Moving to Your Next Home
A home is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime.
Moving to your next home might seem pretty simple. However, there’s many factors that come after the initial decision and lead up to the listing. Françoise encourages her clients to get organized and prepare for the big day. Taking these practical steps can make your home-selling process smooth and stress free.
Gather Information, Paperwork, and Documents
Gathering the right documents and paperwork is key to preparing your home for sale, according to Françoise. She advises that you should collect any and all relevant information regarding your property, including anything relevant to major mechanics, renovations, updates and warranties. Each home is different, and will come with varying paperwork.
Here are examples of the kind of information, if applicable, that you should put together before your home goes on the market.
- Roof age, documentation of work done on it, and warranty
- Furnace age and instruction manuals
- Central air conditioning age, information and instructions
- Hot water heater age
- Appliances included in the home, and respective instruction manuals
- Dates and records of home improvement and renovation projects
- Certificates of Compliance, or permits, that are relevant to your property, such as deck, shed and fence permits
- Outstanding mortgage balance if any, and pay-off balance
This list is by no means exhaustive. The most efficient way to gather these documents is over time. “You should keep a file folder or organized space for these documents as you obtain them,” suggests Françoise. Otherwise, “you may find yourself stressed out and scrambling” when it comes time to present them.
Consider a Pre-Listing Inspection
It is also ideal for you to seek out a professional home inspector before listing your home, explained Françoise. The importance of hiring a professional and certified home inspector is essential, for both the legal and physical safety of you and the buyers.
You should inquire about other elements such as the following, it’s applicable to your home:
- Well Water
Prepare Your Home for Showings
“Clean up those laundry bins, put away the dishes and de-clutter those counters!”
Françoise attests to the importance of maintaining your home during the showing period. It’s unlikely that anyone would be interested in a house when they can’t get past the unattractive scene of bits and pieces laying around. It’s been Françoise’s experience that buyers have a hard time looking past a home that doesn’t show well. They tend to focus more on the negative e.g. dirty dishes, untidy living room etc.
Very few home buyers can visualize the potential of a house beyond what they see on the surface—meaning that they can use their imagination to see their dream home. However, this means that rest of home buyers simply can’t see beyond the dirt, clutter and other imperfections that they may notice.
Another important thing to ask yourself when preparing for home showings: is your home accessible?
Françoise reminds us that this is an easy factor to overlook—however, accessibility is a key component to a home showing. Keeping the front entrance clear of obstructions and allowing easy access to the property may be seemingly obvious, but many often forget these things.
Have Your Home Staged
In her work, Françoise emphasizes the importance of making a lasting impression. For potential buyers visiting your home, presentation is crucial—both online and in-person. It’s the best way to create a memorable online listing and to help it stand out in the minds of buyers after they tour your home, she explained.
Home-staging goes beyond simple clean up—it enables you to showcase the most unique and valuable parts of your home. Françoise is a strong advocate for home-staging, so much that she will take on the costs of it to ensure that her client’s home looks fantastic. You can read more about home-staging here.
Decide Whether Or Not To Offer A Home Warranty
Home warranties can be advantageous for both parties—the buyer and the seller. For the buyer, home warranties are an added relief for the buyer, as it will help cover the costs if anything should falter.
These warranties can cost anywhere between $300 to $500 dollars, and upwards. In most situations, offering a home warranty can be a nice feature when selling a home, as it shows that you have the buyer’s best interests in mind. Talk to Françoise before listing your home to decide whether or not a home warranty is a good idea for you.
Evaluate the Worth of an Open House
Open houses are great said Françoise. They give you a chance to gauge your potential buyer’s questions, concerns and comments in a small time frame. That said, Françoise advised that an open house should come at the end of your preparations for home sale.
A successful open house comes from a willingness to work closely with your realtor to ensure that your home will make the best impression on potential buyers. It also means, on the most basic level, that you’re open to having many people in your home at once, and that you can take a step back to let the realtor do what they are there to do: sell your home!
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. While the possibility of a potential buyer striking up an offer on your home is small, it’s certainly not unheard of.
Discuss with your real estate agent if they believe that your home would do well for an open house, and go from there. A great open house will have all of the previous considerations in mind.