Timeline for a Household Move

Key periods for a Canadian Household Move

Getting Ready To List

Pre-Listing Considerations

Prior to listing your home consider getting a house inspection completed first.  In doing this, you will learn if there are any major repairs needed and can address them before the house goes on the market. This also shows the buyers and their agent that you have been proactive. Take an objective look at your house to determine what updates and repairs are necessary. Establish a timeline and budget to determine what needs to be completed to improve the overall presentation of your home. Buyers today are looking to purchase a home that does not require work. They are also willing to pay more for a house that has been taken care of, so show them that your home is in turn-key condition. Things to think about

• What is your timeline and budget?

• What updates have you been putting off?

• What repairs are needed?

Listing

Research the different ways to list your home.  listing your home via a real estate agent if you would like to have the counsel and expertise in marketing your home; OR you can complete a ‘For Sale By Owner’ (FSBO) profile to market the sale of your property.  There are various options for this across Canada from local classified ads, online ads, MLS and specialty listing providers as well.

Be sure to research either alternative well, and consider how you will best maximize your returns on the sale of your property and also consider the different experiences and levels of involvement that each option will require from you.

Checklist

  • Complete a house inspection
  • Find an agent/ Find FSBO sources
  • Hire a Real Estate Lawyer
  • Organize your finances
  • Research the market

Pricing Your Home

Summary

In Canada there are various sources to comparable value listings, which provide similar type of structures, within same geographic areas, a range of recently sold prices, to allow homesellers to better evaluate their own pricing strategy.  The provinces have various rules and access to this information, and is best to check with your local Real Estate Board or Real Estate Agent who can provide you with the data.

1. Appeal to the “herd mentality”

Given the high stakes of real estate, a buyer doesn’t want to be the only one interested in a house. By pricing your property on the lower end of the value range, you could stimulate interest among more than one buyer and create a herd mentality.  Also, if you’re under the gun to sell quickly, this would be a good option.

2. Price it to be found in real estate searches

Most buyers tell their agent they want a three-bedroom home in a certain neighborhood under $500K (or some other dollar amount). Their real estate agent may then set up an automated buyer search in their local database for properties under $500K. But if a home is listed at $510K, that buyer will miss it. So, if your list price is higher out of the gates, you may miss a segment of buyers.

While this scenario happens frequently, many savvy agents will set up search parameters for their buyers to include properties listed a little bit more above their price ceiling. Knowing how flexible home prices can be, buyers should be made aware of properties that could be a good match for them, even if those homes are above — but within reasonable range of — what they want to pay. Often times the buyer can offer under the list price, or the property will get reduced.

3. Don’t get ‘fancy’ with your asking price.

Sometimes, sellers want to get creative with their asking price. For example, a seller whose home was valued between $750K and $800K, looks to list at $787,777.  So what?!

Such an oddly specific figure calls attention to itself for no good reason, like a house painted with polka dots.  Buyers will often wonder why the seller chose that figure. From there, they get curious about who the seller is, and so on.

The goal is to showcase the property, not the seller, and to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Getting quirky with your asking price counteracts this tried-and-true strategy.

4. Have a pricing contingency plan before you put your home on the market

Sometimes, sellers have high expectations about their property’s appeal and they want to ask top dollar for it, even if their agent doesn’t believe they’ll get it. Or perhaps an agent they talked to planted a high price tag in their mind.

By having everything on the table from the get-go, you’ll have a plan B should the first plan fail. Have a fall-back price point or strategy should the first one not fulfill intended outcomes.

5. Pricing is ultimately a discussion

As with any strategy, be prepared to have an ongoing discussion about pricing with your real estate agent.

Pricing a home isn’t a “set-it-and-forget-it” procedure.  A lot of factors can come into play when selling or buying a home, and not all of them can be anticipated.  If you can be flexible and react quickly to changing market conditions or new information, you’re more likely to get the best price with the least aggravation.

Checklist

  • Market Comparables Analysis
  • Legal Advice
  • Create Pricing Strategy & Fallback options

Evaluating Offers

Summary

Once your home starts receiving offers, you have a number of different things to consider.  As a seller, when you receive an offer you always have three choices.  First, you can accept the offer – this means subject to the conditions of the sale your home is officially sold. Second, you can reject the offer, and in effect tell the buyer to kindly kiss off. Or third, you can counter the offer. While many sellers instinctively reach for a pen to counter all offers, wise sellers take a deep breath before making this decision.

