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Man standing in front of his house with a sold DuProprio sign Man standing in front of his house with a sold DuProprio sign

4 steps to sell your home

Published on September 11, 2019

Changing jobs? Expecting an addition to the family? Kids leaving the nest? It may be time to sell the house and start a new chapter!

Since real estate transactions don’t happen that often in our lives, they can be scary. But in fact, the process is pretty simple, especially if you have support from the right professionals. Here’s how it’s done, in 4 easy steps.

Contents:

Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to put your property up for sale! That was the hardest part, but now, you’ll need a good measure of organization and motivation to make the most of this project. Make sure to give yourself enough time for each step.

4 steps to sell your home

1. Prepare the property for sale

It’s essential to show your home in its best light to attract potential buyers. It should be clean, welcoming and in good condition. Don’t just focus on the interior but take the outside appearance into consideration too. Remember that visitors form their first impression as soon as they arrive, in a matter of seconds. The following tips can help your house sell faster.

Small jobs that pay off in a big way

Unless your property needs major renovations, our advice is to focus on small but impactful jobs, like sprucing up walls with neutral paint, fixing holes or even just oiling squeaky hinges. Basically, you want to eliminate irritants.

But don’t make the mistake of doing too much. For instance, renovating a perfectly functional bathroom could cost you a lot of money that you might not end up recouping.

If you’re not sure about the condition of your home, you might consider having a professional pre-sale inspection. As a homeowner, this can prevent surprises at the buyer’s inspection that could force you to lower your price or negotiate.

Spring cleaning

Showcasing your home isn’t very complicated. It begins with a thorough cleaning. An orderly home inspires trust and seems more spacious. Sort and put away items to declutter every room. Wash everything, floor to ceiling, including windows and mirrors. Get the taps, tiles and bathtub gleaming. And get to work on the storage areas, including closets, because you can bet that visitors will open them.

Then, go outside and inspect everything. “To show your home at its best, spend time on outdoor maintenance and order, including mowing the lawn in summer and clearing entrances of snow in winter,” advises Martin Desfossés, real estate coach at DuProprio. “The outside is the first thing potential buyers see when they come knocking at the door for a home visit.”

While you’re cleaning everything, be sure to depersonalize. Remove highly personal objects like family photos or religious symbols. Aim for a neutral decor. Your goal is to make it easy for the future owners to imagine living in the space.

Focus on the ambience

The final step in the preparations is to make your home welcoming, both for the photo session and home visits. Apply the principles of home staging to highlight the features of the different rooms of the home. You may be surprised what you can achieve just by changing the position of the furniture and adding a few tasteful decorative touches.

To create a pleasant atmosphere, use natural or relaxing lighting. Avoid strong odours and be sure to air everything out before visitors arrive.

Get more advice to prepare your home before selling.

Your top allies: the real estate coaches and photographers at DuProprio.

kitchen home staging

2. Set the right price

How much is your place worth? It’s a good question and one every homeowner asks. To find the answer and accurately set the asking price for your property, you can’t trust your gut or rely on the numbers in the latest municipal assessment.

The price you ask must be justified and competitive enough to attract attention. To find it, you have to determine the fair market value of the home. This is the most accurate way to target the price you could get on the date of the evaluation. This estimate is highly specific and applies only to your property. It takes into account all of its characteristics, including the building itself, the lot, the neighbourhood, the area, as well as the state of the market.

Analyzing comparable properties

To estimate the market value of your residential real estate, the most reliable and commonly used method is the analysis of comparables. It determines the price of your home based on recent sales in your neighbourhood, by comparing your property to others with similar characteristics.

It’s important to remember that value fluctuates over time and is influenced by supply and demand. An evaluation done last year is no longer valid now, so don’t rely on that to set your price. For professional and thorough service, get support from the team of appraisers at DuProprio1 or hire an independent certified appraiser. They are impartial and objective and will tell you the truth about your property.

It’s often said that selling at the right price is the key to a successful transaction. That’s because, as the seller, you want to recover as much money as possible. But if your price is too high, buyers won’t be interested, and then the property could end up staying on the market too long and needing to be priced down.

It’s also critical to take into account every detail of your home. Any information that’s purposely withheld or hidden could come back to bite you. Be transparent, notably when filling out your Declaration of the Seller.

Your top allies: DuProprio’s Appraiser+ tool1 and certified appraisers. Members of the Ordre des évaluateurs agréés du Québec are in the best position to support you during this step. They have no stake in the transaction, unlike real estate brokers.

Magnifying glass over a miniature house

3. Market efficiently

Now that your price is set and the property’s ready for sale, you have to focus on marketing it. Not only must you let potential buyers know that your property is for sale, you also want to grab their attention. Multiply the points of contact with them to increase your chances of finding your buyer. Putting a sign on your lot, organizing open houses and taking the internet by storm are some of the techniques suggested by DuProprio’s real estate coaches to get the most visibility possible.

How to stand out online

  • Write a compelling real estate listing by following our 5 top tips
  • Use recent professional photos
  • Post your listing on a platform with a lot of reach, like DuProprio.com
  • Share your listing on your social networks and encourage your friends to do the same
  • Adapt the content to the channel (short vs. long copy, lighthearted vs. serious tone)
  • Share your listing with target groups (e.g. sharing a listing for a single-family home on a neighbourhood parenting group page)
  • And finally, talk to the people around you!

To stand out among hundreds of other real estate listings, you need a clear strategy and, sometimes, a dash of daring and creativity. For instance, if your home has special features, it might be of interest for a local news story. There are as many ways to go about it as there are homes!

Remember that, as the contact person, you must be available during the marketing stage. How efficient you are at responding will have an impact on the selling process. Professional services can also make a difference.

Your top allies: the real estate advisors and coaches at DuProprio.

4. Close the sale

Has a visitor fallen head-over-heels for your home and made an offer? It’s time to reach an agreement on the selling price. Don’t view negotiation as confrontation; instead approach it like a discussion that will lead to a middle ground. It’s helpful to have on hand the documents you used to set your asking price, so you can justify it.

Then, fill out the Offer to Purchase form. Once the conditions are met, you can make an appointment with a notary to sign the deed of sale. Then you can start packing boxes... and pop open the champagne! 

Couple drinking champagne near moving boxes

Your top allies: DuProprio’s team of notaries1 to advise you, and a notary in private practice (selected by the buyer) to finalize the transaction.

To get the best advice to sell your real estate yourself, you can depend on the DuProprio team. Schedule a free consultation!

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