The Ultimate Pre-Listing Checklist for Selling your Home
Are you thinking of selling your West Island home? If so, you may think getting ready to sell is quick and easy. However, listing a property isn’t done in a matter of days. It actually takes a few weeks of preparation in order to ensure your home is ready to hit the market. You want the house to sell for the highest price possible, and in the shortest time possible, so it’s all about getting it right the first time.
In order to help guide you through the process, we’ve created the following pre-listing checklist. By following these steps you’ll be in the best shape possible for a smooth selling experience for your Montreal home:
1. Select a real estate broker
Given that your home is likely your greatest asset, securing a sale isn’t something you want to attempt without the help of professionals. So the first thing you should do is select a great real estate broker. But do your research. Select someone local with a good track record, who can be vouched for. Make sure you meet more than one broker, and choose someone you can trust.
2. Check your Certificate of Location
OK, so you’ve selected your realtor. Now it’s time to make sure your Certificate of Location is up to date. The Certificate of Location (COL) is a document that describes the current state of a property. It provides vital information for a buyer, including the location of the property line, whether the property is compliant with local regulations and by-laws, and whether it’s in a flood zone.
The COL is prepared by a land surveyor and it needs to be renewed every 10 years, or after additions such as a pool, shed or deck. It’s critical for completing a house sale, so before listing you should review your current COL with your real estate broker, and check that it’s still valid. If not, renew it straight away. In normal times it can take 3-6 weeks to prepare, but during 2021, due to the impact of the pandemic, homeowners were seeing delays of up to 5 months. Given that a notary will need to be in possession of a COL 20 days before completion, we always advise sellers to do this step at the beginning of the process, in order to avoid delays or the need for costly title insurance further down the line.
As a guide, a COL for a single family home typically costs around $1300 (excluding tax). However, in parallel with the longer processing times, costs have also recently escalated, with one surveyor quoting an eye watering $2000 for a COL in recent months.
3. Conduct a pre-listing building inspection
As part of the condition of sale, buyers will instruct a building inspector to conduct a pre-purchase building inspection. This visual examination assesses every aspect of your home – including the building structure, roofing, plumbing, air conditioning and heating – and adverse issues can affect the sale process.
Pyrite, mould and foundation cracks are just some of the common issues we see sellers caught out by. An unexpected problem can dramatically reduce the buyer’s offer, and at worst cause a sale to fall through. So, in addition to checking the COL requirement, we also advise our sellers to conduct a pre-listing building inspection. This not only helps sellers deal with any defects, but it also means that buyers will be notified of any issues up front. Seeing a pre-listing inspection also gives buyers more confidence in the house they want to buy, as well as the sellers they’re dealing with.
4. Improve your curb appeal
First impressions do count. You can have the most amazing interiors ever, but if the exterior doesn’t match, you’ll put off potential buyers. Your home isn’t just where you live, it’s an expression of yourself. You want people to want this lifestyle, so stand back and take a look at the front of the property. Does it need a tidy up? Does the front door need to be repainted? How about adding some clever planting? This step doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it will make all the difference as to whether buyers are attracted to your house.
5. Declutter and depersonalize the space
This stage isn’t just for the buyers, it will also help you! You’re going to be moving, so now’s the time to have a good clear out. Start by decluttering visible areas such as counters and windowsills, as well as cupboards. Potential buyers need to be able to see what they’re buying, and that there will be enough space for their belongings. Potential buyers need to easily be able to imagine themselves living in your house. So depersonalize as much as you can by putting away family photos and bold works of art.
6. Freshen up your paintwork
That red accent wall may be your favourite feature, but it could be off-putting to buyers. Likewise, old paintwork can look scuffed and dated. So now’s the time to repaint your walls, and we recommend you do it in a neutral colour. Not only will this freshen up your home, but it will also display a blank canvas to potential buyers.
7. Make sure your home is in good repair
We all have fiddly things that need fixing that we just live with. But for many buyers, the attention is in the detail. So check your home room-by-room, make a ‘snagging’ list and take care of the small repairs. This includes replacing light bulbs, repairing broken switches, tightening door knobs, making sure drawers open smoothly and fixing broken window screens.
So that’s it! Follow our checklist and not only will your home be in tip top condition, but you’ll also have paved the way for some amazing marketing for your home. Not only that, but you’ll have circumvented any nasty surprises, ensuring the smoothest selling experience possible.
If you’re interested in selling your home, and want to hit the peak season for house sales, then get in touch today. Here at the Broady Windsor group our brokers not only have the real estate experience, but we’re also well connected with local professionals, via our Homeowner’s Advisory Club. This verified, tried and tested network can provide you with all the support you need for ongoing property maintenance. Not only that, but when it’s time to sell, you’ll quickly be ready to showcase your home, and hit the property market running.