Are you looking to sell your home in Calgary, Canada? Many home sellers believe that your local Calgary realtor will handle everything and that all they need to do is sign the papers. This is not correct! As the homeowner, you play a vital role in preparing your home for the market, determining your asking price, striking the deal, and handing over the role of ownership.
It’s also important to know that everything from Realtor fees to closing costs will vary by market. Even if you’ve sold a home in Canada before, the process may be different if you’ve moved to a different province.
Below is an overview of the home selling process in Canada to help you make informed decisions at every stage and get the best possible outcome for your efforts.
Step #1 – Estimate your home value and cost of selling your home
When you’re selling a home in Canada, all you may be thinking about is making money. But before you decide to sell, you should also consider what it will cost you. The cost of selling a home can catch homeowners by surprise. A portion of your earnings will be spent on real estate agent commissions, along with an appraisal (about $400), repairs to the home, closing costs (about $500-$1,500 for sellers), moving expenses, and staging fees.
You may also face a mortgage prepayment penalty or discharge fee between $200 and $600 for paying off your mortgage early. You will need to check with your lender to see if this fee applies.
For some buyers, the cost of waiting is another thing to consider. For each month you wait to sell your home, you’re paying another month of mortgage, interest, homeowner’s insurance, and maintenance. If you’re hoping to reduce your living expenses and liability, listing your home as soon as possible may alleviate these costs.
The goal is to calculate what selling your home will cost you so you can set realistic expectations when turning a profit. Simply listing your home for more than you purchased it for doesn’t guarantee an automatic profit. You’ll need to consider how much you’re spending to determine how much you can list it for so you can do better than break even. You should also estimate your home value to understand what your home is worth.
Step #2 – Choose how to sell your home
When selling your home in Canada, you have three main options: choose from hundreds of Realtors, sell your home yourself, or sell directly with an i-buyer.
Home sellers might be surprised to know that not all Realtors are created equal. Not only do Realtors vary in skill in the industry; they also vary in commissions. Agent fees in Canada range from 3% to 7%, which has a major impact on how much of your home sale you walk away with.
For example, the average home value in Canada is $455,000, which means you could be paying between $13,650 and $31,850 in agent commissions alone. That’s a major difference that can quickly eat away your profits, so it’s essential to choose an agent that gives you the best value but also provides adequate service for the price you pay.
In hot markets, some homeowners skip the real estate agent commission altogether in favor of a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) approach. This means that instead of losing some of your profit to an agent, you take on their responsibilities yourself. However, homeowners don’t save as much as they expect because they still need to pay the buyer’s agent fee and the MLS listing fee. It’s also recommended to get a professional appraisal to set your listing price.
Make sure you weigh your options to see if you’re better off doing all the work yourself to save a little money vs. paying an agent to bear much of the home sale process and give you less responsibility in the process.
If you’re looking for a mostly hands-free approach that also gives you the best value, an i-buyer might make the most sense. You get a guaranteed offer on your home, no matter its condition, and don’t have to pay hefty real estate commissions.
Step #3 – Prepare Your Property for Sale
If you want to attract buyers the traditional way, you’ll need a standout listing that not only talks about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms but also sells the vision of what it’s like to live in your home. Aside from home features like big closets and square footage, talk about how close you are to area amenities. Mention if you’ve just repainted or added new appliances.
Use our guide on how to write a standout MLS listing that will earn buyers’ attention or skip the listing and hassles of home preparation altogether if you choose to use an i-buyer.
Most homes in Canada are not in sell-ready condition, which means you’ll spend time and money fixing up the home for potential buyers.
It’s difficult to estimate exactly how expensive this step is because repairs and maintenance can vary. Here’s a look at what some of the most common tasks will cost:
The most valuable repairs are increasing energy efficiency (recoups about 60% of your investment), adding a kitchen island or whirlpool bathtub (earns about 65% of your investment), and replacing the roof (ROI ranges from 50% to 80%). Your real estate agent can help you figure out which upgrades are the most worthwhile in your market.