Many sellers view making a counter offer as a natural part of the sales process, but what many don’t realize is that they are really rejecting the buyer’s offer first and then presenting a new offer back to the buyer. The trouble with this is, the instant you give the buyer a moment to pause and reconsider their decision, even for a minor point, you run the risk of losing the buyer. Because of this the question that successful sellers have learned to ask themselves first is: Is it really worth a counter offer?  This simple question should be the measuring stick with which to evaluate every item you plan to ask for from a buyer. In many cases the risk is not worth the reward.

If you are forced to make a counter offer keep in mind these three tips:

1.Attempt to understand the buyer’s position

A negotiation is never a one way street. In order to create a sale, both parties must feel they are receiving a good value. Learn as much about the buyer, including their background and reasons for making their initial offer, as possible. By doing so you may able to find common ground that can create a successful sale.

2.Use the give and take technique

When making a counter offer, think in terms of, not only what you want, but what you might be willing to give up to make the sale happen. For instance, if you are asking for a higher price, can you help pay the buyer’s closing costs or perhaps pay points to help them secure lower payments?

3.Emphasize the positives

In writing your counter offer you may want to emphasize the areas that you do agree on before you begin asking for modifications. For instance, point out all the areas of the original offer that are acceptable. This might include the closing date, the possession date, the down payment, the price, the inclusions and exclusions, the financing type, specific conditions or contingencies, or even something as simple as the size of the earnest money deposit.

By taking the time to evaluate each offer and establish a negotiating strategy, based on an unemotional analysis of the market and your needs as a seller, you will be far ahead of your competition.

Checklist

  • Build a negotiating strategy prior to starting to receive offers
  • Hire a Real Estate Lawyer
  • Moving truck alternatives
  • Organize your finances

Time to move

Summary

Depending on which part of the country you are in, this period from you sell your home to the date you actually move out varies quite a bit.  For example in Quebec the average is greater than 100 days, and in Ontario in BC is it approximately 50 days.

During the Move phase from a property, most households take inventory of their current expenses, service providers, in their current home and look to evaluate all options.  This means they evaluate everything from cable and internet providers to home security, mortgage providers, insurance, landscaping requirements to furnace rentals.  During this time you will want to take inventory of all services currently used, and which ones to continue or replace in the new home.  Likewise, move requirements can include things construction/ renovations for the new property as well as fixtures/ furnishings and services for the move itself.  This is one of the most expensive periods of your move.

Take into account the following when creating a do it yourself moving checklist:

• Pick your moving date.
The first step on your relocation checklist is to establish a moving date and work backward from there. You can set small milestones to plan your move in increments of two weeks leading up to your moving date.

• Book a moving truck or hire professional movers.Having an idea what your moving date will likely be, it’s worth researching junk removal and moving vehicle rentals to obtain price quotes from a minimum of three.

• Conduct an inventory of your belongings.
By adding an inventory of your belongings to your moving checklist, not only will it keep you organised as you move to your new home, but it’s ideal for insurance purposes.

• Plan where things will go.
Additionally, this is the perfect time to consider the floor plan of your new home and start planning where your furniture and belongings will go.

• Provide change of address notifications.
Notify all relevant organisation of your change of address.

• Transfer or set up utilities.

Transfer services from your old to new home, such as telephone, internet, pay TV, electricity, and gas. Remember to leave a buffer when transferring services.

It’s recommended to leave utilities on in your old place, 48 hours after you move, in case you forget anything and need to return. Attempt to arrange utilities in your new home to be connected 48 hours in advance to enable you to move in as comfortably as possible.

• Gather packing materials.Include in your moving checklist the requirement to gather all packing materials, like boxes, packing tape, labels, and bubble wrap or butcher paper for padding.

Checklist

  • Cleaning services
  • Closing a sale
  • Moving truck alternatives
  • Final notes

FIND COMPETITIVE RATES

REAL ESTATE LAWYERS

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FINANCIAL SERVICES

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INSURANCE PROVIDERS

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MOVING SERVICE

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