Steps to getting a property on the market

By Vern McClelland

May 18, 2018 12:25 PM

It usually starts with a phone call, “Hi Vern, we are thinking of selling our property, what do we need to do?”
There is a lot of “behind the scenes” preparation needed before I even meet with you, starting with pulling the land title.
Why, you may ask, would I need to know what is on the title?
Well, first you may be surprised how many times the person making the call is not the only owner, or in fact, an owner at all.
All people registered on title need to agree to listing it.
Sometimes, there has been a relationship breakdown and one party wants out without the other owner knowing. Not going to happen.
The title may be registered to someone no longer alive, in which case, a court approved representative, is the one who can enter into a contract.
The title also informs us about mortgages, tax liens, judgements, pending litigation, easements, and development restrictions; all of which have a bearing on how or if we will proceed to the next step.
Which is valuation.
I like my clients to have an in-depth understanding of the current value of the property plus any issues that may distract potential buyers once on market and if there will be any restrictions to setting a possession date.
It is a lot easier to put the ship in the harbor if we agree where the harbor is.
Otherwise we are simply floating on the waves waiting for an undefined opportunity to come sailing by.
The old saying that the first three rules of real estate are “location, location, location” is quite true.
So are boundaries of the parcel, zoning, condition of neighbouring properties, proposed development for the area if any; the list goes on.
Now we have a plan.
It’s time for a brokerage contract outlining undertakings by both the seller and their Realtor.
I need a reasonable length of time to market the property and if you aren’t willing to give me that, then I will likely not spend my money and time on it.
Of course, we all want to stay with a listing until it sells but sometimes sellers feel by changing their agent, there will be a better chance.
Sometimes true, but often not.
Price and patience are really the only weapons one has in a buyers’ market and it is really annoying to the outgoing Realtor to see the seller reduce their asking price with an incoming one.
So, you knew the price needed to change, but you weren’t willing to do so with someone who has already invested significantly in campaigning your property?
With a listing contract in place, particularly those utilizing the Multiple Listing Service, we will take measurements, record features of the property, and film both still photos and a video virtual tour.
Interesting enough, only one quarter of Realtors use video, relying on Open Houses instead, even knowing almost all buyers these days do extensive research online before ever calling their agent.
Our Group is the other way, we see the virtual tour as a 24/7 opportunity for potential buyers to check out a property to determine if it has the right attributes to meet their needs.
The result? Fewer showings and less disruption to the seller and their family routines, but better prospects when we do walk through with them on site.
At that point, the property must sell itself.

Vern McClelland is an associate broker with RE/MAX of Lloydminster. He can be reached at (780) 808-2700, through www.vernmcclelland.com or by following the Midwest Group Lloydminster on Facebook.

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