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STEPS TO SELLING A HOME IN OTTAWA

Home Preparation


De-personalizing/De-Cluttering

It doesn’t take long to accumulate too much stuff. One of the most important steps to preparing and successfully selling your home in Ottawa is to remove any and all personal items and cleaning up any extra clutter lying around. We want to maximize open spaces and flow and we also want buyers to be able to envision themselves living in your home – meaning removing personal photos and collections and neutralizing each space as much as possible. You’ll want to consider buying a storage space while your home is being sold. Ask me about the storage space reimbursement I can provide.

Cleaning

Most people understand that if you’re living in the home your selling, it can be challenging to keep it looking spotless – especially with young children and pets. Keeping your home clean and looking like nobody lives there is a great way to sell your home fast. Not only will buyers appreciate it, this will help focus their attention on what matters (your home!). Depending on your schedule, you may want to consider hiring a cleaning company to come in every few days to keep everything 100% tidy. 

Repairs and Maintenance

Completing any outstanding repairs is one of the very first steps to preparing your home to sell. You’ll want to focus on any obvious issues first before considering any major renovations (drywall damage, leaking faucets/toilets, carpet stains). Painting any loud rooms to neutral colours is a great way to appeal to most buyers. There’s also the little things such as replacing any burnt light bulbs and putting a bulb in all empty sockets. 

Don’t forget about the exterior of your home. Your grass will need to be cut regularly and it should look as clean as possible. Tidy up your lawn hose and other equipment. Now is the time to clean out your garage and store away anything you won’t need during the sale of your home.

You may want to consider a pre-listing home inspection. This will help greatly in identifying any issues with your home and provide you with the necessary information to decide on what to fix ahead of listing your home. This will also help you identify what the buyer’s home inspector will report and alleviate any stress associated with the home inspection conditions.

Staging

I won’t need to bring in fancy furniture to sell your home but we definitely want to take the time to review and optimize the individual spaces within your home. The layout and design is no longer about you. We need to tailor the home to what buyers will want to see and buy. The majority of buyers have a hard time seeing passed your layout and design. I’ll go over these details and recommend changes to maximize the flow and help buyers stay on point.

Pricing

The Right Price

Determining the best price for your home based on current market condition is vital to finding a buyer within a reasonable amount of time. Your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. Price your home too high and you risk leaving it on the market too long and eventually lowering the price to sell at a far lower amount than could have been achieved at the right price. Price too low and you risk damaging your negotiating power. Personal attachments within the home won’t sway a buyer to pay more so it’s important to take the following into consideration when deciding the right price:

  • Similiar properties currently in the Ottawa market
  • Recent sales within your neighbourhood
  • The pros/cons of your home
  • Current market conditions in Ottawa

Choosing the right price doesn’t mean it won’t ever change but the ultimate goal is to choose a price that will resonate with buyers and create a sense of urgency that pushes them to choose your home over the others in your immediate area.

Motivation

Your motivating factors to sell is important to discuss with me so I can help faciliate the best course of action for your current and future needs. Your reason for selling will also play an important role in pricing your home to sell within a certain amount of time.

Marketing

Online and Social

Online marketing and social media has taken a leading role in exposing your home to eager buyers. I will take part in multiple strategies to get your home as much exposure as possible. Not only will your listings be made available on my own site, it will also be published on social media sites as well as my partner social media sites. I will also provide a dedicated home website that will speak to only your home with an address specific domain name. If that’s enough exposure, I will tailor specific advertising to your home’s website that will specifically target certain demographics in Ottawa. If you’re selling a home in a family oriented neighbourhood (based on updated Ottawa stats), I’ll specifically target expectant or growing families.

