are a number of factors to consider when determining what your home is worth. These are the things that your realtor if they’re experienced, should be reviewed in detail before giving you a value estimate on your home. The type of market you’re selling in (good economy or bad, seller’s market or buyer’s market) will have an impact on supply and demand influence prices. You should also look at housing market data: how much did the most comparable homes in your area sell for and how did they compare to yours in terms of size, upgrades, number of bedrooms, exposure, etc. Another key is current listings: what is currently for sale and how do those houses compare to your property? MLS data is important but doesn’t take the place of an actual viewing. After all, the pictures may have looked great but could have disguised a problem that was only visible in person that would detract from the home’s value. Another factor is whether your home has broad appeal or will only appeal to a small group of buyers. Houses with the broadest appeal will typically get the highest sale prices.
It’s common practice in the Toronto real estate market for sellers to price their home to receive multiple offers. How this works is that they come up with a list price that’s lower than what they expect to sell their home for (and in many cases below the market value of the property) in the hopes that they’ll attract enough buyers to generate multiple offers and sell their home (typically about one week later) for over the list price. Part of the thinking is that if a buyer wants a property they’ll be able to stretch their budget to pay more than the list price. This strategy can work well but is not always a sure thing. What factors should you and your realtor consider? The state of the market is key. Pricing your house low and holding back on offers will only work in a seller’s market. Also, another home selling question to consider is how much competition is there in your neighbourhood? If there are a lot of houses for sale in your area that will decrease your chances of receiving multiple offers. What type of property do you have and where is it? Buyers will typically pay the most for homes in hot areas that are fully renovated and staged. If the freehold market is stronger than the condo market when you plan to sell and you own a condo don’t expect to get the same level of interest or competition for your property than if you owned a freehold house in Leslieville. Ultimately, the market will determine what your home is worth. Hiring an experienced realtor who is up-to-date with your area sales and the market will help ensure that you price your home properly and have the right expectations.
A – That depends on what’s required. If your home needs staging, you should meet with a professional staging company to discuss your options. If your home doesn’t need staging there are four key elements that you should take into account before listing your home: exterior appearance, maintenance, cleanliness and decluttering. Exterior appearance i.e. curb appeal means keeping the lawn cut, weeding and planting as necessary. Repair leaking taps and toilets, tighten doorknobs, repair cracked plaster, clean and repairs windows, etc. Create a buying mood by making sure that nothing is cluttered or messy (including the stairs, hallways, and closets) and that everything is in its place; make sure your home smells fresh and clean (this includes eliminating pet smells and stains) and put away personal photos.
A – Not every home needs to be staged – in some cases decluttering and cleaning will make your home market ready. But if your taste isn’t mainstream or modern, staging could be a worthwhile option. What are the benefits of staging? Buyers normally respond much more favourably to a home when its turnkey and they can visualize themselves living there. If it’s done right, staging can result in a property selling for up to 5-10% more than a home that isn’t staged. Here are some other benefits: staged homes sell in a shorter amount of time than un-staged properties; they help stand out to buyer’s and can help increase the number of offers that come in; when a house is professionally staged the pictures look better on MLS and in marketing/print materials; a staged home gives buyer’s the impression that the house has been well looked after; because staged properties show better agents tend to show them first before other listings.
A – According to Ontario law, sellers don’t have to disclose latent defects of quality but they do have to disclose latent defects that they have knowledge of prior to the sale of their home. What’s a latent defect? It’s something that makes the property unfit or dangerous to live in, like structural problems, mold, or a leaky roof. If your house has a latent defect that you knew about and you didn’t disclose it during the sale process before the property closed than legally you could be liable.
A – Setting the proper asking price for your home is the single most important factor that will determine the success or failure of your home sale. The biggest mistake that sellers make is pricing their home too high. The result is that your home could sit unsold for weeks or months, leading buyers to believe that the home is either overpriced or that there is something wrong with the property which is why it hasn’t sold. The majority of buyers focus on the new listings coming out and will pass by listings that are sitting on the market. Understanding market conditions and properly pricing your home is key.
A – Historically the best time to sell a home has been during the peak seasons in the market – spring and fall – but waiting until then to put your home on the market may not guarantee that you’ll get the most money for it. Ultimately, it comes down to supply and demand – are there more buyers looking than there is inventory to purchase? Is your neighbourhood suffering from a lack of listings? Does a strong seller’s market mean that buyers are losing out on bidding wars which will translate into pent-up demand during the traditionally “off” seasons? These are all home selling questions to consider. However, one of the most important home selling questions you need to ask yourself is: “Is this the right time to buy for me?” You should always consider what works for you and your family first, before trying to time the market.
A – The biggest factor that will determine how much money you get for your home is the market. Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? If it’s a buyer’s market and there are more houses for sale than buyers to purchase them you won’t get as much money for your home than if it’s a seller’s market and there are more buyers looking than houses for sale. The second biggest factor in getting as high a sale price as possible is exposure: Is your realtor spending money on professional pictures? Are they marketing your home and using social media to expose your home to as many buyers as possible? Are they networking? Have they priced the property correctly? Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of your home’s appearance. Does your home show well? Has it been professionally staged to appeal to the most buyers? Have you completed all of the necessary repairs for your home to show its best? If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions you’ll be in the best position to get an excellent sale price.
A – Firstly you should consult a family law lawyer, as this can become a complicated issue. The starting point with the division of assets, such as your home, is typically 50/50 although, of course, that can be negotiated. Your lawyer may recommend that you get a Separation Agreement drafted – if you can’t come to an agreement with your spouse regarding the division of assets prior to your home selling the funds will be held in a trust until a Separation Agreement is signed. You’ll need to know who put what into the property in terms of money for renovations, mortgage payments, etc. Ideally you should have your matrimonial property sold and the money disbursed to either you or your spouse buys another property. If any contentious issues arise that delay the sale and/or the disbursement of funds it could jeopardize the new purchase.
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