ESTIMATE YOUR COST TO SELL
Before you make the final decision to sell your house, consider the costs you will incur before, during and after the process. In a real estate transaction, the seller can be responsible for the cost of certain expenses, such as remuneration (commission) for real estate professionals, buyouts on equipment, betterment charges and paying the portion of yearly property taxes and/or condo fees during the period of time you own the home, etc.. If you have an existing mortgage, you will most likely have to pay a pre-payment penalty for paying off your mortgage early. You may want to do household repairs, landscaping, or apply a fresh coat of paint to ensure you get the best price for your house, all of which are costs to be budgeted for.
GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER
Check your credit report before you apply for a mortgage. Doing so gives you the chance to fix mistakes or correct bad credit behaviors so potential lenders will look at you more favorably.
OBTAIN MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL
You don't need to buy me an engagement ring BUT I strongly suggest to all buyers and sellers to choose your representation wisely!
By entering into a brokerage or service agreement with a REALTOR®, you are signing a contract to work with a brokerage for a specific duration of time. If you decide partway through that you no longer wish to work with your representation, removing yourself from the contract is not always easy and typically requires mutual consent from both parties in order to terminate – you cannot simply tear up your agreement or fire your REALTOR® on a whim. Do your research and ensure that you choose representation that you are comfortable working with for the long haul as, while the duration of contracts vary and are negotiable, they typically run from a few months to a year.
Communicate honestly and clearly with your REALTOR®—disclose all relevant information
As a client, a REALTOR® represents you in dealings with third parties and has obligations to you. As your representative, they must act on your authorization based on the information you have provided to them. To avoid misunderstandings in the client relationship, it is important not to make any assumptions. Ask questions in situations where you do not fully understand what the issues or choices are and give your REALTOR® clear instructions.
If you are a seller, you must disclose all material latent defects known about your property to a potential buyer; otherwise you may be liable to the buyer for the costs of repairing these defects. Ensure your REALTOR® is fully aware of any latent defects effecting the property by putting it in writing by either completing it in a Property Conditions Disclosure (PDS) or otherwise in writing. You and your REALTOR® have an obligation to disclose any material latent defects when asked, and must always respond truthfully.
If you are a buyer, ensure your REALTOR® is aware of all of your needs in a property, transaction requirements (i.e. possession date) and any financial constraints. Always have in writing these needs, transaction requirements.