Professional Photos

We have all seen some of the not to so appealing photos taken of homes and posted to realtor.ca. You probably skipped right over it in your hunt for your next dream home. That is exactly what we’ll avoid. Professional photos will guarantee the best possible look of your home, the right angles and just the right amount of lighting. It will also provide for many different pictures (above and beyond the 25 maximum on realtor.ca) that I can post on other sites. This service also fits right into staging and de-cluttering. I’ll provide extensive feedback and recommendations ahead of time to ensure the best possible result. There is no cost to this service. I’ll schedule and pay for the photos – all you need to do is leave the house for 45 minutes while the photographer does her thing.

Neighbourhood Marketing

I talked about online and social media marketing but I also believe a neighbourhood presence will help sell your house in Ottawa. Anytime a home goes up for sale in a neighbourhood, people will talk about it. They may even take the time to come visit during an open house (this is a good thing) and share their thoughts to family and friends. This has led to many homes being sold – simply by sharing with your neighbours! This is the exact type of market I will tap into. By providing marketing material about your home to your neighbourhood, I provide another possible way for your home to get exposure and sell.

Open Houses and Showings

Open Houses

Many agents in Ottawa believe open houses are not a valuable use of time but I still believe any exposure your home gets is a step in the right direction. A very important element is receiving feedback – from other agents and potential buyers. This gives you an opportunity to improve the image of your home to bring in the right buyer. There’s alot more to an open house than simply putting up a sign or two and waiting (and hoping) for willing buyers to show up and view it. There are various options I can utilize to maximize the potential of your home including geotargeting, door to door notifications, online and social advertising and buyer mail lists. We can also discuss open houses outside of the typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon timeslot.

Flexibility

Being flexible with showings is very important. We want to make your home as available as possible to any qualified buyer. That means being willing to show your house on short notice and making sure you leave the home before any showings (including pets). Remember, the majority of people work during the day (9am to 5pm) and will want to view homes in the evening or weekends. 

Feedback

Receiving and acting on feedback is another essential step toward success. You must be willing to hear feedback (good or bad) and do your best to act on it. The most important part of your home now is what buyers think and resolving any concerns should be your top priority. We can also discuss bringing in other agents for feedback ahead of any showings. This will help take care of any loose ends that could be overlooked. Another set of eyes is always a good idea.

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Offers and Negotiations

Negotiating

After all of your hard work pays off and you receive an offer, the negotiations begin. The offer will contain several important factors to consider:

  • The price
  • The requested closing date
  • The deposit amount
  • The irrevocable date/time
  • The conditions

All of these together will need to be taken into considerations when reviewing an offer and deciding on how to proceed. Price tends to be the focal point with any offer but confirming whether the closing date works for your plans or whether the deposit is high enough to be considered a “serious offer” are very important factors. You will also need to consider the conditions and timing. 

When you receive any offer, you can respond in one of 3 ways:

  1. Accept the offer – Get ready to pack! You just sold your house!
  2. Counter the offer – You can change any portion of the original offer including price, conditions, closing date or the deposit amount. The buyer can then decide to either accept your offer, counter the offer again or simply walk away.
  3. Reject the offer – You simply walk away from their original offer. They may decide to submit a more favorable offer.

Effective negotiation skills is absolutely vital to providing a smooth experience during offers. I will provide advice and guidance along the way and help represent your position during negotiations. The final decision ultimately rests in your hands but I will be there all along the way to help you make a comfortable decision you can be proud of.

Deposit

When you receive an offer from a buyer, their deposit amount demonstrates their committment to completing the purchase of your home. Deposits in Ottawa can range from 1%-5%, less or more – there is no standard amount. The deposit amount is part of the negotiations of the sale of your home. The specific details surrounding the deposit amount and how it is to be handled is further outlined within the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Closing Date

When the closing date arrives, it’s common courtesy to remove anything that wasn’t included in the sale of the home. It’s also important to take another pass throughout the home and tidy up as much as possible. You’ll want to make sure all appliances and fixtures are in good working order to avoid any future headaches after the closing date.

A couple more tips:

  • Collect all home specific information and leave it in a package for the new homeowners (warranties, manuals)
  • Notify all applicable companies of your change of address (ie: banks, cell phone, car insurance)

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