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Selling A Calgary Home or Condo
VOSTNER-BELL
REALTY TEAM
The first step to selling your home or land is a Free Calgary Home Market Evaluation. This will help you find your property's current market value and a suggested listing price.
The Basics: 8 Tips For Selling Your Home Fast


Putting your house on the market and watching it sit unsold can be a wrenching experience. Here are some expert suggestions for ensuring a quick sale.

By Jenny McCune, www.Bankrate.com

As the home-sales season goes in to high gear, you may feel extra pressure to sell your house in a hurry. Here are some ways to set a winning pace in the home-sale race.

# Hire a top-notch sales agent. "You need a good agent, an agent who knows your neighborhood" says Julie Greenwood, co-owner of Greenwood King Properties.

# Price it right. The No. 1 thing that will sell a house quickly is price. "That's the name of the game," says Tom Innes, president of Re/Max Commonwealth. "If you price it right, it will sell. If you price it wrong, it won't sell."

OK, so just how do you play the home-sale version of "The Price is Right"? That crackerjack agent you hired should have a good sense of what price will help sell your home sooner rather than later. As the owner, your objectivity is diminished, so give your agent free rein, within reason, to suggest a list price. The agent will look at the average days a home in your neighborhood is on the market, how your home compares to others in the area and its condition.



# Create an adjustable sales plan. Come up with a sales strategy, but make sure it's flexible. What's your initial asking price? How long will you insist on it before making a reduction? How much of a cut will you accept? What about after that? Having a plan in place will help you react quickly, according to Greenwood, and will move your home that much more quickly.

# Clear out the clutter. "Get the clutter out of it," says Stephen Roulac, author of the forthcoming "360 Housing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them." It will make your home more inviting to buyers. "After you thought you got out the clutter, take out more. Get it spare, open and fresh.".

# Don't get distracted. What about those "cash for homes" ads you see on matchbook covers, billboards and late-night TV? Agents say houses sold this way are heavily discounted. You will sell your property quickly, but it will go cheap, probably at a price that really won't make you happy. "If it's too good of an offer to be true, it is too good of an offer," says Re/Max's Innes.

# Ask for company help. If you're relocating because of a job change or company transfer, you may be eligible for home-sale help from your employer or a relocation company representing your employer. "Generally speaking, these buyouts are fair," says Todd Thornton, a real estate instructor, consultant and author of "Home Buying Without the BS."

"An appraiser would appraise the property, and the buyout would be for the suggested fair market value less a sales fee," he explains. "The company would then put the home on the market with a local real estate professional."

While that's a great deal for the home sellers, Thornton notes that many companies are scaling back on their relocation packages, so it may not be an option.

# Rent it. If time runs out and you've got to get out of Dodge without selling your home, consider renting it. Just be sure to strike a deal with the renters so your home will be available for showing. For example, if a home such as yours normally rents for $1,000 a month, offer a discount (say $750) in exchange for the renters making the house accessible for showings to potential buyers.

The downside of renting a house that you're trying to sell is that its condition probably won't be as pristine as you or buyers would like. One way around this problem, says Innes, is to rent with an option to buy. "Let people move in six months and pay rent and then close," he says.
Our unique approach to marketing, combined with our competitive commissions that can save you thousands and our friendly, honest service makes us one of the most recommended and referred real estate groups in Calgary and Southern Alberta.

When the Vostner-Bell team has been chosen to market and sell a home, condominium or property, listings have sold for close to 99% of the list price*, compared to an average associate's listing that sells for 96% of the list price. On every $100,000 of your home price, that’s a difference of $3,000! On a $300,000 home, that’s a difference of $9,000. On a $1,000,000 property, that's a difference of $30,000. We do better for you than the "average associate" and the so-called “discount Realtors.”
*market conditions and other variables can affect final sale price
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Thinking of Selling On Your Own? The Facts:

84% of people who try to sell their property on their own or through an Internet based service eventually choose the services of a real estate professional to sell their listing
(source: NAR)

80% of all "For Sale By Owner" buyers and sellers surveyed indicated they would hire a real estate professional for their next transaction to eliminate problems experienced
(source: Inman News 2006)

One of the most over-looked things while marketing a house for FSBO is safety and FSBO sellers should also be aware of this. You would never want that a burglar fakes himself as a prospective buyer and robs you off when you let him enter your property to display.
(source: FSBO Canada 2007)
The following is courtesy of Canada Mortgage And Housing Corporation
www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca


Getting Your House Ready to Sell

When getting your home ready to sell, you need to look at your house in a new way. Think of your house as a product about to go on the market where it is probably competing with brand new housing. It needs to show well – which means clutter-free and well kept.

