Seller's Guide

5 Easy Steps To Sell Your Home

Step 1

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Home Tour & Research

Before we discuss the home selling process and your expectations, I will tour your property and offer you my insights on what can help you sell your home. Afterward, we will sit down and discuss the approximate value of your property based on current market trends and recent sales in your neighborhood.

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Listing Appointment

After our initial meeting, I will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that includes sold prices of comparable properties in your area. Once I am finished all my research and data collection, we will meet again. Based on all the
data I collect and your needs, we will establish a competitive listing price for your home. We will also discuss the home selling process, timelines, and expectations from the sale to be on the same page and head towards one same goal as a team. Additionally, we will discuss my unique approaches to marketing your property so that you can rest assured that I will do everything possible to get your home sold for top dollar and fast.

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Hire a Real-Estate Agent

Sometime around our home tour and listing appointment, you will have to decide who you want to represent you during the home selling process. If you choose to hire me, I will walk you through all the listing paperwork, and we will get all the necessary documents signed to move ahead with putting your home on the market! To help you decide, here are some unique key services I offer all my seller clients:

  • Top priority and attention to your property
  • Regular and timely communication with you
  • Active follow-up of every buyer prospect
  • Work with you and for you to obtain top dollar
  • Fully customized marketing materials
  • Suggestions to increase your home's value

Step 2

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Establish a Price

Pricing your home at the right price the first time is crucial to obtaining maximum exposure and selling your home quickly for top dollar. Doing so will also help you save money and time. Pricing a house correctly is mostly based on five factors: the property's location, its condition, its improvements (or upgrades), its age, and the market conditions experienced at the time of listing.

Therefore, our experience and access to exclusive information from various sources will help us determine a competitive listing price to ensure optimal results.

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Stage Your Property

Staging a house is the process of strategically arranging furniture and decor to make a home look its best while selling. This may involve refreshing your belongings, or moving all of your stuff out and renting furniture and decor to better suit the room's staging arrangements. Our goal is to create a clean, neutral, and coherent look to help buyers imagine what moving into your home could look like.

To help, we will give you personalized tips during our initial home tour, and we will provide you with a home staging checklist for reference on the following page.

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Marketing Materials Are Designed and Prepared

While we go further into detail about our marketing strategy in the following pages, we will have professional photographers take high-quality photos of your home after staging your property. At the same time, we will have all our marketing materials professionally designed and customized to match and include stunning pictures of your home.

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Once all our marketing materials are designed, we will download and prepare them for print. Before listing day, we will personally deliver some printed marketing materials to you (such as property brochures, "Welcome to our listing" signs, and business cards). That way, you may set up for showings and help
increase buyer turnout rates on offer day. 

Aside from printed marketing materials, we will also tackle the digital world by having professional "Coming Soon" and "Just Listed" property social media posts posted on all our social media pages and sponsoring them to reach more prospective buyers.

Home Staging Checklist

To stage your home and get it ready for launch day, consider doing the following:

A few personal things on display is acceptable, but we want to make sure we leave enough room for a prospective buyer to picture themselves living in the home (not you). These items include pictures, awards, personal collections, personal paintings, etc.

Don't forget to clean all flooring and pet areas as well!

Remember to remove all toiletries in the washrooms and all items on kitchen countertops. However, consider leaving a vase of flowers in the bathroom and a luscious bowl with fruit in the kitchen to add touches of color.

Unless you have a minimalist lifestyle, you have likely accumulated many items during your stay in the house. As we aim to create an open and clean space inside your home, it is crucial to remove as many unnecessary items as possible. Furthermore, a decluttered home maximizes your home's space, which can give the impression to the buyer that your home has more square footage than it has in reality. If you have no space for storage, consider renting a short-term storage bin or locker. Keep the lawn manicured and watered regularly. Don't forget to trim hedges, weed flower beds, and prune trees regularly as well. Also, keep the lawn free of clutter and add fresh mulch to garden beds. Make all beds and style them. Tip: add multiple coherent décor pillows to make a bed look more comfortable and sumptuous.

If you plan to paint or replace/rent décor items, consider choosing neutral colors to brighten up the living spaces. Great color schemes to choose from are light grays and whites for main areas and soft blues and greens for bathrooms.

Don't forget to trim hedges, weed flower beds, and prune trees regularly as well. Also, keep the lawn free of clutter and add fresh mulch to garden beds.

Tip: add multiple coherent décor pillows to make a bed look more comfortable and sumptuous.

If you have regular closets, try to make it look as organized as possible. If you have a walk-in closet, remove as many items as possible to make it look very spacious.

A fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your home will make your property's curb appeal stand out. This is not really a low-budget job, if you can, we recommend doing it!

Remove or hide any trash, recycling, or compost bins in all rooms

Depending on your front porch's size, consider adding outdoor pots with plants as well to finish off a warm look. To freshen up your front door, add a fresh coat of paint.

Also, consider hiding or removing any unnecessary devices (such as video game consoles).

You can also add rolled-up towels to create a more "spa" look.

The eye appreciates these pairings!

