RE/MAX REALTY PROFESSIONALS

OFFICE 403-252-5233   EMAIL INFO@HOMESINYYC.CA

 

Whether you are a first time home Seller who needs more room for a growing family, a seasoned homeowner selling your 5th home or an empty-nester looking to downsize, preparing a home to sell requires guidance. There are many factors to consider when selling a property and having an experienced agent with proven, consistent results in all Real Estate markets is a critical factor of a successful sale. We can help guide you through the process of preparing and presenting your home to achieve the highest price, and have the expertise to ensure a smooth and hassle free sale in any market. Share the experience of hundreds of happy clients whose homes range from inner city condos to exclusive Luxury Homes and everything in between.

Step 1 – Determine your Why and When

1.1 Why Sell?

The ultimate question you need to be 100% clear on is “Why are you selling?” Do you need another home with more space?  Do you need something smaller? Do you want to live in another area or part of the city?  Are you moving for Work?  Do you want/need another school district? Do you want to be closer to friends and family? Are you moving out of Calgary? Your reasons may be obvious, however to make an informed decision it is best to consider the how this decision will affect for your family's lifestyle, social relationships, opportunities and finances. Having a clear understanding of your reasons for selling will make it easier for your agent to determine the most appropriate courses of action and options for your Real Estate goals. 

1.2 When Should I Sell?

Establishing a time frame for the best time to sell will depend on many factors.  If you need to sell immediately, hiring an experienced agent to guide you through staging and preparation for professional photos to get you market-ready is essential.  If your timeline to sell is not urgent, discussing your needs with a professional will create the framework for them to understand your specific situation, needs and circumstances.  Your agent will make some recommendations and together you can determine a plan to prepare your home for market, consider market trends and conditions and formulate a strategy to achieve the most favorable outcome for your situation.

Step 2 – Find the Right Agent

2.1 Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

Finding an agent that is active and studies the market daily is essential when seeking Real Estate advice for one of your most valuable assets. Top Producing agents have the skill and experience to read and understand the market and explain it to you as it relates to your situation. When you work with our team you will have access to two of the most highly trained and knowledgeable agents in the city, with expertise in marketing, pricing and the negotiating skills needed to achieve your Real Estate goals.

What to look for:

    • Look for an active full-time Agent who sells a healthy volume of homes per year and who has years of experience and proven results in all markets.
    • Ask how much the Agent will communicate with you through the process?  What is your access to them? Some Agents become very hard to reach once the listing is signed.
    • What percentage of their listings sell?  How close do they sell to the original list price?
    • Do they offer Complimentary Home Staging?  Professional Photography? The primary marketing medium for your home are the photos.  These photos are the foundation for the effective marketing of your home.
    • Where is the main source of their business?  Marketing for new clients, or is the majority of their business Repeat and Referral?  Agents who work at high volume with Repeat and Referral clients have built a business on trust, performance and results.  Mega Agents who need to get most of their business from Marketing are always looking for new clients. This should make you ask why?
    • Do they have a SUPERIOR Level of Market Knowledge?  Good Agents are proactive and can read the market to ensure you stay informed and ahead of your competition.
    • Do they have a team of professionals? Ask if they have their own staff and administrative support.  Do they have a good Graphic Artist?  Do they have a great Mortgage Broker to answer your financial questions?
    • Ask about their credentials and education; a good Agent will continually strive to improve and gain knowledge of the latest Real Estate trends by attending national and international training programs.
    • MOST IMPORTANTLY - Choose an Agent who listens attentively to your needs and concerns. Pick an Agent you feel comfortable with, have access to and who you feel will communicate on a level that you want. 

2.2 Hire an Agent with Pricing Expertise

Recommending a list price that will achieve the best results in the current market is “the Art” that a top performing Agent will bring to the table.  Understanding the market and pricing your home accurately in the “Sweet Spot”- the price that is just right, not too low or too high - requires years of training and real market experience. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of proper pricing.  Price too low and you may leave money on the table, price too high and you might end up selling for less than if you priced it right from the start.  Sound advice from great Agent will help you avoid both of these pitfalls.

Step 3 – What are your Financial Considerations?

