There's a lot to consider when deciding to sell. Timing is a major factor in determining the value of your home. Consider factors like how quickly you're hoping to sell, the state of the market, and even seasonal variation. Further, many people aren't prepared mentally for the emotional attachment they may have to their home. This is understandable, but it's something you need to overcome in order to achieve the best return on investment. One of the biggest mistakes people make when selling their home
This is a key step that you should take your time with, as a good agent who is knowledgeable and skilled at negotiation can put thousands in your pocket. Often, people will simply ask friends for referrals or choose whoever's name they see most commonly on billboards. While this may work for some, to ensure a good fit you should go well beyond this. Don't be afraid to do internet research, and conduct interviews. Here's a good link to an Investopedia article with some great questions to ask prospective agents.
Listing agreements are the legal documents that authorize your real estate agent and their brokerage to sell your home. It sets a (renewable) time limit for the relationship. This is where the process begins.
Figuring out the correct asking price for a maximum return is a major point in the selling of your home. It can also be a challenging period for a new real estate agent and client's relationship as people tend to develop emotional attachments to their homes that lead them to feel it is worth more than fair market value. Thus, there is an art and a science to this, and a good agent will bring together cutting edge market data with in-depth knowledge of an area to find a fair asking price.
Clear the clutter, and start seeing your home through the eyes of prospective buyers. Work with your agent to determine the best methods of presenting the property, and consider discussing improvements that can increase your return-on-investment.
Once you've made the changes and your home is looking tip-top, the agent will set to work marketing your home. Depending on the agent, this will mean listing on the MLS, taking photos, placing ads, conducting open houses, and more. See our marketing page for an idea of what kinds of marketing activities you can expect.
Work with your real estate agent, bank or mortgage broker to decide what is going to happen with your mortgage, understand any taxes or other financial factors at play.
Your realtor will walk you through the process of receiving offers, but there is always a some amount of stress involved as you go back and forth between negotiating parties. Work with your realtor to accept, reject, or counter the offers you're receiving. Once you find the best value offer, work with your agent to finalize the deal.
Once the legally binding agreement is drafted and signed, congratulations! You've sold your home. Work with your bank, your real estate agent, and any other parties as necessary to finalize any last actions required of you before they hand you your cheque. It's time to get packin'!