Selling a home can be a daunting task to a homeowner. With all the talk of saturated markets and growing interest rates, an idea of selling a property can be somewhat intimidating. While homes in the city may sell quickly, homes outside of major centres can sit on the market longer. The condo market has been the subject of much discussion recently, due in large part to the number of new units completed over the past two years and the number of units that remain under construction. The message is – there’s competition out there so act accordingly.
Whether you’re selling a home in the city or the suburbs, it’s all about the right strategy. It’s no longer about planting a FOR SALE sign in the ground. Selling your home involves preparation, timing and strategic advice. Here are my TOP5 steps to selling your home faster.
1. Pick the right agent
Don’t base your decision on the cheapest price. When you interview agents ask to see a marketing plan for your property. What is their social media presence? These days it’s not just about listing on MLS. Many agents are turning to Facebook, Twitter and their professional websites to promote properties reaching a wider audience. Ask about their knowledge of your neighbourhood and its market, but most importantly get references. A good real estate agent will have plenty of good references.
2. Price with your head not your heart
A home attracts the most interest within the first two weeks of being listed for sale, and the longer it sits on the market the more likely potential buyers will question the price. You may have put a lot of work and love into your home, but be realistic about the price. Buyers are comparing your home to all others on the market and what has recently sold. Start off too high and you’ll discourage potential buyers from even looking at your property.
3. A picture is worth a thousand words
A wonderfully written description of your home is not enough. You’ll need great photos to attract the right buyer. Remember, your home is a marketable product competing with others, so make it stand out. I cringe when I see bad photos on MLS, and sadly there are many. Some have bad lighting, some only show the outside of the property, and my favourite is seeing the listing agent’s reflection in the bathroom mirror. A good agent will hire a professional photographer to take the photos and video of your your home. But whether it’s a professional photographer taking the pics or you decide to do it yourself, make sure your home has been properly de-cluttered and consider staging tips that will make the rooms appear larger.
4. MLS is not the only answer
Listing your property on MLS is a no-brainer as it exposes your home to thousands of buyers. But in addition to the MLS, your home needs to be marketed on social media for broader exposure. Your home should also be directly advertised to other real estate agents who are more likely to bring a buyer to your home. Often that’s done by holding agent open houses, but social media tools like Twitter and LinkedIn are a great way to promote your property with other agents and thus, potential buyers.
5. Make it easy to see you property
Yes, it’s a pain to be on call for showings at the drop of a text, especially with kids around, pets running about, and daily life drama. But you never know when a potential buyer will want to see your home and it may not always be convenient for you. Not all house hunters are the same – some prefer evenings and weekends, others are free during their lunch hour or during the day. I noticed that often the listings with a limited showing opportunities tend to sit on the market longer than those available anytime. So what do you do if you have a tenant? Yes, that is a bit more difficult, but if you have a good relationship with your tenant and prepare them well in advance, they will be more willing to co-operate. Remember, as a landlord, you are required to give your tenant 24hr notice before a showing.
There are many other factors that may affect the successful sale of your home, but these five tactics are a great start and essential to setting your strategy and selling your home at the right price and the shortest period of time.