For some homeowners, the process of listing, showing and selling their home can be stressful. Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to make it much less nerve-racking—and even exciting and enjoyable.
Here are some ideas:
1. Make a plan. Decide when you’re going to show your property, search for a new home, view listings, etc. Block out these times in an agenda book or calendar. That way, you and your family can see what’s coming up.
2. Be flexible. Few things go exactly as planned! So, it’s important to build in flexibility. For example, you may plan to see homes for sale on Saturdays, but if an opportunity comes up on a weeknight, give yourself room in your schedule to jump on it.
3. Eat well. There are numerous studies that connect poor nutrition with increased stress. When people are selling and moving, there’s a tendency to rely on quick fixes, such as hot dogs and pizza! Try to plan more nutritious meals that will keep everyone healthy and energized.
4. Get stuff done early. Doing things last minute, such as finding a real estate lawyer or getting rid of clutter, can quickly lead to stress and frustration. Whenever possible, get tasks done early. That way, you won’t have to worry about them.
5. Hire the right professionals. By far, the surest way to a stress-free move is to get the right professionals working for you: everyone from contractors to mortgage brokers to movers.
By the way, a big part of what I do for clients is help make every aspect of buying, selling and moving go smoothly. Contact me to learn how I can help you.
Sometimes the reason for putting your home on the market is crystal clear. For example, you might have a job relocation and need to move. Or, you might have decided to downsize because the kids have left the nest.
However, there are many other motivations to list your home that are not as obvious, and yet are still good reasons to make a move. Here are just a few examples...
• You’re bored with your home and are looking for a change.
• There’s something you’ve always wanted in a home that your current property doesn’t have, such as a wooded backyard.
• You want to be closer to work, or to activities you enjoy, such as golf.
• You want to be closer to family.
• The neighbourhood is changing in a way that no longer fits the lifestyle you want.
• There’s another neighbourhood you’ve always dreamed of living in.
• Your tastes have changed and you want to live in a different type of home.
None of these reasons makes it an absolute necessity to list your property and find a new home. Yet, they’re all worth considering, especially if moving will make you and your family happier, and provide you with a more desirable lifestyle.
Want to talk about the possibilities? Call today.
Your neighbourhood has a lot of features that can help sell your home faster. Unfortunately, buyers don’t usually notice those features just by driving around. So, you need to make sure they get all the information they need about your neighbourhood.
For example, say homes don’t go on the market often in your area. That’s an indication that the quality of life in the neighbourhood is so good that no one wants to leave! In real estate we measure the area’s “turnover rate”, and it’s handy data to have when listing your home.
Another bit of data that buyers can’t simply see is the local crime rate. But, most police departments keep those statistics. If your neighbourhood has a low crime rate, that’s an obvious plus to sellers.
Demographic data can also be helpful when selling your property. If your neighbourhood has a lot of families, for example, that’s going to be appealing to buyers with kids.
Even local development plans can play a role in making your home more attractive to buyers. If a new ramp to a major highway is in the works nearby, getting to work is going to be easier. That’s a big benefit to commuters.
Other types of data that can help sell your home include:
• Planned local construction.
• Proposals for neighbourhood improvements. (For example, a new playground.)
• Rates at which local property values are increasing.
Any information that shows the advantages of living in your area is going to be useful when selling. By the way, this is the kind of information I put together to provide to prospective buyers when selling your home. Contact me today.
Preparing your home to list in the Spring? Here are some great pre-listing tips to get you started..
As a general rule of thumb all properties will directly benefit from the following pre-listing improvements:
Repairs: Any small repairs that are necessary should be attended to prior to listing the property. Go through the subject property critically and take care of all the things that have not been done. We often get used to little annoyances like a squeaky door or hard to open cabinet doors. We often don't notice rusty house numbers or a wobbly fence, but the buyers will! You can hire a handyman or go at it yourself and do these things before you consider putting your house on the market. Buyers look for homes that have been well maintained inside and out.
Paint: Get a good quality paint and go over the inside of the home. It makes a big difference and makes the property look fresh and well cared for. If the exterior needs a touch up, it's worth it to have that painted as well. Choose light neutral colors for paint.
