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You've decided to sell your home – now what?

(NC) The home selling season is about to heat up. If you've decided to enter the market, you're in good company, says Phil Dorner, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association.

“Spring tends to see an increase in real estate

listings, but it also brings out the buyers,” Dorner explains. “In order to achieve the best possible results, careful planning and know-how are required in the home selling process.”

Here is a simplified breakdown of some of the steps involved in selling a home:

Consult an expert – A Realtor will help you set a price, develop a marketing plan, make your home more 'saleable', and act on your behalf during negotiations to ensure your interests are protected.

Set a price – Choosing the appropriate list price for your home can lead to a timely sale, so it's important to get it right the first time. The price should be realistic – neither too high nor too low.

Prepare your home – The house should be clean and clutter free. If necessary, hire a professional stager to help make a notable first impression and enhance its appeal. Everything in your home should be in working order – make repairs where necessary.

Market your home – A marketing plan may include holding 'open houses', advertising and most importantly, networking. Your Realtor will relay information about your home to a vast network of potential homebuyers in your market.

Receive an offer – Once you receive an offer you can either, accept, reject or “sign back” or “counter” the offer.

Negotiate the sale – Most offers require some negotiating. Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, the next step will be preparing a contract.

Close the sale – At the “closing" meeting, ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. Your lawyer will assist you in the legal transfer.

“Once you've closed, prepare to vacate your home and make a list of all the items you will need to turn over to the new owners,” says Dorner. “Finally, celebrate.”

More information is available at

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