FAQsFrequently Asked Questions
I’m considering selling my property. What steps should I take?
Contact a REALTOR®. Check with friends, family or co-workers to see if they recommend any local REALTORS®. Make sure the REALTOR® you select is knowledgeable with your particular type of home and your neighborhood. Get market comparables for your property to ensure you list at market value. Don’t necessarily choose the REALTOR® based on the highest listing price. Be sure the comparables substantiate the listing price. A good REALTOR® can make suggestions on how to “prepare” your home and property for sale as well. Be prepared to possibly complete minor repairs if required, possibly re-paint certain areas, a general landscape tidy or cleanup as these will all help achieve a higher price and a more timely sale.
Why use a REALTOR®?
Listing your property with a competent REALTOR® will help you achieve a higher sale price and a quicker one as well. The marketing done by a professional REALTOR® will exceed marketing that the average home owner can achieve or has the time to achieve (after all, this is a full time job and you already have one). A REALTOR® will market your property in multiple platforms getting you maximum exposure for your home and expose it to the highest amount of possible purchasers. A REALTOR® will also protect you from potential legal issues. Having a knowledgeable professional through the process of buying or selling will protect your interests.
What do I need to disclose when I sell?
There are a number of items that sellers are required to disclose such as: defects, does all work/renovations meet Building Code, was all work permitted if required, presence of neighborhood nuisances or noises, grow operation existence, bylaws or restrictions that may affect property use (ask your REALTOR®), underground storage tanks, septic, etc. The list goes on but your REALTOR® can assist you in the process should you have any questions. A Property Disclosure Statement (PDS) must be completed by sellers prior to having their property listed by a REALTOR®.
Should I sell my existing property first?
This situation is different for each person and will depend on a number of factors such as:
- Can I afford payments on 2 properties?
- Can I manage/look after 2 properties?
- What is the local housing market like?
- What if I sell first and then can’t find anything to purchase in time?
There are a number of factors to consider, but using a REALTOR® will help as they can assist you in understanding the pros and cons of your decisions.
What do I need to do to prepare my home for sale?
Here are a few tips to give your home the best chance for a sale with the highest possible sale price:
- Ensure your home is clean (inside and out). Vacuum and keep floors clean, beds made and bedrooms tidy, bathrooms spotless, everything to be dusted regularly. Insure your home smells clean too and there are no pet odours.
- Remove all clutter from shelves, closets, counters, floors, and even your garage. A neat and tidy home shows pride of ownership.
- Consider removing some photos from walls if they are cluttered. You may want to remove personal photos from walls and just leave “artwork” hanging. Buyers often envision their family living there, so you want your home to appear “welcoming” but not too personal.
- Curb appeal is extremely important. Many buyers tour areas before even enlisting a REALTOR and decide what they want to look at. Curb appeal is critical in this aspect. Keep grass mowed and watered (if permitted). Remove clutter from driveways, patios, decks, etc. Possibly park extra vehicles, RV’s, boats, etc. offsite temporarily. Possibly pressure wash driveway, patio, siding, etc. for a spotlessly clean exterior.
- Consider neutral paint colours where you may have bold colours as colours can be very personal.
Ultimately, your REALTOR® can provide you with specific recommendations to help you get the most for your home. A market evaluation from any REALTOR® is free and at that time the REALTOR® can explain their recommendations along with a market assessment, and then it’s up to you.
When is the best time to sell my home?
Although this decision may be based heavily on personal factors, a REALTOR® can explain current market trends, how much “product” is currently available, etc. Traditionally, in the Okanagan, the busiest months for sales are in the spring (April – June). This doesn’t mean this is the only time to list, as these months traditionally have more inventory as well. The summer months slow down slightly, however, there are still a number of sales. The fall months pick up from summer (although not as strong as spring months), and then it usually quiets down for the holidays with another increase after the holidays are over. Contact a REALTOR® to find out more in your specific area, price range, etc. as certain factors could impact your sale.
Are there standard terms and conditions in an offer? Which ones are OK to accept? Which ones should I try to change?
