Wahi’s Home Seller’s Playbook

Here are nine steps to selling your home.

By Kristin Doucet | 6 minute read

Apr 8

Welcome to the world of home selling! This step-by-step playbook is designed to ease some of the stress of selling your home. Selling a home involves many steps: marketing your property, scheduling showings, negotiating offers, and more. Wahi wants to help you get so in the know on all things home selling, so we’ve created this guide to get you started.


Step 1: Prepare Yourself Emotionally


Selling your home can be an emotional decision, particularly if it’s your first home or if it’s the home where you’ve spent many years celebrating many milestones. As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is,” so it’s only natural to have mixed feelings about putting your home on the market.


Focusing on the objective and why you’ve decided to sell can help you manage your emotions and make the process less stressful. Starting to declutter your home one to two months before listing it can make the process less emotionally overwhelming. It will also make your home more visually appealing and easier to stage.


Step 2: Get a Home Value Estimate 


Whether you live in a condo or a detached home, many factors influence a home’s worth. Wahi’s home value estimator calculates your property valuation in minutes and has a 90% accuracy rate. It lets you discover your home’s value and keep track of it to see how its value changes over time. You can use this information to devise an effective selling strategy or to get a more accurate value on a home you want to buy.


The online tool (currently available in Ontario and Nova Scotia but coming soon to other provinces) takes a variety of property characteristics into account, including location, size, taxes, square footage, and other factors. 


Another way to estimate your home’s value is through a comparative market analysis performed by a real estate agent. This involves analyzing local market trends and comparing your home to other comparable properties in the area to calculate its value. While not as in-depth as home appraisals, conducting a comparative market analysis is an important step in developing an overall pricing strategy when selling your home.


Step 3: Calculate the Costs of Selling Your Home   


Once you’ve determined your home’s value, it’s important to know the costs of selling your home. This can include the cost of the real estate commissions, legal fees, repairs, staging and moving.

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Step 4: Find the Right REALTOR®  


Working with a Realtor who understands your needs and has your best interests at heart can help you prepare your home for sale, determine the best listing strategy and negotiate offers from buyers.


Wahi’s Realtor recommendation system matches sellers (and buyers) with the right agent based on their needs and preferences, connecting consumers with the most appropriate agents with a proven track record for the area and property type. Home sellers can compare fees, services, Realtor profiles, statistics and personal introductions to find the right fit.


Step 5: Prepare Your Home for Sale  


Your Realtor can help you decide when the best time to sell your home is based on housing market conditions, time of year and other factors. Once you know when you’ll be selling, it’s time to prepare your home for sale. 


To make a home attractive to buyers, most sellers will need to invest in some repairs, upgrades and home staging. Repairs and renovations can include anything from applying a fresh coat of paint to replacing countertops to more major repairs, such as plumbing and HVAC. Your Realtor can help you decide which repairs are necessary to attract buyers and which are not.


Staging your home will also help increase the likelihood of a successful sale. The more depersonalized, decluttered and neutral a home looks, the easier it is for potential buyers to visualize themselves in it. Staging often involves bringing furniture, art and other decor into a home to make it as attractive as possible.

Creating curb appeal is just as important as staging or making other improvements to your home’s interior. Making a few small updates to improve the look of your home’s exterior — such as paint, landscape and lighting — will make prospective buyers more likely to look inside.


Step 6: Showing Your Home  


Once you’ve prepared your home for sale and you’ve listed your property, your agent will implement a marketing strategy to attract potential buyers. This will include private showings and open houses.


Home showings are generally done privately at the buyer’s convenience, whereas open houses, allow multiple potential buyers to see the property at once. Both are opportunities to showcase your home in its best light.


Step 7: Receiving and Negotiating Offers 


Sellers typically have two options for reviewing offers: review them as they come in or on an offer date. An offer review date is the specific day and time that the seller has chosen to review all buyer offers that have been made on their home.


When a home seller receives an offer, it will generally include:

  • the buyer’s offer/purchase price and the amount of their deposit;
  • any inclusions such as window coverings, appliances, etc.;
  • the date the buyer wants to take possession (closing day);
  • a request for a current land survey (if applicable);
  • the date the offer expires; 
  • number of walk-throughs before closing; and
  • any other conditions that need to be met for the deal to go through (i.e., financing conditions, a satisfactory home inspection, and/or appraisals for mortgage purposes).

Once you’ve received an offer, you should expect to negotiate. After your agent has received the offer, you can accept it, reject it or sign back a counteroffer. This is where your Realtor’s professional experience, advice and guidance can help. You may need to compromise on small things, but your Realtor will work with you to get what you want. While the process can be stressful, it’s about making the best deal for you and the buyer.



Step 8: Conditions and Receiving the Deposit  


Conditions are requirements within the Agreement of Purchase and Sale that must be met for the sale to go through. Buyers may include a financing condition with their offer, or a status certificate review condition (if buying a condo), and/or a home inspection condition. Once you have come to terms and have an accepted offer, the buyer will submit the deposit in the form of a certified cheque or bank draft.



Step 9: The Closing Process  


Closing is when the ownership and possession of the property are officially transferred from the seller to the homebuyer once all of the legal and financial obligations have been met. The process typically involves the homebuyer, Realtor, lawyer and the buyer’s lender. Your Realtor plays a key role in the closing process, working with all parties to ensure all terms and conditions have been satisfied and everything is accurate.


At this point, you’ve got a move-out date and you should be packing up your items to move. Give yourself enough time to plan your move and check out Wahi’s Ultimate Moving Checklist to ensure your move is as stress-free as possible. 

For information about buying a home check out Wahi’s Homebuyer’s Playbook.

Kristin Doucet

Wahi Managing Editor

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