December 7, 2010
Selling Your Home? Do it the Right Way
There are many reasons to sell a home. Perhaps you need more space for a growing family – or less space because your kids have built their own nests. You may have to relocate for work, or simply feel like a change of environment. Whatever your reason for deciding to sell your home, there are some simple strategies that can help you get the most from your sale. Click through the links below to find out more.
Marketing your home
Now that you are ready to sell your home or condo, you’ll need to start thinking of your property as a product to bring to market.
Do major work in advance. Ask yourself if there are areas in your home that need substantial work to make it sell more quickly and at the best possible price. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s Home Renovation Survey, bathroom and kitchen renovations provide the highest possible payback potential (75% to 100% of the renovation costs) when selling a house, while interior and exterior painting can help you recoup between 50% to 100% of the costs.
You might consider getting a home inspection done as part of your selling strategy. It might set you back about $500, but the inspection can help you spot problems before a potential buyer’s inspector does.
Make your home appealing. First impressions have a huge impact. When potential buyers are coming to look at your home, you’ll want to make it as attractive as possible from the outside and from within. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Mow your lawn; trim your hedges; keep the yard free of clutter
- Clean your windows; paint the doors; replace any outside light bulbs
- Fix leaky faucets; replace light bulbs; do any minor painting or other touch-ups around the home.
- Make your bathroom and kitchen sparkle
- Pull back blinds and drapes in the day; turn on all the lights in the evening.
- Don’t cook fish; avoid cooking with garlic and onions
You get the idea. The trick is to make your home as clean, inviting, and attractive as possible. Did you know? Professional “home staging” services can take care of all the presentation and decorating details for you – a good idea if all this cleaning and organizing sounds like too much work.
Take advantage of an agent’s expertise
A real estate agent can be an invaluable aid in your marketing strategy. An agent will be familiar with the real estate values in your area, and can help ensure your home is seen by the greatest number of potential buyers – using the Web, street signs, word of mouth, and multiple listing services. Agents are also trained and obliged to help you get the best price for your home, and will know the best way to structure negotiations to your advantage. Agents will also know what documents you need to have available to show prospective buyers. For example, condo buyers are likely to request information about taxes, maintenance fees, and condo reserve funds.
Revisit your mortgage needs
Many of us sell one home to move into another, so before you put your house up for sale, take some time to review your mortgage options. You’ve probably gained some knowledge of the kind of mortgage you’re comfortable with, but you’ll also need to consider the cost of the new home, how long you plan on staying there, and the outlook for interest rates. Here are a few options to consider:
Bringing your mortgage with you. Subject to certain conditions (such as the amount of your mortgage), most mortgages are portable – which means that you can take your existing interest rate and mortgage contract to your new home.
Assumable mortgages. With this option, the buyer of your home assumes its mortgage, subject to meeting the financial requirements of your mortgage lender. If you have an attractive mortgage rate, offering an assumable mortgage to prospective buyers can help increase your home’s marketability.
Refinancing. You might want to consider renegotiating your mortgage but before you do, consider any potential costs. If your mortgage is “closed” (that is, you can’t pay it off ahead of schedule), you may face a penalty when you renegotiate. The key is to determine whether the potential interest-rate savings outweigh the penalty. The rough guideline is that refinancing makes sense if the new rate is at least two percentage points below your current rate. Your mortgage specialist can help you crunch the numbers.
Blending your rate. Some mortgage lenders also allow you to “blend” your mortgage rate by taking the average of your existing rate and combining it with the mortgage rate on the additional funds you need.
This article was provided by The Bank of Nova Scotia. For more information on smart borrowing strategies, online tools and calculators to help you find the money for your home, visit the Mortgage Centre today. Previously published on HomeRenovationGuide.com.