Selling A Home in London Ontario
Learn What Prudent House Sellers in London Ontario Have Done To Get Great Results!
Step #1: Dress Your Home for Sale
Buyers look for HOMES, not houses. They buy homes in which they FEEL they would like to live. One of the significant factors in getting your home to sell quickly is very simple: make it feel like a home! I know it is a home, your home, but will it be the home that attracts as many buyers as possible? Most buyers select homes based on emotions. Once they decide to buy, they justify their purchase with logical reasons: facts and figures.
That is why it is most important to make your home appeal to all senses. Your property is not the only home the buyers will see; in fact, the average buyer may see up to 16 houses before making a choice. You are competing with all the other homes for sale in your price range or neighbourhood.
The Way You Live In a Home, And the Way You Sell A Home Are Very, Very Different!
When showcasing your house for sale, it’s going to look very different from the way it looks when you’re living there. Here are a few tips for showcasing your home for sale:
Most importantly: Pack away all counter appliances, get rid of excess furniture, put away unused dishes, and make your home neat and orderly. If you’ve ever visited a model home, you’ll notice it’s clean and uncluttered. You have to move anyway, so you might as well pack early and make your home more saleable. Go to the garage and make sure it’s tidy.
At night, do the same, but close your blinds and curtains. When showing your home, turn off all appliances, television, radio, and anything that will distract attention from your home. You might want to play a little light music to enhance the emotional experience for your buyer.
Step #2: Pricing Your Home Correctly
Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible when selling his or her home. The natural inclination is to price the home high, thinking you can always come down in the future. But a listing price that is too high frequently nets the seller LESS money than an original price at market value. Why is this? Because when most people are looking for homes in your price range, they will reject your home in favour of other homes in a reasonable price range.
Buyers know prices; they may have already been in 6-10 or even 16 houses, they can compare, and in the long run, the buyer will decide if your home is priced right! If no offers on the house after ten days in this hot market, what do you think the reason was? Realtors who would readily bring buyers through your home will automatically cross it off their showing schedule because it’s priced too high. They’re only motivated to show homes with the highest probability of selling.
Some price their home high, thinking they can come down. The problem is buyers and Realtors do not look at it that way. They see it as an overpriced house. After 2-3 weeks go by, after a few open houses, so-called agent tours, they are still not getting a nibble. So they decide to lower their price again. But it’s too late; their home has already been “branded” by the Realtor community. So they reduce their home a little more. And little happens.
Finally, to attract attention back to their home, they’ve reduced their home price more than they ever thought, and they are now getting much less than if they had priced it correctly in the beginning.
And think about this:
The money they lost is not just the lower sales price but all the extra interest they paid on their mortgage, property taxes, and other carrying costs that accrue while their house is waiting to sell. I’ve seen it happen time and again! I call it chasing the market or, to be subtle, like falling off a cliff in the night, you know you will hit bottom, but you don’t know when!
Real Estate Fact: The Seller Is Solely Responsible For How Much, and How Quickly Their Home Sells!
Overpricing almost always increases the time to sell and adds carrying costs. The most common mistakes sellers (and Realtors) make when choosing a price.
Below Are 5 Important Questions to Think About:
Step #3: Maximizing the Marketing Exposure of Your House
The apparent marketing tools most in use are not very useful anymore. Successfully marketing your home (getting the highest price, at the right time, and with fewer hassles and problems) requires much more. Not surprisingly, less than 1% of homes are sold at an open house! Realtors use open houses to attract buying prospects, not to sell your home. And marketing studies show that less than 3 % of people purchased their home because they saw it in an ad.
That’s why a listing champion will have a broad spectrum of marketing activities, emphasizing the specific strategies that will work best for YOUR particular property or area. One more thing, did you know that most home buyer inquiry calls come in during business hours when Realtors are away from their offices? Even when I want to make appointments to take out my clients to see a property, I have experienced some who respond 12-24 hours later or even two days!
96.1% of home buyers search online for a house to buy, if they see a home they like, they want professional pictures, a virtual tour and an accurate description of the home. You see, marketing a home takes more than just sticking a sign in your lawn and putting your property up on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and praying and wishing it will sell; anyone can do that! It takes aggressive, innovative marketing to sell your home in today’s marketplace!
To sell your home, your Realtor has to aggressively identify& attract potential buyers before other Realtors guide them into a different property. The fact is when you enter the market to sell your home, you enter one of the most competitive businesses in existence, anywhere! The first primary key to effectively marketing your home is to identify potential buyers.
A Realtor Absolutely Must Have An Assertive Marketing Strategy! The best Realtors use every available marketing tool, technology, approach, contact or potential avenue to generate prospective buyers for your property! One key element is they understand the value of “effective” marketing! They realize that they can’t just splash their name out there and expect people to call in today’s competitive market. They have to craft their message and give buyers a compelling reason to call.
