Whether you’re thinking about selling, or have just listed – this guide will help you through the process of selling your home. Simply fill out the required fields, hit submit and I will personally email you a copy of this wonderful Home Seller’s Guide.
A good REALTOR® will help you:
prepare your home for sale,
create a marketing plan that will make sure motivated buyers find your listing,
create just the right atmosphere during viewings and open houses,
negotiate the best price with the buyer and, most importantly,
close the deal.
Yes, a good REALTOR® will do all that for you.
You’re ready to sell your home. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve considered selling, or maybe you’ve done this fifty times. Either way, there are numerous things to consider before and after you put your home on the market. This guide will help you get ready for every step of the home-selling process.
My job is to help guide you through all the stresses, up and downs and challenges of selling. I ensure that I have your best interests in mind, and will do my absolute best to exceed all of your expectations.
Sit down, relax and get ready to sell your home!
Getting to Know: Dawn Morgan
I’m Dawn, a licensed Realtor® with Re/Max Professionals!
I have a passion for Real Estate that makes me eager to get started and help others in beginning their next step. I am knowledgeable in many aspects of the market including investing and property management to rural living. I am enthusiastic and committed to selling your home to meet every one of your individual needs. Need to sell quickly? Want top-dollar? Need a long possession? Whatever you need, I can assure you, that I will take care of it.
With a past career in shift work, I understand the need to spend time with your family, other commitments and do more important tasks than searching and negotiating to find a home. I am there to assist with every need and make you a priority.
Being a mother, I understand how valuable time is and how truly incredible it is to have a place to call home. It can be a difficult and lengthy process if you aren’t with the right professional. I have exclusive access to all listings on and off the market and can confidently say that I am extremely dedicated to each and every client. I offer specialized knowledge in all forms of residential real estate.
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I would be more than honoured to be you go-to realtor in Edmonton as it is the place, I personally call Home. I’ll be with you every step of the way, from getting pre-approved, house-viewings, writing up an offer and walking through conditions!
Choosing the right agent
You need to assemble a team of professionals – a group of experienced individuals who will have your back from the time you think about selling your home – your own full-service team. A team that works directly for you and ensures they have your best interests in mind. Starting with your listing agent!
Questions to ask your Realtor
Of course, there are many real estate agents in Alberta. You want to make sure the agent you choose to work with is the one meant for you. Look for an agent who is experienced and knowledgeable in your market, but not so busy that they can’t give you due attention. These are the top three questions to ask your next realtor!
Do they know their stuff?
Dabbling in real estate is not enough. You need an agent who understands value in a home, considers the market surrounding them, and a fantastic negotiator. Having an agent who “knows their stuff” is a huge benefit.
Do you connect with them?
No doubt that you will be spending lots of time with your realtor and ensuring that you connect with them is extremely important. Make sure you are comfortable with them; you can trust them and that your personalities connect.
Have others benefited from working with them?
Like choosing any other employee, you want to ensure that said person has references. Real life recommendations or google reviews are a great place to start. Seeing what that agent has done for others, will ensure you’re making the right decision when choosing who to work with.
Getting Ready to Sell
Once you have made the decision to sell your home, there are multiple documents that you will want to get to have ready for listing. This list provides a basic understanding of things; however, your realtor will explain what exactly you need as each listing and home is different.
Real Property Report
In Alberta, unless the buyer agrees otherwise, the seller must provide a Real Property Report (RPR) with evidence of municipal compliance to the buyer prior to the deal closing. An RPR is a legal document prepared by an Alberta Land Surveyor that shows property boundaries and improvements (structures) relative to the property’s boundaries. This is applicable for all properties.
Condominium Documents: Condominium documents relate to the operation of the condominium corporation. Buyers want to ensure the condominium corporation is financially stable, managed well, and properly maintained. Condominium Documents are relevant for condo’s only.
Condominium documents include but are not limited to:
- corporation bylaws
- reserve fund study
- reserve fund plan
- financial statements (for reserve fund and operating fund)
- board meeting minutes
- annual general meeting minutes
- certificate of insurance
If you don’t have the required documents, contact your condominium management company, or contact someone on the condominium corporation’s Board of Directors.
