Home Seller 101 London Ontario
|When it comes time to put your home up for sale on MLS in London, Ontario, how you go about it, with whom and why are very, very important decisions which will dictate how much you receive from the sale and how long it will take to sell.
I hope that the home seller 101 resources provided on this page will help get you started regarding assessing your real estate situation and planning for a stress-free and successful sale.
The real estate market in London & South West Ontario has changed, and it may be wise to know why and what you can do about it.
Your Home Is For Sale Yet Few Are Aware Of It?
One of the largest downfalls I see in marketing a London Ontario home for sale, be it through a real estate brokerage or a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) company is that most marketers & Realtors think that if they do the following:
Who is going to buy your home? Marketing to that group, in other words, focusing on the type of buyer your home will attract, is beneficial and works!
For example, if you have a four-bedroom, two-car garage house which is close to good schools, of course, you would market to families, not to an empty nester or single person. Or, a one floor, two-bedroom condo in an upscale neighbourhood of London, you would not market it to a family of 4!
Focus, narrow down, focus, focus, & clarify!
Most homebuyers view between 10-16 homes in London, Ontario; they are very much aware of the price & condition of other homes similar to yours. If they have a top-notch Realtor helping them, they can laser focus on the house that fits their client’s budget and criteria and not get lost on the bling and shine on properties that do not match their client’s profile.
You can have the fanciest billboard in the world, but if it’s located in the middle of the Sahara desert, who is going to see it, and if they did, how many miles and hours will it take to get to London Ontario to see it? (I googled it, 9519 KM)
Why not focus your home on buyers that are qualified?
Pricing Strategies & Caveats
Meeting with a Realtor
You have decided to sell your home and have a relatively good idea of what you think it is worth. Being a sensible home seller, you schedule appointments with three local real estate representatives, (or a friend of a friend who has a friend). They set up a time with you and maybe arrive with a “Competitive Market Analysis” (which no longer is an accurate tool, I’ll cover that in another report), and they each recommend a specific sales price.
Amazingly, two of the Realtors have suggested prices that are lower than what you expected. Even though they have backed up their recommendations with recent sales data of similar homes, you remain convinced your property is worth more.
When you interview the third Realtor’s figures, his or her numbers are much more in line with what you think your home is worth. Or they may have even suggested to you a higher price. Wow! Now you are happy and an excited prospective home seller, perhaps already counting the money.
A Sales Practice Called “Buying a Listing”
If you are like most people, you have chosen Realtor number three. Realtor # 3 seems willing to listen to your input and work with you. A Realtor that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. A Realtor that is willing to start at your price and if you need to drop the price later, you can do that easily, right?
After all, everyone else does it! Wrong!
The truth is that you may have just met a Realtor engaging in a questionable sales practice called “buying a listing.” He/she “bought” the listing by suggesting you might be able to get a higher sales price than the other Realtors recommended. Most likely, he or she is quite doubtful that your home will sell at that price. The intention from the beginning is to talk you into lowering the price eventually.
Why do some “buy” listings this way?
There are two reasons: A well-meaning and hardworking Realtor can feel pressure from a homeowner who has an inflated perception of their home’s value. On the other hand, there are some who engage in this practice routinely.
If you start with a price that is too high, there is a likelihood you interviewed other Realtors. They did not get the listing, of course. They got “beaten” out by someone telling you what you wanted to hear.
If your listing Realtor routinely engages in “buying “listings, he/she has probably has done this to other Realtors in the same way. Word gets around that their homes are overpriced, and the home seller has an inflated value in mind. Very difficult to resolve.
In short, you may have ended up with a Realtor who was good at selling you, but not good at selling your home. And you are willing to pay them a fee for it?
It is human nature for you to want the highest price for your home. However, when you choose the Realtor who promises what you want to hear, it often leads to stress and frustration. Most of the time, it will take you longer to sell your home. Possibly, and this happens, you will end up selling at a lower price instead.
Or maybe as a result of reading this, you will choose one of the “good” Realtors in the first place. They are out there, you know!
What Happens Behind the Scenes?
If you start with too high a price on your home, you may have added to your stress level—and selling a home is stressful enough! There will be a lot of “behind the scenes” action taking place that you don’t know. Contrary to popular opinion, a professional listing Realtor does not usually attempt to sell your home directly to a homebuyer. That would be inefficient.
