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Archive for April, 2014

12 Steps To Get The Highest Price For Your House in Red Deer & Central Alberta

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

12 Steps To Get The Highest Price For Your House in Red Deer & Central Alberta

Step 1: Clearly Know Why You Want To Sell!  Do you want to “get the profit out” of an appreciated home?  Are you moving to a new area or wanting a larger home?  Whatever your reasons, the more you can separate the emotions from the actual goals you need to achieve, the better a position you can be in to evaluate your options and negotiate the best results.  Keep in mind that no matter how much you sell this house for, you’re still going to have to live somewhere.  Make sure that what you can afford to buy after the sale makes the process of selling worth it.  Your Realtor® can help you not only by making you aware of all of the costs involved in selling and the approximate amount of profit you can realistically expect, but also by helping you research the area or home you’re interested in moving to and how much you’ll have to spend on the other end.

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Step 2: Evaluate Your Property!  As objectively as possible, take a walk through and around your house, trying to look at it as a potential buyer would.  Make a list of all the things you would want to change or repair if you were going to remain living here.  You may not wind up doing all of these things, but start taking care of the small and inexpensive repairs and make sure your home is as clean and attractive as possible even before contacting a Realtor® to list your property.  Their first impressions of the general appearance of your home will colour an agents conclusions about how easy or difficult your home will be to sell and about the right price for your home.  By making the Realtor’s® selling job easier, you increase your chances of getting the price you want-or at least close to it.

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Step 3: Understand The Current Real Estate Market in Red Deer & Central Alberta!  As a seller, the asking price you determine for your property must take into account the following criteria: 1. The level of supply and demand in the current local market  2. The condition and features of the house itself  3. Current sales prices of comparable properties in the area  4. The condition and features of the neighbourhood.  You will be in a much better position to make the most of your sale if you at least have a full understanding of all the elements involved.  All of the economic realities that affect your home’s market value are reflected in the prices of recently sold homes.  Your real estate agent can provide you with a complete comparative market analysis showing the listing and sales prices, length of time on the market and features of other homes similar to yours in the area that have sold recently or are currently for sale.

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Step 4:  For Sale By Owner vs. Hiring An Agent!  Many homeowners believe that to get the most money our of their home sale they should sell it themselves, thereby saving the commission they would otherwise pay to a broker.  About 1/4 of home sellers do not use a Realtor® and about 72% of those are happy with the results they achieved.  However, close to half of that 72% also stated that next time they would hire a real estate professional.  Why?  The time, paperwork, research, and hassles involved in getting their home sold on their own were not worth the amount of money they saved in commissions to a broker.  Also, by the time they figured in the amount of fees paid to lawyers, inspectors and appraisers as well as marketing, advertising and other services, they may as well have paid the brokerage’s fees, which may have included some of these charges up front.  Some have discovered that the cost of recovering from a misstep or bad decision more than outweighed the amount they saved in real estate agent fees.  If you still feel you’d like to try to sell on your own, you may want to give yourself a time limit-just as you would give a Realtor® in a listing agreement.  After trying it on your own, if your home hasn’t sold, reevaluate your situation and consider whether you need to pursue other options.  You always have the option to consult with several qualified agents and determine whether their services are worth the price you would pay.  In the vast majority of cases, they are.

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Step 5: Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent!  The best first step is to talk with close friends and relatives who have recently sold a home.  Ask if they had a good experience, would they recommend the agent and if they had any reservations or things they wished the agent had done differently.  Also, talk to professionals in related industries, including lenders, contractors or builders, accountants or lawyers.  Ask what it is they recommend about the agents they refer and if they’ve used the agent’s services themselves.  Finally, look around your neighbourhood to see what agents seem to be listing and selling the most houses.  Take a look at the ads, mailings, brochures, signs and other materials used to promote the houses they sell.  Are they professional?  Do they present an image of an organized, competent professional?  Do they impress you as someone you would be interested in working with?  Keep in mind that if you don’t like the way they market themselves and other people’s homes, you probably won’t like the way they market yours either.

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Step 6:  Get To The Heart Of The Matter!  Ask the agent what they will do to expedite the sale of your home.  A good response is one that is a direct and comprehensive plan of action reflecting your goals and unique situation.  Look for someone who doesn’t rely on the same marketing tool every time.  The key is to find an agent who will use all the tools available to your best advantage.  Communication is key.  Make sure your agent has an in-depth understanding of the entire process and is able to explain it to you clearly and let you know what things, if any, are particularly critical given your individual transaction.  Ask your agent exactly what you can expect from them during the sale in terms of service and communication.  A true professional will provide you with a checklist of exactly what they’ll do for you as well as a systematic method of providing you with frequent updates.  Only with proper up-to-date information can you make the decisions about your sale which will help you realize the most profit.

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Step 7: Be Open To Your Realtor’s® Suggestions For Staging Your Home!  Chances are your real estate agent will make specific suggestions regarding cosmetic and/or major changes in your home’s appearance to make it more attractive to buyers.  This is called staging the home and any good Realtor® will go over this information with you.  Remember not to take things personally-you may love bric-a-brac on every surface and may feel emotionally attached to the many antiques filling each room, but your agent may ask you to pack some of them away so that potential buyers can picture their own furnishings in the rooms.  A competent professional agent will make these type of recommendations based on the experience they have gained through other transactions as well as an earnest desire to help you get the results you need.  Click for a complete list on Interior Home Staging and Exterior Home Staging!

