Sell Your Home for Top Dollar in 2023: Everything You Need to Know
Selling a home can be a stressful and challenging process, especially if you’re looking to sell quickly. With the right preparation and marketing strategy, you can successfully sell your Canadian home in a short timeframe. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to sell your home fast in today’s market.
Selling quickly typically means getting an offer within 30 days of listing your home on the market. With careful planning and execution, this goal is achievable for most sellers.
The keys to a fast home sale are:
- Pricing it right from the start
- Preparing your home for showings
- Marketing aggressively and widely
- Responding promptly to buyer inquiries and feedback
- Negotiating fairly to accept a suitable offer
Move-up buyers and investors are often willing to pay a premium for a well-presented, renovated home in a desirable area. On the other hand, starter homes and fixer-uppers will sell faster when accurately priced lower to account for needed updates.
This guide will walk you through all the steps to take in order to sell your Canadian home within 30 days or less. Here’s an overview of what’s covered:
- Work with Sonny Bhinder Real Estate Team to sell for top dollar.
- Price your home accurately by comparing it to recently sold homes in your neighbourhood. Don’t overprice.
- Make small renovations and thoroughly clean/declutter to maximize buyer appeal.
- Hire a real estate agent familiar with your local market and effective at marketing homes quickly.
- Promote the listing online across MLS, your agent’s website, and various real estate portals.
- Hold open houses and broker events to widen the buyer pool. Be flexible with showing times.
- Stage your home and enhance curb appeal to make a great first impression.
- Respond quickly to buyer feedback and offers, and be prepared to negotiate on price/terms.
- Have all disclosures, reports, condo docs, and financials ready to share.
- Set an accelerated closing date and remain flexible about the possession date.
How to Price Your Home to Sell Fast
Setting the right asking price is one of the most important factors in selling your home quickly. If you price too high, you could lose potential buyers and experience longer market times. Price too low and you leave money on the table.
Aim to set your asking price at or slightly below the fair market value of your home. Comparable sold listings in your neighbourhood in the last 6 months give you the best market data.
Steps to Price Your Home for a Quick Sale
- Search real estate listing sites for 3-5 of the most recently sold comparable homes near you. Compare number of bedrooms/bathrooms and square footage.
- Look at the sold price per square foot for your comparables, and adjust based on differences in age, upgrades, lot size etc.
- Drive by the sold homes and look at exterior condition. Check tax assessments for an approximate value.
- Ask your real estate agent to prepare a Comparative Market Analysis to give you professional pricing advice.
- Consider supply and demand nuances in your local market. More competition means pricing competitively.
- Set your asking price 5-10% below your appraisal and fair market value estimate.
- Be willing to list below what you paid or invested if market values have declined. This is often true for fixer-uppers.
- Consider an appraisal to get an objective valuation, but this isn’t always needed.
- Review your pricing frequently as more comparable homes sell, and adjust down if needed.
The competition is fierce in many Canadian housing markets today. You simply won’t get any offers if you overprice your home above comps. Err on the side of pricing a little lower rather than higher to attract buyers quickly.
Preparing Your Home for a Fast Sale
A well-prepared home in “show-ready” condition will sell much faster than one requiring significant repairs or updates. Invest some time and money into improvements that maximize buyer appeal.
Tips to Prep Your Home for a Quick Sale
- Declutter thoroughly and remove personal items so buyers can envision living there.
- Organize closets, cabinets, and storage areas to look spacious.
- Clean thoroughly – clear out cobwebs/dust, scrub surfaces, clean carpets etc.
- Make minor renovations like fresh paint, new light fixtures, and cabinet hardware.
- Fix any plumbing or electrical issues, leaks, cracks etc.
- Ensure appliances/HVAC are serviced and working properly.
- Cut the lawn, trim bushes/trees, and weed gardens.
- Power wash exterior surfaces like siding, walks, driveway etc.
- Touch up exterior paint, repair fences/deck, and update house numbers.
