Are you considering selling your Ontario house through a real estate agent? Make sure you read this blog post which reveals 4 mistakes you should try to avoid when listing with an agent in Ontario (Realtors: this is for you, too!).
First, Don’t Assume That You Can Sell Right Away (well, you CAN, but it may not be ideal for you)
The real estate market varies and can even shift from one week to the next, depending on a variety of factors. So make sure you set realistic timelines about how long it will take to sell. Some of the factors to consider are: Seasonality, weather, school year start and end, holidays, economic and employment trends, and more.
If you are a seller, assume it will take months for the sales process to be completed – from fixing up the house, to staging it, to showing buyers, to negotiating offers, to setting a closing date, and finally to moving out. If you are an agent, be careful not to over-promise a timeline to your sellers – set their expectations fairly and try to keep the process moving as close to that timeline as possible.
Second, Don’t Assume That The Asking Price Will Be The Selling Price
The asking price is the starting point in the sales process – it establishes what a seller wants to sell for (at least, traditionally, that’s the way it worked). The other option which a Realtor might suggest to you, is UNDER-pricing the property, and trying to get buyers to start a “bidding war”. The process really only SOMETIMES works in a super hot sellers’ market. Beware this approach, as it often blows up in sellers’ faces.
If you are a seller, please realize that the sale price is quite likely to be different from your asking price. If you’re a real estate agent, this should be explained to your sellers.
Third, Don’t Assume All Of The Proceeds From The Sale Go Right Into Your Pocket
Some people make the mistake of assuming that the selling price (minus anything they owe on their mortgage) is pure profit. Unfortunately, that’s not the case (when you’re selling on the MLS and through a Realtor).
If you are a seller, make sure you know that there will be real estate agent commissions, closing costs, legal fees, mortgage discharge fees, and other fees you’ll have to pay (not to mention moving costs, any outstanding property taxes, utilities, etc.). If you’re a Realtor, make sure you explain to your clients, or better yet, talk with them about, the “net” amount of funds which will be left when it’s all said and done.
Fourth, Don’t Assume That The First Offer Will Go Through
Buyers often make offers and then discover that they can’t get financing for some reason, or can’t/don’t want to proceed for another reason.
If you’re a seller, be prepared to have one or two buyers/deals fall through before a firm buyer can be found and a proper transaction entered into and closed. If you’re a real estate agent, prepare your sellers ahead of time by explaining this so they can be ready in case it happens. There are ways to mitigate the chances of this happening.
Whether you’re a homeowner thinking of selling, or a real estate agent who represents sellers, these are the 4 most common mistakes that can happen during the listing and sales process (when listing publicly on the MLS) – so make sure you’re aware of them, plan accordingly, and make sure you consider all of your selling options before signing no the dotted line.