If you decide to use an i-buyer, you won’t need to spend any money on repairs or staging. I-buyers purchase homes as-is, which can significantly shorten your sales timeline and expenses and increase your profits.
Step #4 – Add Appeal, Inside and Out
Curb appeal makes a strong first impression. Boosting your home’s exterior with bright flowers, a new mailbox, or freshly washed walkways can set a positive tone for what the buyer will find inside.
You may also want to do a little home staging to make your home more attractive to buyers. Home staging goes beyond cleaning and painting to make your home stand out from others. Some people even go as far as renting art or furniture to create the right look. This can cost hundreds of dollars per room, so make sure you weigh the benefits carefully.
I-buyers don’t care about curb appeal or home staging. If you’re using an i-buyer service, you can skip these expenses and hassles altogether.
Step #5 – The Offer Process
The average time a home will stay on the market before going under contract will vary between markets. There’s also the possibility that your home will remain unsold, especially given Canada’s real estate market downturn at the end of 2018.
If you receive an offer on your home, you can either accept the offer as-is, decline it, or make a counteroffer. The negotiation process is a tricky scenario as each party wants to walk away a winner in the deal.
Once both parties have reached an agreement, the offer is documented as a formal contract, and the closing process begins.
Step #6 – Prepare for the Final Transaction
While most of the tasks associated with closing are the buyer’s responsibility, homeowners also have work to do. Before the final closing date, you’ll need to locate important home documents, make repairs stipulated in the purchase agreement, and create the official disclosure statements.
The seller is obligated by law to disclose any known latent defects in the home, such as mold infestations or other dangers. Under certain conditions, you may be required to disclose if the property has been the site of a marijuana grow operation or if there’s a stigma related to the property (e.g., a murder occurred on-site).
Alternative: Sell Your House in Canada Directly
Selling your home is a long, strenuous journey filled with surprises and speed bumps at every stage. Knowing what to expect at the various stages of the process can help simplify your experience, but it doesn’t guarantee you will sell your home within your desired timeline or get a fair price for your home.
Properly takes a different approach to Canada home sales. Rather than spending time and money making repairs, getting your home ready to sell, and scheduling showings, Properly gives you a fair offer on your home within 48 hours. You get to skip the stress of wondering when or if you will sell your home and feel confident that you can close the deal on your schedule.
, The experienced homeowners who have bought and sold their homes before, know by their own experience that a well kept home always shows from other homes that are not well kept. More over a well kept and maintained home for sale also sells for higher than the one which owners put on the market after living years in it and just barely taking care of the necessities.
Buyers when shopping for their next home, visit and see a number of homes for sale in the area they want to buy before they like something and want to make an offer on the home to buy. First, a well kept and cared house or apartment truly shows, more over the buyers know what to look for in the homes for sale that reflects good value or major pitfalls e.g. electrical or structural issues. Therefore, I’d never suggest ignoring those before putting it on the market, it just doesn’t work out in most cases or comes out in the inspection. Worse even if someone likes the house you are likely to give more price discount to factor those than if you just took time to fix them yourself!
Once you have taken care of the essentials, evaluate your property in terms of what areas may benefit by a minor repairs or upgrade. Based on the recent statistics the following repairs and upgrades bring in more value to your home for sale;
1. Kitchen Remodel Works:
Most homeowners spend more time evaluating kitchen than any other part of the home when they are looking for a home to buy. Therefore, it is important that if you have an outdated kitchen or if it requires some repair anyway, you may want to invest wisely in a minor kitchen remodel or upgrade. A kitchen update for your home for sale covering 25-30 feet of re-facing for cabinets and drawers, sink and fixtures, laminate counter tops, a new wall oven, cook top and resilient flooring will set you back by about $14000–15000. However, you would be surprised that on an average such a project can fetch you about 25% more at the time of the home sale.
