Sellers Guide

Home.
It’s Where Your Story Is Written.

It’s more than wood and stone and square feet.
It’s the place you can’t wait to get to after a long flight.
It’s first steps, first stitches, and first dates.
It’s family dinners and backyard BBQs with friends.
It’s peace, safety, joy, and laughter.
It’s where your story is written.
Your story matters.

It’s my job to help you tell the best home story imaginable.
Kevin Machado

We help maximize value while taking the stress and uncertainty out of selling your home.

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Selling your home is a big thing to start thinking about. It’s a lot like riding a roller coaster with emotional highs, mixed with some fears that, at times, make us want to jump off. At the end of the day we all want to be able to say that it was a great experience (and tell all our friends about it).

On this journey there are so many questions that fill our minds (maybe even stealing our sleep), but there are also the dreams of what could be right around the corner that get us excited.

I’m here to serve as a guide. My job is to help answer your questions, give you some peace of mind, and get you to where you want to be. That’s why I created this “Seller’s Guide”: to walk you through some of those very questions you’re thinking about and to help you see what can be possible when you work with our great team.

WHAT’S YOUR WHY?

It’s important to know the answer to “why” you are wanting to sell your home.

  • Have you outgrown your current home with baby number two on its way?
  • Are you looking to get some equity out and simplify with a less expensive home?
  • Are you wanting to move into another part of town that better fits your lifestyle?
  • Has an opportunity come along that’s just too good to pass up?

Clarifying your goal and your “why” will help all the way through the process so we have something to keep focused on.

So, what’s your “why”?

THE 4 STEPS TO SELLING YOUR HOME:

1 | Choose The Right Guide

When you choose a realtor to work with what you are doing is starting a relationship with someone you trust will guide you to where you want to be (your “why”). It’s so important to choose the right “guide” / realtor to help you navigate all the important steps and details of buying your home for the best possible value.

Some questions you should be asking of your realtor are:
  1. “Are they in this full-time?”
    Did you know that in the Edmonton area there are more than 3,000 realtors? Many people get their licenses and work part-time, selling a few homes a year while still working another job. Their time is going to be divided and their accessibility limited. Having someone who sees this as their career, who practices realty full time, will no doubt give you an edge over those who are just “dabbling” in it.
  2. “Do they have a plan?”
    When you’re going on a trip it’s nice to have a map that will tell you where you need to stop and which turns to take. A realtor’s plan is their map. You want to know there is a plan and a process so you’re not left wondering what to do and where they are. Their plan should include a communication schedule (how and when they will communicate with you), a buyers program strategy (Insight Buyers Program), and closing process.
  3. “Do they know their stuff?”
    You want to know they have a plan, but also are they skilled? Do they know the intricacies and value of the upgrades in homes? Do they have construction knowledge and connections within the industry? Are they skilled at negotiating, and what’s their style? Having an agent who “knows their stuff” will undoubtedly serve you well and likely land you a property while keeping more money in your pocket!
  4. “Have other people benefited from working with them?”
    If you were hiring someone for a company you ran wouldn’t you want references and to know others have benefited from hiring them? Ask for references and if they have any client testimonials…and be wary of ones that start with! “My son is the best realtor!”
  5. “Do I connect with them?”
    Choosing a realtor to serve you is, undoubtedly, a relationship. We all know how important it is to be in a relationship with someone we trust and whom we feel understands what’s important to you. Make sure you’re comfortable with them and their communication schedule / style.
#6 BONUS: “Should I even use a Realtor?”

There are a lot of options out there that may seem cheaper on the front end and more “do it yourself”. However, most of the time what we see is that those homes end up spending more time on the market and not getting the best value for the sellers. Our job as Realtors is to remove as much stress and uncertainty from the selling process as possible while getting you the most possible value in our competitive market.

Wouldn’t you want a true professional who is skilled at negotiation to help handle the sale of likely your most important asset?

2 | What Do I Need To Do To Be Ready To Sell?

When you’re getting prepared to sell you home there are a few things to do to make sure you’re prepared and setup for success.

Documents – Let’s get started

There are some things we will need to have to ensure everything is good with your home and we are ready to sell when the offers come in.

