It’s always good to ask questions when it comes to buying or selling a home—this is one of the most significant transactions in life, and no two deals are ever alike. Location paired with real estate market conditions makes every sale a unique process. Therefore, even the best realtors must stay on top of trends to remain the best.

Not having the right answers can make the selling process more stressful and overwhelming than it needs to be—unfortunately, that’s when the most mistakes happen. Read on to learn the top questions (and best answers) sellers have when putting their homes on the market, so you can have a seamless process when selling your home.

Question #1: Is There a Better Time to Sell My Home?

The spring and summer months are definitely the best time to sell your home. Approximately 40% of yearly sales occur between May and August, with the highest prices in June and July. Also, try to list your house on a Thursday so your agent can schedule viewings for the weekend—Thursday listings traditionally sell faster.

Alternately, the fall and winter months are the weakest time for selling homes.

The best time to sell also depends on your local market conditions. During a seller’s market, the demand for housing is higher than the number of houses available, making it a great time to sell your home—regardless of which month it is. Bump up your asking price, and you may even have a bidding war!

Question #2: How Can I Sell My Home Faster?

Three major players determine how fast you sell your home:

  • Market conditions
  • Time of year
  • Location

Here’s how to prepare to speed up the sale of your home:

Tip #1: Hire a Good Real Estate Agent

Their expertise, experience, and local market knowledge can affect how quickly you sell your home.

Tip #2: Make Needed Repairs

Work with your realtor to decide on which repairs are most necessary and which ones can be left alone. They know best which repairs keep buyers from raising red flags.

Tip #3: Stage Your Home

Stage your home by making it look roomier—remove furniture and put it in storage. Take down all family photos or personal collections so prospects can imagine their lives in your home. Add some trending decor for appeal.

Tip #4: Highlight Areas That Make Your Home Unique

What stands out that other homes don’t have? Do you have a stunning entranceway? How about a stone fireplace? A beautiful three-season room with a panoramic view? Whatever it is, flaunt it.

Tip #5: Hire a Professional Photographer

First appearances matter. Impress browsers with professional photos. Also, consider a video walk-through or a 3D virtual tour.

Tip #6: Ask the Right Price

Potential buyers use price filters when searching for homes, and so do their agents. This means your home may get filtered out if priced improperly. Your real estate agent has crucial knowledge of the market in your area and knows what price tag to use to get the right buyers interested faster.

Tip #7: Accept Cash Deals

If you don’t mind getting a much lower price, accept cash deals. Paying cash avoids the average closing period of 30-45 days since there is no financial institution backing a mortgage.

Question #3: How Long Do House Showings Typically Take?

House showings usually take between 15 minutes and an hour, depending on the questions the buyer has and their interest level. The longer the showing, the better chance that your potential buyer is more interested.

Question #4: How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

Both the selling and buying agents get a cut of the sale through commission. The average rate is around 5%, with 2.5% going to the co-op and 2.5% to the listing agent.

Working for commission gives agents the incentive to sell at the highest price, earning top dollar.

Question #5: Can Real Estate Commissions Be Negotiated?

Yes, some agents will lower their commission if conditions meet specific criteria:

  • In a seller’s market, when homes are selling well above average prices
  • If the house is in a trending, desirable neighbourhood
  • If the seller declines standard marketing and other featured services the agent typically provides

Question #6: How Do I Determine My Selling Price?

Determine your selling price by doing a comparative market analysis (CMA) on your property. Your licensed realtor will help you with this using the following info:

  • Square footage of living space
  • Number of bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Any needed renovations or repairs
  • Other listings in your area—expired, current, or sold

Question #7: What Should I Do to Prepare My Home For Sale?

Keep in mind that everything you do, whether minor or major repairs, design changes or decorative accents, they need to add more value than their costs. Here’s a short list of the most cost-effective tricks sellers use to prepare their homes:

  • Move some furniture to storage, so your home looks more spacious
  • Remove family photos to depersonalize your home
  • Freshen up rooms with a coat of paint—ask your agent about the latest colour trends
  • Replace the kitchen hardware on cupboards and drawers
  • Declutter by removing items that you don’t often use
  • Power wash your homes exterior, decking, and driveway
  • Clean up the yard and gardens, pull weeds, mow the lawn, and trim the bushes

Question #8: How Do I Choose When There Are Multiple Offers?

In most cases, the highest offer wins. But, sometimes, other factors can affect your decision:

  • Fewer conditional clauses. This usually means the sale closes quicker. The most common conditional clauses are upon “home inspection”, “securing a mortgage”, and “sale of their own home”.
  • A personal connection. Sometimes a buyer resonates with you over the rest, and you just know they’ll love and care for your home as you did.
  • A higher down payment. This usually means the buyer is extra serious about the sale and may be in a stronger financial position to close.

Question #9: Should I Sell My Home Before or After I Buy a New One?

It all depends on what the housing market says. If you’re in a buyers market, your home will take longer to sell, so begin the sale process while looking for your new home.

If you’re in a seller’s market, start looking for your new home first. You may need to bid on several before your offer gets accepted—then, you can list and quickly sell your home.

Question #10: What Do I Legally Have to Disclose About the Property?

Real estate deals in the province of Ontario require you to disclose known latent defects. A latent defect is anything hidden or not apparent that may make your home unfit for habitation or dangerous. Latent defects include:

  • Mould
  • Any structural issues
  • Basement flooding with any heavy rainfall
  • Faulty electrical wiring
  • Infestations

Alternatively, you don’t need to disclose patent defects to the buyer. Patent defects are visible defects that the buyer or home inspector can see, such as:

  • Visible cracks in the foundation
  • Roof shingles in poor condition
  • Water damage on walls indicates a leaking roof
  • Broken or missing fixtures
  • A door that won’t close properly

Your agent follows a code of ethics which means they can’t mislead a buyer by not disclosing a known defect. The buyer’s recourse is legal action against the seller.

Do You Have Unanswered Questions About Selling Your Home?

If you’re still feeling unsure about the complexities of selling your home, you’re not alone. There’s so much to know when it comes to real estate! And you’re certainly not expected to know the ins and outs of the entire industry.

But do you know who does? An experienced realtor like Joel Cooper—helping homeowners sell their homes in Toronto and the GTA for over 14 years. Speaking with a reliable and reputable realtor can help you sort through the real estate questions that keep you up at night, so you can be sure to receive the best deal for your home.

If it’s on your mind, ask it. Let’s talk!

Get in touch today.

Hi, I’m Joel, a real estate professional based in Toronto.

My approach is simple—I put you first. I believe in open communication, total transparency, and meaningful results. I’ll guide you through the real estate process, market values, and always keep the focus on you—and your needs.