Common Questions Home Sellers Ask

common questions of home sellers

Key Takeaways

Timing Is Crucial: Spring is generally the best time to sell, but understanding your local market dynamics is key.

Price It Right: An accurate, market-based price will attract more buyers and potentially lead to a quicker sale.

Preparation Pays Off: Decluttering, cleaning, and staging can significantly impact your home’s appeal to buyers.

Market Wisely: Use a mix of online and traditional marketing strategies to reach the widest audience.

Navigate Negotiations with Knowledge: Be prepared for the negotiation process by understanding your bottom line and being open to compromise.

Closing Costs: Understand the costs involved in selling your home, including agent commissions and potential buyer negotiations.

When Is the Best Time to List My House?

The timing of the best time to list your house can significantly impact the sale outcome. Typically you would want to list when demand is high and your competition is low. This is where you would get the best price for your home.  

Spring is traditionally the best time to list a house due to higher buyer activity. Buyers are out of holiday mode and start the pre-approval processes in February. Buyers start seriously searching any time afterwards, especially if the snow melts early. 

Many families aim to move before the new school year, and the pleasant weather makes house hunting more appealing. So with a month or two time frame for searching, viewing, making an offer on a home and then a month or two closing date into the future, makes an ideal closing time of after school lets out and but prior to starting again in September.  

just listed with dawn Magee

I recommend listing your house at the end of February or early March. Yes, there may be snow on the ground, but if I have been advising the home seller prior to, I would have recommended getting photos of the home’s exterior in the greener seasons. As well I would have recommended doing any exterior repairs in the fall, so that they would not be issues for Buyers who may be viewing while there is still snow on the ground.  So by listing just before the spring market, you will have green pictures to post on MLS, maintenance up to date and limited competition. 

On the flip side, as winter hits and snow starts to fall, there is usually an influx of sales, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that sellers are getting an optimal price for their home. Sales at this time of year are usually due to sellers not wanting to hold on to their properties over the winter months and Buyers looking for end of season sales. Yes,  competition is low, but in my experience I find buyers are also assuming the Sellers are willing to take a lower price. 

How Do I Determine the Right Price for My Home?


Determining the right price for your home is a delicate balance. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is essential, comparing your home to similar recently sold properties, considering current market trends, and your home’s unique features. Pricing too high can leave your home sitting on the market, while too low can mean leaving money on the table.

Your listing agent will be able to determine if your property is overpriced within the first few weeks, by the number of hits your property is getting and the feedback from showings. Average days on market that it takes other properties to get accepted offers will also tell you if your property is overpriced. 

In the end your list price is relative to how long it will take to sell. If you are 10% over the average selling price then it will take “x ‘ amount of time to sell. Or if you choose to price it 20% over what the average selling price shows then you will have to wait that relative amount of time before you will get that price. 

An overpriced home can deter potential buyers from even viewing your property, or even have it come up when they are searching on MLS.  I’ve seen homes sit on the market for months due to initial overpricing, which eventually led to price reductions and selling for less than if they had been appropriately priced from the start.

How do I Get My House Ready to Sell?

Preparing your house ready to sell  involves decluttering, deep cleaning, making necessary repairs, and staging. These steps are crucial for making a positive first impression on potential buyers. A well-prepared home can significantly impact the speed and price of the sale.

A bright, clean, and well-maintained home makes a powerful first impression. Stock up on light bulbs to ensure every room is well-lit and inviting. Deep cleaning and decluttering are essential tasks that transform your space, making it more appealing and easier for buyers to imagine themselves living there. 


painting house with dawn magee

Fixing any minor repairs, applying a fresh coat of neutral paint, and ensuring your home is staged beautifully, both inside and out, are key steps that can significantly impact how quickly your home sells and for how much. These efforts, including enhancing your home’s curb appeal, not only make it more attractive but also demonstrate care and attention to detail.

Additionally, when getting your house ready to sell, consider renting a storage unit to declutter and depersonalize your space, creating a neutral backdrop that buyers can envision as their own. 

One of my clients was initially hesitant to invest in painting and staging their home, fearing the costs and effort involved. After some convincing, they agreed, and the transformation was remarkable. The staged home attracted more buyers and sold for a higher price than similar, unstaged properties in the area. It was a clear example of how a little preparation goes a long way.