Things to Consider
Before you list your home for sale, there are things you can do to get ready and think about:
Are you married, and your spouse isn’t on the title? If so, he or she will have to give consent to the sale of the property.
Things like property taxes, Homeowner’s Association Fees, and condo fees will all be adjusted. If you have already paid them, you’ll get reimbursed. If you haven’t, the buyer will take on the burden, but these fees will be reduced from the final total of monies payable to you.
Market conditions affect home prices and dictate who has a stronger negotiating position.
- buyer’s market – where property supply is strong and buyer demand is weak. In a buyer’s market, you’re more likely to hear buyers think they received a good deal.
- seller’s market – where buyer demand is strong and property supply is weak. A buyer in a seller’s market may worry they’re paying too much for a property because they’re competing with other buyers for a limited supply of properties.
- balanced market – where demand from buyers is keeping pace with the supply of properties for sale.
Do you have renters living in the property? If so, familiarize yourself with their rights as tenants. Additionally, think about the terms of your tenant’s lease. If it’s a fixed-term, and you plan to sell the property before the end of the term, you need to provide your tenants with three months’ notice.
If you currently have a mortgage on your property, review the terms. You can bring a portable mortgage to another property, including the rate. An assumable mortgage allows a buyer to take over your existing mortgage including the rate and term. If it’s an assumable mortgage, your lender will likely require the buyer to qualify under the terms and conditions of the existing mortgage before allowing them to assume the mortgage.
If you’re not porting the mortgage to a new property, and your current mortgage term isn’t finished, there will be a mortgage payout penalty. Payout penalties can be substantial. If you pay out your mortgage before finishing the term, ensure you have enough money to cover the payout penalty.
If your property isn’t your primary residence as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency, there could be significant tax implications. Your best bet is to speak with a tax professional or an accountant to find out what effect the sale will have on your tax situation. Canadians must report the sale of their principal residence on their income taxes.
Determine if you have any current contracts for home-related services, for example a home alarm system or rented hot water heater. For each contract, you need to think about the effect the contract will have on potential buyers. Can they assume your contract? Is the contract transferable in the event you buy and move to a new place?
Attached and Unattached Goods
Attached goods are items you cannot remove from the property without causing damage or that are physically attached to the property via pipes, screws, bolts, or nails. Attached goods stay with the property unless there is a specific exclusion in the listing agreement or in a buyer’s offer to purchase. These include: garburator, water softener, kitchen cabinets, built-in appliances, central vacuum system, garage door opener.
Unattached goods are movable items. Sellers usually take unattached goods from the property before the buyer takes possession. These include: wall art, area rugs, drapes hooked on curtain rods, attachments for central vacuum system, remotes for a garage door opener, movable kitchen island.
Attached goods are typically included with the property while unattached goods are not. If a buyer wants an unattached good included in the purchase of the property, such as the garage door opener or the attachments for the central vacuum system, they need to list it as an inclusion in their offer to purchase. As the seller, you would have to agree to such an inclusion as part of your acceptance of their offer. If you plan to take the unattached good, you need to put that in a counter offer to the buyer.
When would you prefer someone take possession of your home? Will you be searching for a new home or do you have a backup plan? You can list a specific preferred possession date or you can indicate it is negotiable. It’s up to you if you are willing to negotiate the possession date.
Material Latent Defects
Material latent defects are defects a person cannot discover with reasonable care during an inspection. They include defects that:
- make a property dangerous or potentially dangerous
- make a property unfit to live in
- make a property unfit for the buyer’s purpose (if the buyer has told their industry member or the seller’s industry member the purpose)
By law, sellers, and their real estate representatives, must disclose known material latent defects to potential buyers.