Standard terms are included in most offers. Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list, but some of these are:
- Review of title
- Review of Property Disclosure Statement
- Home inspection
Your REALTOR® can explain each T&C to you and assist you in deciding what is acceptable to you, and what may not be acceptable. For instance, if a buyer has a “subject to the sale of their property” in the offer, you will more than likely want to include a 72 hour contingency clause in your counter offer (ask REALTOR® for details).
Why use a REALTOR® to buy a property?
A REALTOR® is a trained professional in all aspects of real estate that will represent your best interests. Your REALTOR® is constantly undergoing training as professional development is required to maintain a license. Your REALTOR® will have a list of professional services that can assist you through the process (lawyer, mortgage broker, home inspector, etc.). In addition your REALTOR® will have local knowledge about neighbourhoods, schools, bylaws/zoning restrictions and possibly even upcoming development in the area.
Why use us as your REALTOR® to buy a property?
With a large amount of experience in residential construction, we have relevant knowledge that will help you in choosing a home. We can possibly “weed out” poorly constructed or problematic homes and can assist you in understanding costs to repair or renovate. We understand the permit process and know what to look for in recently renovated and/or new construction. We also have knowledge of the BC Building code which allows us to possibly notice things that are not up to code in a home where others may not notice. If in doubt, we know who to contact at City Building Departments and what to ask. With this knowledge, in addition to MLS access, bylaw and zoning knowledge, and more, we will assist our clients in any way possible. To top it all off, the trailer service we provide to help you with your move after the purchase is unparalleled.
What does it cost to use a REALTOR® to buy a home?
Generally speaking, there are no additional costs to the buyer as the commission is paid out of the transaction (indirectly, the commission is built into the sale price). Using the negotiation skills of a REALTOR® can often save you money in a purchase as they will expertly negotiate on your behalf. The REALTOR® can assist in the entire process, saving you time, money and stress.
What do I need to do to find a home?
If you want, you can start your search by deciding on a number of factors such as:
- Type of residence (condo, townhouse, single family home, etc.)
- Size (square footage)
- Number of beds/baths
- Yard or lot size
- Additional wants/needs (view, pool, school catchment, etc.)
- Price range or maximum price
If you need assistance with any of these factors, contact your REALTOR® even if you haven’t decided as they may have knowledge to assist in your decision making process. You may even just want to tour neighborhoods on your own to get a better feel for particular areas. Once you decide on these factors, you can start searching MLS listings on-line or leave it up to your REALTOR® to search for you. Your REALTOR® can also put you on an email listing that will automatically send you emails of properties that meet your criteria.
Once the property is found, your REALTOR® will work with you, from showings to offer and counter-offer writing, to title searches, right through completion. In my case, I even supply the trailer and transport to move.
What other fees or costs should I be prepared for?
This is an excellent question, and one that a lot of buyers forget about, or just don’t realize they need to budget for. Below is a list of some of the fees/costs that may be incurred by a home buyer, however, not an exhaustive list. Ask your REALTOR® which fees may apply to your particular transaction.
- Legal fees and disbursements
- GST and PST (if applicable)
- Property Transfer Tax
- Property taxes and adjustments (reimbursed to the vendor)
- Interest on interim financing, if any
- Utility payments and connection charges
- Strata or condo fees
- Survey fee
- Estoppel Certificate fee
- Home Inspection fee
- Appraisal fee
- Mortgage broker’s fee (if applicable)
- Mortgage loan insurance premium (if down payment less than 20%-can be built into mtge. Pmt.)
- Mortgage loan insurance application fee (if down payment less than 20%)
- Moving expenses (substantially reduced with me supplying trailer and transport!!)
- Renovations and repairs
- Furniture, paint, window coverings, carpet
- Property/condo insurance
- Mortgage application fee
- Deed and/or mortgage registration fee
What areas do we, Mullen Keller Real Estate Group serve?
We serve the general Kelowna area. Anything from Peachland, West Kelowna, Kelowna, Lake Country, Fintry all the way to Big White Mountain. Admittedly, we (nor any REALTOR® for that matter) can not know every detail of every neighborhood in such a large geographical area but you have our word, as your trusted professional, that if we don’t know the answer to any of your questions, give us a little time and we’ll find out.
If you are looking at real estate outside of our area we have a large network of competent professionals that we can refer you to that will assist you with your real estate transaction.