Home Seller 101

    When it comes time to put your home up for sale on MLS in London Ontario, how you go about it, with whom and why are very very important decisions which will dictate how much you receive from the sale and how long it will take to sell.

    I hope that the home seller 101 resources provided on this page will help get you started regarding assessing your real estate situation and planning for a stress-free and successful sale.

    The real estate market in London & South West Ontario has changed, and it may be wise to know why and what you can do about it.

    Selling a Home London Ontario

        What Would  Improving the Chance That Your Home Will Sell Properly & In the Time Frame You Want  Mean To You & Your Family?

    I realize that selling a home for hundreds of thousands of dollars is not something you do every day and that your home for most of you is your most significant asset.

    Over the years I have helped hundreds of homeowners sell their properties and most, if not all, had fears, some had poor perceptions or even false information, and all had concerns about pricing, how long will it take, what will it cost and choosing the right firm and representative to help.

    Choose To ask more questions

    Choosing to choose is a mantra that successful people have used for years which translates into the fact that all the results we get are from our choices! Choices define our character.

    If things go right or wrong you:

    • Chose the listing price of your home (or you agreed to what your salesperson said the price should be, but it still was your choice)
    • Chose the real estate person to represent you
    • Choose how you wished to be treated, responded to
    • Chose the condition of your home when it is on the market, the tidiness, cleanness and upkeep

     

     

    A professional listing Realtor will not let you gamble with the most substantial investment of your life, will not give you false hope or convince you to take what could be a costly risk on your part.

    A true professional will explain the pros and cons of the options available, and if you choose that professional, your house will sell for market price or higher, for a reasonable fee for their efforts and you can move in a time frame that fits your schedule.

    Choose wisely!

    Below are some helpful tips, money saving ideas and home seller strategies to help you sell your home quicker, for more money and stress-free! You are under no obligation; you will not be spammed, no rah-rah stuff, no we are number 1 stuff.

       As Detective Friday said “Just the facts, ma’am!”

     

     

    How To Get The Best Results When Selling

    Here Are Ways You, a Home Seller, Can Go About Selling Your Home & Get The Net Results You Deserve! Before getting ready to put your property on the market, there are several things to think about, to prepare for, and to organize. There are seven steps you can take and implement to ensure you are making the right choices. These steps are not complicated; maybe that is why some think these steps are simple! You will get results after reading this! Experience is like fashion, it changes and what worked ten years ago, five years ago or last year may not work today to attract buyers to your home!

    How to Select Home Improvements That Pay Dividends

    Generally speaking, there are two ways to go about home improvements. You’re either going to splurge on your home because it’s your castle and you want a beautiful place to live OR, you’re going to take a more logical, pragmatic approach designed to increase your home’s value. The problem is, you’ll never achieve both. Many homeowners expose themselves to the very problems they’re trying to avoid in the process of home fix-ups. 

    How I get More Buyers To See Your Home

    I subscribe to a web service that connects real estate professionals and with the most valuable real estate advertisers on the web. This service allows me to advertise your listing on my website, and many other local real estate websites, and 25+ of the busiest online real estate marketplaces. Thanks to this listing service, and my numerous contacts, you will see that I belong to a robust online network that can make a substantial difference in the exposure your property receives.

    101 Ways to make a Difference in Your Sale Price

    Learn how to make improvements to your home, but only where it will make the most significant difference to the sales price! It all starts with creating curb appeal, The entryway sets the stage, Tips for every room in the house, Making the most of your kitchen & dining room, Can the buyers see themselves living in the living room?, Make the bathroom sparkle, Look at these big beautiful bedrooms, Create a clutter-free & functional home office Making the most of the basement/laundry spaces When you download this FREE report, as a bonus you will receive one of the most popular and the award-winning: “4-Steps to Stage Your Home for a Quicker Sale”

    50 Inexpensive Ways To Get a Better Return on Fix-Ups

    First impressions make a significant impact on a buyer’s decision-making process! Once your home goes on the market, it becomes a product. These natural & simple tips allow you to highlight the best of your home and de-emphasize its flaws. It’s not about decorating, but turning your home into a model, to appeal to the broadest range of prospective buyers. The goal is to make people feel like they could live there, and the best way to do this is to “neutralize” the surroundings. Most of these you can do for under $50.00 or less, and the worst that can happen to you is that you will get $2.00 back for every $1.00 you spend!

    Information is King!


