The first time you sell your Toronto house or condo, can be a daunting process. From the beginning to the end, there are many details that you’ll want to cover to ensure a smooth and profitable sale. Many potential Sellers underestimate the number of steps taken that lead up to Buyers walking through their front door.
Today you can’t turn on your television without finding local channels featuring everything from first-time buyers, home decorating, prep your house to sell, home inspections on bad Reno’s, you name it! They’ve seduced the general public into being transfixed with everything that involves real estate. This along with the Toronto general websites with property listings, and you have a consumer addiction to everything that involves how a property looks to the process of getting it ready for the market. What was once thought to be a “Reality fad” has now for years been entertaining the public. You have to wonder what really happens and is said once the camera is turned off.
While it can be interesting and at times funny, most consumers wouldn’t want to share these frantic and frustrating experiences that make for good television ratings.
Much like when you first purchased your property, there are legal details that have to be addressed for your own protection when selling. Everything from verification of your property taxes, mortgage details, condominium fees, proposed changes to the Condo Corporation or building, rental contracts, disclosing property easements, rights-of-way, encroachments, environmental issues, building permits, parking details, material defects within your property, are just a few of the areas that have to be confirmed before passing this information along to a prospective buyer. All of these details are in the background, before the marketing of your property even begins.
You’re going to want to work with a Professional Realtor that’s on the same page as yourself. Combined teamwork in selling your property is less stressful and helps for a seamless process. Have your Agent go through the steps with you from the beginning to during and after the sale explaining the legal documents, what to expect with showings on your property, the Offer process and what you need to do once your property sells, leading up to the closing. If you’re purchasing another property, this has to be coordinated with your sale and depending on the current market conditions, deciding whether to sell first or buy.
Before committing to put your property on the market, you might have begun visiting public open houses, checking your local newspaper or going online to get a sense of your property’s value. It’s difficult not to have a biased opinion when it’s your own home. Sometimes this opinion can be slanted either too low or too high.
This is where your Real Estate Agent’s expertise will come into play both in helping you assess your local market conditions along with the price range of properties that have recently sold that are similar to yours. Very few houses are identical, especially in the Toronto area where many of the older housing stock while being similar, have had unique upgrades and renovations done. Condos and lofts while often sharing the same floor plan can differ with views, levels, upgrades, parking and lockers offered. All of these factors are taken into consideration when arriving at a realistic price range.
Your Real Estate Agent should also be familiar with the local community features that will benefit the marketing of your property to perspective buyers. It’s often a package deal, when a buyer looking at a house or condo, specifically takes into consideration the surrounding hood. In some cases, a hot or up and coming neighbourhood can be more of a draw that the actual property itself, which can be improved or changed over time. It’s the old saying “location…location…location.” Usually a buyer’s search will begin with narrowing down a neighbourhood or community of choice and going from there.
You might have enjoyed a relaxed lifestyle while living in your home, but now that it’s going to become a product to sell there might be improvements and repairs that have to be taken care of first. With your Agent’s assistance, you’re going to want to assess both the exterior of the property and interior rooms for necessary improvements both mechanical and cosmetic. A pre-home inspection by a Professional Home Inspector can identify areas that can be either fixed or disclosed to buyers. It’s not scary, and it’s always better for you, as the Seller, to be informed of any problems that you weren’t aware of. Often this will save you time and money down the road. Decluttering and staging is another important ingredient for a successful sale. Especially in the urban Toronto market, where competition can be stiff, you’re going to want your property to stand out from the others. Condo showrooms boasting designer model suites might entice buyers away, so you’re going to have to be at the “top of your game” when setting the stage for your own property.
The marketing material that will highlight your property features should also reflect its type, style and location. Multimedia and Social Media are often used today to grab consumer’s attention and nothing stands out more than professional photographs and graphics.
The Toronto Real Estate board is the largest in Canada with a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service that’s designed exclusively for licensed Realtors and surrounding shared boards. Over 31,000 working Agents throughout the GTA will have access to your property once it’s on the market and uploaded to the system. Your property listing will then be forwarded to the buyers, just as you received when you were looking. Remember what impressed you and was helpful when you were the Buyer. Was it great photos and write-up, floor plans, area information or a pre-home inspection?
It can feel very invasive and weird to have strangers coming through your home when you aren’t there, whether it’s for a private showing or a public open house. Just like when you were in the buyer’s shoes going through someone else’s home, now yours will be the focus of attention. Having put all of your personal items and photographs away while staging and preparing it to become a product to sell, will make the experience easier. Knowing what to expect and keeping informed by your Realtor will help for a worry-free sale process. Now you can relax and start to become excited about the new home you’re going to buy!