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A: It’s possible. If you already have an unrepresented buyer lined up (one who is not already working with a real estate buyers agent) and they are in agreement with the terms you’ve proposed, you may be able to save some money selling it yourself. However, this is rare. In most cases, the staging and marketing abilities of an experienced listing agent can help you achieve far greater results than you would on your own. Not only can a great listing agent help you sell your home for more money but can also attract more activity, more qualified buyers, and stronger overall terms. Listing your home with an experienced Realtor can also help you prevent or easily navigate issues that may arise once the home is under contract. Trying to do this on your own could be detrimental to the contract you have in place if you are not fully educated on the process and legalities.

A: A great listing agent will help you prepare and even help stage your home (if necessary). They’ll also likely hire a professional photographer or videographer so that your home is showcased in its best light. They will help market your home in various ways whether it be postal mailings, single property websites, social media advertising, and most importantly, via the MLS. Once listed on the MLS, your home’s listing will be distributed to almost every online real estate portal out there. An experienced Realtor will properly guide you through all of the listing paperwork, and seller disclosures and offer you advice on pricing your home strategically (to receive the most interest while maximizing your profit). And that’s just the beginning. Once there is interest in your home, your listing agent will help you negotiate the best offer and terms and assist with all of the contracts and paperwork. They will help guide you through the inspection and appraisal process and work with both the closing attorney and buyer’s agent to get past any difficulties or roadblocks so that you actually make it to the closing table. There can be a big difference from one Realtor to the next but if you work with a reputable one, they are well worth their commission and much more.

A: With residential real estate (homes/townhomes/condos), buyers will actually determine the value of your home. This so-called “market value” is what the buying public is willing to pay for your home based on many factors such as the current market conditions, supply & demand, comparable home sales, size, location, condition, and home improvements. As a homeowner, you can increase the desirability and potential for a higher sales price through better home preparation and the marketing/exposure of your listing.

A: You can estimate a good list price by taking into account what other similar homes in your neighborhood or surrounding areas are selling for and then comparing things such as price per square foot, condition, location, improvements and upgrades, and other factors such as the current market. An experienced Realtor can help counsel you on this as well as supply you with a CMA (comparative market analysis) to help you make the best decision. 

A: 2 to 3 weeks is a good, safe estimate assuming that your home is almost ready to go. To properly list a home, we usually need a couple of weeks so that we can line up our home stager, photographer & videographer, design the printed & digital marketing pieces, have professional home measurements made, complete the listing paperwork, etc. An extra week will give us a little buffer room to make sure that things are done just right. A couple of weeks may seem like a long time but what you don’t want to do is rush to get your home on the market before it’s 100% ready, as it could end up costing you more than just time.  

A: Buy low, sell high. It sounds easy when you say it like that but it is almost impossible to judge when the exact best time to sell is. However, there are some general rules you can follow to find a decent time to sell your home.

Generally, the real estate market tends to be more active in the spring and fall, so you may find that you get more interest in your home during these times. However, this isn’t a fixed rule as other factors can influence things.

For example, the real estate market around Toronto was very hot from December 2016 to April 2017 but cooled a little as we moved into spring. In a case like that, selling in the winter would’ve been a better move. This means you also need to take into consideration other factors that can affect demand and prices, such as interest rate changes, new government measures etc.

A: First and foremost, try to fix any outstanding issues. If there are leaky taps or creaky floorboards that need taking care of, it might be worthwhile fixing them as it could help you secure a higher sale price. If there are major issues that need resolving, you need to weigh up the cost of fixing them versus the likely drop in price if they are left as they are. Aside from fixes, a good thing to do when listing your house is to make it as presentable as possible. This could mean painting the walls, tidying up the garden, and making the house look less cluttered. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you could look at hiring a professional stager who is experienced in presenting homes in a way that appeals to likely buyers.
A: At the end of the day, this comes down to both your own preferences and the amounts you can afford. If you buy a new home before agreeing the sale of your current home, you may end up having to cover two mortgages if your home doesn’t sell as quickly as expected. For many people, that may be too much of a stretch and so waiting until the sale of your home has been agreed might be a more prudent option. On the other side, if you can afford to carry two mortgages for a while, you may prefer to agree to buy a new home first. Some people find that this gives them more time and less pressure when looking at potential homes to buy. Another important factor is how quickly your home is likely to sell. If you are in the middle of a hot market and homes are selling fast in your area, you might feel more confident in agreeing to buy before your home as sold as you expect your home to sell shortly afterwards with few complications. Be aware that this has worked out fine for many people but there are also cases where it didn’t, so there is an element of risk.

A: In Ontario, there is no legal requirement for you to use a real estate agent to sell your home. You are free to prepare, price and market your home yourself.

However, we would strongly recommend using a licensed real estate salesperson. Here are just some of the advantages of using a licensed REALTOR®:

  • They are experts in the industry
  • They have experience with all the processes involved in selling a home
  • They are experienced negotiators so can often help you to get a higher sale price
  • They have exclusive access to MLS® – which allows your home to be marketed to a much bigger audience
  • They can save you an enormous amount of time and stress.

Selling your home is one of the biggest moments of your life and a real estate agent can help to make the whole process easier and leave you with more money at the end – even after commission is taken into account.

A: It depends what stage you are at. If you have completed an “Agreement of Purchase and Sale” then you are bound to complete the transaction and may face legal problems if you back out. If you have not reached that stage yet, you are welcome to change your mind and de-list your property.