Are you thinking of putting your Toronto house for sale or listing your downtown Toronto condo for sale? Well you have come to the right source. The following outlines steps that will help achieve the best results when you list your home.
STEP 1 - PRICING YOUR PROPERTY
There are many factors that contribute to getting a property sold quickly and for the best possible price. The most important factor that can achieve this is the listed price! There are many benefits of pricing right. For instance, your property may sell faster because it is exposed to more qualified buyers. Also, the closer the price is to market value the higher the offers. In addition, competing offers or what is known as a bidding war can be generated if the asking price is right. When priced right, Realtors are more enthusiastic about showing your property to potential buyers.
In order to determine the proper list price for your home, a comparative market analysis will be conducted. A comparative market analysis will be based on similar houses or condominium units as your own, that have recently sold and/or are currently on the market. Characteristics such as: location, size, style, condition, and amenities, will be reviewed when choosing the best comparables. Ultimately, the comparative market analysis is a great indicator of what today’s buyers are willing to spend for a home. Properties that have recently sold represent what buyers are prepared to pay. The homes currently listed for sale represent the price sellers hope to obtain, and listings that have expired were generally overpriced or poorly marketed!
Therefore, it is essential to price your property appropriately! Many Sellers believe that if they start with a high list price, they can always lower it later. However, when a property is priced too high, it often will experience little activity. As the price is lowered to meet market value, the property has already been on the market for far too long, and buyers become cautious. Buyers will often question as to the reason for the property not selling, and thus will also walk away from the property. Interested parties will lose interest very quickly, and by the time the price drops, interest is often completely lost. A property that has overstayed its welcome on the market will detract potential purchasers from even viewing your property! You definitely want to avoid all of this!
STEP 2 – THE MARKETING PLAN
There are many different ways a REALTOR® can market your home. However, the key is to market your home effectively with maximum exposure. In today’s society there are many internet sources you can use to get your property to be seen. I have divided my marketing strategies into two plans. 1. is the more traditional marketing strategy and 2. the more enhanced marketing strategy.
1. Traditional Marketing Strategy
Many of the ‘typical’ sales representatives tend to gear to the more traditional marketing plans. This does not mean that the traditional plans do not work. Instead, it simply means that these sales representatives are not thinking outside of the box, and have not fully adapted to the current methods of marketing. Nonetheless, these traditional methods can still be quite effective in some ways. For this reason, I will still be using some of the more conventional and traditional strategies along with the more enhanced marketing strategy to help sell your home. When I do incorporate the more traditional methods, I will do so in a more ‘new’ and ‘improved’ style.
a. The Lawn Sign – This is probably the oldest trick in the book. Putting a ‘for sale’ sign to attract potential buyers is probably one of the oldest selling marketing strategies known to real estate sales representatives. However, the lawn sign does tend to attract people to contact the sales representative to ask for further information. Therefore, I will install a sign to promote the house as being on the market. However, instead of just installing a distinctive Royal LePage For Sale lawn sign, I will make sure that my website address with the property’s information is attached to the sign. Also, the sign will include the property’s own web site, which I will have set up prior to the property being put on the market. This will allow potential buyers to retrieve all information of the house online.
b. Print Advertising – Classified advertising will be used in local newspapers and/or magazines, as well as flyers targeting nearby neighbourhoods in order to provide maximum exposure to local buyers. All forms of print advertising will also include my own website address and the property’s own website address so that potential buyers can find all the information desired online. All print ads will also include my own personal branding of “Lorena Romano – Unlocking Possibilities.”
c. Professional Photos and Virtual Tour – I work closely with a professional photographer and virtual designer who will take a number of digital photographs of your house or condo. They create a virtual tour based on these pictures and they submit the photographs to the Toronto Real Estate Board so that they can be uploaded to the listing on Realtor.ca. These photographs are also used to put together an impressive feature sheet that highlight the assets of your property. These feature sheets will be made available for all showings and may be distributed to other area agents as well as potential purchasers.
d. Floor Plans – I really enjoy putting together floor plans as they give buyers a greater perspective on the actual size of the house or condominium unit. Floor plans can really help with room sizes when purchasing furniture, and layouts when deciding how to decorate. These floor plans will be included with the feature sheets.
e. Regular Communication – All agents who have shown the property will be contacted for showing feedback. A report outlining feedback and marketing activities will be sent to you weekly, via e-mail or telephone. Also, I will make sure to inform all other Sales Representatives within our own offices, as well as network with other outside Sales Representatives, making them aware that the property is for sale.
f. Services – If certain services are required such as staging and cleaning, and contacts are required for contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc., I have a list of contacts that can assist you with these services. Sometimes you need these services to get the house and/or condo SOLD! I will make sure to review the property prior to it being put on the market, and I will let you know whether I believe these services are necessary for you.
g. Easy Showings – I always ask that a lockbox be placed outside of your property for sales representatives to be able to easily show your home. This lockbox will only be accessible to sales representatives who have booked an appointment to view the property through our office. A lockbox allows you, the seller, to enjoy an evening out and not have to be home for potential buyers viewing the property. All showing appointments will be first confirmed through you before releasing the lockbox code to any outside sales representative.