- Rent a storage unit to clear out excess furniture if needed.
- Add stylish, neutral furniture if your home is empty prior to listing.
Spending 1-3% of your home’s value preparing it for sale is recommended. Happily, this prep work often comes back to you at a higher sale price. A turnkey home sells for more!
DIY improvements are fine for minor updates. But bigger renovations like kitchens and bathrooms should be done by professionals to avoid amateurish results. Consult your real estate agent on which updates will be most valuable.
Work With a Real Estate Agent Experienced in Fast Home Sales
Choosing the right real estate agent is key to selling your home quickly and for top dollar. Look for an agent who:
- Has a proven track record of selling homes fast in your neighborhood
- Has strong marketing abilities and recognizes the value of promotion
- Communicates regularly and gives you valuable market feedback
- Willing to stage or offer design suggestions to improve buyer appeal
- Provides data-driven pricing guidance based on comparables
- Manages buyers/negotiations expertly to facilitate quick deals
- Has relationships with renovation experts to estimate repair costs
- Works full-time and has availability for showings
- Stays current on the latest real estate technology and trends
Newer agents can still do a fantastic job, but experience in your local market is invaluable. Interview a few agents before selecting one. Ask how they will market and promote your home to sell it quickly.
Many sellers make the mistake of only listing on MLS. In today’s market, that is rarely enough. You need a much wider net through online marketing and promotion.
Use Effective Marketing Strategies to Attract More Buyers
Aggressive marketing is required to stand out and sell faster in competitive housing markets. Relying solely on the local MLS listing is no longer enough.
Work with your agent to get maximum exposure across a variety of mediums:
- Feature the listing prominently on your agent’s website
- Syndicate to real estate portals like Realtor.ca, Surrey Delta Home Finder, Rew.ca etc.
- Create professional photography and videos to show your home’s features
- Promote via your agent’s social media accounts and other online avenues
- Hold both public and agent-only open houses for more visibility
- Send out Just Listed cards to neighbours to widen the buyer pool
- Network with agents who represent buyers looking in your area
- Add broker tour dates so agents can view the home together
- Run paid ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram to reach motivated buyers
- Pitch the story to local media outlets for free news coverage
This “carpet bomb” approach requires more work but generates urgency. Be flexible on open houses and showing times to accommodate buyer agent schedules.
Beware that overmarketing and excess promotional hype can actually deter serious buyers. Keep language factual and avoid embellishing or inflating your home’s merits too much.
Optimize Curb Appeal and Use Staging
A home’s exterior and interior decor has an immediate emotional effect on buyers walking through the door. Ensure your home makes a stellar first impression.
To optimize your home’s curb appeal:
- Powerwash the exterior, and touch up the trim or deck with new stain/paint
- Clean up landscaping – mow, trim trees/shrubs, weed gardens
- Add stylish, updated outdoor lighting and house numbers
- Repair any damaged siding, walkways, driveway, fences
- Remove clutter from yard and porch
Professional stagers are worth the investment to showcase your home’s rooms in the best possible light. If hiring a stager isn’t feasible, follow these DIY staging tips:
- Declutter to make rooms look spacious and organized
- Let in natural light, open blinds and curtains fully
- Use neutral-coloured bedding and towels in bathrooms
- Remove distracting and outdated wall art/knickknacks
- Add green plants and fresh-cut flowers
- Set the dining table attractively as a vignette
- Arrange furnishings to balance the space and flow logically
- Add mirrors strategically to visually expand smaller rooms
- Accent with pillow throws to lend colour and coziness
- Style bookcases with decorative objects and actual books
- Make sure rooms smell fresh and clean
Take down half or more of your personal photos and art. Family pictures can distract buyers from envisioning the home as their own. Save them for when you move.
Be Responsive to Buyer Feedback and Offers
Once buyers start viewing your home, be highly responsive to maximize your chances of a quick sale. Have your agent keep you updated on all buyer feedback so you can address concerns quickly.
