Staging and home preparation

You know what they say, first impressions are everything! You have one chance to wow each potential buyer that walks though your door. Setting your home up for success is a huge consideration that can affect how long your property takes to sell, its final sale price, and whether your deal will contain any conditions. That being said, it’s important not to break your bank either. Nothing is more frustrating than spending $15,000 on renos when it only increases your home’s value by $10,000. Try focusing on the essentials like painting, cleaning, gardening, appliance or structural repair, and staging. It is recommended that you discuss your property with us before performing any large scale renovations to ensure that they align with a winning listing strategy.

Real estate commission

Most sellers generally find that their real estate agent’s commission is the most costly aspect of the sale transaction. It’s true, short of renovations and property transfer taxes this is a large portion of what you can expect in fees. There is also a wide variety of service and commission options to choose from, with differing experience, skills, inclusions, and results. You can of course sell your home on yourself – with the reach of the internet and social media, the For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) model can indeed result in successful transactions. The downside is all of the hands-on work involved. DIY sellers will also need to have a strong grasp of their home’s value and how it can be marketed. If an owner does not position and showcase their home correctly or to the right audience, it can sit for months. Owners selling their own homes will also need to be strong negotiators and be connected with legal professionals who they know will not take advantage of them. Conversely, the vast majority of sellers choose to hire a professional real estate agent to sell their home. When a professional completes the deal on your property listing, the deal’s commission is split between: your sales agent – the “listing agent”, the listing agent’s brokerage (the real estate company they operate under), the buyer’s agent, and the buyer’s agent’s brokerage. You can expect Realtor’s to charge between 1% to 7% to list a home for sale. Variance in this amount will be determined in part by the state of the market, your agent’s experience and ability to produce results, along with  amount depends on the agent’s experience and results, business model, included services and the amount offered to the agent who brings the Buyer. Most discount agents and brokerages will not include many services, whereas our full-service agents will pay for professional photography, videography, virtual tours, floor plans, online marketing, print marketing, cleaning, home inspections, staging and more.

Legal Fees & mortgage penalties

Legal fees to sell your home will depend on the law firm you choose and the price of your home. In Vancouver, you can expect to pay around $1,500 to sell a $650,000 home. If you live in the lower mainland, chances are that if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will charge you a penalty to “break” your term early. Most traditional lenders like banks will allow you to apply the remaining mortgage balance to the mortgage of a new property (sometimes called bridge financing). Other lenders may have additional restrictions. If you’re selling your home and not buying a new one, you will likely have to pay a pre-payment penalty, which is usually in the thousands of dollars. Talk to your lender in advance so that you are fully informed about all of the in depth costs and what you can do to work with or mitigate them.

Pre-listing home inspections (for houses)

We’ve heard it before – owners think that their houses are in great condition and market ready, why should they bother paying for an inspection which the buyer will most likely perform again themselves as a deal condition? The fact is that many sellers are unaware of the small problems that can become big problems when they are flagged by a buyer’s home inspection in the middle of your negotiations. The fact is that information is everything during the negotiation process. A pre-listing home inspection can give you the seller the opportunity to be proactive about unforeseen issues while also presenting a level of confidence and transparency about your property to your potential buyers. This short term cost of approximately $500 is worth the long term gain. Because condos reside under strata management, pre-listing inspections are generally not as useful in the same way that they are for houses.

Added costs when selling a condo

So what extra costs do you have to think about when selling your condo in Vancouver? One minor fees can include a preparation/viewing of the status certificate of the condominium corporation. At some point during the purchase process your buyer (and their lawyer and lender) will want to review this set of documents that describes the legal and financial health of the condo corporation. This review may likely even be a condition of the deal so as to allow the buyer to ensure everything is to their liking. This document can cost around $100 for your strata to prepare and as processing can take a week or more it is recommended that it be ordered in advance to be made available to your buyers.

Closing Costs

Towards the end of your deal’s conclusion, your lawyer will give you a full breakdown of any remaining costs such as unpaid utility bills, strata fees, or property taxes. The Seller is responsible for these costs up until the date of closing. Any closing dates that fall in between your payment schedule will be billed to the day. The Buyer is responsible for paying land transfer taxes.