Selling A Home in London Ontario
You Are Not a Home Seller Until Your Home Sells And The Money Is In Your Account!
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. Getting your home to sell quickly is simple: make it feel like a home! I know it is your home, but will it be the home that attracts as many buyers as possible? Most buyers select homes based on emotions.
Your home is not the only home buyers will see; the average buyer may see 6-8 houses in London before choosing. You are in competition with other homes for sale in your price range.
A few tips for showcasing your home for sale:
- First impressions set the tone for a buyer’s visit. Approach your house in your car as any buyer would. Examine the outside as you’re approaching. How does it look? Are shrubs trimmed? How clean is the foyer? How do the grass and landscaping look? Cluttered looks detract from the architecture of the house.
- Take a look at the exterior of your house. Is the paint fading or chipping? Is the colour outdated or impersonal? How does the roof look? What do you see first as you drive up to or away from your home?
- Now go inside just like a buyer would. You want to be aware of four senses: smell, touch, sight, and hearing. Go through room by room and test all four senses. Check flooring and carpet for stains and odours.
- 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 are going to move anyway, so you might as well pack early and make your home more saleable.
- Hire someone to clean your home professionally. Top to bottom! Cleaning and cosmetic fix-ups, especially in the kitchen, bathrooms, and primary bedroom, can often yield you up to $10 in extra sales price for every $1 you invest.
- Pets should be out of sight (and smell!). Get rid of pet odours for showings. Remember the four senses. Also, some people are uneasy around pets, and they may distract attention from the features of your home.
- Pay particular attention to lighting. During the day, open all your blinds and curtains. If it’s cloudy out, turn on all lights for showings. Leave your front drapes open at dusk and turn on all the lamps and lights.
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 London Ontario Home Correctly
Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible when selling their 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 there are no offers on the house after five days in this market, what do you think the reason was?
Step #3: Maximizing the Marketing of Your House in London Ontario
The marketing tools that most Realtors use are not very effective 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 sold are at an open house! Realtors use open houses to attract buying prospects, not sell your home. And marketing studies show that less than 3 % of people purchased their home because they saw it in an ad.
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, floor plans and an accurate description. Marketing a home to sell takes more than just sticking a sign on your lawn, putting a listing on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), and praying and wishing it will sell; anyone can do that! It takes assertive, innovative marketing to maximize the selling price!
When your home is for sale on MLS, you enter one of the most competitive businesses anywhere! The primary key to effectively marketing your home is identifying potential buyers.
When you pick up any real estate magazine or flyer, all content looks virtually identical. 2 -6 homes with a small picture of the property and a massive picture of a Realtor and #1 this, #1 that, or a member of so & so club. Or, (I can see your eyes rolling now!), they say stuff like honesty, integrity, we care etc. Well, they better care, be honest, and 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 lack the personal touch or hide behind a keyboard. In a recent Canadian Real Estate Association poll, potential home buyers’ most prevalent frustration was a next-day response or never getting a return call. The primary key to generating a buyer for your home is to reach the buyer first. Great Realtors will have an up-to-date automatic response notifier, virtual tour online, floor plans & excellent marketing copy personalized for your home, neighbourhood reports, and calls to action to reach buyers first.
So again, the first one to reach the buyer wins the sale, don’t settle for anything less!
Step #4: An Appraisal, an Assessment or What Your Uncle Fred 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 provides banks or mortgage institutions with information to fund a loan. If a lender is motivated to loan you money, their estimate may come in higher than the accurate market value of your property.
What’s the difference between a comparative market analysis & an appraisal?
There are subtle but significant differences between a CMA and an appraisal. A licensed appraiser performs an appraisal, usually to understand the current value for lending or insurance. A Realtor performs a comparative market analysis to determine a list of selling prices based on comparable sales and market trends. Market value is what a qualified, willing buyer will pay! Accurate information is king; avoid being misled by outside experts’ like well-meaning relatives or co-workers who have a perception of your market value.
Step #5: Understanding Your Rights and Obligations
Real estate law and contracts of a purchase and sale are legal documents. 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 review your title carefully and determine 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 top 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! 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? It may not be an issue for some, but?
- You have found your dream home, but you cannot finance it until your home sells. Do not be misled by this statement “Oh, not a problem; your house will sell or should sell within a week or in a month” Really?
- You make an offer on your dream home, but the sellers will not take a conditional offer on you selling yours, or worse, the sellers take your conditional offer with a 24-hour or 48-hour bump clause, and you get bumped! That hurts.
- You are counting on clearing or netting x amount of dollars from the sale of your home, and you either get no offers, or the offers you get are nowhere what you thought you were going to clear. Not Good.
Many scenarios can crop up, and I can name 31 more that I have seen or heard. Don’t go there. We will not let you gamble with the most significant investment of your life, will not give you false hope or convince you to take what could be a costly risk on your part. We take the time to explain the pros and cons of the options available before you sign anything
Some do not do much business, so they 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!
In today’s market, buyers are increasingly savvy. This means the competition is stiff! That means that 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.
Whew! You read this far! Did you know that you are more informed about the home selling process than 80% of sellers & buyers? 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.
Results That Will Move You!
How to Get More Buyers to See Your Home
Did You Know:
- 44% of the buyers who walked through a home viewed it online.
- 67% of the buyers who walked through a home viewed it online that had a virtual tour.
- 88.6% of the buyers who walked through a home viewed it online that had floor plans and a virtual tour
What percentage of qualified buyers do you want looking at your home when it is for sale? In this market, skill overshadows a pretty face, the rookie, the part-timer, verbal diarrhea and the unwashed!