Pro’s market and promote your home to hundreds of other local Realtors and even Realtors from the GTA areas who do work with homebuyers, dramatically increasing your personal sales force. During the first couple of weeks, your home should be a flurry of activity with buyer’s agents coming to preview your home so they can sell it to their clients. (See my report “When is the most crucial time for a new listing)
If The Price Is Right
If you and your Realtor have overpriced, fewer Realtors will preview your home. After all, they are Realtors, and it should be their job to know local market conditions and home values. If your property is dramatically above the market, why waste time? Their time is spent previewing homes that are priced realistically.
Dropping Your Price Too Late
If you start with a high sales price, then reduce it later—your property is “old news.” You will never be able to recapture that flurry of initial activity you would have had a realistic price. Your property could take longer to sell.
Even if you do successfully sell at an above market price to an uninformed buyer, your buyer will need a mortgage. The mortgage lender requires an appraisal. If comparable sales for the last six months and current market conditions do not support your sales price, the property won’t appraise. Your deal falls apart. Of course, you can always attempt to negotiate the price, but only if the buyer is willing to listen.
Your property then goes “back on the market.” Other Realtors will know this, as will their buyers, what do you think their response will be to your home?
Once your home sits on the market for awhile, it is harder to get a good offer. Potential buyers will think that you might be getting desperate so that they will make low offers. By overpricing your home in the beginning, you could end up settling for a lower price than you would have usually received.
In summary, when you decide to sell your property, work with a Realtor who knows the market and is financially and emotionally stable enough to guide you. Who will not tell you what you want to hear. The truth hurts but you might as well listen to it now than three months later!
To get results, pay the price once and only cry once or pay the price later and cry for several years!
What Would Improving the Chance That Your Home Will Sell Properly & In the Time Frame You Want Mean To You & Your Family?
I realize that selling a home for hundreds of thousands of dollars is not something you do every day and that your home for most of you is your most significant asset.
Over the years I have helped hundreds of homeowners sell their properties and most, if not all, had fears, some had poor perceptions or even false information, and all had concerns about pricing, how long will it take, what will it cost and choosing the right firm and representative to help.
Choosing to choose is a mantra that successful people have used for years, which translates into the fact that all the results we get are from our choices! Choices define our character.
If things go right or wrong you:
A professional listing Realtor will not let you gamble with the most substantial investment of your life, will not give you false hope or convince you to take what could be a costly risk on your part.
A true professional will explain the pros and cons of the options available, and if you choose that professional, your house will sell for market price or higher, for a reasonable fee for their efforts and you can move in a time frame that fits your schedule.
HOME EVALUATIONS THE EASY WAY
Once you provide the property information we will:
Below are some helpful tips, money-saving ideas and home seller strategies to help you sell your home quicker, for more money and stress-free! The procedures below are from the experience of selling hundreds of homes successfully in London, Ontario and area.
|How To Get The Best Results When Selling
Here Are Ways You, a Home Seller, Can Go About Selling Your Home & Get The Net-Results You Deserve! Before getting ready to put your property on the market, there are several things to think about, prepare for, and to organize. There are seven steps you can take and implement to ensure you are making the right choices. These steps are not complicated; maybe that is why some think these steps are simple! You will get results after reading this! Experience is like fashion, it changes, and what worked ten years ago, five years ago or last year may not work today to attract buyers to your home!
|How to Select Home Improvements That Pay Dividends
Generally speaking, there are two ways to go about home improvements. You’re either going to splurge on your home because it’s your castle, and you want a beautiful place to live OR, you’re going to take a more logical, pragmatic approach designed to increase your home’s value. The problem is, you’ll never achieve both. Many homeowners expose themselves to the very problems they’re trying to avoid in the process of home fix-ups.
|How I get More Buyers To See Your Home
I subscribe to a web service that connects real estate professionals and with the most valuable real estate advertisers on the web. This service allows me to advertise your listing on my website, and many other local real estate websites, and 53+ of the busiest online real estate marketplaces. Thanks to this listing service, and my numerous contacts, you will see that I belong to a robust online network that can make a substantial difference in the exposure your property receives. I’d love to tell you how many viewers we have daily, but my competition would then copy and do and spend what we do, so for now, let me tell you, are daily page views are way above average!
