Selling a Condo in London Ontario
What Prudent Condo Sellers in London Ontario Have Done To Get The Results They Wanted & More!
Contrary to popular belief, when selling your London Ontario condo, its value is determined by one thing and one thing only – what a qualified buyer is willing to pay for it.
Sure, many sellers will argue that their condo has an insurance replacement value, an appraised value, or a tax assessed value, but unless your insurance agent, your banker, or your tax assessor is willing to write you a cheque for the condo – guess what? None of that matters.
A home without a buyer has no value in the marketplace. Sure it might have a value to you, the seller, and it might have a value to your banker and your insurance agent and your appraiser. But none of these people are buyers.
So here is the secret to pricing your condo to sell – It’s not what you think the condo is worth that matters; it’s what a reasonable buyer will think your condo is worth that will ultimately determine if your condo will sell.
Now you may be thinking – Hey, wait, if I left it up to a buyer, they would pay me as little as possible for my condo. True, they would. But in the real world, every buyer knows that you, the seller, have no obligation to sell your condo at any price. To purchase your condo, the buyer will have to make you an offer you can’t or won’t refuse. One that will motivate you to pack up your coin or doll collection, hire a local mover, and wave good-bye to a home full of memories.
But here in lies the trap that many sellers fall into (I did once), which is the mistaken idea that we can hold out for an inflated price and eventually the market will come to us.
Buyers are under no obligation to buy any particular home, and no amount of marketing, open houses, websites, or signage will motivate a buyer to purchase an overpriced condo. Why? Because they can buy one of your neighbour’s condos for less! This reveals one of the most critical considerations in pricing your condo.
Understanding Price vs Time
Since the dawn of private property rights, the age-old dilemma that has faced buyers and sellers is a simple question: What is the most critical; price or time? Believe it or not, this conundrum underlies and controls every seller’s decision to sell, and every buyer needs to complete a purchase.
For sellers, this boils down to the need to sell within a set time frame or instead to hold out for the best possible price, and as you might guess, for buyers, it’s the need to buy within a set time frame or to purchase a home for the lowest possible price.
A seller who would like to sell for top dollar should be prepared to potentially wait longer for a buyer willing to pay a premium price. Like trying to sell ice during December, a seller might have to give the stuff away to get rid of it, but if they wait long enough, say until mid-August when temperatures crest over 25 degrees celsius, suddenly that same ice can have real value.
On the flip side, a seller who needs to sell quickly, and doesn’t have time to wait, should expect to discount their price somewhat because of the limited time they have to expose their home to the market.
What’s the difference? Timing!
Buyers are in the same boat. A buyer who has the luxury of shopping for a condo over a long period can probably wait to find a bargain, while another buyer who must buy a condo in the next few weeks will probably be willing to pay a premium. Again it boils down to price vs. time. So you might ask yourself, what is your highest priority – Selling quickly or selling for a higher price?
When I pose this question to my clients, they often smile coyly and then answer – I want both! The funny thing is that they aren’t kidding!
Most clients want their cake with the icing generously slathered on top or a smoothie with chocolate in it. Because of this, many homeowners will attempt to put the responsibility of getting both top dollar and fast sale on the back of their hired gun, the real estate agent. The result can be summed up in one word – frustration. Why? Because no matter how much a seller yells, screams, and kicks a real estate agent, they can’t walk on water, or, at least, I can’t.
This is why successful sellers understand that while a Realtor’s job is to provide marketing, expert advice, and negotiating services, in the end, they don’t own the property. They don’t make the final pricing decisions. The seller does, and ultimately the seller’s asking price will in large part determine how slowly or quickly the home will sell.
To frame this discussion differently, consider what you will do should you arrive luggage in hand at the end of your listing period and the home has not yet sold. At that point, are you more likely to give it a little more time or adjust your price? I know – Neither, I’ll fire the agent!
You know what? This is precisely what many sellers’ do; they fire their Realtor and reboot the marketing.
Does it work?
Sometimes it does, but often these sellers end up three months later in the same slow boat to nowhere. On the other hand, successful sellers take ownership of their pricing decisions by making a clear decision about which is more important to them, selling quickly or selling for top dollar.
Successful sellers have learned that to price their condo accurately means they need to think like a buyer; they need to get inside a buyer’s skin and look at the world through their eyes. For instance, imagine for a minute that you are moving to another area of the country, to a city that you are entirely unfamiliar with.