Landscaping: Take a critical look at the yard. If you need inspiration, go to a new home development to see what the pros do with landscaping. Also check pintrest or on-line sources. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to pull out shrubs or plants that are not thriving and replace them with nice new ones. Focus on the areas that are immediately around entry points to the home, walkways and entrance areas. These are the areas that will be most noticeable to buyer’s. Use ground cover around the new plants in the flowerbeds and add seasonal flowers to unify the space. Water the lawn and add seed to refresh it if it’s patchy.
Clutter: We all have lots of stuff! Remove any and all non-essential items from the house. Pack away, "knick-knacks," collections, family photos and all furniture that is not absolutely necessary. Less is more inside the home and gives buyers a chance to envision themselves living there. This also helps you to get some of the pre-packing done before moving day comes.
While the above is general advice about preparing a property for sale, each home does have its own set of unique circumstances. Before listing, my professional home stager and I will create an additional staging plan tailored to your specific property to help it show it off in it’s most favorable light once. We want don’t want you to spend time or money unnecessarily on the preparation. Our plan can help you pinpoint the critical improvement areas that will create high return on investment and improve the overall marketability of the property.
Imagine you were selling your car, and a prospective buyer was on the way over to see it. What would you do? You would probably make your vehicle look as clean and shiny as possible, inside and out.
The same holds true if you’re selling your home and there’s a potential buyer on the way. You want the buyer to be wow’d by your property. Here’s a handy checklist to follow:
• Clean every room. Make your entire house look as “guest ready” as possible.
• As much as is feasible given the time, reduce clutter. Consider packing some items into boxes and storing them in the basement or garage.
• Get pets out of the house. You can take them for a walk, have a neighbour watch them, or take them to a good kennel.
• Turn on the lights, even during the day. You want each room to look bright.
• If there are any maintenance issues, such as a dripping faucet, let your Realtor know. Often, it’s best for buyers to be told rather than discover such issues themselves.
• Open the curtains, except in those rooms where the sun will be uncomfortably strong during the viewing.
• Move your vehicles from the driveway so the buyer can park there. (That can help them imagine living there, which is what you want!)
• Make sure your foyer is especially clean and uncluttered. It’s the first “room” the buyer visits.
• Avoid cooking just before a viewing. Even if the meal is wonderful, the aroma may linger. (Some people don’t like the smell of certain dishes, such as fish.)
• Freshen up the outdoor space. Mow the lawn. Sweep the walkway.
This viewing checklist will help you prepare your home quickly, so when the buyer comes in your front door, there’s a much better chance he or she will be impressed.
Buyers are using the internet to search for properties more than ever before. In some cases, they can even go on a “virtual” tour of a home using their smartphone or desktop computer. So, you might be wondering if the old-fashioned Open House still works these days?
The answer is yes. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see them advertised. If Open Houses didn’t work, no one would be doing them!
No matter how good the internet gets, it can’t compete with a buyer being able to visit a property in person, walk through the rooms, stand in the backyard and imagine himself BBQ-ing with his family, stroll the area, and meet neighbours.
An Open House makes it easy for buyers to do just that.
It’s an open invitation for them to come by at a specific date and time, to see the property and chat with the REALTOR®. It’s a casual environment, which many buyers prefer. Some buyers, in fact, are more comfortable going to an Open House before scheduling a private viewing.
Will you need an Open House to sell your home?
That depends on a lot of factors. When I work with clients, I put together a marketing plan designed to sell the property quickly and for the best price possible. Depending on the circumstances, that may or may not include an Open House.
If you have questions about what would be involved in a quick and successful sale of your home, contact me. I’d be happy to chat and answer your questions.
Is selling your property the furthest thing from your mind? Well, here are some reasons for listing your property that you might not have considered.
1. Your property may be worth more than you think. (It’s difficult to determine market value on your own. I can calculate it for you. Give me a call.)
