For most of us, our home is more than a house and more than “just” an investment. Knowing the value it holds can have a significant impact on how we achieve our financial goals. Intelligent property purchases and sales decisions can go a long way in establishing your personal worth and strengthening your financial position. The value of your home depends on many factors, including its style and size, amenities, condition and, of course, location, location, location. In addition, the value of your real estate investment can be affected by market conditions: interest rates, supply and demand, and the overall strength of the economy. As a homeowner, your ability to maintain a consistent understanding of your property’s value depends on these factors. In a changing market (like we have today), it makes financial sense to know your home’s worth and to monitor the return on your investment. The easiest way to do this is to get me to perform a market analysis on your home. Simply click the ‘What’s my home worth?‘ link in the bar above and complete the form.
Selling a Home in a Buyer’s Market
Although home appreciation has leveled off in some markets, Sellers can still get good prices for their homes. The sale may take a bit longer, but my creative marketing and fast strike approach can help Sellers move homes without having to drop the price. Below are the issues and suggestions I discuss with clients who are concerned with today’s market.
Price Your Home According to the Current Market. Just because a house comparable to yours sold for a very high price last year does not mean you will be able to realize the same price when selling your home now. You are always in competition with properties selling currently – not those sold in the past! If you’re curious about the current market value of your home, simply complete this form.
Be Thankful for Appreciation. While price appreciation has slowed in some markets in 2008, it is important to look realistically at the financial gains you have made over the years you have owned your home. If you’ve lived in a home in the HRM for five years, you should have seen the value of your property increase over that time. Things might be slowing down by the time you sell, but you’ve still done very well for yourself.
Make Your Home More Marketable. When a Buyer sees your house for the first time, a critical first impression is made. If applicable, maximize curb appeal by trimming trees and planting flowers. A fresh exterior coat of paint might also prove valuable. Consider neutral colors for interior walls and carpets. Dark colors on walls, along with unnecessary clutter, make rooms look smaller.
Make Repairs. This is very much related to the above point. If repairs are required, it is a good idea to go ahead and fix the problems. Potential Buyers will cast an extremely critical eye over your home and, in a situation when more houses are available on the market, they may take a pass on a home that needs too many repairs. Be sure to have the home inspection report available for prospective Buyers itemizing all of the repairs that have been made and the associated cost for each.
Offer a “Seller’s Contribution.” A Seller can sweeten the deal by offering assistance to the Buyer in ways that do not require lowering the asking price. Many Sellers never think to use these tactics, and most REALTORS never think to suggest them. However, these tactics can really help your home to stand out from the crowd. For example:
- Offer to buy down the interest rate on the Buyer’s mortgage.
- Offer to pay a portion of the closing costs.
- Cover the Buyer’s mortgage payments for up to the first six months. Depending upon the size of the mortgage, the Buyer can save several thousand dollars and the Seller still gets the original asking price for the home. It is generally more financially advantageous to do this than dropping the asking price by $30-, $20- or even just $10,000.
- Many condos and houses across the country belong to homeowners’ associations that require annual dues. Paying the first year’s fees could be a big incentive to a Buyer nearing the limit of his or her liquid assets.
- Offer to pay off a Buyer’s bills. According to Realty Times, some loan programs allow Sellers to pay off the credit card debt or auto loans of the Buyer which will help him or her qualify for a better mortgage and prevent the need to buy a smaller, less expensive house.
Don’t Worry. Properly priced homes that stand out from the competition are selling and demand for homes is still at historical highs. I WILL get your home SOLD!
What I do for YOU
The Selling Process is a complicated one. It requires skill, diligence, and professionalism. These are the traits that I bring when you list your property with me. If you would like me to estimate a price for you home, simply complete this form or contact me directly. In the meantime, below are some of the things that I will do for you to get your home SOLD.
- Get as many qualified buyers as possible into your home until it’s SOLD!
- Communicate the results of our activities weekly to you.
- Assist you in getting the highest possible dollar value for your property with the least inconvenience.
- Constantly look for the best possible methods of exposing your property to the potential buyers in the market.
- Suggest and advise you of any changes you might want to make to your property to make it even more marketable for the buyers.
- Immediately alert all local Realtors of your property.
- Immediately place our recognized sign on your property.
- If your home is listed on the MLS® system, an open house for all Realtors will be held at your convenience.