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Step 8: Know What Upgrades Will Bring You The Best Return!  Generally the best investments when preparing your home for sale are those upgrades or modifications that bring you highly visual improvements throughout a large area for a minimum cost, rather than those that concentrate a substantial investment into a small area.  For example, replacing worn carpet throughout the house is in most cases more valuable than a customized closet in the master bedroom.  Remember quality counts,  up to a point.  If the stove is broken or extremely worn replace it with a middle-of-the-line model from a well-known, quality appliance manufacturer rather than the best of the best.  At the same time, making shoddy repairs or using cheap replacements to “get by” may save your initial investment, but won’t get you anywhere in the perceived value of your home.  Ask your real estate agent for a list of suppliers and contractors who may be able to help you with major repairs or services.  Also, anticipate buyer’s questions.  If your home has the potential for major improvements or renovations, find out ahead of time what the feasibility and approximate costs some of the more obvious ones would entail.  This helps buyers realize the long-term value and potential of your home.  Once again your real estate agent may be able to put you in contact with contractors in and around Red Deer who could give you estimates.

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Step 9:  Know How To Tell A Good Offer From A Bad One!  Take a proactive approach to looking at any offer that comes your way.  Review each offer in the following order, Deposit: how much and who has it? Is it sufficient to indicate a serious offer?  Price: How does the amount offered compare to your asking price and your private bottom line?  Down Payment: Cash? If not, why?  Terms: How do these terms affect your profits?  Possession Date: How soon do you have to move out?  Ask questions!  There’s no such thing as a stupid question, particularly when your home and your most important investment are at stake.  Never reject an offer out of hand.  Don’t jump to conclusions if you hear that an offer is substantially lower than your asking price. The terms may make up for it.  Even if you decide you can’t accept a particular offer, it’s almost always best to present a counteroffer.  Some typical conditions are: The buyers will only purchase if and when they sell their present home.  This can be good or bad for you.  The buyers will only purchase if and when they get new financing.  Assuming they are pre-qualified, this can still mean an excellent offer.  The buyers will only purchase if and when Great-Aunt Ethel’s inheritance comes through.  Forget it!  Your goal is to let as few of the buyer’s condition clauses as possible into the agreement and to limit the ones you do allow by time and performance.

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Step 10: Weigh Your Counteroffer Carefully!  You have 3 choices when it comes to any offer presented to you: 1. Accept it as is.  2. Reject it.  3. Reject it and provide a counteroffer.  You cannot accept it and then make changes!!  Any time you reject a buyer’s offer, they have the right to walk away from the deal completely.  Therefore, if an offer is very close to what you want, you may be making a mistake to counteroffer.  You risk losing what may be a sure deal.  The most common areas in which you may wish to counteroffer are price, terms, possession date and conditions.  Remember that any time you make a counteroffer-even in just one area-you reject the buyer’s offer and they may decide to counteroffer by making changes in some other area as well.

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Step 11: Consider How Flexible You Can Be With Terms and Possession Date!  You may agree to their proposed terms, but change the length of the loan or the interest rate.  You may be able to strike a deal that benefits them by giving them lower payments or a lower down, while making you better profits in the long run.  Also, remember that timing isn’t everything.  If the buyer’s plans conflict with yours, consider some alternatives: Change your plans.  Move and rent until you can move into your new home.  Stay and rent from the buyer.  Pay the buyer a bonus to change their plans.  Pay rent for the buyer until you can move out.  Consider how much the  inconvenience is worth to sell your home.  Know when to draw the line though.  If you’ve received an offer, made a counteroffer and haven’t heard back from the buyers.  Is the deal dead?  Maybe not.  You may want to consider another counteroffer.  To avoid looking like you’ll keep coming down if they just wait you out, go out of your way to make it very clear-through the agent, if possible-that you’ll only do this once.

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Step 12: Know What You’re Accepting!  Have your real estate agent, and perhaps your real estate lawyer, go over all the paperwork before you sign it, making sure that you understand and agree with every part.  Avoid problems before they happen.  Make sure your buyer has been approved for financing ahead of time.  Otherwise delays in the loan approval process can extend your closing.  Make sure all necessary inspections are completed by qualified inspectors.  Examine your closing costs.  Unexpected closing costs are one of the easiest ways to eat up the hard-won profit you thought you were making on your home sale.  Congratulations! Now go out and spend it all in one place-your new home!

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Click Home Selling for more information from my website on selling a home or contact me!

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Know What Upgrades Will Bring You The Best Return

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Know What Upgrades Will Bring You The Best Return

Generally the best investments when preparing your home for sale are those upgrades or modifications that bring you HIGHLY VISUAL IMPROVEMENTS THROUGHOUT A LARGE AREA FOR A MINIMUM AMOUT OF MONEY rather than those that concentrate a substantial investment into a small area.
For example. replacing worn carpet throughout the house is in most cases more valuable to a buyer than a customized closet in the master bedroom.
If the stove in your kitchen is broken or extremely worn, replace it with a middle- of- the- line model from a well- known, quality appliance manufacturer, rather than the best of the best.
At the same time, making shoddy repairs or using cheap replacements to ” get by” may save your initial investment, but won’t get you anywhere in the perceived value of your home.
Ask your real estate agent for a list of suppliers and contractors who may be able to help you with major repairs or services. Most Realtors have formed relationships with various vendors who may be able to offer you preferred pricing and exceptional service!!
If you happen to need a recommended vendor in Red Deer or Central Alberta, contact me, I would be happy to help!

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.