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Info for Sellers

The normal way of selling is called ‘listing’ a property for sale.  A seller signs a listing agreement – officially a Seller Brokerage Agreement -  with us, which includes things like: a description of the property, the asking price, what kind of advertising the seller wants, defines the commission payable on sale, the duration of the listing ...etc.

Sellers may also choose to sell their property themselves, privately or via other services like Propertyguys.  These are collectively known as FSBO's - For Sale By Owner.  If you feel you’re up to selling your home yourself, by all means go ahead: some people have the skills and personality to do this well. But note this: current industry statistics show that around 80% of all FSBO’s eventually sell through a realtor.

The single most important part of the listing agreement is the asking price, and the most common mistake sellers make is to ask way over the market value of their property. Almost everyone thinks their own home is worth more than it is. (I know we ourselves were unpleasantly surprised when we had our house appraised for a mortgage a while ago!)

New listings attract the most attention when they ARE new.  The first couple of weeks always brings the most calls on a new listing.  If the price is out if line with sales of similar properties interest fades quickly, and it is hard to get it back, even after subsequent price reductions.  The words we least like to hear when discussing list price  are “ we can always go down”.  It usually doesn’t work well that way.

We will try to research recent sales of “similar” properties to guide you in deciding an asking price. The problem with our part of the world is that “comparables” as they are called are hard to find.  In a city there may be several recent sales of fairly similar houses, in similar neighbourhoods.  Here in rural Cape Breton the number of sales is much lower, and properties – especially when it comes to location and land  - are very different, so comparing  one place to another is fraught with problems.      

Another aspect of this is that we look for SOLD cases to come up with comparables.  Sellers sometimes look at LIST prices of properties for sale in their neighbourhood.  Unfortunately, all that tells us is what they’re NOT selling for: list prices are not a good guide to market value!  

Note that what we do here - for anyone considering selling, or even just curious  - is called a Market Evaluation.  We do not charge for this.  There is sometimes confusion between this and an Appraisal.  An appraisal is required for certain legal purposes: a bank usually requires one if you apply for a mortgage for instance. An appraisal must be done by a certified appraiser, and can cost several hundred dollars.  We are not appraisers. 

For more on this whole topic of pricing , just Google “pricing houses” and you’ll get all kinds of advice and information. 

For advice on other aspects of selling a house, try this article, called "What sells a house"  CLICK HERE