     Basing decisions on facts instead of perceptions or false beliefs is very wise. Take time now to understand the people, the process & the realities of real estate.
    The Role of a Buyer’s Lawyer

    The role of the purchaser’s lawyer is to protect the purchaser throughout the transaction and to make sure that the buyer obtains clear title to the property. Traditionally, the purchaser’s lawyer also represents the interests of the mortgage lender in preparing and registering the mortgage documents following their mortgage commitment.

    What Do All These Real Estate Words Mean Anyway?

    When you are in the process of buying or selling a home in London and South West Ontario or have been through the process, it can be daunting enough without words or phrases being bantered about, and you say “What?” Well, no more, this exhaustive list will now make the playing field level, your knowledge & better understanding of real estate will ensure that your real estate transaction will be less stressful and in most cases, more rewarding!

    Who Else is Going To Be Involved When I Sell my Home?

    Purchasing a home or selling a home requires more than just the buyer and seller. You’ll also need the services of a variety of home-related professionals and here are the key players in your transaction and the roles they play:

    Pets and Selling Your Home


    Be “Pet Smart” When Selling Your House
    What about Pets when Selling Your Home?

    Some people don’t appreciate pets, and all the sights, sounds, and smells that go with them. So, to keep potential buyers focused on your house, and not your pet, follow these simple tips:

    • Wash and put away the pet toys and food bowls.
    • Refresh the kitty litter.
    • Check your yard for doggie doo.
    • Use room or carpet deodorizer.
    • Send your pet on vacation during showings.

    You love your pet. But it’s your house that you’re trying to sell.

     

    Great Way To Ensure Your Home Sells Quicker


     

          A Great Way To Ensure Your Home Sells in London Ontario

    Getting a home ready to sell on MLS, though fraught with anxiety, is not as hard as you may think and the effort you put in will make a massive difference in how quickly it sells and for how much.

    Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it’s not luck that makes that happen. It’s careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their chequebooks. Here is how to prep a house or a condo and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.

    Time Required: Seven to 10 Days

    Here’s How:

          1.        Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.

    • Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house or a condo– a product to be sold much like a new home builder will do it. It is bricks and mortar!
    • Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
    • Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
    • Say goodbye to every room.
    • Don’t look backwards — look toward the future.

     

    2.            De-Personalize.
    Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there! You don’t want to make any buyer ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”

    3.            De-Clutter!
    People collect an incredible quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.

    • If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
    • Remove all books from bookcases.
    • Pack up those knickknacks.
    • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
    • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
    • Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

     

    4.            Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
    Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:

    • Alphabetize spice jars.
    • Neatly stack dishes.
    • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
    • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
    • Line up shoes.

    be organized

    5.            Rent a Storage Unit. 
    Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”

    6.            Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
    If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great-grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

      7.          Make Minor Repairs.

    • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
    • Patch holes in walls.
    • Fix leaky faucets.
    • Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
    • Consider painting your walls neutral colours, primarily if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
    • (Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the orange bathroom.”)
    • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
    • If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!

     

    clean and do minor repairs

     

          8.         Make the House Sparkle!

    • Wash windows inside and out.
    • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
    • Clean out cobwebs.
    • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
    • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
    • Clean out the refrigerator.
    • Vacuum daily.
    • Wax floors.
    • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
    • Bleach dirty grout.
    • Replace worn rugs.
    • Hang up fresh towels.
    • Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
    • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odours are a no-no.

     

      9.          Scrutinize.

    • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
    • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
    • Examine how the furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
    • Make sure window coverings hang level.
    • Tune in to the room’s statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
    • Does it look like nobody lives in this house?

     

    10.          Check Curb Appeal.

    If a buyer doesn’t get out of her Realtor’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get her inside.

    • Keep the sidewalks cleared.
    • Mow the lawn.
    • Paint faded window trim.
    • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.
    • Trim your bushes.
    • Make sure visitors can read your house number.

     

    Bonus Report ! 14 pages packed with ideas, get it now!

    Truly Improve The Chances Your Home Will Sell For More & Quicker

    This 14-page guide is packed with tips and great ideas. They have been accumulated over the years by past home sellers and by my trials and tribulations in selling homes. This is not a splashy ego report telling you how great I am or I sell a zillion homes a year, just practical, day to day, real simple, down to earth ideas that you can use. If you do decide I may be your listing Realtor, great, if not, at least I have helped someone! 

    Selling A Home Yourself, With a Discounter or With a Realtor? New changes or the same old?

    There are quite a few discount real estate brokerages and for sale by owner companies now promising to sell your home, some for as low as $450!