Today’s homebuyers lead busy lives and may not be interested in taking on major repairs or improvements upon moving in. You need to make your house a “10”. This document will help you spot what is right and what is not so good about your product. It will give you the opportunity to take corrective action to ensure your house looks fresh, clean and well maintained when the “for sale” sign goes up.
Fix It First

If you need to make improvements to your home, do the work before it goes on the market. Potential buyers are not interested in hearing about your good intentions to look after defects before a transfer of ownership takes place. Even if fix-up work is underway, buyers may not be able to visualize what your home will look like when the work is finished. They will just remember it being in a state of disrepair.
Professional Inspection, Yes or No?

A serious buyer may want to have a professional home inspector check your house from top to bottom before making an offer. Even though this guide will help you identify problems on your own, the option of hiring a professional home inspector is open to you, as well. If you can afford it, an inspection in advance of putting your home on the market is a good idea. It is your best way of finding and taking care of serious deficiencies before an inspector hired by a potential buyer discovers them.
Homeowner’s Inspection Checklist

This practical, easy-to-follow guide for homeowners will help you identify common house problems and deal with them. In it, you will find illustrated how-to tips offering effective solutions for every room of your house. Use the ordering instructions on the back page of this fact sheet.
Let’s Begin Outside

Check Your House’s Curb Appeal

  • How does your house look from the street? That is where prospective buyers will be when they first see your home; and, that is where they will form that all-important first impression. Stand at the curb in front of your house and note what you see.
  • Remove any clutter in your yard.
  • Repair cracked or uneven driveway or walkway surfaces.
  • If your lawn has bald spots, apply some top dressing and re-seed. Prune trees and shrubs of dead wood. Weed and mulch flower beds, if you have them. If it is the right time of year, consider buying some flower-filled planters to enhance the eye appeal of your property. Make sure your lawn is mowed regularly. Ensure that the composter area is tidy.
  • Are your windows and walls clean?
  • Does your front door need paint?
  • Ensure your eaves and downspouts are clear of debris and in good repair.
  • Are your backyard deck and walkways clean? If not, use a power washer and do any necessary painting, staining or sealing.
  • If you have a swimming pool, are the deck and pool clean (when in season)?
  • Do all outside lights work? Replace any burned out bulbs, and clean fixtures of dirt and cobwebs.
  • Is there a shed? Does it look presentable?
  • Do windows and exterior doors need recaulking? Even at 6-7 years of age, the caulking may be dried out and in need of replacement.
  • Do you have decorative wooden poles on the porch? Is the wood at the bottom in good condition and overall does it need a new coat of paint?
  • If you have a gate, is it well oiled?

When you have completed the curb appeal inspection, carefully check the rest of your home’s exterior.

Will your roof and chimney pass inspection?

  • If you are uneasy about climbing onto your roof, you can inspect most items from the ground using binoculars. Otherwise, be careful when working or moving about on your roof. Unless roof repair is a simple matter of applying new caulking, you will probably need the services of a professional.
  • Check the general condition of your roof. Sagging sections, curled shingles, pooled water on flat roofs and corrosion on metal roofing mean it is time for repair or replacement.
  • Both masonry and metal chimneys need to be straight and structurally sound, have proper capping on top and watertight flashing where they penetrate the roof.
  • All roofs undergo stress from snow and rain loads so it is possible a truss or rafter may become damaged, resulting in a noticeable small depression. A professional should do this inexpensive repair.


Examine Your Walls

  • The condition of your exterior walls directly affects the look and curb appeal of your home.
  • Replace old caulking.You may have to cut or scrape away old caulking to get a good seal. Do not seal drainage or ventilation gaps.
  • Is your exterior paint looking good? If you see faded colours and cracked or peeling surfaces, you need to repaint. Be sure to get competitive bids if you hire professional painters.
  • You can clean vinyl siding but defects or damage to it and to metal siding usually means replacement.
  • Stucco can be repaired but some skill is required to blend patches with existing stucco.