When you pick up any real estate magazine or flyer; all content looks virtually the same. There are 2 -6 homes in a little box and a massive picture of him or her and #1 this, #1 that, or a member of you name it club. Or, (I can see your eyes rolling now!), they say stuff like honesty, integrity, we care etc. Well, they better care, they better be honest, and they better have all of that and more; it’s your home and your money!
Does three bdrm, two baths, a beautiful home, lovely floors, a clean, good neighbourhood and close to schools put you to sleep? Your home has a story, it is your past, and your home’s marketing must reflect your home’s feel and energy, not necessarily the number of rooms. Most people who can afford to buy a home can count!
Everyone says they have the technology, but they lack the personal touch or hide behind their keyboard. Or, what gets me is that it is like pulling hen’s teeth for a return phone call ( in a reasonable time frame). Wow, they have a home listed, and they don’t return calls? It’s bad enough not calling a real estate person back for information but not calling a potential buyer back? Think I’m kidding?
In a recent Canadian Real Estate Association poll, the most prominent frustration potential home buyers had been delaying or never even getting a return call. Remember, the primary key to generating a buyer for your home is to reach the buyer first. And to reach buyers first, a listing champion will use an up-to-date automatic response notifier, virtual tour system, excellent marketing copy personalized for your home, neighbourhood reports and calls to action.
So again, remember, the first one to reach the buyer wins the sale. So, if you want to get your home sold, don’t settle for anything less!
The first two questions then are 1. How will you make the phone ring with lots of new buyers for your home? and 2. What’s going to give them the edge and get them to the “starting line” first?
Step #4: Knowing That an Appraisal, an Assessment or What Your Uncle Harry Says Is Not the Market Value of Your Home
An appraisal is an opinion of value for an entirely different purpose than selling your home. Usually, an appraisal is to provide bank or mortgage institution information to fund a loan. If a lender is motivated to loan you money, their estimate may come in higher than the real market value of your property.
When buyers look at a home, they look at all the factors: foreclosures, distressed sales, bankruptcies, divorces, and area fluctuations. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the “appraisal” value of your home is what a diligent buyer would pay. A real estate listing champion will show you the market’s facts. Because accurate information is king, not being swayed by the outside experts’ like well-meaning relatives or co-workers perceive your market value.
Step #5: Understanding Your Rights and Obligations
Real estate law and regulations can be very complicated. When you sign an offer for the sale of your property, it’s a legally binding document. An improperly written offer can create many problems for you: a sale could fall through, cost you thousands in forced repairs, inspections, and remedies for items included or excluded in the purchase offer.
You must understand what repairs and closing costs you are responsible for in a contract. Have you disclosed everything? The courts do not accept “Oh, I forgot to mention that” as a defence.
It would be best to have a thoughtful review of your title and whether your property conflicts with local restrictions or laws. (I recently helped a buyer purchase a home, and three outstanding work orders from the city were four years old. And get this, the seller did not even know they existed. So, two real estate people and two lawyers did not do due diligence. All I did was check with city hall; it is just one of the to-do’s on my checklist!)
If you have to remedy these items yourself, you can spend thousands on legal bills, fines, contractors, and other costs. In the above case, it was $5318. 43! Using a competent listing champion upfront can help identify and avoid these issues before they become “problems.”
Step #6: When You Sell, Do You Know Where You Are Going?
Notice that I did not start this step # 6 by “If you sell, do you know where you are going? This may not be an issue for some, but?
These are only a few scenarios that can crop up, and I could name you 31 more that I have seen or heard. Don’t go there. A professional champion real estate lister will not let you gamble with the largest 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 the professional, your house will sell for the market price in the time frame you want, and you can move with confidence.
Again, choose wisely!
Step #7: Choosing a Real Estate Professional Who Will Sell Your Home, Not Just List It!
There is an old riddle that goes, “What do you call the person who graduated dead-last in their medical school class?” Answer: “DOCTOR!”
Well, it’s the same with real estate professionals. Someone with vast experience and extraordinary professionalism usually costs the same as someone with little or no experience or compromising standards. You need to know how to tell the difference up front. Bringing competence and knowledge into your transaction may mean the difference between a higher negotiated sales price and losing money, selling in less time or in more time (costing you potentially thousands in added interest), and experiencing problems and hassles or a problem-free transaction.
Some do not do much business, so they will tell you anything to get a listing or a sale. Overpriced listings happen, and then 30 days after, they ask you to price the home where it should have been in the first place. 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!