    6 considerations for valuating a property

     

    The proposition of saving thousands of dollars is enough to catch the attention of anyone. The idea of listing a home for anywhere from $450 for a sign on the lawn and on a pretty website, to a couple thousand dollars if you want some of the additional services that a Realtor typically provides such as setting your price, getting your house ready to sell, to assisting you in closing is tempting and awakens the entrepreneur inside some of us.

    The burning question private sale companies use as their hook is why you would give profits from your home sale to a Realtor if you didn’t have to?

    If you are trying to decide between giving that licensed & regulatory controlled Realtor thousands of your dollars or selling your home yourself because some do it yourself real estate company says its a snap then take a moment to learn some cold hard facts.

    Get The Real Truth

    There are quite a few reasons why 96.8% of homeowners in Canada choose to use a Realtor when they sell.  I’ll share some facts and some myths with you but please don’t just take my word here, do your research and verify what I am telling you for yourself.

    Myth number one: Realtors will charge you a standard 5-6% commission to sell your house.

    Fact: Most for sale by owner companies base their selling pitch on the notion that real estate companies will charge you 5- 6% to list and sell your home.

    Real Estate sales are one of the most competitive industries there is. The choice of services and fee packages offered by Realtors in your market is likely as varied as the number of them who list homes for sale.

    The last word on commissions is set by you the seller, and in my market, if you can’t come to an agreement on compensation with one Realtor, there are over 1700 more you can approach in London Ontario and area.

    There is no such thing as a standard commission.

     

    Myth number two: “Selling your house on your own isn’t as difficult as most Joe Schmo agents make it out to be” (a direct quote from the website of the non-licensed PropertyGuys.com)

    Fact: Less than one in five homes listed privately actually sell privately. Whereas over 95% of homes listed with a REALTOR® sell. Listing a home is as easy as banging a sign into the lawn, but it is only a first step.

    Statistics show more than half of the people who choose to list private eventually end up using the resources of a licensed REALTOR® to complete the task. If you have the time to, pick out 10 homes with for sale by owner signs in your area and watch them over the next year, at the end of the year you will see that more will have removed their sign or hired a REALTOR®  or are still trying to sell private than will have sold with the private company.

     

    Myth number three: Selling privately will always save you money over using a REALTOR®.

    Fact: If you are listing privately in a seller’s market and or have time to wait it out, eventually you should see offers coming your way. Every buyer that comes to you will also be looking at homes listed with REALTORS® or else they believe there is a financial advantage to be had in buying a private listing.

    Most buyers who hunt out private listings do so because they believe you are saving money in commissions and can discount their offers accordingly, they assume they are dealing with someone who is not a professional negotiator of real property and chances are they know the area market better than most private sellers do.

    Private sellers become quite familiar with and often weakened over time by this breed of buyer. The longer it lasts, the better the chance to take advantage. If you have listed privately in the past, you know what I am talking about. A good percentage of successful private purchases are from these buyers, and often the difference between the original list and the final sale price is higher than the commission costs the buyer believed they would be saving themselves.

    Note: Yesterday I just finished listing a house that was a For Sale By Owner and this lovely couple tried it for 56 days! The sad part was they had to pay $495.00 up front to get all this sign and marketing stuff!

    Most REALTORS® don’t get paid until YOU sell your home.

    And to top it off, they had 26 REALTORS® contact them about if the house did not sell, to list with them! ( That 26 was 14 more than the 12 people who did want to see their home! Hmmmmmmmm! Something wrong here!)

     

    Myth number four: Any money you can save on Real Estate commissions = cash in your pocket.

    Fact: If the last myth bust wasn’t convincing, then consider these facts: Advertising to the degree of most licensed  REALTORS® does not come cheap. Prepare to spend at least a bare minimum of $200 a week and resolve yourself to the fact that your advertising will be relegated to the classifieds along with the used bicycles and outdated computer equipment where few serious home buyers will ever look.

    You could also do Kijiji, that is free. But what about Realtor.ca which every house on MLS is listed and 100% of all buyers go to to check out homes for sale, and, Realtor websites, both their personal and their brokerage’s site.

    Also, be prepared to have to market your home for a much more extended period than a REALTOR® would need to. Your most effective selling tool is going to be the sign on your lawn and the open houses you do, but keep in mind that of all properties sold through licensed REALTORS®, about one in every ten is the result of a sign call.

    The other 9 out of ten come through buyers introduced to the property by their REALTOR® and through professional marketing efforts. Ask me about The Envelope 28 Step Marketing Plan.

    An Offer to buy your home

    All closings require legal documentation, the search of title, and transfer of funds, closing of existing mortgages and assignment of new mortgages just for starters.