  1. Real Property Report – for houses
    The Real Property Report is essentially the survey plan of where the house is on the land as well as a stamp of approval from the city stating everything is in compliance. You would likely have this when you purchased your home (in your legal package). If you do not have one we can help you order it through our trusted partners and apply to the city for compliance.
  1. Condo Documents – for condos
    There are approximately 20 documents needed for this, but most condo management companies know all the documents and have “sale packages” prepared. You will need the contact information for your condo management company for us to help with this, if needed.
Staging – Make your home shine

Making sure your home is ready to sell for the most amount possible requires careful consideration. Here are some tips:

Curb Appeal

First impressions matter. Clean up the yard, touch up the front door, plant some nice flowers and keep the walks clear. We want the first impression to be, “Wow, we can live here?!”

Minor Repairs

That door that’s been hanging off the hinge…it’s time to fix that up. Minor paint touch ups and refreshing visible things will keep buyers from thinking there are other things wrong with the home. If bulbs are burnt out, it’s time to change them, and make sure they’re all the same colour. If there are larger areas of concern, like if you should replace your furnace, or change all the carpets, those we give advice on a case by case basis.

Declutter

Tight spaces make things feel small and constrict buyer’s imaginations. Remove as much as possible while still making it feel like a home (think about show homes, they have some things but not too much).

Depersonalize

You want people to feel like it can be their home, not someone else’s. Having family photos on the walls constricts people’s ability to see the home as theirs. Replace family photos with online free stock photos (stocksnap.io) and change them back after you sell.

Clean, Bright, and Show it Off!

Nothing turns people off more than going into a dirty or strong smelling home. Clean the kitchen, organize toys in bins so they’re easy to clean and pack away. When showings happen turn on all the lights to give it a bright feeling the instant they walk in (if there’s a fireplace, turn it on too) and make sure you are out of the house (and not “spying” on the buyers from your car across the street 😉

Part of my offering to clients as a full service real estate team is connection, coordination, and management of extra services needed (ie. staging, surveyors, tradespeople). We bring in the team to take away your stress.

3 | Strategy Matters
Pricing, Marketing, and Negotiations

Selling your home requires forethought and strategic thinking, specifically in three areas:  Pricing, Marketing, and Negotiations.

Priced Right

We all want the most money possible for our properties, and that’s our objective for our clients. However, is listing way out of line with market expectations a wise idea? Should I list under market value to generate multiple offers? The short answer is, “It depends”. Real estate markets are dynamic and differ from region to region, even street to street, so each strategy must be developed for each home specifically. Having a smart agent help you craft your own specific pricing strategy and schedule will help you maximize value while decreasing your time on the market.

In general, some common mistakes you want to avoid:

  1. Try not to overvalue your efforts
    We all want to get the most out of our home but we can actually do harm by pricing above the market. Because you spent thousands on a custom toilet, or did a special feature in the basement, doesn’t mean buyers will value those things the same. If you overprice you may end up accumulating days on market, which could leave a stigma on your home and leave it ripe for “low-ball” offers.
  1. Try not to base your price off the city assessment
    These can be helpful, but in the end they don’t really know your home specifically. These are bulk assessments done on a general area and really don’t reflect the true value of your home in most cases.
  1. Try to keep emotions at bay
    Your home is special and you have some amazing memories there. Getting too emotional at the time of selling can end up hurting you (and even those around you). Take some time prior to selling to “let go” of your “home” and mentally turn it into a “house” instead. Also, when the offers come try not to take things personally and keep focused on your end goal…selling and moving on to the next part of your story.
Marketing Matters

We want your home to shine to potential buyers, and to do so we have a 8 step marketing plan:

  1. Staging Consultation
  2. Professional Photography and Videography
  3. Pre-Launch Social Media
  4. Dedicated Online Page with Lead Capture
  5. Proactive Agent to Agent and Client Prospecting
  6. Social Media Launch and Online Ads
  7. Public Open House (when applicable)
  8. Showing Follow Up (pre-negotiation)

Negotiate like a Master – Dance vs. Fight

To get the best results, you need to know what you’re doing. From negotiating million dollar homes to conditions on a home inspection, we must be strategic every step of the way.