3.1 Do I Need to get My Finances in Order?

If you are moving up to a more expensive home, deciding to Buy and Sell demands a serious consideration of your current financial situation and future possibilities. In most cases some form of financing is required. With the help of a qualified Real Estate Agent and an experienced Mortgage Broker, you will be able to effectively assess the potential outcome of these changes, estimate potential proceeds of selling your home and arrange any new or interim financing to facilitate the purchase and sale.  

3.2   Moving Up? You will need a Current Market Valuation of your home.  We Can Help.

Long term Home ownership in Calgary has been a very good investment for many of our clients. Every year you pay down a portion of the initial principal amount of your mortgage. Over the years you are building up home equity in addition to potential gains added from the market appreciation on your property. Your approximate home equity is a critical piece of the puzzle and your bank will want to know what this amount is if you will require additional financing.

Step 4 – Set the Stage!

Home Staging is the “art of merchandising” your home in order to increase its appeal (and perceived value) to the widest possible audience of potential buyers.  Buying a home is a very emotional decision, it is the FEELING that buyers get in your home that make them want to buy it.

4.1 Initial Home Staging Consultation

We feel that this is such an important piece of the puzzle that we have been offering a Staging Consultation for our clients on EVERY listing since 2003.  Angela Chard CSP (Certified Staging Professional) is one of the most experienced and talented Home Stagers in the City of Calgary.  Angela has been integral in guiding the preparation of hundreds of our clients homes for market.  Angela will meet you for an initial consult and help you make a list of what is needed to really make your home stand out.

4.2 CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN.

“Clean” Sells Houses PERIOD.  

4.3 House Repairs… Hire a Handyman.

Many Sellers feel little things that require repair can be left for the Buyer… WRONG, GET IT FIXED.   Buyers and their Agents are looking for problems and negotiation points.  Little things that are inexpensive to fix yourself up front can cost thousands when negotiating with a picky Buyer once you are on the market.  Do yourself a favor, get your home in tip-top condition before we put it on the market. 

4.4 Final Staging and Preparation for Photos

Angela will return for a Final Staging Consultation to help ensure your home is as perfect as it can be for photos.

Step 5 – Professional Photography

The photographs are the first thing most buyers see, and therefore they are the most important component in the marketing of your property. If they DON'T LIKE THE PICTURES, they WON'T READ THE WORDS and they WON'T BOOK A SHOWING.  

5.1 Let Us Invest for Success

We professionally photograph EVERY listing- we feel that this step is THAT important to help sell your home for the highest price.  We have about 2 seconds to get the attention of potential buyers before they move on the next MLS listing online.  Many agents still refuse to engage a professional photographer and take on this “expense”, citing it is too costly if the home does not sell.  Ironically, the home likely won’t sell if you don’t invest in proper marketing tools.  Professional Photography is the number one (not so secret) tool your Agent should be using to build their marketing campaign around.  It sounds ridiculous but the majority of experienced Agents still miss this simple essential component of Real Estate Marketing today and still use the Cameras on their phones to photograph their listings.  We often have to convince our Buyers to see listings we know are right for them after they have deleted them due to low quality photos.

5.2 We use only the Best

Our award winning Photographer Angela Chard (yes, she’s our Certified Staging Professional too) is accredited with the following awardsAPM—Accolade of Photographic Mastery and AOPA—Accolade of Outstanding Photographic Achievement.  There are good photographers out there but we feel Angela is the BEST and have used her almost exclusively on every listing since 2007. 

Step 6 - Professional Home Marketing

6.1 – Everything is about Your Online Presence

It is essential that your home has an extremely powerful online presence; this is by far the single most important thing that we can do to sell your home. Over the last 15 years the internet has changed the way that Buyers shop and the way that Real Estate is marketed; the internet is simply the best outlet to deliver media.  Currently the most powerful form of media we use to increase the interest and exposure of your home are the PHOTOS. When everything is done right and the photos are of the absolute best quality, your presentation on the Internet is superior, which generates more interest.  More interest translates to more inquires and showings.  If a powerful online presence is able to generate 20 quality showings instead of 10 because of the quality of the photos, you have DOUBLED your exposure.  More immediate interest and showings increase the probability of a clean, solid offer close to your list price. 

