Selling Your House

How I can help you achieve your goals
Thinking of Selling Your House?
  • Step 1 – Decide to Sell Your House

    Selling your house is no small feat. It is a huge decision and is quite possibly one of the most stressful things that you will ever do. It involves a lot of time, dedication, money and effort and can monopolize your life for an unknown period of time. And, also, this is your house, your home, that you are selling. Maybe you rasied a family there or got married while you were living there. Where you celebrated lifes acconmplishments and were comforted when things didn't go as planned. This is not just a financial decision, it can get very personal. This is why we want this process to go as smoothly as possible so we can get you to the next part of your life. There are quite a few things that you can do to expedite this process and get premium value for your house

Some decisions to make are: 

  • Time of year – Real estate is a seasonal industry and the time of year can definately have an impact on the how quickly your house sells and its sale price as well. However, time of year is still only one factor when deciding about selling your home and must be taking into account with the other factors as well. Is there a best season in which to sell your house? Yes, possibly, but
  • Current listings in your neighbourhood – How many other houses like yours are available on the market?
  • Current listings in similar neighbourhoods – Most buyers have two or three target neighbourhoods that they focus on, so it’s important to consider what’s for sale in neighbourhoods similar to yours too. Similar neighbourhoods aren’t just those that are physically close but include those similar in quality of the schools, proximity to parks, restaurants, services, transportation and demographic.
  • State of the real estate market – Interest rates and consumer confidence affect prices, and while Winnipeg has been a solid market the past number of years, by no means is past performance indicative of future performance. What’s going on in the market right now?
  • Your personal needs and goals – If you’re moving out of the city or have already bought a new house, then that timing will likely override everything else. Likewise, an upcoming baby, job re-location, wedding or divorce might dictate your timing too.

Really, it comes down to what works best for you, your family and your situation. There is some truth to the saying that “The best time to sell your house is now” as, really, we have no idea of what will happen in the upcoming months or years. Yes, typically speaking, listing a house in May would typically be the best option, but if that means keeping it vacant for a number of months just for that, you never know what is going to happen. The market may change or something may go wrong with the house which you may need to fix.


Step 2: Get Ready: Declutter, Stage and Clean

When preparing your house for sale, keep these 3 goals in mind:


Remove personal items, extra armoires and anything that could distract potential buyers.  Smaller furniture will make the rooms look bigger, so consider swapping out that King sized bed that takes up the whole bedroom for a smaller one, and replacing your sectional with a a couch and chair. Consider using this opportunity to purge or use a storage company. 

Make sure every room is staged to its best and optimal use 

People tend to have a hard time imagining how the house will look when it sits empty and naked. Having a properly staged housed can do wonders for how it presents and, ultimately, how much it sells for. While hiring a professional to do this is a possibility, you can also do much of it yourself by de-cluttering, cleaning, having fresh and well-maintained furniture and by making sure that every room is furnished. It may take a bit of creativity, but the end results are worth it.

Clean, clean and clean again! 

The cleaner your house is, the more attractive it looks. Having a clean house demonstrates that it was well taken care of and well maintained which, in turn, will attract more attention. Clean the windows, the stove, under the fridge and even the light fixtures. A house can never be too clean. This also applies to smell as well. Smoke and pet odours are AUTOMATIC turnoffs for most people so make sure that is taken care of before showings start.

Special Considerations for Houses

Curb Appeal 

First impressions go a long way. Many people focus on renovating the inside but the neglect the outside, which is the first thing that people see! Making sure that the grass is cut, the backyard is tidy, the walkway is clear and the eaves are clean is very important. Spending some time doing landscaping and minor repairs, such as painting peeling window frames, will go a long way. More often then not, the picture of the front of your house will be the one that will be the face of the marketing, and it's imperative to make that great first impression

Repairs and Touch ups.

Many of us are guilty of living in a world of “good enough” (myself included, as my wife can attest to) as well will invest lots of time and energy into a project or renovation only to lose steam at the end. Maybe the baseboards don’t get put on, the paint doesn’t get touched up and those new light fixtures that you so excitedly purchased are still sitting in their packaging while you have 5 lamps plugged in. Well, now is the time to get that done. Either hire a handyman for a couple of days who can do them quickly or get the motivation to do it yourself. Whichever works, but just make sure it gets done.

Backyard/Outdoor Living space

It has long been said that ‘kitchens and bathrooms sell a house”, but the outdoor living space is getting right up there. People love to be able to envison themselves outside, barbequing and playing with their kids or pets, so be sure it looks as attractive as possible! Stain the deck, stage the patio, plant some flowers, but make sure that people can see themselves having a relaxing evening in your yard (after they move in, of course).

Get a Second Set of Eyes

You’ve lived in your house and you know it up and down and know everything there is about it. But did you know that there is a still a faint smell of smoke from the previous owner and that some of the kitchen cabinets don’t close quite right? Having a friend over that you trust to walk through your home and scout for things that maybe you have grown accustomed to is a great idea. Obviously, you can always ask your realtor for help as well!

Know When to Stop!

