Step #1 – Decide When To Sell Your House

If only there was an easy answer to the oft-asked question: When should I sell my house? Important considerations include:

Step #2: Get Ready: Declutter, Stage and Clean

When preparing your house for sale, keep these three goals in mind:

  1. Declutter to maximize your space and allow potential buyers to imagine living in your home. Remove personal items, extra armoires and anything that could distract potential buyers.  Smaller furniture will make the rooms look bigger, so consider swapping out that king sized bed that takes up the whole bedroom for a smaller one, and replacing the L-shaped couch with a more compact version. Clear out closets, donate items you do not use. Most of our house sellers end up calling a junk removal company or storing some of their belongings offsite during the sale. We love 1-800-GOT-JUNK and Pods for storage).
  2. Make sure every room is staged to its optimal use It is ok if you are using two of your three bedrooms as offices, but convert them back to bedrooms while the house is listed for sale.  A good REALTOR will spend time identifying your house’s target buyer and will guide you to stage your home to reflect how they would want to live in it.
  3. Clean, clean and clean again! The cleaner your house, the faster it will sell. Buyers will not just look at surfaces – they will look inside your closets, kitchen cupboards and bathroom vanity. Make sure everything sparkles!

Special Considerations for Houses

Step #3: Get Set: More Prep Work

Step #4: Pricing Your House for Sale

Pricing a house in Toronto is both a science and an art. Your REALTOR will discuss with you the pros and cons of pricing your home for a bidding war vs pricing high with the intent to negotiate vs pricing your home at market value.

In the end, the market decides how much your home is worth by deciding how much they want to pay for it. Buyers will consider:

Other things that can be important to Toronto buyers include:

Step #5: Marketing

One of your real estate agent’s most important jobs will be making sure potential buyers see your house. A comprehensive marketing campaign for your house should make people fall in love with your house. Real estate marketing should include:

Step #6: Showings

When buyers make an appointment to see your house, keep the following in mind:

Step #7: Offers

Sad but true: not every house seller gets a bidding war. While your agent will take you through what to expect come offer time, if there is only one buyer for your house, you can expect to see the following two conditions in an offer:

  1. A financing condition, which allows the buyer to confirm their mortgage qualifications with a lender
  2. A home inspection condition, which allows the buyer to bring in a home inspector of their choosing to go through the home. Home inspections generally last 2-3 hours.

Of course, there is a lot more to negotiate than conditions: price, closing date (the date the Buyer takes possession), inclusions (appliances, big screen TV’s, etc.) and deposit (usually 5% of the purchase price, paid within 24 hours of the offer being accepted).

In the event of multiple offers (more commonly referred to as a bidding war), offers will generally be “firm”, meaning there are no conditions. There are many ways for a bidding war to proceed – your agent will suggest different strategies to help you get the highest price. 

Step #8: Closing Day

As closing day (the day the new Buyer takes possession) approaches, you or your lawyer will need to make sure to:

A day or two before closing day, you’ll need to visit your lawyer and sign a lot of paperwork. When the property is transferred to the new owner, you will get the money via your lawyer (less real estate commissions, legal fees and any adjustments).

Still have questions about selling your Toronto house? Text, email or call us and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about selling your house for top dollar.