The price must be acceptable to the appraiser if a new mortgage is involved. Few purchasers will be able to complete on a sale if an appraiser's report shows a value less than the negotiated selling price. The financial institution handling the mortgage application will decline to lend more money than the property value permits in high ratio loan situations.
AN important marketing tool is having a certified appraisal prepared at the time of listing. This will give you another opinion of value, and one that financial institutions rely on. The cost of a certified appraisal varies from area to area and the type of real estate, but generally for a city home the cost is between $200.00 and $250.00.
THE most common way to set a price is to review a Comparative Market Analysis (or C.M.A.) This is a report prepared by a professional realtor which details properties currently for sale in your neighborhood as well as recent sales for similar properties to your own.
THE list of properties currently for sale is extremely important to you since these represent direct competition to you. Buyers will compare your property against these others. On the average we find buyers look at about 8 to 12 houses before making a buying decision. In a market where prices are increasing, you can consider pricing your home slightly higher than your competition. In a decreasing market, you must price it lower than your competition.
EVERYTHING is relative also to the amount of time you have to sell your home. Determining the price is the most important step in the selling of your home and should be done with as much knowledge of the market and property values as possible. A certified appraisal and a knowledgeable realtor are most important.
THE second part of a C.M.A. is a list of SOLDS, those properties similar to your own which have recently sold in your area. Generally this part of the report will detail size, style, number of rooms, baths, fireplaces, garage parking and other features. The final list price is shown along with how many days the property was on the market. Close examination of a very long time period usually reveals that the property was first offered at too high a price and only sold after one or more price reductions during the listing period.
For Sale Sign
HAVING a FOR SALE sign on your property is an important advertising tool. A larger percentage of buyers come from calls on signs than from open houses and advertising. People who call on a sign have already partially pre-qualified themselves because they must have liked the appearance of the house and the area it was located in -enough that they called for further details on it.
Making Your House Accessible to Prospective Buyers
COMPLETE access to the house during reasonable hours helps greatly in generating an offer. All appointments to view your house may be made by any licensed realtor or through your realtor only if you prefer. Under no circumstances should you permit a buyer to view your home without a realtor present. A lockbox is a convenient tool for the realtors in showing your home, as they can access the home when you're not present.
ADVERTISING is multi-purpose and assumes many forms. Your inclusion in the MLS catalogue is a form of advertising - to convince other realtors to show your property to their buyers! Other types of advertising may include newspaper or specialty newspaper advertising, direct mail promotion, feature sheets/booklets. Advertising is part of the personalized marketing plan your realtor should discuss with you.
Dealing With Offers
IT is not always easy to review an offer and analyze the legal commitments you are making. That's why you will appreciate the knowledge and negotiating skills that your realtor will offer you at this time. Mistakes can be costly.
WHEN a prospective buyer has reached the decision to make an offer on your property, you will be presented with a signed REAL ESTATE PURCHASE CONTRACT. This document will detail the price that the buyer is willing to pay for your house; how he intends to pay for it; what chattels he would like you to leave in the house; and what he expects you to do in return. The offer will also indicate what conditions if any, are attached to the offer and when the purchaser would like possession of the house.
YOU have the right to accept the offer as is, refuse it, or send it back to the purchaser (called a counter-offer) for different terms and conditions. Once you and the purchaser have come to a final decision and the offer is acceptable to you both, and all changes have been made and accepted, you have a binding contract. You can appreciate how much easier it is to "talk" to your purchaser through the 3rd party negotiations of your realtor.
IT is your house to sell, but take the time to listen to your realtor's comments concerning the details of the offer. Ask questions! Make sure you understand everything.
ALONG with the offer will be a deposit, usually in the form of a cheque. This deposit is held in a trust account by the selling Real Estate Agency and is credited towards the purchase price on closing. This deposit is required by law to make the contract valid, but also shows good faith on the part of the purchaser.
THE date of closing is of course an item of discussion between you and the purchaser at the time that an offer is made. Completion dates are normally between 30 to 90 days from the time of offer acceptance. It is also important to note that the purchaser is entitled to possession of the property at 12 o'clock NOON of the completion date, unless another time is specified on the contract.
WHILE you are waiting for this day to arrive, your lawyer will be handling all matters to successfully complete the sale of your home. You, as the owner, are responsible to maintain the house in the same condition it was in at the time of sale, up to the time of closing. You are also responsible for all expenses on the house until NOON of the actual day of closing. These expenses include heat, hydro, water, sewer, taxes, insurance and if applicable, your mortgage payments.
PRIOR to completion date (usually up to a week before), your lawyer will require you to sign a transfer of title and will at that time, review any other questions you might have.
ARRANGE to leave a complete set of keys with either your realtor or your lawyer prior to leaving the house. The keys are not released to the purchaser without your lawyer's permission. Leave all duplicate and spare keys in a kitchen drawer or a sealed envelope locked inside the house when you leave.
YOU are expected to vacate the house by NOON of the day of closing unless you make other arrangements with the purchaser. Therefore make your moving arrangements early and allow yourself time to leave the property clean and free of leftover rubbish to prevent any problems.
REMEMBER to contact all the service companies; telephone, hydro, gas, cable etc. and advise them of the sale and date of completion. They will read all meters and arrange for final billing to be sent to your new address. If meters are not read or you neglect to cancel your services, you can be billed for use after you are moved out.
For more information please contact me.