|101 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Sale Price
Learn how to make improvements to your home, but only where it will make the most significant difference to the sales price! It all starts with creating curb appeal, The entryway sets the stage, Tips for every room in the house, making the most of your kitchen & dining room, Can the buyers see themselves living in the living room?, Make the bathroom sparkle, Look at these big beautiful bedrooms, Create a clutter-free & functional home office Making the most of the basement/laundry spaces When you download this FREE report, as a bonus you will receive one of the most popular and the award-winning: “4-Steps to Stage Your Home for a Quicker Sale”
|50 Inexpensive Ways To Get a Better Return on Fix-Ups
First impressions make a significant impact on a buyer’s decision-making process! Once your home goes on the market, it becomes a product. These natural & simple tips allow you to highlight the best of your home and de-emphasize its flaws. It’s not about decorating, but turning your home into a model, to appeal to the broadest range of prospective buyers. The goal is to make people feel like they could live there, and the best way to do this is to “neutralize” the surroundings. Most of these you can do for under $50.00 or less, and the worst that can happen to you is that you will get $2.00 back for every $1.00 you spend!
How do you get these exclusive reports? Here’s the catch and it is in the fine print, Contact us
|The Role of a Buyer’s Lawyer
The role of the purchaser’s lawyer is to protect the purchaser throughout the transaction and to make sure that the buyer obtains a clear title to the property. Traditionally, the purchaser’s lawyer also represents the interests of the mortgage lender in preparing and registering the mortgage documents following their mortgage commitment.
|What Do All These Real Estate Words Mean Anyway?
When you are in the process of buying or selling a home in London and South West Ontario or have been through the process, it can be daunting enough without words or phrases bantered about, and you say, “What?” Well, no more, this exhaustive list will now make the playing field level; your knowledge & better understanding of real estate will ensure that your real estate transaction will be less stressful and in most cases, more rewarding!
|Who Else is Going To Be Involved When I Sell my Home?
Purchasing a home or selling a home requires more than just the buyer and seller. You’ll also need the services of a variety of home-related professionals and here are the key players in your transaction and the roles they play.
How do you get these exclusive reports? Here’s the catch and it is in the fine print, Contact us
Pets and Selling Your Home
Great Way To Ensure Your Home Sells Quicker
A Great Way To Ensure Your Home Sells in London Ontario
Getting a home ready to sell on MLS, though fraught with anxiety, is not as hard as you may think, and the effort you put in will make a massive difference in how quickly it sells and for how much.
Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it’s not luck that makes that happen. It’s careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their chequebooks. Here is how to prep a house or a condo and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.
Time Required: Seven to 10 Days
1. Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
4. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
5. Rent a Storage Unit.
6. Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
7. Make Minor Repairs.
8. Make the House Sparkle!
10. Check Curb Appeal.
If a buyer doesn’t get out of her Realtor’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get her inside.
|Truly Improve The Chances Your Home Will Sell For More & Quicker
This 14-page guide is packed with tips and great ideas. They have been accumulated over the years by past home sellers and by my trials and tribulations in selling homes. This is not a splashy ego report telling you how great I am, or I sell a zillion homes a year, just practical, day to day, real simple, down to earth ideas that you can use. If you do decide, I may be your listing Realtor, great; if not, at least I have helped someone!
How do you get these exclusive reports? Here’s the catch and it is in the fine print, Contact us
Are you selling A Home Yourself, With a Discounter or With a Realtor? New changes or the same old?
There are quite a few discount real estate brokerages and for sale by owner companies now promising to sell your home, some for as low as $450!
The proposition of saving thousands of dollars is enough to catch the attention of anyone. The idea of listing a home for anywhere from $450 for a sign on the lawn and on a pretty website, to a couple thousand dollars if you want some of the additional services that a Realtor typically provides such as setting your price, getting your house ready to sell, to assisting you in closing is tempting and awakens the entrepreneur inside some of us.
The burning question private sale companies use as their hook is why you would give profits from your home sale to a Realtor if you didn’t have to?