If this is not possible, paint the trim to provide a pop of color throughout the house.

Real Estate Photography 

Pre-shoot Checklist

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Exterior

  • Clean up the landscaping: trim bushes and mow/edge lawn
  • Close garage doors
  • Pressure wash driveway/walkup
  • Remove children's toys and patio furniture
  • Remove yard clutter
  • Remove cars from the driveway
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General

  • Leave all lights on and turn off any ceiling fans
  • Turn off any devices (including TVs)
  • Open all blinds and curtains
  • Declutter the entire home: remove any excess furniture and any other items
  • Touch up paint
  • Deep-clean the entire home
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Bedroom

  • Make beds and tidy up the rooms
  • Remove any personal photos and items
  • Store away toys, clothes, devices, and valuables
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Bathrooms

  • Make beds and tidy up the rooms
  • Remove any personal photos and items
  • Store away toys, clothes, devices, and valuables
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Kitchen

  • Clear countertops completely
  • Empty sinks and store dishes away
  • Empty and hide garbage bins
  • Remove all magnets from the refrigerator
  • Remove or hide any pet food, accessories or
    kennels

Our Marketing Strategy

Since the internet's growth, more buyers have been using various real estate home search engines to find their next home. Therefore, real estate photography is an essential marketing strategy for sellers, so we invest in professional photographers to take stunning pictures of your home.

Properties that look visually professional and aesthetic will entice buyers (especially millennials) to scroll through the web to click on those homes rather than poorly presented homes.

Additionally, listings that have professional photography tend to: sell faster on the market, sell at a higher price
point attracts more international buyers, and attracts more buyer leads to visit the homes in person.

Investing time to create relationships with other real estate agents and industry professionals pays off when it comes to listing your home! I will personally reach out to all my wonderful colleagues and tell them about your home to spread the word. This will make your listing known around their networking circles, boosting your property's visibility.

Other than the marketing strategies listed above, we will: place signage on your lawn and around your neighborhood, host open houses, create a personalized email campaign, distribute stunning customized property flyers, and promote your home all over our social media networks.

  • Networking
  • Signage (including a lawn sign)
  • Email marketing
  • Custom-designed property flyers
  • Open Houses (weekends & weekdays)
  • Social Media marketing
  • & more!
  • Realtor.com
  • Zillow
  • YouTube
  • Trulia
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • & more!

Why MLS

When your home is listed on Multiple Listing Service (MLS), all the property information, photos, and other details are published nationally. This means that your property is exposed to prospective buyers from all over the country and international buyers. Additionally, licensed real estate professionals in your area will be notified whenever your property gets listed. Therefore, they will have the chance to immediately book a viewing appointment for their qualified and interested buyer clients.

Step 3

Listing Time

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Your Property Is Officially Launched on the Market

The day you have been preparing for is finally here! On launch day, your property will be officially posted online and appear as an active and new listing on MLS. From this day until an offer has been accepted, many real estate agents will be making showing requests. So get ready to leave your home on short notice and for a few hours at a time.

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Now, a common question we get from sellers is: "When is the best day of the week to launch our listing?" One thing to remember is that whenever we list a property, we strive to obtain multiple offers on your home to ensure you get the best price for your home. To do this, it is vital to get as many showings compacted in the shortest amount of time as possible.

Weekends are the peak days of the week, where people are often most available to view homes. Therefore, if we list early on in the week and receive an offer immediately from a few buyers who went to view your home, you will not be giving a chance to those who are mostly available on weekends to view the property. This is because you will have to decide on the offer you have already received. Therefore, we recommend launching your property closer to the weekend—more specifically, on a Wednesday or Thursday—to ensure maximum buyer exposure and get as many viewings as possible within a few peak days.

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Buyer Prospecting Time

Starting on launch day, we will go full-out on exposing your property to prospective buyers. Consistent exposure of your home will be spread across all our social media platforms. We will place targeted Facebook and Instagram ads and customize the audience according to the types of buyers we aim to attract. We will also personally reach out to our real estate professionals' networks and share your listing with them so they know of your property for any interested buyer clients they may know.

Additionally, all scheduled events (including open houses) will be completed until a sales agreement is
negotiated and accepted.

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Be Prepared for Showings and Open Houses

Once we launch your property, real estate agents will start contacting us to make showing appointments.
Depending on your property and market trends, you may experience many showings in a short span or
occasional ones. In any case, it is crucial to be prepared for showings and open houses. Here are some
tips to help you during this time:

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  • Be flexible to prospective buyers' schedules to avoid missing out on a strong offer.
  • Get everyone in your household on the same page to be all informed when showings are happening to help them maintain their spaces clean and tidy.
  • Get your entire household to vacate your property to avoid making buyers feel uncomfortable and leaving them an empty space to visualize themselves living in your home without added pressure.
  • Create a mood by setting a tone that accentuates your property's features. Examples include: lighting a fire if you have a fireplace (even if it's summer), creating a romantic atmosphere by placing two clean champagne glasses on a table with a bottle of champagne, turning on some soft music at a low volume like in stores, turn on any decorative water features (such as fountains), drape sensuous materials such as chunky knit blankets over your chairs and sofas.
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Show Your Home Ready in One Hour