2. Enhanced Internet Marketing Plan:
In today’s society, more and more people research online for information on how to buy and sell real estate. More importantly, many potential buyers research online to find their next place to live. For this reason, I will be advertising your home for sale on many different portals in order to get maximum exposure. By using the internet, I will help ‘unlock’ your home’s great selling potential.
a. www.Realtor.ca – Realtor.ca is the most widely used search tool in Canada for homebuyers. Although the majority of sales representatives have access to this portal, I will ensure that your listing has professional property pictures, a virtual tour, and very detailed property information. Royal LePage West Realty Group has a 24 hour call centre, and therefore I am available 24 hours a day to respond to any inquiry.
b. condochicks.com – Our website has taken a lot of thought with regards to design and content. Most sales representatives have the typical website template, which outlines the same basic information that you can find from all the other thousands of real estate sales representative’s out there! We are not your average real estate sales representatives, and we want to demonstrate this through our website. All new listings, open houses, sold properties, etc., will be on our website advertised for all to see.
c. http://www.stomprealty.com – Stomp Realty is the recognized industry leader when it comes to identifying and analyzing Canadian real estate trends. Your property will be listed with property photos and a detailed property information on the its website.
d. www.facebook.com & www.twitter.com – I have a fanpage on facebook that is linked to my twitter account. My presence on facebook and twitter is easy for people to find, and I use these social media tools to help notify all my ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ about the newest property listed and open house being held. Make sure to follow me on these websites, as I like to ‘update my status’ or ‘tweet’ often which allows my personality to shine through.
e. www.craigslist.com & www.kijiji.com – Many people today use craigslist and/or kijiji to purchase a designer handbag, to purchase furniture or to look for a car. It is no secret that these tools can also be used to sell your home. My goal is to get as much exposure for your home as possible. For this reason, I will also use these tools to help advertise your home.
What may be required when Signing a Listing Agreement:
The first formal step in marketing your property is to enter into a Listing Agreement – a contract that commits Royal LePage West Realty Group, and myself, to actively market your home for sale for a specified period of time. It also commits you to a pre-established fee that is to be paid upon successful closing of the sale.
When preparing to market your home, I may require the following documents:
1. Plan of Survey – A survey of your property which outlines the lot size and location of buildings as well as details of encroachments from neighbouring properties. This may be required in certain areas to complete the sale of your home. Your lawyer may recommend a survey, especially if significant changes have been made to your property.
2. Status Certificate – When selling your condominium unit, it is important to order a status certificate from your condominium’s property management. The ordering of the Status Certificate is usually done when an offer has been accepted conditionally. The document is typically $100 dollars in cost inclusive of GST, and it is extremely useful for a buyer. The Status Certificate and its accompanying documents is the resale equivalent of a disclosure statement and the material that is in this document should be reviewed by a lawyer. The Status Certificate will disclose if the Seller has paid all maintenance fees up to date, and its accompanying documents outlines the condominium corporation’s financial affairs, and it reviews the condominium corporation’s bylaws, rules and regulations. Typically buyers are advised to request a Status Certificate when purchasing a condominium. If all information in the documents is reasonable to the buyer they often will go ahead with the sale.
3. Property Tax Receipts – Listing Agreements require that the current annual property tax assessments be shown. It is also good to keep handy in case a buyer would like verification of the amount.
4. Mortgage Verification – Few homeowners know the exact balance of their mortgage as it is paid down. You will be asked to authorize your mortgage lender to provide the figures required.
5. Transfer of Deed – This document is a legal description of your property and the proof that you own it.
6. Other Documentation – In some instances, it may help the sale of your property if you can provide prospective buyers with information on such items as annual heating, electrical, and water expenses, as well as any recent home improvement costs.
PREPARE FOR SHOWING
Tips for Preparing your Home for Showings:
First impressions really count with home buyers. A small investment of time and effort can provide a BIG advantage when Sales Representatives show your home to prospective buyers. The following are a few suggestions for preparing your home for viewings:
- House exterior is in good repair
- House number is easy to see
- Eavestroughs, down spouts and soffits are painted and in good repair
- Garage/Carport is clean and tidy
- Cracked or broken window panes have been replaced
- Lawn is cut and raked
- Hedges and shrubs are trimmed, gardens are weeded and edged
- Leaves are raked, walk ways are swept, and decks and patio are cleared of leaves and debris
- Snow and ice is cleared and salted
At the Front Door:
- Doorbell works
- Door Hardware is in good repair
- Porch and Foyer is clean and tidy
- Repair cracked plaster
- Touch up chipped paint
- Replace cracked tiles
- Tighten door knobs and cupboard handles
- Clean Furnace
- Replace burned out light bulbs
- Oil squeaky doors
- Sinks and Taps cleaned and polished
- Appliances cleaned
- If Stainless Steel Appliances, ensure that they have been cleaned with stainless steel cleaner
- Remove all magnets, post-its, calenders, etc., from the fridge
- Countertops cleaned
- Countertops clear of utensils, cooking appliances, etc. Leave as clear as possible
- Inside of Cupboards clean and neat
- Dishes and Clutter cleared
- Small appliances put away
- Mirrors, fixtures and taps cleaned and polished
- Leaky tap and toilets repaired
- Seals around tubs and basins in good repair
- Bath tubs cleaned and cleared of soap, shampoo, etc.
- Floors cleaned, waste containers empty
- Towels clean and matching
- Clear away clutter
- Valuables should be locked safely away or taken with you, objects of art or figurines should be situated safely out of reach or put away
Creating a Buying Atmosphere:
- Turn on all lights
- Drapes open during daylight
- Keep home at a comfortable temperature
- Light fireplace in cooler weather
- Set scented candles to create a soothing mood
- Set background music to play quietly
- Sweep, swiffer, mop the floors
- Carpets freshly vacuumed
- Get rid of all clutter
- Remove any religious figures and/or family pictures. You want the buyer to believe they can live in your home!
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