If you are trying to decide between giving that licensed & regulatory controlled Realtor thousands of your dollars or selling your home yourself because some do it yourself real estate company says its a snap, then take a moment to learn some cold hard facts.
There are quite a few reasons why 96.8% of homeowners in Canada choose to use a Realtor when they sell. I’ll share some facts and some myths with you but please don’t just take my word here, do your research and verify what I am telling you for yourself.
Myth number one: Realtors will charge you a standard 5-6% commission to sell your house.
Fact: Most for sale by owner companies base their selling pitch on the notion that real estate companies will charge you 5- 6% to list and sell your home.
Real Estate sales are one of the most competitive industries there is. The choice of services and fee packages offered by Realtors in your market is likely as varied as the number of them who list homes for sale.
The last word on commissions is set by you the seller, and in my market, if you can’t come to an agreement on compensation with one Realtor, there are over 1700 more you can approach in London Ontario and area.
There is no such thing as a standard commission.
Myth number two: “Selling your house on your own isn’t as difficult as most Joe Schmo agents make it out to be” (a direct quote from the website of the non-licensed PropertyGuys.com)
Fact: Less than one in five homes listed privately actually sell. Whereas over 95% of homes listed with a Realtor sell. Listing a home is as easy as banging a sign into the lawn, but it is only a first step.
Statistics show more than half of the people who choose to list private eventually end up using the resources of a licensed Realtor to complete the task. If you have the time to, pick out 10 homes with for sale by owner signs in your area and watch them over the next year, at the end of the year you will see that more will have removed their sign or hired a Realtor or are still trying to sell private than will have traded with the private company.
Myth number three: Selling privately will always save you money over using a Realtor.
Fact: If you are listing privately in a seller’s market and or have time to wait it out, eventually, you should see offers coming your way. Every buyer that comes to you will also be looking at homes listed with Realtors or else they believe there is a financial advantage to be had in buying a private listing.
Most buyers who hunt out private listings do so because they believe you are saving money in commissions and can discount their offers accordingly, they assume they are dealing with someone who is not a professional negotiator of real property and chances are they know the area market better than most private sellers do.
Private sellers become quite familiar with and often weakened over time by this breed of buyer. The longer it lasts, the better the chance to take advantage. If you have listed privately in the past, you know what I am talking about. A good percentage of successful private purchases are from these buyers, and often the difference between the original list and the final sale price is higher than the commission costs the buyer believed they would be saving themselves.
Note: Yesterday, I just finished listing a house that was a For Sale By Owner and this lovely couple tried it for 56 days! The sad part was they had to pay $495.00 upfront to get all this sign and marketing stuff!
Realtors don’t get paid until YOU sell your home.
And to top it off, they had 26 Realtors contact them about if the house did not sell, to list with them! ( That 26 was 14 more than the 12 people who did want to see their home! Hmmmmmmmm! Something wrong here!)
Myth number four: Any money you can save on Real Estate commissions = cash in your pocket.
Fact: If the last myth bust wasn’t convincing, then consider these facts: Advertising to the degree of most licensed Realtors does not come cheap. Prepare to spend at least a bare minimum of $200 a week and resolve yourself to the fact that your advertising will be relegated to the classifieds along with the used bicycles and outdated computer equipment where few serious home buyers will ever look.
You could also do Kijiji, which is free. But what about Realtor.ca which every house on MLS is listed and 100% of all buyers go to to check out homes for sale, and Realtor websites, both their personal and their brokerage’s site.
Also, be prepared to have to market your home for a much more extended period than a Realtor would need to. Your most effective selling tool is going to be the sign on your lawn and the open houses you do, but keep in mind that of all properties sold through licensed Realtors, about one in every ten is the result of a sign call.
The other 9 out of ten come through buyers introduced to the property by their REALTOR® and through professional marketing efforts. Ask me about The Envelope 28 Step Marketing Plan.
All closings require legal documentation, the search of title, and transfer of funds, closing of existing mortgages and assignment of new mortgages just for starters.
Proper documentation and legally acceptable contracts safeguard both the buyer and seller, and without a Realtor, you are the one who will be personally sued should complications arise, and litigation, lawyers charge by the hour. That documentation a REALTOR® typically handles for your sale will be left to you and your lawyer and comes at a price.