Material latent defects may include:
- the seller has finished the basement of their house and in the process covered the large crack in the basement wall that affects the structure
- the seller has finished the basement of their house, or built an addition or a garage, without the appropriate permits
- the seller knows that whenever it rains, water enters the house
Receiving and Considering Offers
When receiving an offer, your realtor will go over the Offer to Purchase with you, within this contract, there are numerous terms and conditions to take into account in addition to the purchase price. These are some of the more common terms and conditions, however anything is possible when it comes to a Purchase Contract.
Inclusions and Exclusions
Expiry of Offer
Sale of Buyer’s House
Condominium Document Review
(once conditions are removed)
You and your realtor will sit down together and go over each of the terms and conditions included in the Offer to Purchase. If you, the seller, agree on each term then you can accept it, otherwise you can enter into negotiations. Typically, one would negotiate on the price, as you want to get the highest possible price for your home.
It’s also your decision how to proceed in the event of multiple offers. A multiple offer situation is when multiple buyers submit an Offer to Purchase on the same property, at the same time. As the seller, you determine the process to follow, including whether you want to disclose the multiple offer situation to potential buyers, and whether you want to disclose the terms and conditions of offers you receive to the other potential buyers.
Your real estate professional should:
- immediately tell you of the multiple offer situation
- explain the choices you have and strategies available for offer presentation
- recommend you look at each offer before making a decision
- advise you of the buyers’ options and indicate that buyers may, and often do, remove their offer in a multiple offer situation
- inform you it is your choice whether to disclose the multiple offer situation to the buyers
- NOT disclose a multiple offer situation without your consent
- follow your lawful instructions
- try to present all offers in the same time frame
- continue to present all offers to you up to the expiry of a previous offer or to the end of the seller representation agreement
If you disclose the multiple offer situation to buyers, they will have to decide whether to:
- increase their offer prior to presentation
- leave their offer as it is
- withdraw their offer
- reconsider the terms, conditions, inclusions/exclusions of their offer
Preparing for Possession
Once the buyer waives their conditions, congratulations!
You sold your home and now it’s a matter of waiting for possession day.
You need to hire a real estate lawyer to finalize the transaction. Your realtor will recommend a great lawyer to use, or you can use your own choice. Your real estate professional and your mortgage lender will need the name of your lawyer because they will provide some of the needed documents directly to your lawyer.
At some point, likely just a few days before possession, you will need to meet with your lawyer.
Your lawyer will go over all of the legal documents with you, will discuss title transfer, closing costs and disbursements, mortgage payout (if applicable), and will have you sign the documents to transfer the property’s title to the buyer after they advance the purchase funds. You’ll need to bring photo ID to your meeting with your lawyer. Some lawyers require two pieces of identification – this could include a passport, driver’s licence and/or credit card. Ask your lawyer specifically what forms of ID they accept.
After meeting with your lawyer and signing the documentation, it’s really just a matter of waiting for the possession date. During the waiting period, you can:
- arrange for your mail to be forwarded to your new address through Canada Post
- arrange for your utilities to be disconnected (electricity, gas, cable, etc.)
- hire a moving company (if using)
While waiting for possession day, your responsibilities as a homeowner continue. You need to continue maintaining the home, cutting the grass, shoveling the sidewalks, and do not stop your home insurance coverage. As the seller, you are responsible for insuring the property until possession day. Even if you vacate the property prior to the buyer taking possession, you need to continue your insurance coverage. If you will not be living in the home during some of this time, speak with your insurance company.
Typically, possession occurs – and the buyer will get the keys – around noon on possession day. If the buyer included a pre-possession inspection as a term in their Offer to Purchase, your real estate professional will arrange that with the buyer’s real estate professional.
Attached goods and any inclusions should still be in place, and appliances should be in the same working order as when the buyer made their offer.
In terms of cleanliness, the buyer expects the property to be in similar condition as when they viewed it before submitting their offer. While you are not required to clean the property to a certain standard, you should take reasonable efforts to ensure the property is clean and any new damages are repaired.
You have now successfully sold your home.
It’s a good thing to remember that not every transaction is the same, and that your realtor will personalize each and every selling experience to your wants and needs.
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