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John Helfrich, Broker, Real Estate Homeward , Brokerage | 416.698.2090 | Direct: 416.464.8920 |

Tips For Sellers

sell a house or condoThese Tips to Sell a House (or Condo) can save you money and stress.

Exactly what needs to be done? And when?

Timing the sale to meet your goals or objectives can be more important than most people realize. The sooner you call in your team of professionals the more you'll get out of them. And the more likely you'll be to have a successful sale. My Top Tips to Sell a House begins with getting the most out of the 3 professionals every Seller needs for a timely, profitable sale.

Tips to Sell a House: Tip 1 - Hire a professional home stager

Since staging is so important  I always pay for the staging consultation when my clients sell!

  • Timing - If you’re on a shoestring budget, call a stager 6 months to a year in advance. Doing more of the work yourself, over a period of time, will save you money. Last minute changes are stressful & usually cost more.
  • Priortize -  The Stager will always tell you ‘what’ to do. But since people seldom finish everything on the list you’ll need to ask the Stager to prioritize what should be done first, second, and so on. Then stay ‘on task’.
  • Know what you're hiring: A ‘Decorator’ isn’t the same as a Stager! A CSP (Certified Professional Stager) designation means the stager knows how to create the greatest visual impact for your broadest target market, at the lowest cost. Their goal is to help you sell for the highest price (which may not be the same as pleasing your personal taste).
  • Get FREE Staging: Ask your Realtor if they’ll pay the consultation fee!

Tips to Sell a House: Tip 2 - Work with an experienced Real Estate Agent


It may sound like I’m blowing my own horn, but there’s just no substitute for experience. And it’s not just ‘how long have you been licensed?’ or ‘how many houses have you sold?’


  • Ask if they are currently working full-time as a Realtor. Experienced, full time Realtors take time to view new listings almost every day! They may be negotiating an offer every week. That’s how they keep their fingers on the pulse of the market – today! Don’t trust your home to a ‘part-timer’!
  • Ask what their primary market area is. It’s impossible to be an expert in every neighbourhood at the same time. Are they well-informed about your local market? Are they aware of development trends in your area & how that will impact your sale price?
  • Work with a trusted referral. Don’t have one? Find a Realtor who can provide up-to-date references…and then call them! If you could only ask one question, it should be ‘Did the Realtor actually do what they said they would do?’

Tips to Sell a House: Tip 3 - Speak with more than one Mortgage Specialist

Once you’ve sold, you’ll need to discharge your mortgage or transfer it to your next home. The following tips will help you do it right – and could save you thousands of dollars.

  • Your existing lender is not your friend. To get the best terms and rate from your existing lender, you need leverage – especially if there’s a risk of a ‘discharge penalty’. Ask your Realtor for a referral to a Mortgage Broker or Mobile Mortgage Specialist, before you call your current lender. Get prequalified & get that rate ‘locked in’ with the new lender. There should be no cost or obligation.
  • How to avoid penalties: With a competing lenders’ commitment in hand, you can contact your existing bank to find out what discharge penalties, if any, will apply for breaking the mortgage early. Ask if you can ‘port’ or transfer your existing mortgage to your next home without a penalty. Ask for their ‘best’ interest rate (not the  ‘posted’ rate).
  • Understand Pre-payment priveleges: If discharge penalties will apply, you may be able to use your current mortgage ‘prepayment privileges’ prior to closing to reduce your penalties. (Your bank won’t tell you about this!) It’s a bit complicated for some people, so I suggest you call me for an explanation on how to do this. What’s important is that it could save you hundreds - even thousands of dollars.
  • Explore Bridge Financing: Now is the time to ask your current lender if you’ll qualify for ‘bridge financing’ and how much it would cost. Bridge financing makes it possible to buy your next home when your current sale hasn’t closed yet.
  • Never, ever, get lazy with the math! Sharpen your pencil and figure out if it’s worth paying the penalties to change lenders. And make sure you tell your bank you’re considering the option. They’ll usually negotiate somewhat to keep your business. It's your money and there are thousands of dollars at stake!

Please contact me directly for answers to your specific questions.

Give me a call at 416 464 8920 or fill out the form below.


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