If you were faced with buying a condo in a strange city, what would be your first step?
If you were like most buyers, you would probably start online by viewing listings at websites to get a general feel for local home prices.
Next, you might narrow your search down to a specific community or neighbourhood by comparing utility costs, school reports, and crime statistics with other online tools and going to neighbourhood watch. Feeling good about your findings, you might then venture out into the real world to begin viewing homes in person.
As a typical Internet-empowered real estate buyer, you will look at an average of nine to fourteen homes over eight weeks with a real estate professional’s assistance. By the end of your journey, like many buyers, you become so knowledgeable about the market that by the last showing, you can guess, with reasonable accuracy, each condos listing price before your agent can even tell you.
So what happened here? As a buyer, you went from a blank slate, with no impression of the market to having the ability to predict listing prices. A giant leap, sure, but this description is exactly what most buyers experience. But this is only the buildup; the next step for buyers who have found their dream home is to review a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).
A Comparative Market Analysis is a report that compares a specific home, often called the “subject home,” with other homes in one particular neighbourhood. This analysis is then used to provide an anticipated sales price or price range for the subject property.
Although not formally called an appraisal, the report provides a similar function by giving homebuyers and home sellers a clear understanding of the market data that might affect their opinion of value.
What is frustrating to me (and most real estate professionals) is that some buyers still feel they are Mr. Scrooge or Gordon Gecko and that sellers are desperate, so they make low ball offers or very unreasonable conditions. Most of these buyers get advice from television shows, “How to Make a Zillion Dollars in Real Estate in 30 Days” books, or Joe at work that buys houses on the side and is making a fortune. (Why is Joe still working?)
Focus on the Major Key Issues & Be Realistic
The most common mistakes sellers (and some Realtors) make when choosing a price:
- Not choosing the right price when a property is first listed. In other words, thinking, “We can always come down.”
- They are putting the property on the market at an unrealistic price. The property must be priced on a comparative basis to other similar properties. (I should add, everyone thinks their home is different but buyers and their agent doesn’t think so.)
- They are not relating marketing time to price. Generally, the quicker you want to sell, the less you should be willing to take.
- They are calculating brokerage fees on top of the sales price. A home is worth what it is worth, with or without a commission.
- Thinking that buyers aren’t comparing your home, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with every other home on the market
My entire aim with this report is to help point you in the right direction and give you some common sense guidelines to help you make the right decision.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read this; you are already ahead of most home sellers, congratulations!
One of our principles is to guide clients to make prudent decisions. The way we found to do that is to be upfront with all facts, not sugar coat anything and not make false promises or make unrealistic assumptions.
Our systematic approach is not for everyone, but we enjoy helping those willing to be proactive and innovative than those who prefer to wing it!
How Much Is Your Condo Worth?
I am amazed at all the webpages out there, you know the ones I mean,they offer free evaluations without even seeing your condo or the “Free Home Evaluation Reports” cards we receive in our mail boxes or the dreaded cold call ” I have a buyer who is interested in buying your home”.
How can anyone value your condo accurately without physically seeing your home thoroughly and doing the two to three hours of research necessary ? Have you ever bought anything “at a ball park price’? “A general price range?” “The market price?” After helping hundred’s of buyers over the years buy homes, every house or condo my clients bought had a price, we never looked at homes without a price. Semantics aside, you deserve a price what a willing qualified buyer will pay.
So, what is that price?
Home Evaluations The Right Way
- you let us know that you would like a no obligation, no cost valuation of your house or condo
- we will arrange a mutual time to meet
- we prepare before our meeting our research of prices, demographics and current market conditions.
- You will not have to sign anything or listen to blah blah blah stuff , malarky, posturing, showcasing or bs.
- when we get to your place,a quick introduction and a tour of your home.
- while doing the tour, we can prepare a room by room audit of the selling features or what you could do to help sell quicker or receive a higher price.
- when completed, sit down with you and adress your concerns, fears or the anxiety you may have about moving.
- leave with you our research and market reports and best practises to sell a home.
- within 24 hours we will get back to you with “The Price is Right”
- you then decide what you wish to do.
If you decide to utilize our research and apply our marketing tips, you’ll know how to price and sell your home for the fastest, most profitable sale. Also, with this information, you’ll never pay too much for any home you ever buy for the rest of your life.