Many parts of Alberta are experiencing what is known as a buyer's market, which in simple terms means that there are more properties available than there are buyers willing or able to purchase them. A seller in this type of market has their work cut out for them. They are faced with stiff competition and their home's perceived value needs to be at it's maximum if they want to sell within a reasonalble amount of time and for the most money the market will bear. So what can a home seller do to prepare their home for sale and give themselves an edge over the competition?
Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Have your home staged: It's just as it sounds... set the stage for potential buyers. Make it easy for any buyer that walks through your home to envision themselves living there.
2. Consider having a pre-inspection report done, especially if you are the owner of an older home. It can be a useful tool in helping you decide what repairs may need to be done before you sell. It can also minimize delays on closing due to unexpected surprises in the condition of the home. It may be worthy to note that some inspection reports are only valid for the purchaser of the report with respect to warranties and representations.
3. Have all the necessary paperwork ordered or available. In Alberta, the Seller Brokerage Agreement states that "not having a current real property report with compliance may result in complications on closing or rescission of the purchase contract." Other documents you may want to have handy might include your current tax assessment, copies of utility bills, any long term service contracts (for utilities, alarm systems, etc.) and any other documentation that may affect the saleability of your home.
4. Work with your REALTOR® to make your home accessible to potential buyers. You can't sell a secret, so get as many sets of eyes viewing your property as possible. Remove yourself (if possible) and any pets from the home during showings to allow the buyer's to have a "relaxed" view of your home. Encourage your REALTOR® to give you updates along the way of their marketing activities and the ways that they are "getting your home out there" to potential buyers.
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