6.2 Let me Tell you a Story

Once we have a Buyer’s attention, we want to give them some details about the home that are not visible from the photos.  We have taken numerous training courses about writing compelling comments about our listings.  Our comments are crafted in a way that pique the Buyers interest further without getting into a boring list of features.  Our intention is to paint a picture and keep the Buyer engaged and wanting to book a viewing.

6.3 Ultimate Exposure

Within minutes, through our MLS Matrix system, the details of your home will be in front of the most qualified and motivated buyers in the market.  These Buyers are working with Agents, are prequalified, have a realistic idea of values in your area and are ready to buy.  Next, within hours your home will be showcased on davemcnear.com, homesinYYC.ca, Realtor.ca, Homes.com, Remax.ca and EVERY Real Estate Website with a link to the Calgary Real Estate board.  Buyers can find your home on hundreds of sites online. Your home will also be featured on our Business Facebook page and our Twitter account.

6.4 It’s “Showtime”

There is no nice way to say this: we need you to “get out” for all showings. Presenting your home to potential Buyers is a job that the showing Agent will take care of.  Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with the Agent if you are not there. This allows them to talk about the things that they really like AND the things that they don’t.  You want them to picture living there, with their furniture and their life, when you are home or if the showing is cut short they may not have the time they need to get that “feeling”. Remember, no home is perfect; a good Agent will be able to walk a Buyer through the pros and cons of any home and help them make a realistic and informed decision

Step 7 – We have an Offer

7.1 Negotiations

Once an offer has come in we will review all Terms and Conditions in the offer and determine the strengths and weaknesses.  We will then review your days on market, number of showings, rmecent sales and any feedback we have received concerning your property.  At this point, we will use all of this information to advise you on the best way to respond, and depending on all of the factors will then suggest a strategy to work toward the best possible outcome based on your situation.  There are 5 key components to any offer.  They are:

1. Price and financial structure
2. Deposit amount
3. Conditions (below are the 3 most common)
    a) Property Inspection Condition
    b) Financing Condition
    c) Condominium Documents Condition (if applicable)
4. Additional Terms
5. Possession Date

7.2 Accepted Offer and Condition Period

Once all terms, conditions and timelines have been negotiated and agreed upon, you have a “deal’, subject to those conditions. The Condition Period allows a Buyer set amount of time, typically 5-7 business days, to protect their interests and complete their due diligence.  Banks often require an appraisal as a part of the financing approval and the Buyer will typically want a Home Inspection.

If there are issues with any of the Buyer’s conditions, we will discuss the issues with the other Agent and determine if the Buyers are still committed to the deal, and whether a potential solution can be negotiated.  In most cases we are able to discuss options with you and the Buyer’s Agent and can find a good resolution to the issues. In our experience, keeping a deal together due to issues with conditions requires concessions from both sides, and we will do everything in our power to keep the deal alive for you.

7.3 Removal of Conditions and it’s SOLD!

Once all of the Buyers conditions have been satisfied within the Condition Period, they will send a Waiver and remove all conditions.  Once this waiver is sent we have a FIRM contract where both you and the Buyer are legally committed to the agreed upon price, possession and terms outlined within.

Step 8 – Time to Start Packing

8.1 Your Tasks before Closing Day

Our team will guide you through the process and send reminders of important meetings and timelines, explaining the process up to closing day.  We will also be sending you a comprehensive moving checklist that includes contact information required to discontinue utilities and services, forwarding mail and transfer insurance correctly etc.

8.2– Meeting with a Lawyer

The Lawyers will deal with executing the contract, transferring Title, paying out your mortgage and confirmation of receipt of funds from the Buyer’s Lawyer on closing day. We are able to recommend an excellent Real Estate Lawyer with competitive pricing.

8.3 – Possession Day

All properties transfer ownership at noon on the day of possession, as long as all terms in the contract have been met by all parties and the Lawyers agree that everything is in place. As your Real Estate Professionals, we have the experience to navigate any obstacles and work with your Lawyer to ensure that your closing goes smoothly.