How Do I Market My Home for Sale?

Effective marketing your home for sale involves a mix of online listings, professional photography, virtual tours, and social media. Today’s buyers start their search online, making high-quality visuals and comprehensive information about your property essential.

High-quality, detailed photographs play a crucial role in this process, with properties featuring such images selling at or above the listed price in 44% of cases. Furthermore, staging your home can significantly enhance its appeal, with staged houses selling 87% faster than those that are not staged or are vacant.

In today’s digital age, leveraging social media and online platforms for marketing your property is a must. Videos, in particular, have proven to be highly effective, being shared over 2.5 times more than any other type of content on these platforms. Virtual (Live)  open houses also offer a unique opportunity to engage a larger audience, providing a convenient way for potential buyers to explore the property from anywhere. 

Innovative marketing strategies can also set your property apart. For example, offering a stay-and-play weekend for serious potential buyers allows them to experience living in the home firsthand, building a personal connection and rapport.

A REALTOR® who has extensive knowledge of digital marketing will be able to run social media  ads that target segments of buyers, and promote your property to more websites than just MLS  which will further amplify your property’s presence online. 

What Do I Do When I Get an Offer?

When you get an offer to purchase your home you need to be prepared for offers below your asking price and decide on your minimum acceptable offer in advance. Negotiations may include not just the price but also closing costs and contingencies. A clear understanding of your priorities and flexibility can make this process smoother.

Your REALTOR® will present and review the offer with you. You have the option of accepting, rejecting or countering on any part of the offer. The offer will have a time deadline that it has to be responded to or it becomes null and void. 

If you accept or counter an offer, you can only look at other offers as back up offers. If your counter offer to a buyer does not get accepted, then that buyer would have to do up a new offer and therefore would be in competition with other offers if they came in in the meantime. 

A buyer can keep writing offers and the seller can continue to counter their offers a number of times until both parties find middle ground. 


Once an offer is accepted the seller will need to provide requested documents to the buyer, if not already submitted to the Sellers agent when the property was listed. Buyers most often request current taxes, utilities, property disclosure statements, details of leased equipment, WETT certifications and location certificates or surveys. 

The Buyer will have a set amount of time to look into and become satisfied with the conditions that they have made part of their offer. These can be, but aren’t limited to financing, home inspection, insurability, water tests, septic inspections. A condition deadline is usually 14-21 days. It is on or before this date that the buyer will declare that they are satisfied with the conditions or they may want to withdraw from the contract due to an unsatisfactory condition. Or the buyer may want to renegotiate the terms of the agreement. 

The seller is required to make the property accessible inorder for the buyer to complete their due diligence, such as having the septic tank uncovered or the water turned on for water tests.  

Once the buyer is satisfied and has signed a buyers waiver, then the deal is considered firm and binding and the Seller can start packing. 

What Will it Cost to Sell My Home?

The costs to selling a home is a significant part that involves understanding and preparing for various costs to ensure a smooth transaction. One of the most substantial expenses you’ll encounter is the real estate agent commission, often ranging from 5% to 6% of the sale price. This fee is split between your agent and the buyer’s agent and can significantly impact your net proceeds. 

Additionally, preparing your home for sale may require repairs or improvements to enhance its appeal to potential buyers. While these costs can vary, investing in your home’s presentation, including professional staging, can help it sell faster and possibly for a higher price. Remember, these efforts are about making a strong first impression and maximizing your home’s market potential.



Additionally, preparing your home for sale may require repairs or improvements to enhance its appeal to potential buyers. While these costs can vary, investing in your home’s presentation, including professional staging, can help it sell faster and possibly for a higher price. Remember, these efforts are about making a strong first impression and maximizing your home’s market potential.

It’s essential to budget for the expense of movers or storage if needed, ensuring a stress-free move.Remember, planning and understanding these costs upfront can help you navigate the selling process more confidently and with peace of mind.


Selling a home is more than just a transaction; it’s a strategic process that, when navigated correctly, can lead to rewarding outcomes. By understanding the market, pricing your home wisely, preparing it for sale, effectively marketing it, and skillfully negotiating, you can achieve a successful sale. My experiences across Nova Scotia have taught me that every sale is unique, but the principles of patience, knowledge, and preparation always stand true.


Join The Discussion

Compare listings