With the property market hotter than most of us have seen in our lifetimes, you are not alone if you’re contemplating taking advantage and cashing in.  

In earlier columns we’ve provided some suggestions about getting your home ready for sale by addressing home maintenance, street appeal and styling. This makes homes look great and your aim is to reduce any negatives, reducing the number of ‘apologies’ made to the absolute minimum. 

All your home improvements should happen before you ever consider letting a real estate agent set foot on your property. Property selling starts from the first time the agent arrives. Ensuring they’re ‘on side’ and focused on seeing all the great attributes of your home means they’ll believe in it and will sell it to prospective buyers.  

There is still a lot of work needed before you go agent shopping, and yes, we are agent shopping, not just going with the one we know or a recommendation from a friend.  

You need to research the market like a fiend, for comparative recent sales as well as the homes you are competing with in the current market. This is a time to be realistic, take off your rose-coloured glasses and understand exactly what your home offers, the good, the bad and the annoying. Even consider building some sort of a chart to measure the pros and cons of your home with comparative homes; land size, home size, rooms offered, view, privacy, position, pretty much everything that lead you to buy your home, even if it was the busy street you’re sitting on that made it affordable. Use the internet or spend time going to open inspections and attending auctions – all in the name of research. 

OK, so now your home’s looking its stunning best, and you are a well-researched property expert in your market, let’s start interviewing agents.  And this really does need to be an interview process, your home is your most valued possession, so we need to put it in good hands. Outside of the agents’ professional credentials you reviewed in building your market knowledge, there are a few other key triggers that need to be considered, are they interested in the property, or just selling themselves to you? 

The real estate agent needs to be professional and needs to be passionate about your home.  If they’re not convincing in their appreciation of your home with you, how will they sell your home to others! Likewise, you need to be working with someone you can establish a strong level of trust. It’s a lot to ask for, but one more thing, we need our representative to also display a bit of ‘killer instinct’ – they’re going to need this to chase down every dollar your home can achieve at sale time.

Now you’ve selected the preferred agent for your property, the next things to establish are an agreement on a price guide based on comparable sales, a marketing strategy, and the agency commission. 

In addition, we recommend you lock in a communication agreement with your agent. Whether it is a weekly update, via phone or email, or even a chat following each inspection, the clearer you both are on your expectations the better the chances are you’ll have a strong and successful working relationship.

Off to market you go, oh and please make sure you have a clear picture on your next property and what you need to achieve from this sale to make it happen – but that’s a whole other story we can talk about later.

June 15, 2022 — Mark McKie

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