- Develop a list of features and benefits of your home, for the co-operating agents to use with their potential buyers.
- Advertise as necessary, through one of our many marketing sources.
- Follow-up on all the sales people that have shown your home for their response.
- Constantly keep you up to date on current market conditions.
- Represent you upon the presentation of all offers by the co-operating agents and to help in negotiating the best possible price and terms for you.
- Handle follow-up and keep you informed, after the contract has been accepted, on all mortgage and other closing procedures.
What Happens When Your Home is Listed?
Getting your home SOLD is all about marketing. Below I outline what happens when you list your home with me. If you want your home listed in this fashion, contact me today.
- Digital photos of your home are taken for marketing purposes and to prepare a virtual tour of your home.
- The listing is entered into the Multiple Listing Service® (www.mls.ca/www.REALTOR.ca),www.HalifaxHomes.net, and of course, ChandlerRealty.ca.
- Virtual tours are also uploaded to the above sites.
- A colour feature sheet and feedback form is prepared for your home.
- Other agents who represent potential Buyers are made aware of the property.
- Your home is advertised in the Real Estate Home Guide, Transaction, Open House Directory, Halifax Weekly, on the Real Estate TV Channel, and in local newspapers on a rotating basis.
- Open Houses! Early, often, and aggressively marketed.
Market conditions affecting your listing are continually monitored, and you are kept informed.
Pricing your home to SELL – the key to a successful listing
Correctly pricing your property is the most important factor in getting it sold. REALTORS® like myself have access to data and information that allow us to determine an appropriate and realistic price for any property. If you would like me to estimate a price for YOUR home, simply complete this form orcontact me directly.
The process of pricing a property begins with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Essentially, I examine listings and sales of similar properties in a given area to arrive at an approximation of Market Value. Market Value is an estimate of the price a property will bring if exposed for sale in the open market allowing reasonable time to find a knowledgeable and unbiased buyer. More simply, Market Value can be thought of as the price a Seller would sell for and a Buyer would buy for, neither being under abnormal pressure.
How a CMA is carried out:
When conducting a Comparative Market Analysis, REALTORS® typically price a home on the basis of three or more comparable properties that have recently sold. A comparable property is one that shares important features – the most important being location. Once I have carefully examined all comparables, I adjust for distinct features of the house and property in question (being listed). Condition, age, size, lot, access, competition, and other factors all most be considered. Once this CMA is completed I can recommend to my client a price that accurately reflects Market Value. (Want me to conduct a CMA for your property? Click here. )
The importance of proper pricing:
Real estate studies have shown that in a steady market 75% of homes for sale at an accurately calculated suggested listing price will sell within 5 weeks or less. Moreover, 95% of the homes priced at just 2% under the suggested listing price will sell within 3 weeks. But if a home is over-priced by just 5% chances are only 1 in 20 that it will sell in 12 weeks or less.
Proper pricing means putting your home on the market at a price that reflects its Market Value. There are numerous benefits to doing this. Most obviously, your home will sell faster – thereby saving you those additional months of making mortgage payments and paying taxes and the other associated cost of your home. Buyers will also be less likely to make very low bids on your home out of fear they will lose a good value. Additionally, your final sales price is likely to be higher if your home sells faster than if you overprice it initially and have to come down several times before the home eventually sells. Finally, other agents will bring their clients to see the property, knowing there is a better chance they will sell a house.
In addition to the benefits of proper pricing, there are also dangers associated with over pricing. If a home is priced too high, it will sit on the market. Then, when you begin to reduce the price, Buyers will think you are getting desperate. Or even worse, Buyers will begin to think there might be a problem with the house that is preventing it from selling. In addition, by the time your price has been reduced to the correct level, it will be a stale or tired listing. These ‘shop worn’ listings occur because the majority of showings of newly listed homes occur early in the marketing period. Buying agents immediately show new listings to their clients who are actively looking for a home. Once this group has seen the property, showing activity usually decreases to only those few buyers new to the market. Eventually though, agents will get tired of showing clients a property that no one seems interested in buying.This is why it’s important to have your home in the best possible condition and price when it is first exposed to the market.
Four Topics to Discuss With Your Real Estate Agent When Selling Your Home
Thinking of selling your home? Before we place the “For Sale” sign in front of your house, there are a few items I discuss with clients. The following subjects can help maximize your home value and make the sales process smooth and efficient.