Focus In On the Major Key Issues, Be Realistic, And Most Importantly! Choose the Right Person to Help You
Then comes the next question. How sharp are the salesperson’s negotiating skills? What kind of results have they produced for past clients? This is so crucial! Most people think that selling a home is like being a tour guide. Show the buyer around, ask if they like it and write up the paperwork. Well, if that’s all there was to it, my 5-year-old grandaughter could sell your home if she could write!
Your Realtor Absolutely Must Have Strong Fundamental Negotiating Skills!
If you want to get your home sold, your salesperson absolutely must have a deep understanding of “The Art of Negotiating.” These skills are vitally important! Without these skills, you could lose big! With these skills, your listing champion will ensure you get the highest possible price for your home. So, how do you find out about your prospective Realtor’s negotiating skills? Meet with them! Do they have testimonials from past clients?
Suggested Questions for Realtors When You Interview Them
In today’s market, buyers are increasingly savvy. This means the competition is stiff! What that means to you is, your home will sell at the highest profit and in the quickest amount of time when all the ingredients are combined correctly. If only one element is left out of the formula or is out of proportion to the others.
So, in conclusion, really think these things through! This is such an important decision. Get prepared! Fire away with questions when interviewing a Realtor. Make them stand the test of fire; the best Realtors thrive on it! They can’t wait to tell you all about the innovative methods that separate them from the Realtors that’ll poke a sign in the ground and act like that’s enough!
In today’s market, it’s most definitely not enough!
Whew! You read this far! Did you know that you are more informed about the home selling process than 80% of sellers & buyers?
If you are willing to utilize these ideas, 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.
The Secret to Pricing Your Home to Sell
Contrary to popular belief, when selling your home, value is determined by one thing and one thing only – what a qualified buyer is willing to pay for it. No more and no less. Sure, many sellers will argue that their home has an insurance replacement value, or 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 home – guess what? None of that matters.
A home without a buyer has no value in the market place. Sure it might have a value to you the seller, and it might have a value to your banker, and to your insurance agent, and to your appraiser. But none of these people are buyers.
So here is the secret to pricing your home to sell – It’s not what you think the home is worth that matters, it’s what a reasonable buyer will think your home is worth that will ultimately determine if your home 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 home. True, they would. But in the real world every buyer knows that you, the seller, have no obligation to sell your home at any price. To purchase your home 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 Ken and Barbie 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 (myself once), which is the mistaken idea that we can hold out for an inflated price and eventually the market will come to us. Wrong! 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 home. Why? Because they can buy one of your neighbors homes for less! This reveals one of the most important considerations in pricing your home – Price VS Time.
Understanding Price VS Time
The age old dilemma that has faced buyers and sellers since the dawn of private property rights is a simple question: What is more important price or time? Believe it or not this conundrum underlies and controls every sellers decision to sell, and every buyers need 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 just to get rid of it, but if they wait long enough, say until mid-August when temperatures crest over 100 degrees 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 home over a long period of time can probably wait to find a bargain, while another buyer who must buy a home 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 own clients they often smile coyly and then answer – I want both! The funny thing is that they aren’t kidding!
Quite a few home sellers want their cake with icing generously slathered on top. 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 don’t do miracles. 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 decisions on pricing. 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 in a different way, 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 most likely to give it a little more time or adjust your price? I know – Neither, I’ll just fire the agent!
This is exactly what many sellers’ do; they fire their agent 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. Successful sellers on the other hand 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 home accurately means they need to think like a buyer, they need to get inside a buyers skin and look at the world through a buyers eyes. For instance, imagine for a minute that you are moving to another area of the country, to a city that you are completely unfamiliar with. If you were faced with buying a home in strange city what would be your first step?
If you’re like most buyers you would probably start online by viewing listings to get a general feel for local home prices. Next you might narrow your search down to a specific community or neighborhood by comparing utility costs, school reports, and crime statistics. 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 homes over 1-2 weeks with the assistance of a real estate professional. By the end of your journey, like many buyers, you become so knowledgeable about the market that by the last showing you are able to guess, with reasonable accuracy, each homes 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 big 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.
A Comparative Market Analysis is a report that compares a specific home, often called the “subject home” with other homes in a specific neighborhood. 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 home buyers and home sellers a clear understanding of the market data that might affect their opinion of value. To learn more about using a CMA to help price your home talk to me and I can explain and demonstrate to you the value of pricing your home correctly.
So as you can see, pricing to sell your home is not the price your neighbour suggests, or a friend of a friend, or to recoup your costs of a poor renovation or upgrades.
When we do an Envelope Home Audit and a thorough CMA, you can rest assure that the price we come up with is the one that will enable your home to sell quickly and for you, netting the most money. Remember, homes that that sell for the most, sell within 2 weeks!
How Much Is Your Home Worth?
I am amazed at all the webpages out there, you know the ones I mean,they offer free evaluations without even seeing your home 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 home 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
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.