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Selling a Home in St Albert? Let a Realtor® Guide You Through The Maze

Are you considering selling your home? If so prepare yourself for a learning experience. The smartest thing you could do before you start is find a realtor®. You may be a diehard do-it-yourselfer and think you can manage on your own. Perhaps you are. But are you ready to do all the marketing, the financial wrangling and take care of all the legalities? Make one mistake and you could jeopardize the sale.  

Listing Agreement

CREA maintains a database that is easy to search for agents in your area. Once you’ve found a few names interview at least a couple and see how you get along. When you decide on your realtor® you’ll be asked to sign a Listing Agreement. This outlines the duties of the agent as well as the financial compensation expected. It will have the listing price of your property as well as description, financial information pertaining to your current mortgage and property tax information. Your agent will also have a list of variances, easements or liens that may be related to the property. Make sure you disclose any issues regarding the property whether financial or mechanical that could jeopardize the sale.

Pricing, Listing and Marketing

Your realtor will help you set a fair price for your property. You may have already had a property valuation done, and that’s a good first step. The agent will check price points on similar properties in your neighbourhood and find out the average rate of sales. Then, taking all this into account along with any upgrades and the overall condition of your home, the asking price will be set. This is most often a starting point. Buyers may offer more or less. In a soft market expect a lower bid at first and perhaps a bit of back and forth. In a hot market you may get multiple offers at higher price points. Your realtor® can help you sort out the legitimate offers from the less serious ones.

One of the ways a real estate agent markets your home is through the open house. This could be an agent only open house where other realtors® are invited or a public affair. Either way it’s an important marketing tool. Agents also arrange private showings with interested buyers and maintain the listing on the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service) system. In the computer age the public also has access to the MLS® system, which spreads the word about your property even faster.

Patience is a Real Estate Virtue

The real estate market fluctuates constantly. In a hot real estate market your home may sell quickly and for near or perhaps above the asking price. When things slow down your home may be listed for much longer. If a home isn’t selling quickly take a good look around and see if you can make it more presentable. Perhaps a new coat of paint is warranted, or maybe that archaic light fixture on the front porch is a turn off. Buyers are unpredictable and are sometimes turned off by the little things. If you home is in good shape, take a look at pricing. Is your asking price too high? Should you lower it? Are you in a hurry to sell? Can you wait out the slow market? Have a chat with your agent about these questions and others that may affect the marketing of your home.

You Have an Offer, Now What?

A buyer will put in an offer and put down a deposit on your property. It’s up to you whether to accept the offer, counter it or outright refuse it. The latter option is usually reserved for offers that are so low that they aren’t really serious.  Your agent can help you negotiate an offer and get a binding contract in the works. As a precaution have your lawyer take a look at the contract before signing. An extra pair of eyes never hurts. Buyers may also have conditions placed on the contract. This can be anything from a current property survey, examination of the title or a building inspection. Once all is taken care of the sale is complete.