If buyers seem interested but hesitant, ask what factors are influencing their decision. Maybe they are uncertain about amenities, schools, commute times, etc from your neighbourhood. Your agent can put together custom reports with specific data like school test scores to reassure hesitant buyers.
When offers do come in, strive to turn around responses within 24 hours. Quickly provide any additional information or disclosures buyers request.
Most homes require some negotiation between the initial offer and the final sale price. If you receive a lowball offer, counter at least halfway to the list price. Give buyers some sense of where you might have flexibility on price and closing terms.
Remain cooperative and calm during negotiations. Avoid taking offers personally or becoming indignant. Make rational counteroffers based on comps, not emotions. The right buyer will appreciate working with a fair, responsive seller.
Have Reports and Documents Ready for Buyers
Serious buyers will request more details and disclosures during the offer process. Be ready to share these immediately to expedite a quick sale:
- Seller’s Property Disclosure – Disclose any defects known to you
- Reports – inspection, pest, appraisal, flood/hazard from your purchase
- Condo/strata documents if applicable
- Financial statements for rented properties
- List of inclusions – fixtures and equipment to stay or go -utility average costs
- Floor plans
- House history documentation
Set an Accelerated Closing Date
Once an offer is accepted, keep the momentum going by setting an accelerated closing timeline of 2-4 weeks. This conveys urgency and prevents deals from dragging out and falling through.
- Set the closing date just 3-4 weeks from the accepted offer date.
- Add a condition allowing buyers earlier possession before closing, even the next day if vacant. This caters to impatient buyers.
- Get required inspections done immediately so repairs can be made quickly.
- Provide prompt responses during inspection negotiation.
- Accelerate the buyer financing process by providing requested paperwork fast.
- Disclose any issues early so they can be resolved quickly.
- Pack up your belongings early so you can move immediately after closing.
- Be flexible and open to extending the closing slightly if needed to secure the deal.
A tight closing timeline also limits your ongoing home costs like mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and utilities. However, don’t set unrealistic terms just to sell faster – allow reasonable timelines for buyers to finalize inspection, financing and closing preparations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best time of year to sell a house quickly?
The spring and summer seasons tend to be the most active for Canadian home buyers and sellers. There are more buyers out looking, so listings get greater exposure. Selling in the winter often takes longer but can still work if priced competitively.
Should I renovate my kitchen or bathroom to sell faster?
Minor renovations like cabinet resurfacing or new backsplashes can improve buyer appeal. But full gut renovations rarely pay off with higher sale prices. Focus spending on paint, carpets, lighting etc for maximum impact.
Does staging really help sell homes faster?
Staging has a profound impact on prospective buyers and their ability to visualize the property as their own. Remove excess furniture and personal items. Add stylish, modern decor to showcase the home’s features and layout.
Should I offer buyer incentives to sell my home faster?
Incentives like closing cost assistance, home warranty plans or moving allowances can motivate buyers. But avoid over-incentivizing to prevent buyers from expecting too much. Keep offers clean and simple.
How much under the asking price should I counteroffer?
Don’t take lowball offers personally! Countering halfway between list and offer prices is a good rule of thumb. If an offer seems reasonable but slightly under market value, counter less aggressively.
Final Tips for Selling Your Home Fast
Selling quickly requires effort, but nearly any home can move in 30 days with the right prep and promotion. Patience and persistence are key – don’t give up after just a few weeks without offers.
Price competitively right out of the gate. Be willing to adjust down later if you overpriced initially. Optimize curb appeal and use staging creatively.
Work closely with your agent to market the home through all effective channels. Be highly responsive to buyers by addressing feedback quickly and making rational counteroffers.
Move out of the home if possible during showings. If not, always keep it photo-ready. Limit disruptions during showings and open houses.
Most importantly, stay realistic. The strategies here maximize your odds of a quick sale, but there are no guarantees. With the right prep and persistence, you can minimize days on the market and spend less time waiting to move on to your next chapter!
Selling a home? Call or text us at 778.234.2000