Sometimes you just have to say “that’s it, I’m done”. Getting your house ready for sale is stressful enough, let alone doing biting off more than you can chew in prepping it. The key to selling your house is maximizing its existing positive qualities and downplaying the not so positive ones. Tidying up, making it presentable and finishing off some lingering projects is enough to do for most people. You can’t fix everything, it’s not going to be perfect and chances are you are your own hardest critic anyway. 

  • Step 3: More Prep Work

     Gather all relevant documentation

    This would include receipts or warranties for any work that was done, property information, a survey certificate if available, and copies of your utility bills.

    Make a list of renovations and repairs

    Compile a list of all the renovations and repairs that have been completed in the last number of years, even if it was done before your ownership. Things like foundation repairs or a new boiler have a long lifespan so include them even if you didn’t have the done yourself. Ask your realtor if you have any questions.

    Make an extra set of keys 

    Your realtor will place a lockbox on your property which will contain a set of keys to your hosue. This allows other realtors access your house to show to their clients.

  • Step 4: Pricing your House

     So, all the renovations are done, the home is clean and de-cluttered and the yard is spic and span. It’s time to set the price and determine your selling strategy and marketing plan. Your realtor will take into account many factors to determine how much to list your house for such as time of year, previous selling price, updates, location, what other similar houses have sold for.

    Buyers will determine what price to bid on your house based upon the information given to them, their situation and other factors as well. Typically, a realtor will provide the buyer with a list of similar houses that have sold in the area in order to determine what a fair price would be. However, sometimes a house may be worth more to some buyers than to others; it may be close to family members or near a desirable school for instance.

  • Step 5 : Marketing

     The job of your realtor is to sell your house. This is what you pay them to do. A comprehensive, detailed and multi-faceted marketing program is absolutely essential in order to get this done effectively

    • Photography/Videography – Professional photography is a must! Most Buyers will see your home for the first time online, and if the photos don’t capture their attention, they’ll move on to the next house and be lost to you forever. 
    • For Sale Signs – It’s not unusual for buyers to cruise their target neighbourhoods in search of their perfect house, so a For Sale sign on the lawn is always recommended.
    • Open Houses – While curious neighbours will undoubtedly make an appearance, open houses are a great way to showcase your home to potential Buyers. Great agents will be able to spot the serious and motivated Buyers and will make selling your home their only priority. A typically Open House will typically be held on either Saturday or Sunday,so be prepared to leave your home during those times. Other Open Houses that can be done are Agent Only Open Houses which are done usually during a week day over refreshments to showcase the home to other agents. As well, Neighbour Open Houses are valuable as well, perhaps on a Friday night over some wine and cheese, to invite the neighbours over...perhaps they have friends who are looking in the area!
    • Online Marketing – With the vast majority of buyers starting their search on the web, being found online is absolutely crucial. Make sure you’re working with a real estate agent who has marketing program that drives buyers to their modern website or landing page.
    • Email Marketing/Social Media – Top agents know how to work the social media marketing tools and utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others to maximize the exposure of your property to everyone.
    • Your ideal Buyer is out there  – they may be first time buyers, the parents of first-time buyers, an international investor, a recent divorcee, a newly married couple, seniors who’ve just sold their family home or a young couple with a baby on the way. Smart real estate agents will go to great lengths to profile your target buyer and create a marketing campaign to reach them.

    Step 5 Showings

    When Buyers make an appointment to see your house, keep the following in mind:

    • Leave your house

    There’s nothing more distracting for a buyer than having to tiptoe around the owner. Buyers must have the ability to speak openly and the owner being present will cause them to rush through the showing, curb their ability to speak freely and maybe make them leave earlier than they thought. It's typically at the end of the showing when the buyers and their agent will gather in the kitchen or hallway and discuss what they thought of the house. The ability to do this is greatly curbed if the owner is present.

    • If you show it, they will come 

    If someone wants to look at your house, make it work. Yes, it may be inconvenient to have to leave during dinner or wake up early on a Saturday, but being flexible will ensure that every potential buyer will see your house. This is especially important in today’s market where sellers are competing to attract buyers.

    • Keep that cleaning cap on

    A thorough and deep cleaning is essential before the house goes on the market. However, this level of cleanliness must be maintained!!! You’ll need to wash the dishes, make the beds, wash the floors and weed the garden on an ongoing basis while the house is for sale!

  • Step 6 : Offers

     While bidding wars do occur, the majority of houses sold in Winnipeg only have one offer at a time. When your agent presents an offer to you, it will contain the amount of the purchase price, the possession day, what is included/excluded in the sale, any conditions and anything else that may be relevant. At this point, you can accept the offer, decline it, or negotiate some of the terms.

  • Step 7: Closing Day

     After you have accepted an offer and all the conditions are satisfied, there are still a few details to wrap up. As possession day of the new owner approaches, you or your lawyer will need to make sure to inform the utility companies and take a final water meeting, cancel your home insurance, and notify the city taxation department. Before the possession day, you will meet with your lawyer to go over and sign the paperwork. After the property title is transferred to the new owner, you will receive your funds, minus fees and commission. This may take up to a month.

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