Real Estate 101

An Informed Decision: Selling

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Expectations of an agent

I’ve previously mentioned the benefits buyers and sellers get when hiring a real estate professional. My clients know they can rely on my knowledge and expertise when they’re looking to buy or list their property. Agents know exactly what needs to happen, when things need to happen and how long the process can take. I offer an added peace of mind during what can be a stressful time. My job isn’t just about handing over a set of keys. Whether it has to do with pointing you towards a qualified buyer, a transaction, filing documents, helping you understand the real property report or better explaining title insurance, I am here to cater to you and your needs, no matter the ask or the task.

Knowing the numbers

I’m always happy to talk numbers with my clients. It can start with asking the question - “Can I afford this property?” It’s important to understand all of the numbers involved with making an offer on a home.

As a realtor, I’m here to offer my clients, whether they’re buying or selling, a comparative market analysis. This means providing an estimate of a home’s value based on similar properties in the area. But it’s important my clients understand how much they’re able to offer as a down payment, what closing costs include, the importance of a home inspection, as well as who is responsible for making any repairs prior to the possession date. Not everyone understands the amount of money needed upfront in order to purchase a home.

Typically someone who is looking to buy or sell has already approached their bank or has spoken with a mortgage broker and understands the pre-approval. They’ve also taken the time to check their credit and make sure they’re in a good position to buy or upgrade. In certain circumstances, changes to spending habits need to happen before someone can get serious about buying. It’s about setting yourself up for success for the future.

Currently, Medicine Hat is in a seller’s market, which means sellers have an advantage. Properties are selling for their listed asking price, and sometimes over, and properties are moving quickly. When selling without a property in mind, I suggest my clients set a possession date well into the future. This will allow them time to find a place they love and be able to make to make a move on it, but I always recommend having a back-up plan in the event they don’t find a property they love. 

Your needs

It’s important that I understand your motivation, whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a family looking for a bigger home, or someone with too much space looking to downsize. A clear picture of what you’re looking for makes my job easy and fun.

The pandemic shifted the way people buy and sell their homes, but it’s my job to make you feel comfortable. I’m happy to schedule showings, or direct you to virtual tours and professional photos as a starting place. My website is a great resource, especially if you’re hoping to narrow down your search by beginning online. Social media has become another great option to find and stumble upon new properties as they hit the market.

Creating a show-worthy home

I tell all of my sellers it’s extremely important that when a home is shown, it’s in its best condition.

When a home goes on the market, you get one chance to make that first impression, whether it’s through photos online, or in person with a showing or an open house. When buyers see a home, they want to imagine what their life would feel like, without seeing personal mementos scattered throughout each room. Having a clean and clutter-free home will also help get you top dollar for your property. A move-in ready home is very appealing to buyers. Even if you’re still living in the home, it’s important to minimize those personal belongings so a possible buyer can see the size and potential in each room.

Pre-list preparations

Once I’ve completed a walkthrough of the home and property, I provide my clients with a checklist of things to-do before listing their property on the market. This list includes suggestions, like packing up belongings that aren’t being used, renting a storage unit and decluttering living spaces and bedrooms. It’s also important that the home is cleaned, whether by yourself or professionally, before pictures are taken and before that first showing. Buyers want to see and feel clean floors, touch clean countertops see the grass is cut and green. Curb appeal is just as important as what’s on the inside. Remember, as the seller, you only have one chance to make an impression with anyone who walks through your front door.

Soft staging

With a background in design, I’m able to share my knowledge and expertise with clients when it comes to staging a home. Appropriately staged furniture not only appeals to buyers, but can also help maximize a space. This helps to market properties, even if someone is living in the home. It can also be of benefit to vacant properties, to help a home or condo feel warm and lived in. I offer a complimentary consultation on furniture placement and in some cases will do a soft stage prior to professional photos being taken. If you’re interested in learning more about what I can offer, I encourage you to get in touch.

Marketing & social media strategies

Agents use a number of different platforms to showcase their listings and work hard to market houses and condos based on who would best suit a property. From young professionals, to families with children and older couples looking to downsize, everyone needs something different, but not everyone gets their information the same way. I promote my listings through as many different avenues as possible, to make sure everyone who should see your home does. 

Before a property is listed, I’m sharing photos as sneak peeks to let my clients, followers and fellow realtors know what’s about to hit the market. This can be done through photos and videos shared on social media. I like to create some excitement with buyers, giving them a little taste of what’s to come while leaving them wanting more. Paid advertisements is another tactic, whether online or traditional forms of media. With these strategies, I’m able to offer an extensive rollout of the home, and showcase different features over the days and weeks that follow. I also share information and market any upcoming open houses I’m hosting. 

Social media plays a big role in the real estate market. Oftentimes it’s how millennials and the younger generation are learning about properties, sometimes for the first time. Facebook and Instagram lend themselves to starting a conversation and can help begin building that relationship.

Entering into negotiations

Once we’ve found you the home that fits your lifestyle, it’s time to enter into negotiations with the listing agent and seller. This is one of the most important times when it comes to purchasing a property, because all that hard work comes down to these moments. Realtors use a number of different tactics and I can help you understand both sides. I tell my clients, as difficult as it may be, it’s important to take the emotion out of this process. Negotiations should come down to facts, statistics and numbers. It’s my job to help you understand the sale price, comparables and what a good first offer looks like so that you can come to an educated and thoughtful answer as we move through this stage of the process together.

Priced to sell

I tailor my services to clients individually. You won’t get a cookie-cutter experience from me. I like to offer each of my clients something different, more than the average experience. I’m dedicated to this career and to finding you that perfect property. 

“Joanne had endless patience with us as we looked at dozens of homes over a three month period. She was able to make a stressful time enjoyable. She worked incredibly hard for us during that time. We could tell that Joanne truly loves her job!” - The Ashe family.

Let me help you have that piece of mind when searching for your next house. Together we can make you feel right at home.

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