The traditional way of selling your home or Real estate you own was to “Put up the Sign, Place the listing on the MLS site, and Pray”. Homes used to sell like this for many years. Presently, the market conditions and consumers have evolved, and I can tell you from experience that the old ways just don’t cut it anymore.
Even in a seller’s market where supply of homes is low, and demand is high, you need a solid strategy to sell a home at top dollar.
Our job as realtors is to get the most people in the door, since real estate is a numbers game. The more people in the door, the higher the chance of obtaining offers and the more offers the higher the sale price.
The process of selling your home needs to follow a sequence of planning and it is an art. Your realtor will put this plan together with you and it should start with a property evaluation and include a pre-approval for your next purchase, preparing the home for sale, pricing strategically and finally presenting and promoting the property!
Property Evaluation – Plan
An experienced realtor will complete a property evaluation which will help with every step of the plan. Create a detailed plan with your realtor. This may include calculating the potential proceeds of the sale. Discussing whether you will rent or buy after selling and how this will be coordinated. For example, the next step may be for you to obtain a mortgage pre-approval so that you know how much you can afford. Part of the plan may also include small repairs and renovations, which leads us to the next step.
Preparing and staging
Once you decide to sell, your home becomes a product, like with any market it needs to be competitive. If you can afford the time, and effort a huge clean-up is needed, from windows, walls, floors and everything in between. This step is crucial, in showing your property it it’s best light.
Next you need to consider if there are any major or minor repairs. If your property is a fixer upper, then consider selling it “as is” at a competitive price.
The preparation stage should take up quite a bit of time and effort, which will pay off. We had a property that took 30 days to prepare, and only 1 week into the listing, we had 3 visits per day and an offer accepted after the first week! More time preparing and pricing properly, will equate to less time on the market and more offers!
Your professional realtor will research the sold properties and complete CMA- Comparable Market Analysis. By adjusting the prices of recently sold homes, the analysis gives you a very clear price of what a potential buyer will pay for your property, “on paper”. With the estimated market value in hand, a savvy realtor can take that number and project how much higher your property will go for. This will hinge on any positive “variable factors” which may not have been accounted for in the market analysis. I am not talking about a pool here.
If your asking price is too high it drives people away and by the way if your property is NOT selling, this is the #1 reason. You are helping other properties to sell. The tendency I see is that sellers often OVERPRICE because they want to “leave room for negotiations”. The other mistake I see, is pricing according to the neighbours.
As a broker who has been through several hundreds of transactions, I can tell you exactly what buyers are willing to pay more for. Example, a completely renovated and move in home will sell for higher than market value, because everyone wants a renovated home.
With the help of your realtor and what you feel comfortable with, you can price your property above market value, around market value or under market value, and attract multiple offers.
Depending on your property’s category (condo, single home,plex etc..), the presentation and promotion stage may differ. First impressions count a lot, now that all buyers watch HGTV! Think about the product you are selling, and who it will appeal to? Now make sure that the way your product is being promoted matches the potential buyers. Your realtor will provide more of the work in this part, but will need your cooperation.
For example if you are selling a single home in a family area, the home should be presented in such a way that appeals the most to families – rooms and basements should be kid friendly, assets such as a large finished basement, backyard and extra storage spaces need to be showcased. As a condo seller, your condo needs to compete with the new modern construction condos being sold- sleek, clean and modern without too much fuss.
As part of promoting your property and selling your home, make sure there are incentives and added value provided by you the sellers or your realtor such as notary fees included with condo purchase, high end appliances included, and flexible closing dates. Ask your realtor which high traffic web sites or social media your property will be featured on, since 98% of buyers will find your property on the internet. Professional photography and staging is a must! The photos of your property should stand out and get noticed. These photos should attract buyers to come visit the property. The price along with the photos are the 2 most important aspects of your marketing!
In our agency we sell our client’s properties using these philosophies and tailor it to suit each individual property.
Helen Akrivos is a Montreal real estate expert who is passionate about educating and inspiring everyone to succeed in real estate! She holds a Chartered real estate broker license and is President of North East Realties agency in Montreal. As a lecturer in the Residential Real Estate Program at College Lasalle, Co-Host of “The Real Estate Show” on CJAD AM800 radio and contributor to the MTL Times newspaper, Helen shares her stories of real estate success to help as many people as possible! E-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org