01 The first impression
Don’t forget that the first impression visitors have will be from the main entrance of the house. Make sure that everything is clean and freshly painted, as required. The grass and landscaping must be maintained regularly and make sure dead leaves and garbage in backyard are not visible. Remove the snow if it snowed as well as any ice on the stairs or entrance.
02 Present the house the way it is
In order to avoid having to explain what the house could look like, make sure to refresh areas with paint where applicable, replace wall paper if damaged, repair visible cracks as well as broken tiles if necessary.
03 Let the sun shine in
Open the blinds and curtains; the visitor will see how bright and joyful your house is.
04 No leaking faucets
Leaking faucets spoil the look of a bath or sink and indicate defective plumbing.
05 Even the smallest detail is important
Take the time to verify that all the doors, drawers, sliding and casement windows work well. Make all the adjustments and your house will increase in value.
06 Safety First
Make sure that the stairs are free from any obstacles and that everything is tidy because visitors will want to see everything, safely! Accidents must be avoided because they might ruin the visit … don’t forget, you are trying to sell!
07 From top to bottom
Enhance the look of the attic, light up the basement and other storage areas. A coat of paint in the basement might make the whole difference.
08 Maximize storage areas
This is the opportunity to clean up the cupboards and show visitors that they will have lots of storage space.
09 Bathrooms influence the decision of the buyer
These rooms must be sparkling clean, faucets cleaned, cracks and missing caulking filled, clean towels and personal toiletries neatly arranged.
10 Welcoming bedrooms
Light up these rooms and keep them clean, remove useless furniture, use nice and colorful comforters and clean the blinds and curtains.
11 Lighting, a key element
A well-lit house is a sign of welcoming. If visitors come during the evening, leave the outside and inside lights on and replace light bulbs if required.
12 Too many people
Avoid having too many people in the house during a visit, the buyers would have the impression of disturbing your family life and will tend to hurry their visit and might miss some important features your house has to offer.
13 Soft music
Your taste in music might be different from a visitor’s, make sure you lower the sound and turn off the television. Let your broker talk to his/her client in peace, the results might surprise you.
14 Beware of the dog
Animals are human’s best friends, but some visitors might be afraid of them and can’t stand their presence – make sure you keep them at a distance.
15 Let the broker do the talking
Be welcoming and attentive but don’t do the work of the broker. The client is there to visit, not to have a conversation.
16 The best looking house in the area
It might be true, but let the buyer discover that by him/herself! Don’t talk about the unique opportunity available to him/her. If the visitor tells you about some defects or expresses a rude remark, be attentive and keep your comments to yourself – the broker will intervene.
17 Keep a Low Profile
Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But Sales Associates know buyers – what they need and what they want. Your Associate will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
18 Avoid ruining the sale
While the opportunity might be there, don’t offer to sell your furniture and accessories to the buyer on the spot. Be calm and relax; your broker knows what to do and when to do it.
Let your broker start the discussion process with the visitor, about the selling price, payment terms and occupancy date. Your agent is a professional who knows how to conduct the negotiations, always to your advantage.
Your broker is at your service at all times. Before making any important decisions relating to the sale of your house, talk to him/her. He/she has a solid experience and is always available.
Whatever angles are considered, the purchase of a house is a major investment in your life. For many buyers, it could be a process that will be more expensive than it should because many of them will get into it head first and will fall into traps such as:
Buying a house using a systematic approach will help you avoid falling into these frequent traps. Not only it will save you money but also you will buy the house that really meets your requirements. This rubric presents the 9 most common and expensive traps. It will inform you on how to identify them and how to avoid them.
01 Buying blindly
What price should you offer when filling an offer to purchase? Is the asking price too high or does it seem to be a good investment? If you did not do any research on the market to assess the value of similar houses, you will make an offer blindly. Not knowing the market conditions might lead you to offer too much or you might miss an opportunity to make a competitive offer on a house that is a really good deal.
02 Buying the wrong house
What are you looking for in a house? A simple question that might lead to a complex answer. Too often, buyers get excited and overwhelmed when buying a new property and become an owner of a new house that ends up being too big or too small. Maybe the travel distance to work is too long or more important repairs than expected are needed. Take the time to define your needs and your expectations. Write everything down and use this list to assess each house you will visit.
03 Legal Problems
Make sure that you will obtain the irrefutable proof that the sellers own the house right from the beginning of the negotiation process. Make sure also that the house is not mortgaged and free of any other type of legal lien and that a title search will be performed. The last thing you need to discover is that there is a legal hypothec on the house or other type of priority lien, or you find out there are other owners in the picture or leases were already granted.
04 Non-compliant designation
In your offer to purchase, make sure you request a current certificate of location that describes accurately the limits of the property. If this document is not the exact reproduction of the actual reality, for example, if the expansion of the balcony or the addition of the pool is not there, this certificate will not be accepted by the bank. Be very clear and firm on these issues.
05 Repairs not mentioned
Don’t expect the seller will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything that needs to be verified or repaired. You as well as the seller expect to maximize the investment. Make sure you perform a thorough inspection of the house quite early in the process. Consider hiring an independent inspector who will examine the house objectively and ensure the purchase contract is conditional to the results of the inspection. The contract should include in detail all the elements of the house and all the required repairs.
06 Not being pre-qualified
A pre-qualified mortgage is fast and easy to get. And free. When you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, you take the stress away while you shop and you feel more secure knowing that you will be ready to move when you’ll find your dream house.
07 Contract defaults
If a seller does not comply strictly to the contract by neglecting to do repairs he/she promised to do, or by changing the nature of the contract in any way, this can lead to the postponement of the signature. Agree on a compensation amount ahead of time if, for example, the repairs are not completed as expected. Prepare a list of items both parties agreed on and follow up closely on each of the items.
08 Hidden Costs
Make sure you identified and found all the costs resulting from the sale – small or big – as early in the process as you can. When a transaction is concluded, sometimes unexpected fees suddenly “appear” after the total amount has been established: discharges, contributions, etc. Ask the seller to indicate in writing the total costs and charges for which you are responsible.
09 Rush the signature
During this step, it is crucial you take your time and insist on analyzing all the documents the day before the signature. Make sure the documents reflect your understanding of the transaction perfectly, that nothing was added or removed. Is the interest rate exact? Everything has been covered? If you rush through it, you might end up in a dead end at the last minute and with no solution at hand, you might compromise the transaction.