Whether you are just thinking about selling, or need to sell soon, the first thing you will want to do is to get to know the market. You can get a sense of what homes are selling for, and how your home compares to those that are selling. You may also want to explore the market as a buyer, for the type of home and location you are heading to. With this information in hand you will want to review your financial situation to firm up your options.
We have a great tool that lets you see what the market is doing. It brings listings to you and when a home sells it will show you the sold price. Other than talking to a Realtor, this is the only place you can easily see what homes sold for. For more information see PCS.
For more detail on selling your home, see Home Selling in Detail.
The Comox marina at first light.
The Canadian forces Snowbirds team flies in formation over mountains near the Comox Glacier.
Get to know the market: Getting familiar with the market will give you an idea of what your home may sell for, and what cost you may be looking at for your new home. You can view current listings on the public MLS® site or PCS or the internet in general. You can also watch the paper and your neighbourhood for homes that are on the market and attend open houses.
PCS (Private Client Services) can be very useful as it will show you when homes sell and the selling price (not just the asking price). Comparing your home to those that sold, rather than those that are listed, will give you a better idea of what you can expect. See PCS – How It Works and Get PCS for more information.
Review your financial situation: While you may have personal or work related reasons for wanting to move, a closer look at your financial situation will determine the financial impact of a move, and whether this is a good time for you. If you have a mortgage you will want to talk to the company about your options and costs for terminating or moving the mortgage. You may also want to talk to a Realtor® for a firmer estimate on what you can expect for a selling price, things you may want to consider doing to get your home ready to sell, and the costs associated with selling your home. Your financial situation and market conditions will determine if it is a good time for you to sell.
Preparing your home for sale: Viewing listings will give you a good sense of the condition of the homes you are going to be competing with. Buyers do comparison shopping, so try to look at your home compared to other's listed through the eyes of a buyer. Your Realtor will review your home and set priorities on which changes will have the greatest impact.
Tip: Try to look at your home and the listings through the eyes of a buyer. Buyers do comparison shopping, looking at what is available and selecting what they think is the best value. Value is a combination of price and the features and location of a home. Buyer's perceptions also affect their sense of value.
Listing your home: In order to list your home there are some things you may want to do beforehand. Have your Realtor® do a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for you to help set the price and to identify the listings you will be competing with. A CMA reviews similar homes currently on the market, plus recently sold homes (which reveals what buyers thought was a fair price), and expired listings (homes that did not sell because the price was too high). A good Realtor will use other tools for interpreting the market for you and will discuss listing strategies with you.
Your Realtor® will help identify what you can do to prepare your home. Positioning your home against the others is the most important part of a listing. Every home is different and each buyer has their unique needs and preferences; the goal is to match the attributes of your home with the preferences of the right buyer. A well-developed listing will communicate your home’s advantages effectively and target the right buyer who will appreciate your home’s features and attributes. Your listing is an invitation to the buyer to consider your home, and it is important that it reaches the right buyers with the right message.
Crystal clear waters of Barber's Hole, a popular swimming area on the Puntledge River west of Courtenay.
Tip: In today's world the first impression buyers have of your home is the listing. It should present your home in a positive and accurate manner. When buyers view a home and find it different than what they expected based on the listing, they usually are disappointed. Disappointment is hard to overcome.
The famous Elasmosaur, discovered along the banks of the Puntledge River in the Comox Valley.
Receiving an Offer: Usually an offer only allows a day to respond, as buyers don’t want a competing offer to come in while you are considering theirs. This time frame can be extended during negotiations if necessary. When you receive an offer you have three options--to accept it, to reject it, or to counter-offer. If you choose to counter-offer, often the negotiations between the buyer and seller, through their Realtors®, happens verbally. If an agreement is reached, the offer will then be changed and both parties sign the new offer. The main items of negotiation are usually the price and the date of possession.
After an offer is accepted the buyer will have a period of time, usually a couple of weeks, to address their “subject-to” clauses. The most common subject-to clauses involve finalizing the financing, and the home inspections. Most buyers are pre-approved for their mortgage so the financing usually is not an issue, although sometimes the bank will require an appraisal of the home. The cost of appraisal and the inspections are covered by the buyer. Once the subject-to clauses are removed by the buyer, the contract is firm (unconditional) and your home is considered sold. The process now moves to lawyers and/or notaries to transfer title and funds between the parties.
Tip: This is a brief summary of the process. The contracts and forms required involve quite a bit of paperwork and it’s a good idea to review them earlier on with your Realtor so you are familiar with them before you receive an offer.
Gerry Chwelos is the most knowledgeable and competent realtor I have ever dealt with. He maintains a close eye on the real estate markets both in the Comox Valley and the Island. His advise on staging and decluttering led to my home selling for full asking price and $20,000 more than an identical unit in the same complex. Gerry made the entire process comfortable, quick and stress free. I recommend Gerry to anyone selling or purchasing in the Comox Valley. Debora Williams. See Client Feedback for more client comments.