2. You might qualify for a better home than you anticipate.
3. Perhaps you are tired of your current property and want a change.
4. There may be homes on the market in a neighbourhood in which you’ve always wanted to live.
5. Your current property may no longer meet your needs.
6. Your neighbourhood may have changed in ways you don’t like.
7. You might be ready to downsize or upsize and you no longer want to put that off.
8. You may want to sell in the fall, so you can have a fresh start in a new home in the new year.
9. Depending on the type of home you’re considering, you could end up with lower mortgage payments or no mortgage at all.
10. You might want to move to a home that’s more conveniently located near work, family and hobbies.
Of course, you may have your own reasons for listing this month. Why not discuss them with a real estate expert? Me. I can answer your questions and explain the options available to you.
When you list your home for sale, you want as many buyers as possible to find out about it. So consider how many friends, neighbours and work colleagues you have. Then think about how many people they know.
The number is likely in the hundreds. One of those people could be looking for a property just like yours.
That’s why getting your friends to spread the word about your listing is so effective. How do you do that?
One strategy is to have a moving party. This gives you an opportunity to ask your friends, as a group, to tell others about your listing. You can also encourage your friends to bring a guest who is currently in the market for a new home.
Another good idea is to put a profile of your listing on Facebook. This is the fastest and most convenient way for your Facebook friends to point others to your listing.
Do you have friends who work at larger organizations like banks and factories? They probably have access to an employee lunch room with a bulletin board. You can spread the word by asking them to put up an information sheet on your listing.
Try one or more of these ideas. Combined with my marketing plan for you, they can help get more qualified buyers to your doorstep.
Want more tips on promoting your listing? Call today.
When you’re preparing your home for sale, it’s not unusual to need to fix up a few things around the property. After all, you want your home to look its best to buyers, so that you get good offers, quickly.
What do you need to fix? Here are three categories that will help you create and prioritize your list.
1. Anything that squeaks or creaks.
Is there something in your home that makes a noise it shouldn’t be making? Perhaps it’s a rattling closet door or a creaking floor board? You may be so used to it you no longer notice the sound. But buyers will. Be sure to get those items fixed.
2. Anything that’s unsightly.
You don’t have to make your home look perfect. However, things that are unsightly will likely get buyers’ attention. You want them to focus on the terrific features of your property, not the scuff on the wall. Take a walk through your property, including the yard. Pretend you’re the buyer. Do you notice anything that doesn’t look good? If so, tidy it up, fix it up or replace it.
3. Anything that’s broken.
If there’s anything that needs repair — an outside tap that’s not working, or a sliding door that regularly careens off its runner — call the contractor or fix it yourself.
Getting these items fixed will go a long way toward making your home appealing to buyers. Want more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call today.
You’ve probably seen signs around the area for Open Houses. You mayhave even attended a few. These are open invitations for potential buyers todrop by on a certain day and time, to check out the property and get more information.
When you’re listing your home for sale, you might wonder whether you’ll need to have an Open House.
To answer that question, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons. Planning and hosting an open house isn’t as easy as it may seem. There’s a lot of preparation involved. In addition, you’ll likely spend hours making your property look its best and you’ll need to be away from your home for a good part of that day.
That being said, an Open House has many advantages.
• It helps showcase features of your property that may not come across well in advertisements and listing descriptions.
• It attracts potential buyers who, for any number of reasons, might not otherwise call to view the home.
• It generates a buzz and publicity about your listing.
However, an Open House might not be necessary if there is high demand for properties like yours and you’re likely to get multiple offers.
Property Surveyors, sometimes referred to as land Surveyors, play a vital role in the real estate world. They are the professionals who determine or confirm the exact boundaries of a property.
Will you need to deal with a Property Surveyor when selling your home?
Sometimes the mortgage lender will ask for a land survey, especially if your property is older and hasn’t changed hands in many years. You might also be asked for one by the buyer if there is any confusion about the size and boundaries of your property – or if significant changes have been made to it in recent years.
This is nothing to be concerned about.
A qualified Property Surveyor will do the appropriate inspection and measurements on your property and issue you the survey. (It looks a little like a blueprint.)
Property Surveyors are highly trained and licensed. In Canada, Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC) represents the profession nationally, and most provinces have their own professional associations.
Before getting a new land survey, make sure you don’t already have one. Hopefully, you’ve stored the paperwork that relates to the purchase of your home. Look through it. A valid land survey might be right there.
