Selling a Home In Vancouver: A How to Guide
Selling a home in Vancouver can seem like a daunting task when getting started. I am going to break down the process below and give you a step by step guide on how to deal with the process. With the right help and a solid plan you can sell your house fast and for top dollar!
Deciding to Sell:
Deciding to sell (and where to next!) is one of the largest steps in the whole process. There can be a lot of emotional attachment to our current homes, its also possible that the reason we are selling is due to a massive life change that can be positive or negative… Marriage, Kids, Divorce, Death are all emotionally charged situations that can bring about the need or want to sell. It is important that whatever Vancouver Real Estate Agent you decided to work with is empathetic to the situation and has experience in dealing with sensitive situations, and sometimes sensitive information. Your well-being, and protection should be at the forefront of anyone you choose to represent you.
Choose a Vancouver Realtor:
With everyone knowing multiple Vancouver realtors there is no lack of choice when it comes to selecting a real estate agent to represent you. Things that can set Vancouver real estate agents apart include, experience - particularly in the segment you are selling, education - the real estate licensing exam is not the most rigorous test of someone’s mental aptitude, peer referrals - with so much information available on the web you want to see what other members of the public have to say about the agent you are deciding on, marketing strategy - does the agent have a good plan and broad reach to get your home showing perfectly and in front of as many people as possible? A good Vancouver Real Estate Agent will be able to help you with every step of the process from the very beginning, so it is good practice to make this selection as early as possible… the more help the better!
Evaluate & Review the Market to Set a List Price:
Whether you are selling a Westside house, a false creek condo, or a luxury penthouse a qualified Vancouver realtor will be able to provide you with all the information needed to set an appropriate list price. What is happening in the Vancouver Market today? Is what I am reading in the paper about the market reflective of my home? Is the condo market hot as well as the single-family market? What’s happening for Vancouver penthouses? How many downtown Vancouver condos for sale right now? What can I sell my home for? Can you sell my house fast? There are many questions and factors to consider when pricing your home: mls recently sold homes, market trends, home pricing index, inventory levels, time of year, how many mls active listings are on the market, how much time do you have, and so much more. With the help of your qualified Vancouver realtor you can answer all the pertinent questions and review all the relevant information and come up your pricing strategy. There is definitely a science to determining Vancouver Real Estate prices.
Get the Home Ready:
Getting the home ready for sale involves some hard work and some elbow grease. The items that give the largest return on investment when preparing the home include:
Beyond that people are always concerned about renovations. 9 times out of 10 the renovation will not give the return needed to cover the costs, but this should be discussed with your Vancouver realtor as there are some improvements that can be done to increase the value.
Now that home is perfect set up… quick go get that camera so the kids don’t wreck the place! Most people’s homes never look better than when they get it ready to sell, the extra effort in the prep will go a long way in finding a qualified buyer quickly who will pay top dollar. As you found out when you interviewed your selected Vancouver realtor they had a detailed marketing strategy that hopefully included:
Using all the materials created it is important to follow a schedule of how your home is marketed… I like to equate it to a football play that must all be executed in the correct order and in a timely fashion to be successful. What day will you go to market (is it better on a Monday, Tuesday etc)? what marketing should be prepared and released before we go to MLS? Should we hold Open Houses (what time, public events, realtor events)? Should we entertain offers anytime (or should we set a date?). Don’t just be a Vancouver MLS listing… you want your property to shine!
Showings & Open Houses:
Now that you have thousands of eyes on your Vancouver property’s beautiful photos via the mailouts, the web advertising & websites now you must show it in real life! creating the showing schedule with your Vancouver realtor it is important as possible to be completely flexible and open especially during the 1st couple weeks your home is on the market. A Top Vancouver Realtor will be ready to take an incoming showing request at anytime.. being accessible and available should be a top priority when selecting your real estate agent. Have your home available to show on short notice as sometimes the 1st calls you get from those keen buyers and their agents are the liveliest prospects. It is good to ask your realtor who will be conducting the showings. If they operate a large team is a junior going to be showing your home? Will they know how to romance it properly? Will they be able to answer specific questions and touch on the details that make your home fantastic? Open Houses are also a good source of traffic. On many of my listings I will hold 4 open houses… 1 realtor open house (this timing varies on the area of Vancouver but will be on a weekday from 10am to 12pm), 1 sneak peek evening event (normally on a Thursday early evening), and a pair of public open houses on the weekend. After all the marketing exposure as well as the series of private showings as well as the open houses you are then keen to receive an offer… maybe 2… maybe more!