Some people see negotiations as a fight. They only seek to look like the victor no matter the cost (even at the expense of a better deal). They seek to be the loudest, slam their fists on the table, and use as much belittling language as possible. That’s always fun to watch, but actually not very successful in getting good results. When people get emotional, as often happens in “fight” mode, they make irrational decisions. Carefully being able to guide them and their emotions is an important skill.

You see, negotiation is really a complex dance with 3 phases:

  1. Gather Information – We ask questions, prod, get relevant information to help build our case
  2. Build Rapport – We want to create alliances and advocates even out of those we are negotiating against, and stay as level-headed through negotiations (this way we keep control)
  3. Bargain Hard – We don’t just take what they give us, we build our case and push hard to get the best value
Your strategy matters, all the way through.

4 | Contracts And Closing

After you’ve gotten prepared, listed your home, assessed the skills of your realtor and their plan, what happens when you get an offer and what does the closing process look like?

Offer

When you get an offer on your home, remember that it is a starting point. It’s not uncommon to see an offer come in between 2-5% less than list price, or in competitive situations with multiple offers even over list price. Remember there are multiple aspects of a contract to work on (ie. possession date, terms, conditions, etc.) not just on price. We will negotiate for you to get the best deal and it may take some back and forth. Negotiations may take a couple hours, or could stretch out over a couple days (we keep you updated all the way through).

Condition Period

Once we come to an agreement on the offer there are likely going to be conditions that the buyer has before the deal is “firm”. These essentially are a missing link in the contract that will need to be filled in before you can put your sold stickers up. The condition period is usually 2 weeks and the most common conditions are subject to financing (the buyer’s lender agreeing to lend on the home) and subject to inspection. If you have a condo, another likely condition is subject to condo document review, The costs of the condition are borne by the buyer, except the gathering of the condo documents (those are the sellers responsibilities).

The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, may request a renegotiation of the terms of the contract (usually price). This is when a skilled listing agent can make a real difference to your bottom line. We’ve been through this before and help our clients navigate these negotiations with skill and care so we can get the conditions removed and have a “firm” contract.

Closing Process

Once the deal is firm sold stickers are up, it’s a march to the closing date. This is typically at least 2 weeks after condition removal, 4 weeks after an accepted offer, but can be longer depending on possession date.

Before closing you will need to:

  1. Meet with your lawyer to sign final documents
  2. Cancel / change all utilities
  3. Forward your mail to your new address
  4. Celebrate!

Possession Day

This is when the money and property change hands, usually around midday. Your lawyer will receive the cheque from the buyer’s lawyer and confirm with us once it is received. At that point we allow them to pick up the keys from our office. Then it’s time to celebrate again and move on to whatever is next!

Associated Fees

What are the costs expected when selling?

It’s important to factor the associated costs into the sale of your home to make sure there are no surprises.

  1. Legal Fees
    These usually run about $1,200 to $1,500 dollars including disbursements
  2. Mortgage Penalties
    It’s important to have a good relationship with your mortgage broker (if you don’t have one, we know many great ones!) to know if you have any fees or penalties associated with breaking your mortgage
  3. Moving Costs
    It all depends on your scope. If you have an uncle with a pickup, maybe some pizza? If you’re moving across the country it could be close to $10,000
  4. Property Taxes
    At the time of closing the lawyers will deal with the city and the buyer’s on your behalf to ensure you only pay for the time you own the property
  5. Realty Fees
    We are upfront about our fees as we believe in an open and honest relationship with our clients. Our fees are 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the remaining balance. From those fees comes all our associated costs with marketing, staffing, administration, as well as paying the buyer’s agent half the fee (3.5% on the first $100,000 and 1.5% on the remaining balance)

Thank you for taking the time to read through this guide. I know it can be a stressful thing to sell your home. I’ve done this before. I’ve helped many people just like you take this big step and get to the next part of their story. My promise is to walk with you every step of the way on your home journey, helping you achieve maximum value while taking the stress out of selling.

Your home story matters to me.

Kind regards,
Kevin Machado

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