If you have questions about land surveys, call today.
No matter how much you love your current property, you may be dreaming of the day you can buy up into a better home in a better neighbourhood.
Is that day today, or, is it a few years down the road?
Here’s a quick way to make that assessment.
First, make a list of all the practical reasons why it might be time to move up. Those reasons might include features such as: more bedrooms, proximity to work and school, a larger backyard with trees, nearby parks and walking paths and better access to things you enjoy.
Next, make a list of the emotional reasons for making such a move. Those reasons might include memorable get-togethers with friends on a more spacious deck, an easier and less stressful commute to work, more family time with the kids and enjoyable Saturday golfing at a nearby course.
Finally, take a financial snapshot to determine if you can afford to move up. You’ll need to get a good idea of what your current property will sell for in today’s market, average price of homes in your desired neighbourhood, and how much mortgage you’ll need.
Once you have all that down on paper, you’ll have a clear picture of your readiness. If the practical and emotional reasons for buying up are compelling, and you can afford to make the move, then you have your answer.
The time is now!
By the way, if you need help in making this determination – especially figuring out what your home will likely sell for, call today.
When you’re about to sell your home, it may be disheartening to see so many other properties for sale in your neighbourhood. You may be thinking, “That’s a lot of competition! Will our property get noticed?”
Fortunately, there are many proven strategies for standing out in a sea of For Sale signs. First of all, keep in mind that many home purchasers come from the REALTOR’S personal network of buyers who want to move into your area. So, choosing the right REALTOR® is crucial.
Second, remember that when there are other properties for sale on your street, curb appeal becomes even more important. There are many simple things you can do to make your property look great to those driving around looking at homes. Make sure your property looks as picture perfect as possible.
In a competitive market, it’s also more important than ever to highlight features of your home that are unique and enticing. If, for example, you have a large backyard deck and brand new hardwood flooring, make sure these are mentioned prominently on the feature sheet.
Finally, be as flexible as you can be when scheduling viewings and open houses. Don’t forget that other listed properties in your neighbourhood draw in buyers, who may notice your home. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to view a property and then scout the neighbourhood. So, you want buyers to be able to see your home on short notice and at a convenient time for them. If there are several other nearby properties for sale, it means things are hot from a real estate point of view. You want to roll out the red carpet to buyers.
Looking for help selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call today!
When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is $10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.
However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.
For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon the buyer selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to list your home all over again.
In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.
There’s also financing to consider. Most buyers will attach a certificate from their mortgage lender to show that they can afford the home and will likely secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of the buyer to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.
The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the costs and additional hassle are factors you should consider.
As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks. Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, I will guide you toward making the right decision.
Setting the right list price for a home is a mystery for many sellers. How do you begin to determine what buyers are likely to pay for your property? After all, no two homes are exactly alike.
Yet, setting the right price is crucial. You need to avoid the two price “tipping points” that, if crossed, can cause you a lot of problems.
The first tipping point is a price that’s low enough for buyers to begin thinking something is wrong. They wonder, “Why is your price so low? What are you not telling us about your property?”
But that’s not even the worst problem with this tipping point. If you do get offers at that low price, you’ll have a bigger issue – leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
The other tipping point is setting your price so high it discourages buyers from giving your listing a second look. When your price is that high, you’ll get few enquiries and even fewer people coming to see your property. Of course, you can lower your price later, if necessary. But experience shows that reduced prices make potential buyers skeptical. Most sellers who price high in the hopes of getting a windfall actually end up selling for much less than they would have if they had priced their properties correctly in the first place.
So what’s the right price to list your property? The answer is somewhere inbetween those two tipping points.
Call today for help determining the right price for your property.
Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the mostexpensive way to upgrade the space. So if you’re purchasing a new refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.
The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in thekitchen. Ideally, they should match in colour and style. They should also bethe right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so largeit dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style andlooks out-of-place.
Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your homewill scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water andice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features.Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available onelectric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention.
Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers areinterested in the energy efficient features of a home — appliances included.So, as your REALTOR® I would point out appliances with energy-savingfeatures, such as a dishwasher with a slow-run cycle that saves power.
Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of yourproperty, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely!
If you are considering selling your home, you will need professional help to ensure your home gets maximum exposure and is properly marketed. Enlist the services of a REALTOR® to make sure you achieve your goal.
The listing is the beginning of a selling process that includes a well-thought-out marketing plan, accessibility to a wide range of potential buyers, and commitment to professional service.
Technically speaking, a listing is an authority granted by you to a real estate agent to act as your REALTOR® in offering your property for sale according to the terms and conditions set out in the listing contract. When you list your home with a real estate agency, you are entering into a binding agreement with that firm, so it is important to choose a company and a REALTOR® with whom you will be satisfied. To find the right firm and individual, ask friends and relatives for recommendations and try interviewing three REALTORS® and ask them about the services that they will offer when they list your home.
What you can expect
Your REALTOR® will conduct a thorough inspection of your property and do a comparative market analysis to see what similar homes in the area are selling for. This, along with your individual circumstances, will help you determine a suitable price range for your home. You will also decide how long the listing will be.
Placing your home on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) gives it maximum exposure in today's marketplace because it ensures details about your home are shared with all other REALTORS® in the Victoria area, all of whom are members of the Victoria Real Estate Board.
Your REALTOR® will ask you for information on taxes, surveys, title deed, and the mortgage, if any-- all of which is important to potential buyers -- and will tell you about preparing your home for sale, arranging showings and open houses and what's involved in offer presentations.
Scouting for buyers
Once the listing is complete, your REALTOR® will check his or her contact lists and begin to try and pinpoint and pre-qualify potential buyers for your home. This way, you avoid an endless parade of people coming through your home who are not serious about buying.
If an offer to purchase is made while the listing is in force and you accept it, you will then owe the real estate agency a commission for having used its services. Be aware that that there is usually a holdover clause in listing agreements. This means that a commission is owed to the agent even after the listing expires if one of the buyers who were introduced to the property through the agent buys it within a specified time period.
Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make reality TV shows about it!
So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider.
1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property? If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that happen.
Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.
2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home? It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help. Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.
3. Beware of compromising versus settling. Whichever decision you make — renovate or sell — you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal. For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home designed to include the space you need?
Yes, it’s a tough decision. If you’re in the midst of making it, call today, to get the facts you need to make the best choice for you.
Do you ever wonder how most people find the homes they eventually buy? You might imagine them driving by a “For Sale” sign or seeing a home for sale in the newspaper and then calling to enquire.
Of course, many buyers find out about listed properties that way. But, according to research by the National Association of Realtors, there are many other — sometimes surprising — ways buyers find their next dream home.
• 88% of buyers find a home with the help of a real estate agent.
• 90% of buyers search online as part of the home buying process. (Such as viewing a property’s profile on the agent’s website.)
• 69% of buyers searching for a home using Google, use a specific local term, such as “Whitby-south homes for sale”.
• 29-46% of buyers attend an Open House as part of their home hunting activities.
Overall, the research shows that buyers are using a multitude of ways — combining online and offline methods — to find homes.
What does all this mean to you? If means that if you’re preparing your home for sale, you need to ensure your marketing plan takes into account all the ways buyers are finding properties — so you can be sure that they will find yours.
As you’re probably aware, the list price you set for your property has an impact on how quickly it sells — and how much you earn on the sale.
What you may not realize is just how significant an impact it has. Consider the following examples.
You price your property well above its current market value. As a result, many buyers don’t bother to see it because it’s outside of their price range. Those who do see it are confused by the high price tag, (and may even be suspicious.) They may wonder, “What’s going on?”
In this scenario, the home will likely languish on the market for weeks or even months. You might even have to lower the price dramatically to re-ignite interest.
You price your property just a couple of percentage points lower than what is necessary to gain the interest of qualified buyers. That might not seem like much of a problem. How much can a couple of percentage points matter?
Those points matter a lot.
On a $400,000 property, pricing your home just 2% lower than necessary could cost you $8,000 on the sale. That’s a serious amount of money!
So, as you can see, pricing your home right is serious business. Fortunately, a good REALTOR® knows how to set the right price.