Research You Should Do Before Selling Your Home with a Realtor®

One of the common questions sellers have right after deciding to list their property is, “what do I need to know to sell my home?”. To determine the right REALTOR® for their needs, sellers should keep a few things in mind.

Research the Competition

One of the first things sellers should look into is the local market. Understanding the market will help sellers know the best time to list their property and how to compete against any competition they may encounter. Competition is not every single property that is on the market at the same time. It consists of houses in and around the neighbourhood that are similar in age, with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms. While looking at the competition, sellers should also look at the average price, noting the high and low prices of homes on the market. Knowing the cost of properties in the area can help manage expectations of the perfect sale price.

Sellers may know their property taxes, but knowing the local market means knowing other people’s tax rates and the average household income and interest rates. Knowing the average household income will help sellers understand the best price for a quick home sale. Homeowners can find this information through municipal census data.

Research the Current Market

It is also wise for sellers to understand where the real estate market stands. If it’s a hot market (sometimes called a seller’s market), then there aren’t a lot of properties for sale, but there are a lot of buyers looking in that area. If it’s a cold market (a buyer’s market), there are more properties listed than potential buyers. By understanding where the market stands, the seller has insight into what to expect regarding the number of potential viewers and the time it may take to sell the home.

If selling during a hot market, the sellers may have to be prepared for a fast sale and possession date, meaning they may need to pack up and be ready to move out of the home quickly. They may also want to have as much documentation required for closing prepared ahead of time so as not to hold up the closing. Selling during a cold market, sellers could expect buyers to want to negotiate more on price or other items before making a decision.

Research Local Home Inspectors

Scheduling a home inspection is some hands-on research sellers should do before listing. Although typically done by the buyer before the closing process, with a buyer’s chosen inspector, scheduling a home inspection before selling a home with a REALTOR® allows the seller to know what needs attention or repair on the property before listing.

An inspector will note if the seller has any immediate need for repairs or if there are outdated codes. If the seller wants to take all the recommendations, or even a portion of them and make the necessary upgrades (like a roof), then there is a possibility the home can list for more money. If the seller would prefer to work that into the price of the house, potentially lowering the sale price, then that is also an option.

Research Personal Finances

Before selling with a REALTOR®, sellers need to research their finances. They should take the time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Meeting with a mortgage specialist will reveal any debt that needs addressing, their current credit score, and where to draw the line so as not to become house poor.

Knowing where personal finances stand removes any unpleasant surprises and helps the REALTOR® know which market they should point the seller toward when the seller becomes the buyer.

When a seller decides it’s time to sell their home, the process is far more involved than snapping fingers and saying, “sell my home”—finding the information will put sellers in a favourable position for a positive outcome.

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