    Proper documentation and legally acceptable contracts safeguard both the buyer and seller, and without a Realtor, you are the one who will be personally sued should complications arise, and litigation, lawyers charge by the hour. That documentation a REALTOR® typically handles for your sale will be left to you and your lawyer and comes at a price.

    Realtors carry Errors & Omissions Insurance to protect sellers and buyers in the event of a mistake, misrepresentation or unforeseen discrepancies and deficiencies relating to the property. Individual homeowners do not. An error in the square footage of the property or some other detail or event often leads to being sued by the buyer.

    When represented by a Realtor it is they who would be sued and their insurance generally would cover any loss. A single mistake could end up costing you far more than a Real Estate Commission. A REALTOR® is a valued insurance policy when one needs it.

    You can bet that I hear by those who will say this is fear mongering and they have never had a problem in all of their private sales. The ones who have had issues likely won’t give you the benefit of their experiences here.

    Other advice & things you need to consider as you make your decision to list privately are:

    Make yourself available for the next few months –  Many showings are booked at the last minute, and though often frustrating from my perspective as a REALTOR ®, we have to accommodate this. It’s kind of like being a firefighter on call.
    Many will see you are listed private and knock at your door expecting to be able to come in and view your house on the spot. With the number of listings available to see you want to be able to accommodate showing request or risk them crossing you off the list and moving on to the next home.

    dreaming
    Good REALTORS® screen buyers before taking them through a home. You may have to compromise precautions as your agent but here is some valuable safety advice for private home sellers:

    ·        During open houses, take people’s names and phone numbers at the door before allowing them into your home. Write down their license number and type and colour of the vehicle.

    ·       Put away all pocket-able items of value before showing your home IE: jewellery, watches, and cash.

    ·       Check to see that all doors and windows are locked after each showing. Thieves are known to use open houses to scout out valuables in a home, and possible points of entry then return when the home is empty.

    ·       Never do an open house or showing alone. Have your partner, a friend or neighbour at home with you when strangers are coming to view the property.

    ·       Ask neighbours to keep an eye on your home while it is for sale and report any strangers on the property to you immediately. Otherwise, neighbours might assume strangers on the property are there to view the home with your knowledge.

    ·       Take names and phone numbers when people call to book a viewing. Don’t confirm a showing right away. Tell them you will call back to confirm. If they refuse to share name and number politely tell them they cannot view the home unless they do and end the conversation before calling back to confirm screen their name and phone number on the internet to verify legitimacy.

    ·       Always go with your gut feelings. If something seems odd don’t book the showing and if they are at your door tell them it isn’t a good time.

    ·       Always stay with potential buyers as they view the home and walk behind, not in front of them as you go through the house. Insist that they stay together as you show them through. If one person wanders off; tell them you would like them to stay together.

    ·       Restrict all your showings to daylight hours. If someone calls or comes to the door during the evening get their information, check it out and call the back with appropriate times they can view the home.

    ·       If you have pets, have someone take them for a walk or at the very least put them in the backyard during showings. The incidence of allergies with buyer clients seems to go up every year, and I have had many turn around and walk right back out if they sense there are dogs or cats in the home.

    ·       The same goes for smoking. If the home is smoked in you are eliminating a large portion of potential buyers before you start.

     

    In the end, the convenience, exposure, negotiating skills, legal protections, personal safety and yes ability to market your home to the highest degree to the most significant number of people are the reasons more than 90% of the public choose to hire a professional over experimenting with selling privately.

    Whatever choice you make, do your homework first and don’t be taken in by anything offered by anyone you can’t first verify for yourself As you can see, there is a price in trying to save money! If you are prepared to pay that price and know what the price is, I wish you well.

    Read what one of my clients had to say

    Dear Ty:

    “Cathy and I just wanted to take some time and thank you for everything you have done for us.
    I always thought buying a house would be the most stressful thing anyone could do. I now know that indeed selling is by far the most stressful.

    As you know, we did try to sell on our own, when this failed we tried another real estate agent and had a bad experience. Due to this experience, we were very unsure about the whole thing and were very disheartened as we were so looking forward to our plans.

    Ty, from the second we first met, Cathy and I were blown away with your experience and professionalism, your reputation truly speaks for itself. You sold our house for exactly what we wanted and to top it off; you did it in 81/2 hours! Amazing!

    As our family and friends heard about our success, they, of course, asked the question: ‘Who did you use?’ and I reply ‘Ty Lacroix”.
    Cathy and I cannot express our gratitude enough, thanks again for everything; Cathy and I could not be happier!”

    Jason and Cathy Bear