Offer Presentation & Negotiations & Acceptance:
The offer presentation can be a very different process depending on what is happening in your specific market at any given time. As I write this guide to selling your Vancouver Home the Vancouver condo market is as hot as hot can be. A condo listed at a reasonable price is sure to receive multiple offers, and how that is handled is very different from the “more traditional” single offer. In a multiple offer situation you are reviewing the offers received and comparing them on price, dates, subjects (if any), deposit, included items and a handful of other factors the will help dictate how you will formulate a response… handling this type of situation requires the utmost care and professionalism and you definitely want an experienced Vancouver Realtor in your corner to help. In a multiple offer situation the seller holds all the cards as all of the potential home Buyers know that they must put their best foot forward if they want an opportunity to buy you home. In a single offer situation it generally involves more negotiating as the Buyer will not come to the table with their best offer (even if they say they are). Negotiating the term of the offer is a skillful art. My highest grade and favourite class while attending UBC Commerce was negotiations… I personally love trying to get everything possible for my client using pretty much any means necessary. Once the offer has been negotiated and all parties have agreed and signed off you now have an accepted offer!
Subject Condition Period & Subject Removal:
Once the offer has been accepted the Buyer will have a set amount of time (as negotiated in the offer) to work through their subject conditions. Depending on the type of property & the current market the subject conditions could include, the buyer receiving financing approval, the buyer obtaining a home inspection report, the buyer reviewing strata documents, the buyer scanning for an underground oil storage tank, subject to the buyer selling their current home etc… in some cases their may even be clauses to the sellers benefit for example subject to the seller clearing probate (when dealing with an estate sale). It is important to fully understand what all these subjects mean to you and the possible sale of your property before you agree to them in the previous step of negotiating the offer. If all goes well the Buyer will remove their subject conditions and it most instances this is when the deposit (roughly 5% of the purchase price in most cases) becomes due and is paid to the Buyers agent’s trust account (in most cases). You now have a firm and binding offer and can tell the world your home is sold!
Document Conveyancing & Transfer at Land Title Office:
Once we have the firm and binding contract in place we will hand it off to a lawyer or notary of your choice who will prepare the necessary documents to discharge and pay out any mortgage and transfer ownership from yourself to the Buyer. Other documents to review with the lawyer will include the statement of adjustments, which will break down to the penny the cost born by each party (who owes who for property taxes outstanding? Are the strata fees prorated for my mid month completion? Did I get the tenants damage deposit transferred over to me? And everyone’s favourite… How much Property Transfer Tax do I owe?). The cost of your lawyer or notary will vary slightly based on the complexity and the number of charges on title that need to addressed… for a simple straight forward transaction you can budget roughly $1000 and go up from there. You will need to meet with the lawyer a few business days prior to the completion date (the actual day the home will transfer ownership). On the possession date which occurs after the completion date (sometimes later the same day, sometimes a few days later – very important to understand and negotiate this when the offer is being discussed) you will hand over the keys to your clean and empty Vancouver home and start the next chapter!
This is a very simplistic overview of all things involved, I would be more than happy to discuss any of these points or how I could assist in the sale process! Thanks for taking the time to read this! Plug for my services below…
As the most recommended Vancouver Realtor, I pride myself in providing the highest level of service possible. I would love the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss what your home is worth, and how I can achieve the highest price possible, with the least amount of stress to you!
What sets Pete apart, and makes him one of Vancouver’s Top Real Estate Agents:
Put my proven marketing strategy, education and experience to work for you. Feel free to contact Pete - call, text or email me at anytime 604-220-7490.
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Pete ShpakBCom, Associate Broker
Vuppie Real Estate Team
100 - 856 Homer St Vancouver,
BC V6B 2W5