Frequently Asked Questions about Buying and Selling

How do you pick the right agent?

Experience counts — You want an agent with a proven track record for high sales volume on a consistent basis.

Local office — Your agent should have a local office, ready to serve clients and customers.

Local newspapers — Check out the last 3 or 4 issues and compare the amount of advertising done by the different agents.

Local cable TV — Look through the ads - Which company seems to be doing the most business?

Multiple listing service — Be sure your Agent advertises your home on the MLS system to ensure your home is promoted to many different Agents (and buyers).

Internet advertising — Many buyers are online and your home should be, too. Plus, there are lots of different places where you can list and market your property.

What are some tips for staging a home?

Three's a crowd — More will lose the sale. Avoid having too many present during inspections. The prospect will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house.

In the shadows — Please do not accompany the prospect and the salesperson. He or she knows the buyer's requirements and can better emphasize the features of your house when alone. You will be called if needed.

Love me, love my dog — Does not apply in house selling. Keep pets out of the way - preferably out of the house.

Silence is golden — Be courteous, but do not force conversation with the prospect. They are there to inspect your house - not to pay a social call.

Be it ever so humble — Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it has been lived-in. Let our trained Agent answer any objections that are raised. This is their job.

Music is mellow — But not when showing a house. Shut off the radio: it distracts. Let the salesperson and the buyer talk free of disturbances.

Putting the cart before the horse — Trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings before he or she has purchased the house often loses the sale. Proper timing is important.

A word to the wise — Do not discuss price, terms, possession, or other factors with the prospective purchasers. Refer them to your Agent. They are better equipped to bring the negotiation to a favorable conclusion.

What are some selling tips?

First impressions are lasting — An inviting exterior ensures inspection of the interior. Keep your lawn trimmed, the flower beds cultivated, and the yard free and clear of refuse. Also, remove snow and ice from the walks and veranda in the winter time.

A decorated home — Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce desire. Do not tell the prospect how the place can be made to look - show him by redecorating first. A quicker sale at a higher price will result.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness — Bright cheery windows and unmarred walls will assist your sale.

Fix that faucet — Dripping water discolors the enamel and calls attention to faulty plumbing.

From top to bottom — The attic and basement are important features. Remove all unnecessary articles which have accumulated. Display the full value of your storage and utility spaces.

Step high-step low — Prospects will do just that unless all stairways are cleared of objects. Avoid cluttered appearances and possible injuries.

Closet illusions — Clothes properly hung, shoes, hats and other articles neatly placed, will make your closets appear adequate.

Dear to her heart is the kitchen — colorful curtains in harmony with the floor and counter tops (clear of soiled dishes) add appeal for the family foodie.

Check and double check — Check and double check your bathroom. Bright and clean bathrooms sell many homes.

For the rest of your life — Bedrooms are always outstanding features. Arrange them neatly.

Can you see the light? — Illumination is a welcome sign for after-dark inspection.

Don't over price — Your home should not be priced any more then 5% higher then its fair market value. Go higher than this and you will ensure a faster sale... for someone else's home!

What are some tips when buying a home?

Get your financing in order — Drop into your local bank or mortgage brokers office and pre-arrange your financing - this will give you a price range of homes to start the search for your perfect home. Plus, it gives you a negotiating advantage when the seller of the home knows you are already pre-approved to purchase.

Prepare a checklist - List the features you want in a home (example: distance from work, neighborhood, number of bedrooms, distance from school, churches, shopping etc.)

Homeowners Insurance — Your insurance company will probably want to know the age of the roof shingles, plumbing system, electrical service, and heating system (especially if heated with an oil furnace - oil tanks over 10 years old may have to be replaced which could run up wards toward $1,000.00 or more!) If you are purchasing a home from outside the province and will not be living in it full time, you will most likely have to do some shopping around to find an insurance company willing to set up a policy. Your Real Estate Agent can assist you in finding a willing insurance company.

Legally speaking — Your lawyer will make sure the house you are purchasing is free and clear of any liens, outstanding taxes, work orders, etc. and will ensure that you are getting a good title to the property and will register the deeds and etc. in your name.

Free home buyers guide — Contact Barry for your free 44 page home buyers guide. It's loaded with lots of very useful and practical information on one of the most important investments of your life.

What areas of Newfoundland do you service?

Clarke Real Estate offers home buying and selling services to St. John's, Carbonear, Harbour Grace, Placentia, and Bay Roberts. We have dedicated agents for each of these areas who all know the area well and can get you the deal that's right for you.

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