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Seller Information

Thinking of Selling?

There are a million different reasons why people sell their homes, but every seller has one thing in common: the desire to get as much money as possible from their existing residence as quickly and as hassle-free as possible. (If your home is your principal residence, you won't have to pay capital gains tax on any profits from the sale. If, on the other hand, it is an investment property, prepare for the tax man!)

Before you begin the selling process, really evaluate why you're moving. Do you have too few rooms, or too many? Has your job moved to another city and you're relocating? Are the neighbours driving you away? Or are you simply looking for a change? A complete analysis of your current position will set a good foundation for your next home hunt.

Choosing a REALTOR®

Your REALTOR® is a trained professional who knows all aspects of the real estate market. A REALTOR® will save you time, money and aggravation.

As with purchasing a home, you want to list with a REALTOR® who is the expert in your location. After all, potential purchasers will be calling this "area expert" to inquire about houses for sale. There will be a few of them who are knowledgeable about your neighbourhood. Call them up and interview your potential agent. You need to feel comfortable with him or her, after all, they will be working for you. 

Understand Market Conditions

The real estate market is in constant flux, not only as a whole but in particular areas as well. Knowing what is going on in the overall and local real estate markets will help you understand how these conditions can affect the sale of your home. We've designed the following chart to help give you an overview of the three significant market positions. When you meet with your agent, ask about the current state of the market.

  1. Buyers' Market:
    The supply of homes on the market exceeds demand. 
    • Characteristics: High inventory of homes. Few buyers compared to availability. Homes usually stay on the market longer. Prices are stable or perhaps dropping. 
    • Implications: Buyers spend more time looking for a home, and when they negotiate, they usually have more leverage.
  2. Sellers' Market: The number of potential buyers exceeds the supply of homes on the market.
    What's more, if it's a buyers' market, you may be in a strong position to purchase a new home, especially if you have accumulated some equity in your current property. 
    • Characteristics: There is a smaller inventory of homes with many buyers. Homes sell quickly. Prices usually increase.
    • Implications: Prices may be higher or perhaps climbing. Buying decisions must be made quickly. Conditional offers may be rejected. 
  3. Balanced Market: The number of homes on the market is roughly equal to the demand.
    Speak to your REALTOR® and start your new home search as soon as your existing home hits the market. 
    • Characteristics: Demand equals supply. Sellers accept reasonable offers. Homes sell within a reasonable time period. Prices generally remain stable.
    • Implications:There is less tension among buyers and sellers. There is a reasonable number of homes to choose from.

Do You Have All of the Necessary Documents Handy?
Gather the documents you'll need to sell your home. 

  • Mortgage documents: you may wish to meet with your loans officer to discuss transferring, discharging or paying out your mortgage. This is a good time to begin negotiations on the terms of your next mortgage. 
  • Property survey: be sure to inform your REALTOR® if there have been any changes to your property that could affect the accuracy of the survey.
  • Your deed or transfer of title document.
  • Tax assessment documents.
  • Utility bills.
  • Other claims relating to your home:
    • separation agreement or court order
    • will or probate documents
    • liens
    • unpaid judgments against you
    • unpaid taxes
    • unpaid utilities
    • pending litigation
  • Pertinent condominium documents (if you live in this type of home).
  • Maintenance history (include repair receipts). 
  • Items and information that will make your home more marketable: 
    • photographs or videos of your home with the garden in bloom or your pool open and beautiful
    • conceptual ideas for upgrades or renovations that you have considered 

Determine Your Asking Price

Before you put your home up for sale, you must set the price. And before you can do that, you must know what the house is worth. That doesn't mean what you paid for it, or how you upgraded it. Determining worth is simply finding out what someone would pay for it. 

The steps in determining worth are: 

  1. Understanding market conditions 
  2. Getting the details about recent sales in your neighbourhood

REALTORS® have access to all of this information. Plus, they can objectively see the big picture and tell you what makes your home unique.

Once you've determined your home's worth, you and your agent will determine the asking price. Most often, the price of a home is set slightly higher than its worth, to give a little "bargaining space." Of course, if it is set too high, it may deter prospective buyers. 

If you're in a rush to sell your home, setting the asking price a little lower than what your home is worth will attract a lot of attention. But beware, if the price sounds too good to be true, buyers may be skeptical. They may even offer less than the asking price anticipating problems with the home down the road.

You will have a legal relationship with your agent. When you complete the listing agreement, you are giving your REALTOR® the authority to put your house on the market for a specified period. 


Document Checklist 

  • Mortgage documents 
  • Property survey
  • Your deed or transfer of title document
  • Tax assessment documents
  • Utility bills
  • Other claims relating to your home
  • Pertinent condominium documents (if you live in this type of home)
  • Maintenance history (include repair receipts)
  • Additional sale enhancing items and information 


Are There Costs Involved in Selling?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Even if you think your home is perfect, you may have to do some minor repairs or upgrades to make your home more attractive to potential purchasers. 

  • A professional home inspection may be a condition of the offer. If the
  • inspection points to problems, your purchaser may ask that you make the
  • necessary repairs or choose not to close the deal. 
  • Closing costs, such as lawyers' fees or unpaid taxes, will also have to be paid. 
  • Mortgage discharge fees may be levied by your lending institution. 
  • Sales commissions must be paid. 


Marketing your home

While we all believe that our home is our castle, our personal tastes may not appeal to everyone. Your REALTOR® will work with you to give you an impartial analysis of your home - how it relates to other "competing" homes on the market and how your home reflects current design and style trends. Your agent will also take a good look at the general condition and upkeep of your dwelling. 

Overall, your REALTOR® will work with you to position your home on the market so that your sales experience will take place as expeditiously as possible. 

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