  • Make the beds
  • Throw all your clutter in a laundry basket and take it to your car
  • Put up your "show" towels
  • Create light in the house by opening curtains and blinds and turning on ALL lights
  • Empty all garbage into a garbage bag and put it in an appropriate room or take it with you
  • Vacuum all carpets
  • Clean all glass and mirrored surfaces
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  • Sweep the front porch and shake out the doormat to remove debris
  • Clear kitchen and bathroom countertops (except for decorative items)
  • Close all the toilet seats
  • Wipe down all countertops
  • Secure your pets or take them with you
  • Sweep and mop all hard-surfaced floors
  • Put laundry away (or take it with you)

Step 4

Offer Process

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Sales Agreement

Once a buyer tours your property and decides they would like to purchase it, the buyer's representative will prepare an offer and send it to us.

After an offer is submitted, we will sit down and go through the offer together. Although it may be tempting to go with an offer that has offered the highest sale price, we will also have to consider other sales agreement factors: contingencies, financing condition, closing timeline, buyer letter, and repair requests.

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Once we have discussed an offer, you will decide how you want to move forward. You can: accept the offer, decline the offer, or counter-offer (which occurs when you want to negotiate on the sales agreement terms). If you choose to counter-offer, the buyer would have to decide whether they wish to accept, decline, or counter the counter-offer. After negotiations, if one party agrees with the offer, we will finalize all signatures. The buyer will have to bring the deposit to secure the contract. Now, any inspections, appraisals, financing approvals, or anything else will take place.

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Contingencies

Contingencies (or conditions) are found in most sales agreement contracts. The most common ones included in a contract include home inspections and appraisals.

A buyer can hire a professional home inspector to review your property's condition closely. It typically takes 1-4 hours. Suppose the inspector finds anything significant that needs to be repaired. In that case, they may counter-bid on the sale contract, which you may accept, decline, or counter-offer.

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An appraisal is often requested by the buyer's mortgage lender to ensure that the buyers are not over-paying too much for your property. No matter the result, I will assist you in making the right moves if required to make any moves.

All conditions have deadlines by which the buyer will have to waive the contingencies to make the sales agreement firm and proceed with the transaction.

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Under Contract

The "under contract" period begins after the buyer and seller finalize and sign the sales agreement. During this period, a binding agreement exists between a seller and a buyer involving a property. When a property is "under contract," the seller may not enter into another contract with a different buyer, as the buyer is now obligated to purchase your home. A property is still considered "under contract" with contingencies, and the contract firms up once all conditions are waived.

More About Inspections

Although home inspections can take place later, usually the appointment takes
place within a week after signing the contract.

Good news! Buyers choose and purchase a home inspector's services, so they incur the whole cost. Therefore, there is NO COST to
you, the seller.

Negotiations usually happen within a few days of the home inspection appointment. If there are any issues with the property that the home inspector finds, the buyer can:

  • Accept the house as-is
  • Back out of the transaction
  • Negotiate. They can offer you a lower sale price or ask you to fix the issues before closing day.
  • Basement
  • Foundation
  • Crawlspace
  • Roof + Components
  • Doors (including garage doors)
  • Electrical
  • Attic + Insulation
  • Appliances (select)
  • Windows + Lighting
  • Stairs
  • Grading + Drainage
  • Structure
  • Exterior + Siding
  • Plumbing
  • Attached Garages
  • Heating + Cooling

Step 5

Moving Out

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Closing Preparations

At this point, the buyer's lending approvals have been met, and closing documents have been ordered. The closing appointment has been scheduled, and now it is just a matter of preparing for the big day.

As you prepare for closing day, make sure you have completed the following duties:

  • Secure your seller documents
  • Deep-clean your house
  • Turn off all valves & switches after moving out
  • Cancel your insurance policies
  • Change your address on subscriptions, bills, banks, etc.
  • Transfer your utilities to your new home
  • Collect all house keys, remotes, gate keys, pool keys, and mailbox keys for the buyer
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Moving & Packing

While you wait for closing day to arrive, don't forget to plan and prepare for your move into your next home!

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Closing Day

Closing day is here! The buyer will have a final walk-through of your property 24-48 hours before closing. This is to ensure that you have left your home in the same condition as they purchased it (except for minor wear and tear).

Closing typically takes place at your lawyer's office. You will need to bring some documents with you, including:

  • Valid government-issued ID
  • All house keys, garage door openers, mailbox keys, pool keys, etc.
  • Cashier's cheque to pay for closing costs
  • Any outstanding documents requested from your lawyer or lender
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Both the buyer and the seller will incur closing fees. For the seller, these fees typically include:

  • Lawyer's fees
  • Real Estate Commissions
  • Title Insurance Home Warranty
  • Any unpaid survey or assessment fees
  • Any outstanding taxes, fines, or claims against your property
  • Any mortgage discharge fees


FINALLY...Congrats! YOUR HOME IS NOW OFFICIALLY SOLD AND YOU ARE READY TO BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER!

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