2. Do A Bathroom Upgrade:
After Kitchen, bathroom is the next space in the home that people like to critically scrutinize when they are looking to buy a home. Depending on your taste a minor bath remodel can come at anywhere between $4500-$9000 but most of this investment you can recoup at the time of home sale. In the above budget you can get a new modern shower, a fancy bath tub, updated lighting, flooring and his and her sink with cabinets.
If you are short on budget but are handy, you can use some of your elbow grease to reduce your bill. Somethings that most couples can do towards this are; getting rid of the old caulk and re-caulking your tub, re glazing your old tub for a newer look; applying fresh paint and re-tiling the walls and adding new curtains and replacing older sink and taps with a newer ones.
3. Add Curb Appeal with Landscaping:
Most homes get sold between April-Jun than any other time in the year. A strategic landscaping project will not only make your home more inviting with great curb appeal but would also help bring in more buyers for your home for sale and offers at higher price. With regards to the budget; Most landscaping projects would entail a cost of $4500 -$5500 . This would include the designer fees and supplies.
It would cover a splash of color at the front of the house with plants and shrubs, for most impact vary the height of plants. Replace overgrown shrubbery with flowering foundation plants, mixing heights and colors for dramatic effect. A charming focal point like a walkway and fountain adds major value to your property.
“Landscaping is probably the easiest and most affordable way to increase your home value” says Joanna Kopacz from CIR Realty in Calgary. Blooming flowers or plants and neatly trimmed lawns in your front and back yard make a house very attractive. A charming focal point like a walkway and fountain adds major value to your property.
4. Make Your Home Bigger
"The total square footage of your home has a big impact on market value" says Joanna Kopacz from CIR Realty who is based in Calgary. Price per square foot is one way most realtors help clients compare homes that have similar features. style and upgrades. Not surprising, bigger homes on sale tend to command higher market values. Adding a room is the obvious way to make your house bigger, but you can also create additional living space by finishing the unfinished basement or building a deck.
3 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster
There is always something beyond superficial look of the house and more instinctive that makes them go for it. Make sure a proper home staging is done in advance so your home appeals to the maximum number of potential buyers looking for a similar home for sale. To bring the feeling of a home to your open house visitors you may like to use one or more of the followings winning tactics that ensure you get the best offers and top dollars on your homes;
1. Stage your home:
An empty house may provide a clean slate to the home buyers to be creative and imagine how they can use the space for their own personal use, especially if neutral colors have been used through out. However, it is also on the downside makes it harder for them to visualize the true potential and possibilities that the house and space therein presents. That’s where the professional staging comes in the picture! Therefore, a house staged professionally not only presents it to the buyers in most professional way, but it also can help you sell home faster! It’s an investment worth considering if you are in the market for selling a mid or high value home!
Just on a cautionary note from Joanna; You don’t have to be in the home during the staging. However if you decide to be in the open house, make sure not to volunteer unnecessary information about your home for sale to the home buyers; such as why you are selling the home. As it may work against you at the negotiation stage. Also make sure your realtor is available during the whole open house duration.
2. Bake Cookies:
This is a outright winner and is used by so many top notch realtors in their open houses. The aroma and smell of fresh baked cookies is totally irresistible to visiting couples and if they have kids they just love the experience and start imagining their future in your home for sale
3. Play Music:
This is another great way to welcome the visitors in to your home for sale, especially if it’s a bright warm spring or summer day people are greeted with soft playing music with a bright light falling from the open windows leaves visitors feeling a sense of home they would love to settle in!
Are you are in the market and have a home for sale in the communities below, get a no obligation free home evaluation of your home's current market value from Joanna Kopacz from CIR Realty in Calgary.
Richmond homes for sale; Hamptons houses for sale, Patterson homes for sale, Strathcona houses for sale, or Homes for sale Capitol Hill
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