1) Best Time of Year to Put Your House on the Market
Conventional wisdom dictates that spring is the best time for selling a home. The weather is getting warmer, the school year is coming to an end, and people who have just received their tax refunds may now have extra cash to use for a down payment on a home. However, since not everyone can sell a home in the spring, here are some other seasonal factors to consider. According to annual home sale data from the National Association of Realtors, the slowest selling months of the year are typically January and February, since fewer home sales occur during the holidays. In spite of this, with less competition in the marketplace, you may be able to ask for a higher price for your home, or a quicker closing. The point is this: Regardless of the time of year, a properly marketed home can sell if you understand the market.
2) Open House Strategy and How to De-Clutter
At an open house, first impressions count, so you’ll want to enhance your home’s perceived value. Make your home inviting by taking care of bothersome minor repairs; clean bathroom and kitchen counters and clear them of dishes and clutter. Arrange storage areas neatly and put unused items in a closet. If you have pets, consider having a neighbor watch them for the duration of the open house. It’s a good idea for you to be absent during the open house, also. Open houses should be a priority as soon as you decide to sell your home. I host all my own open houses so I can get Buyer feedback first hand. The best time to sell a home is in the first five weeks, so having effective open houses early and often is vital!
3) Features to Accentuate
While you may have long determined which aspects of your home you love, having a fresh set of eyes assess its best features is a smart idea. I always go through clients’ homes with them to make honest, unbiased comments. Together we can determine which features of the home should be accentuated during showings and in the marketing of your home.
4) Desired Price and Bottom Line Price
It’s great to shoot high, but when determining your home value, it’s also important to identify your bottom line. By assessing recent home sale statistics in your area, I can recommend an appropriate target price range. Together we will set an initial asking price, as well as privately determine the absolute lowest price you would comfortably accept for selling your home. By crunching the numbers and setting these parameters early on, you can avoid emotional rollercoasters during the process of receiving, countering and accepting offers.
Factors affecting the time it takes to sell your home
The length of time it takes to market and sell a house will vary. Some properties will sell in just a few days, others may require several months. Following are the six factors that influence the time it takes to sell a property.
Every Buyer makes their decision about which home to buy and how much it is worth by their other choices at the time. The current competition always affects the Buyer’s opinion of your property and what they think it is worth.
2. Price (see above)
If the property has not sold after a reasonable length of time, but other similar properties have sold, then the price may need to be reduced. If this is true and the price is not reduced, a sale may be delayed or prevented.
3. Property Condition
If the property shows poorly or has major defects which cannot be – or are not – corrected, a sale may not occur until the defects are corrected or the price is adjusted to compensate for them.
The current cost of mortgage financing plays an important role in affordability to most prospective buyers. If these costs are too high, then the financing may cause a delay or prevent a sale.
Timing is the condition of the real estate market at the time of the sale. Supply and demand are the factors influencing whether it is a Seller’s or a Buyer’s market. Neither the Seller nor the listing agent can change the market conditions at the time the property is for sale. It must be accepted for what it is.
Marketing techniques are being constantly tested and updated for the best results. It is important to have a strong marketing strategy. However, marketing cannot compensate for the above five factors.
Before You Sell: Tips to Help You Sell Your Home Faster and For More Money
- Mow and water the lawn.
- Trim trees and plant flowers.
- Store all bikes, toys and equipment out of sight.
- Paint or touch-up the outside of the house.
- Put potted flowers in the front.
- Get rid of unnecessary furniture.
- Clean closets and clear off countertops.
- Scrub all tile floors.
- Clean all carpets.
- Clean all windows and mirrors.
- Clean stains in all sinks and tubs.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Replace missing door or cabinet handles.
- Fix or replace broken appliances.
- Replace broken tiles in bathroom or kitchen.
- Paint if necessary.
- Discuss major repairs with your Sales Associate.
- Stop smoking in the house.
- Bathe pets and clean out litter boxes.
- Empty all trash, recycle bins, etc.
- Dry-clean drapes and shampoo carpets.
- Use baking soda boxes in smell-prone areas.
- Place flowers, potpourri or air fresheners around the house.
Ask a “buyer”
- Invite a friend to walk through your home like a Buyer would. Get their opinion on whether or not it’s inviting, clean and well-maintained. Make any changes they suggest.