Now, Let’s Go Indoors

A prospective buyer will usually enter through your front door; so, that is where you should begin your interior inspection.You want your buyer to see a neat, clean, well-lit interior. Get clutter out of sight; ensure that carpets are clean and floors are scrubbed and polished; and that walls and trim show fresh paint (preferably neutral or light colours).

Take a sniff. Are there any unpleasant odours in your home? If so, track them down and eliminate them. Ensure all your lights work and are free of cobwebs.You want your home to look spacious, bright and fresh.

If you have considerable family memorabilia about, consider thinning it out.Your objective is to help potential buyers feel as if they could live in your home. That mental leap becomes more difficult for them if your house resembles a shrine to you and your family.

Professional realtors and decorators say the most important areas of your home to upgrade and modernize are the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers also want to see new or recently installed floor coverings throughout.

General Interior
  • Check stairs for loose boards, ripped carpeting, and missing or loose handrails and guards.
  • Most problems with interior walls are cosmetic and can be repaired with spackling compound and paint.
  • Ensure doors open and shut properly. Minor sticking is normal but excessive binding indicates possible structural problems.
  • Open and close all windows to ensure they work properly. Fogging between the panes of a sealed window indicates the seal is broken and the unit needs to be replaced.


Living Room, Halls, Family Room, Den, Bedrooms

Keep furniture to a minimum so these rooms do not appear smaller than they are. Ensure that traffic can flow in or through these rooms unimpeded. If they contain bookshelves or cabinets overflowing with books, magazines and knick-knacks, remove some of these items. Ensure bedroom closets look spacious, organized and uncluttered. Create space by getting rid of old clothes and junk. Remember to remove or lock away valuables such as jewellery, coins, currency, cameras and compact discs.

Kitchens and Bathrooms
  • People splash water around in the kitchen and bathrooms so check around sinks, tubs and toilets for rotting countertops and floors. Problems could be due to poor caulking or plumbing leaks. Fogged windows, molds and sweating toilet tanks indicate high humidity levels, which you can remedy with exhaust fans.
  • In the kitchen, clean all appliances, including your oven. Clean or replace your greasy stove hood filter. Clean your cabinets inside and out, as well as your countertops and backsplashes. Repair dripping faucets.
  • Remove anything stored on top of your fridge and remove artwork and magnets.
  • Remove any items stored on countertops.
  • Remove items stored under the sink.
  • In bathrooms, scrub sinks, tubs and toilets taking care to remove any rust stains. Remove mildew from showers and bathtubs. Fix dripping faucets or trickling toilets, and vacuum your fan grill.
  • Clean mirrors, light switch plates and cupboard handles.
  • Consider installing new 6-litre toilets if you currently have water-guzzlers.
  • If you have ceramic tile in either your kitchen or bathroom, ensure grouting is intact and clean.


Basement

The condition of the foundation and main structural members in the basement are critical to the fitness of any house. The purpose of your inspection is to make sure these are sound and durable. Look for cracks, water seepage, efflorescence (white powder-like substance), crumbling mortar or concrete and rotting wood. If any of these problems are present, you need to do further research to learn about causes and possible solutions.

In general, if your basement is damp or musty, consider a dehumidifier. Like all other areas of your home, your basement should be organized and clutter-free.

Change the filters in the furnace and have it cleaned–this is the number one item purchasers want done after a home inspection. If you have a pet with a litterbox, ensure the litterbox is clean.

Garage

Get rid of the broken tools, old car parts, discarded bicycles, empty paint cans and the hundreds of other useless items that accumulate in garages. Again, you want a clutter-free zone. Use cleaning solutions to remove oil stains from the floor.
When It’s Showtime!

  • You have inspected your house and taken care of problems. Now you are ready for showings. You will need a plan of action that assigns duties to each family member so the place can quickly be whipped into shape.
  • Open all drapes, blinds, etc. and turn on lights to make the house bright.
  • Air out the house to get rid of cooking, pet odours, etc.
  • Have fresh flowers in view.
  • Pick up clutter, and empty garbage.
  • Make sure everything is spotless.
  • Set your thermostat at a comfortable level.
  • Remove pets from the house or put them outside.
  • If you have an agent, leave when the house is being shown. If you are selling it yourself, you need to strike a balance between being helpful and crowding the buyer.
  • In poor weather, provide a place for boots, overshoes and umbrellas.
  • Display photos of house in summer to show landscaping if selling in winter months.
  • Leave out heating and hydro bills.


For those on a septic system and/or well, leave out inspection and maintenance information.