Realtors carry Errors & Omissions Insurance to protect sellers and buyers in the event of a mistake, misrepresentation or unforeseen discrepancies and deficiencies relating to the property. Individual homeowners do not. An error in the square footage of the property or some other detail or event often leads to being sued by the buyer.
When represented by a Realtor, it is they who would be sued and their insurance generally would cover any loss. A single mistake could end up costing you far more than a Real Estate Commission. A Realtor is a valued insurance policy when one needs it.
You can bet that I hear by those who will say this is fear-mongering, and they have never had a problem in all of their private sales. The ones who have had issues likely won’t give you the benefit of their experiences here.
Other advice & things you need to consider as you make your decision to list privately are:
Make yourself available for the next few months – Many showings are booked at the last minute, and though often frustrating from my perspective as a Realtor, we have to accommodate this. It’s kind of like being a firefighter on call.
Many will see you are listed private and knock at your door, expecting to be able to come in and view your house on the spot. With the number of listings available to see, you want to be able to accommodate showing request or risk them crossing you off the list and moving on to the next home.
Good Realtors screen buyers before taking them through a home. You may have to compromise precautions as your agent but here is some valuable safety advice for private home sellers:
· During open houses, take people’s names and phone numbers at the door before allowing them into your home. Write down their license number and type and colour of the vehicle.
· Put away all pocket-able items of value before showing your home IE: jewellery, watches, and cash.
· Check to see that all doors and windows are locked after each showing. Thieves are known to use open houses to scout out valuables in a home, and possible points of entry then return when the home is empty.
· Never do an open house or showing alone. Have your partner, a friend or neighbour at home with you when strangers are coming to view the property.
· Ask neighbours to keep an eye on your home while it is for sale and report any strangers on the property to you immediately. Otherwise, neighbours might assume strangers on the property are there to view the home with your knowledge.
· Take names and phone numbers when people call to book a viewing. Don’t confirm a showing right away. Tell them you will call back to confirm. If they refuse to share name and number politely tell them they cannot view the home unless they do and end the conversation before calling back to confirm screen their name and phone number on the internet to verify legitimacy.
· Always go with your gut feelings. If something seems odd don’t book the showing and if they are at your door tell them it isn’t a good time.
· Always stay with potential buyers as they view the home and walk behind, not in front of them, as you go through the house. Insist that they stay together as you show them through. If one person wanders off, tell them you would like them to stay together.
· Restrict all your showings to daylight hours. If someone calls or comes to the door during the evening, get their information, check it out and call them back with appropriate times they can view the home.
· If you have pets, have someone take them for a walk or at the very least, put them in the backyard during showings. The incidence of allergies with buyer clients seems to go up every year, and I have had many turn around and walk right back out if they sense there are dogs or cats in the home.
· The same goes for smoking. If the home is smoked in, you are eliminating a large portion of potential buyers before you start.
In the end, the convenience, exposure, negotiating skills, legal protections, personal safety and yes ability to market your home to the highest degree to the most significant number of people are the reasons more than 90% of the public choose to hire a professional over experimenting with selling privately.
Whatever choice you make, do your homework first and don’t be taken in by anything offered by anyone you can’t first verify for yourself As you can see, there is a price in trying to save money! If you are prepared to pay that price and know what the price is, so be it.
Read what one of my clients had to say
“Cathy and I just wanted to take some time and thank you for everything you have done for us.
I always thought buying a house would be the most stressful thing anyone could do. I now know that, indeed, selling is by far the most stressful.
As you know, we did try to sell on our own, when this failed we tried another real estate agent and had a bad experience. Due to this experience, we were very unsure about the whole thing and were very disheartened as we were so looking forward to our plans.
Ty, from the second we first met, Cathy and I were blown away with your experience and professionalism, your reputation truly speaks for itself. You sold our house for exactly what we wanted and to top it off, you did it in 81/2 hours! Amazing!
As our family and friends heard about our success, they, of course, asked the question: ‘Who did you use?’ and I reply ‘Ty Lacroix”.
Cathy and I cannot express our gratitude enough, thanks again for everything; Cathy and I could not be happier!”
Jason and Cathy Bear