Selling Your Home

Compared to the buying process, the process of selling your home can often seem tedious and frustrating. By choosing good professionals to assist you, Sellers can reduce stress and sell their home faster.

  1. Prepare Your Home for Sale – doing those little things that have been neglected like painting the spare room, washing windows, and de-cluttering your home can have a dramatic effect on the selling price of a home.
  2. Contact Your Bank – find out how much you will owe the bank to discharge your mortgage. Some important questions for your banker include: a) How much do I currently owe? b) Is there a payout penalty, if so, how much? c) Are there other fees (ie; a discharge fee) which is also payable? Do you owe more than your home is worth (more info on Distressed Sales here)?
  3. Clean up your Land Title – Has your name changed since you last bought your home or are there are liens, judgements, certificates of pending litigation or other financial charges on title that will be required to discharged prior to closing, best to contact your lawyer early and get these dealt with. If these items are on title during the selling process they will weaken your bargaining position with potential Buyers.
  4. Find a Realtor – Hiring a Realtor is an important decision as she or he will be your Chief Marketing Officer for your property. During your interviews with potential Realtors, you should carefully discuss how the Realtor plans to market your property in the current real estate market. Keep in mind that the highest price is not always the “best price” when choosing a marketing plan.
  5. Negotiation and Entering into a Contract of Purchase and Sale – In most cases the Seller’s terms in the contract of purchase and sale are “unconditional” meaning that items like Purchase Price or Closing Dates and other terms cannot be changed or re-negotiated if the Buyer proceeds. Therefore, it is important that the Seller is confident that they will be able to clear title when they sign a contract, in the event that the Seller is unsure of this, they should instruct their Realtor to insert a “subject condition” to allow the Seller to avoid the liability of being unable to fulfil the terms of the contract.
  6. Review the Transfer Documentation with the Lawyer – During the conveyance the mortgage will be discharged (based on the payout statement provided by your bank) and the Realtor’s commissions will be paid out of the proceeds of sale. Generally, it is best if clients are able to attend the Lawyers office in person. In the event the Seller is unavoidable out of town or ill, a Power of Attorney may be used to effect the sale of the property (What happens if the Seller dies prior to closing?). If the Seller is a Non-Resident of Canada, there will likely be a holdback of the proceeds.
  7. After the Closing Date, collect Net Sale Proceeds – The net sale proceeds will be delivered to you by your lawyer following the receipt of funds from the Buyer’s lawyer.  Often funds are not received until late in the day and therefore Sellers should not commit funds to other ventures until at least the day following the Closing Date.

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