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Selling Your Home: How to Prepare Yourself for the Process

Selling your home is an extensive process and can be over in a weekend or drag on for several months.  Understanding the process can help you set realistic expectations and give you enough time to get everything in order.  Regardless of the current real estate market, it is important to have your home looking its best so that potential buyers can imagine themselves calling your place home.

Do the math.  Selling your home can be a financially rewarding step in the right direction, but it is important that you understand the numbers before you even begin the process.  Speak to a REALTOR® about the market value of homes in your area, and have a good understanding of how your home compares.  Features like a larger property, additional parking space, an upgraded kitchen or an extra bedroom will add value to a home in comparison with other properties.  The current market condition, as well as interest rates and the number of other properties for sale in your area will all play a role in the sale price that you get for your home.  Understand that pricing your home over market value could mean that your house will take longer to sell.  What other figures should you know about?  Ask your mortgage lender for a current statement so you are aware of how much is owing on your mortgage.  Be aware of any fees associated with breaking the mortgage, paying the REALTORS® involved in the transaction, and legal fees.

Make a to-do list of simple home improvements.  There is no need to completely overhaul your home, but you will have to tackle those small projects that you have been avoiding.  Simple tasks like replacing a broken screen, tightening a loose faucet, and repainting scuff marks on the walls will prevent your home from looking neglected.  Buyers may not notice one or two small things, but if there are many deficiencies, they may be concerned for the over-all condition of the house.  If live in an older home, it is also a good idea to order your own home inspection so that you can address any major issues prior to going on the market.

Clean up and remove clutter.  A top-to-bottom cleaning is required to make sure that your home is looking its best.  This includes all outdoor areas, the garage, and closet spaces.  Give yourself a few days depending how much work you have ahead of you, and don't be afraid to ask for help.  A clean and organized home will help potential buyers see your home's best features without being distracted by clutter.  Rent a storage container if you need some extra space to store away seasonal items, extra furniture and personal belongings.  Donate unwanted items or have a yard sale if weather permits.  Pack away personal items like family photos.  Once your home is looking its best, have someone else do a walk though and provide you with constructive feedback.

List your home and make way for potential buyers.  Have a plan in place for when you need to leave home for scheduled showings.  If you have pets, make sure to have their carriers handy so that it is easy to bring them with you on the way out the door.  Do your best to keep the house clean and presentable at a moment's notice.  Although the preparation can be stressful and time consuming, you will be grateful for all of your hard work once you have a signed offer in hand.  Showcasing your home at its best will help you to earn top dollar and move on to purchase your next home.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.