Looking to Sell?

So you've decided to sell your house.

If you're thinking about selling your house or condo, top Comox Valley real estate agent, Graham Batchelor can help! Graham has a proven track record when it comes to assisting his clients achieve their real estate goals. He constantly strives to ensure the greatest sales result is accomplished through the synergy of open honest communication, innovative and powerful marketing, and a focus on the bottom line.

Download the Real Estate Council of British Columbia Home Seller's Guide for reference. 
Below are some additional tips:

Why Sell?
Why do you want to sell your house? Do you intend to simply find a larger home, or do you plan on moving to another neighborhood, school district, city or province? You might think your reasons are obvious, but it would do well to consider the implications of each option for your family's lifestyle, opportunities and finances. Being clear about your intentions for selling will make it easier for an agent to determine the most appropriate option for your specified financial, lifestyle and real estate goals.

When Should I Sell?
You should immediately establish your time frame for selling. If you need to sell quickly, you can speed up the process by hiring an experienced agent as opposed to selling it yourself. If there's no pressing need to sell immediately, you can sit down with an expert real estate agent to thoroughly review the current market conditions and find the most favorable time to sell.

What's The Market Like?
When you work with me, you can be sure that you'll have agent knowledge, expertise and negotiating skills at work for you to arrive at the best market prices and terms. I will keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties. With me, you'll know exactly how to price and when to sell your home.

What to Look for in an Agent
Here are a couple of factors to keep in mind when looking for a listing agent:

  • Experience and Expertise. You want a full-time agent who's familiar with your area in and with the type of property you intend to sell. Does he or she employ a diverse range of marketing and advertising strategies? How tech-savvy is your agent? How many similar properties has he been able to sell in the past?
  • Availability and Commitment. Your agent should be capable of prompt and decisive action during the course of selling your home. Do they make it a point to keep in touch with you constantly? Can they easily be contacted in case of emergencies or even for the simplest questions?
  • Rapport. Do they take the time out to listen to your goals and clarify your needs? Can they understand your unique situation and be genuinely concerned about the outcome of the process? Your listing agent will be your guide and partner in this crucial decision, so it's important to find one you can get along with.

What Is Your Home Worth?
Without a professional agent, most independent home sellers tend to overestimate the value of their home. You can avoid this pitfall by consulting with an experienced Real Estate listing agent.

You can do a lot to increase the appeal of your dream home and create a lasting impact on potential buyers.

  1. Curb Appeal. Keeping your landscape pristine, and adding creative touches to your yard such as colorful annuals, will create an immediate impact on passers-by and potential buyers.
  2. House Repairs. Simple upgrades such as window repairs, polishing the doorknobs, and a fresh lick of paint in the most frequently used rooms instantly brighten up your home.
  3. Cleanliness and Staging. Keep your home uncluttered, sweet-smelling and well-lit from top to bottom. Pay attention to details: put away the kitty litter, place a vase of fresh flowers in the hall, pop a batch of cinnamon rolls in the oven, have your carpets cleaned. Let your agent check the house before you accept any potential buyers to see how you can improve the staging further.
  4. Showtime. Presenting your home to potential buyers is a job that your listing agent will take care of for you. Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with the agent if you're not there. Moreover, your agent will know what information will be most useful in representing your interests when speaking with prospective buyers.

The Price Isn't Always Right
"The higher the price, the better the offer." Don't let yourself be fooled by this popular misconception. Price isn't always the determining factor in choosing among multiple offers, for several important reasons: the initial offer is never final, and there are a number of terms and conditions that may influence the final outcome of a price. You can trust your listing agent to help you thoroughly evaluate every proposal without compromising your marketing position.

Negotiating The Right Way
I take the ethical responsibility of fairly negotiating contractual terms very seriously. It's is my job to find a win-win agreement that's beneficial to all parties involved. Oftentimes you will have to deal with multiple offers before ratifying the one you judge to be the most suitable for you - and as your agent I’ll guarantee a thorough and objective assessment of these offers to help you make the right choice.

Marketing Your Home
The challenge is to ensure that your property receives maximum exposure to the right audience, and not just online, but off line as well. Beyond having your home’s information listed on websites and advertised in publications, there are also open houses, direct mail campaigns and appearances in newsletters, handouts and flyers.

What a marketing strategy should include are:

  • Online exposure through home search websites.
  • For Sale property signage.
  • Direct mail.
  • Advertisements in newspapers.

Hosting and Open House
Schedule your open house carefully. Pick a day where, in your community most of the open houses happen to become part of the day’s tour for potential homebuyers. Avoid holidays and community events. Consider the forecasted weather for the day. And on the day of the open house, make sure to walk through each room for any last minute adjustments. Ventilate the house to remove any odors. Purchase and set fresh flowers. Prepare refreshments. Provide surveys to receive feedback from visitors. In the survey ask what they thought of the overall condition of the home, what the best features were, how the home compared to other properties they’ve visited, what they like best and least about the home, what they thought of the price. Whatever feedback you receive could help shape your marketing strategy for better results.

Receiving and Reviewing the Offer
When a buyer is interested in your property, an offer will be submitted, and sometimes more than one if you have several buyers who are interested. The offer will include the buyer’s price, which will be typically below your listed or asking price, and it will include terms, which will be conditions set forth by the buyer such as certain requested home repairs that you would be responsible to complete at your expense, or any furnishings or appliances the buyer would like to include as part of a successful transaction. An offer that comes in at the listed price should still be considered, based on the terms. The offer should also include a good faith deposit to show a commitment to the property as well as contingencies, which are events the buyer needs to rely on in order to purchase the home successfully. In response to an offer you can choose to reject it, counter offer or accept it if it meets or exceeds your expectations. Unless the offer is exactly what you want, it is the beginning of an exchange in which price, terms and contingencies are negotiable.

Making a Counter Offer
Counter offers may go back and forth between seller and buyer several times as part of the negotiation process. All terms of an offer are negotiable and when both parties approve an offer, a real estate attorney should review the contract before signing.

Final steps that should be taken at this time are:

  • Agreement of closing date.
  • Agreement on date of loan approval.
  • Agreement on a date that the buyer could move in.
  • A receipt should be provided for the buyer’s good-faith deposit.
  • A decision on whether repairs are made before or after the closing.

After the Contract is Signed
After the contract is signed, steps are taken to meet the agreed upon terms of the final approved offer. When all the terms are met and prior to the closing, the buyer takes a final walk-through of the house to ensure that all the repairs and other items of the agreement have been fulfilled.

Before all three events, the appraisal, the inspection and the walk-through, the home should be cleaned and prepared or each occasion.

The Closing
This is the process that takes place during a meeting of the parties involved in which the transaction is completed and the title of the property is passed from seller to new owner. Before the closing, the buyer conducts a final walk through of the home to make sure that the property is as it was when you viewed it and that all repairs that may have been stipulated in the offer have been completed to satisfaction. During the closing, paperwork that has been prepared by all parties involved, including the agents, the bank providing the mortgage, lawyers and title companies, are signed.