Five Steps to Selling Your First Home

"For sale" real estate signBuying your first home is a big step. But selling that first home is just as big a step. While it is exciting to be moving on to another home, or a new adventure in life, there’s still a lot to consider when it comes time to sell.

I’ve talked to enough people about selling that first home to understand it can be a stressful experience. But it doesn’t have to be. Follow these basic 5 steps to selling your first home, and you’ll be well on your way.

1 – Secure pre-approval for a new mortgage. I’ve talked about the importance of gaining pre-approval before you start shopping for a home here before. Not only is it a courtesy to your real estate agent that will save the both of you countless hours, it allows you to actually shop within your means. Do this before you as soon as you know you’re serious about shopping for a new home. You won’t be sorry.

2 – It’s important to know your costs. This was true when you bought your home, and it’s still true. Factoring in costs like lawyer fees, land-transfer tax, and mortgage insurance before you close your deal with definitely save you some headache and last minute stress.

3 – Choose the right time to sell. If you feel it’s time to move, plan accordingly, and don’t just jump headfirst into the housing market. In the end, the best time of year to sell comes down to your own needs, but there is certainly an advantage to listing your home in the spring, rather than the late fall or the dead of winter. Give it some thought, and plan to sell strategically if you can.

4 – You’ve made it this far, now make sure your home is ready for sale. There are easy ways to prepare your home for showing, but you need to make sure that it’s ready for that. If you have renos you haven’t finished, get them done before listing. When you’re ready to sell, it’s time to de-clutter the inside of your home, and spruce up the outside. A few small touches here and there can go a long way to convincing a would-be buyer that your home is the just right for them.

5 – Now that your home is ready for sale, it would be ideal for you to sell your house before buying a new one. This isn’t always possible, but the benefits are that you won’t be stuck with two-mortgages if your home doesn’t sell immediately, and you won’t be faced with a tight schedule.

Of course, there are a lot of intricacies involved with selling any home, whether it’s your first or your fifth. If you have any questions about the process, and about pre-approval or costs in particular, give us a call. We’re happy to help you through buying your next home, from step one and beyond.

At CENTUM we are always Looking out for your best interest.

IMG_2894 Chris Turcotte, Owner/Broker

 Office: (204) 727-2177

 Cell: (204) 720-4002



Why More Home Sellers are Listing in January

A slow real estate market and savvy buyers are helping to drive January housing sales

Traditionally, January is a slow month for real estate as most sellers choose to wait until the middle of February in the hopes of capitalizing on the early spring market. However, more and more sellers are opting to put their house on the market in January.

This presents an opportunity for buyers. Most people are reluctant to uproot their families during the school year, so that means less competition — and fewer bidding wars. Lenders will not be as busy, so buyers can expect a more efficient process to get approved for a mortgage to ensure they have financing in place before making an offer. But there are things you simply won’t be able to inspect during the winter.

Here are some tips for protecting yourself when making a deal during the winter months:


Spruce up the outside: Use urns with light wood branches to brighten up the exterior of your home, to compensate for any overcast day or snow on the ground. Get rid of the Christmas lights: homes that look dated on the outside give the impression that they are probably dated on the inside.

Make sure your fireplace is working during any showing, that the temperature is comfortable in the home and that any interior lighting compensates for what is usually grey lighting from outside.

Have pictures of your landscaping available from the summer and autumn, showing how beautiful your home looks year round.

Have available any inspections that you may have done on your air-conditioning unit or swimming pool before they were closed for the winter, as buyers will likely not be able to conduct inspections on these items and will have questions.

Consider inviting a company to do an environmental audit on your home in advance, confirming that there is no moisture behind the walls that could lead to mould and that you have sufficient insulation behind the walls.


If there is anything that cannot be inspected because of the winter, such as the air-conditioning system or any swimming pool, then negotiate an extended warranty in the agreement, to give you until at least May 1, to inspect and have the seller be responsible for any damages. In addition, also negotiate a holdback of, say, $2,000 so that if a problem arises, the money comes out of that fund to fix it and you don’t have to chase the seller in court later.

Be careful about snow accumulating around the base of the home. It will be difficult for a home inspector to figure out whether the grading is likely to cause water problems in the basement later. Consider doing your own environmental audit to check for moisture behind any walls.

If the snow on the roof looks like it is evaporating faster than the snow around the house, it is likely a sign that there is not enough insulation in the home.

Check with your insurance company early as to whether you will have any difficulty obtaining insurance on the home; for example, by finding out whether there have been claims made in the neighbourhood about water damages or sewage backups.

Check whether snow accumulation makes it more difficult for street parking, as this may be the only parking available on certain streets. Also see how bad weather may affect your morning commute.

Check the last electric/gas bills, to determine how energy efficient the home is in winter. People tend to hibernate and stay at home in the winter, so take the opportunity to get to know the neighbours before you finalize your purchase.

By being properly prepared in advance, buyers and sellers can negotiate a safe and successful winter home sale


Source: Genworth