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 Marina 416-843-1515 today!
When shopping for a new home, one of the most important considerations – yet one most people don’t pay enough attention to – is the lot type. Selecting the right one can significantly increase your enjoyment of the home. Picking the wrong one can have the opposite effect.
There are three special types of lots that homeowners tend to find most desirable. Yet, even though they are considered desirable, each has its pros and cons.
Here’s the rundown on each one:
Cul de sacs These are lots located on dead end streets that often feature homes positioned around a large circle of roadway. For obvious reasons, a cul de sac is a popular choice for buyers with children. There’s less traffic and often, the only cars on the street are those of neighbours. However, homes on these lots often come with a higher price tag than other comparable properties in the area. But, from a lifestyle standpoint, that extra price may be more than worth it.
Quiet streets Who doesn’t want a home on a quiet street? The benefits are obvious. However, don’t dismiss properties located on or near a busy street. They often sell for less and the noise from traffic may not be as bothersome as you might expect. In fact, some neighbourhoods in these areas feature special soundproof fencing. If the home is otherwise ideal, schedule a viewing to judge the noise level for yourself.
Corner lots These are often larger and therefore provide you with more space. Plus, with the look of two front lawns, there’s twice the potential for curb appeal, and therefore the opportunity to increase the property’s value. On the downside, kids may shortcut across your front lawn to get to the adjacent sidewalk.
Want more tips on what to look for when shopping for a new home? Call Marina 416-843-1515 today!
There’s a long list of ingredients needed to sell your home quickly. Obviously, you want to make your home as clean and uncluttered as possible. You should also make sure any outstanding repairs are done. And, of course, all the little things you can do to make your home “show” well are important, too.
But the number one ingredient needed to sell your home quickly is the right price tag. If you set the price of your home just right, buyers will come to see it, and there’s a good chance you’ll get some good offers. If you price your home too high, however, few buyers will take an interest in your property and it might languish on the market for months. Worse, it might not sell at all.
So how do you determine the right price at which to list your home?
One of the best ways is to do an analysis of what similar properties in your area have sold for recently. What people are actually paying for homes like yours — in communities like yours — is the best indicator of the true market value of your home.
As you may know, it’s common to include a home inspection as a condition of an offer you make. It protects you from issues that you might not otherwise see during a viewing.
What do you do if the home inspector finds something wrong? The inspector might find a leak in the foundation, or windows that are old, drafty and need replacing.
Must you pass on a property that you otherwise like?
Not necessarily. Just because the home inspector discovered a deficiency doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t purchase the home. You should, however, bring the issue up with the seller.
Your REALTOR® will do that on your behalf, and look after your interests.
In many circumstances, your REALTOR® will be able to negotiate an agreement that is satisfactory to everyone involved. This will usually be in the form of a reduction in the sale price to cover some or all of the costs of the repair, or a requirement to have the seller get the repairs done before you move in.
So don’t worry if the inspector finds something wrong. Chances are you can still get the home and have any issues dealt with to your satisfaction.
What kind of stool is most likely to keep you from toppling over when you sit on it? Of course, two-legged stools won’t even stand on their own. Three-legged stools are okay, but still unstable. Four-legged stools are rock solid.
What does that have to do with shopping for a new home?
Well, if you want to find the right home quickly and for the best price, you need to have four things in place – the four legs of the stool. They will help ensure the experience goes smoothly.
The first leg is your wish list. You need to have a clear picture of the type of home you want. A bungalow or two stories? How many bedrooms? A large deck? Don’t forget about the neighbourhood. Need to be close to major highways for ease of commuting? Need good schools and playgrounds within walking distance?
The second leg is a pre-approved mortgage. Getting the financing handled upfront takes the guesswork out of what you can afford. Sellers and their REALTORS® are more likely to take any offers you make more seriously too.
The third leg is realistic expectations. Of homes that sell, 99% sell at or near their current market values. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal. It does mean you’re unlikely to find a “steal”. Fortunately, there are likely several wonderful properties available within your price range.
The final leg of the stool is a great REALTOR®. Choosing the right real estate professional is crucial to making your home shopping experience less stressful and more productive.
So when you’re hunting for a new home, make sure you start with a stable “four-legged stool”. It will dramatically increase your chances of finding a home that fits your needs and budget.
You turn on the television and watch a news story about housing prices going down. Then you receive a flyer in the mail about a property around the corner that sold for a decent price. Next you read a newspaper article about the housing market on the upswing again.
It’s a little like being on a roller-coaster ride!
Unfortunately the ride isn’t much fun if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home. In fact, it can be very confusing and frustrating. You just don’t know if “now” is the right time to make a move.
In reality, the housing market has been fluctuating for decades. Yet, people sell their homes every day for good prices, and just as many people get into their next dream homes affordably.
When you hear news of market fluctuations, there are two important things to consider.
First of all, a lot of media information about the housing market is national, or at least regional. If the housing market is trending up or down nationally, remember that it doesn’t necessarily mean that your LOCAL market is doing the same.
In fact, it’s entirely possible for housing prices to be rising in your neighbourhood while they are falling nationally, and vice versa.
Secondly, if you’re selling a current property while buying another home, then the net effect of market fluctuations may cancel out.
Say, for example, that the local market is on the upswing. You’ll probably be able to sell your current home for a good price. However, the home you purchase will likely also be priced to reflect the upswing.
The same holds true when the market is down.
All that being said, there are some circumstances in which you need to consider market fluctuations when deciding whether or not to make a move. A good REALTOR® will help.
Before shopping for a new home, people often create a “wish list” of the features they desire most. That's a good way to ensure you choose a home that best fits your needs and desires. For example, you might want an extra bedroom for guests, ample space for a home office, a local playground for the kids, and so forth.
However, many buyers don’t make their lists complete enough. You might find a home with the extra bedroom and nearby playground you want, only to realize, too late, that your commute to work becomes twice as long. You missed the importance of the commute because it wasn’t on your list. Ouch!
When you make your wish list, don’t be afraid to dream big. You might not be able to find a home that includes everything you desire, but you may be surprised by just how close you can get.
Here are some wish list items to consider:
- Distances to places you visit regularly – work, schools, running trails, recreation centres, restaurants, entertainment venues, shopping centres.
- Specific home features – a backyard tree, large closets, a fireplace, a two-car garage, a beautiful view.
- Neighbourhood characteristics –safety, sidewalks, nearby public transit, playgrounds, the neighbours.
A complete list helps you make a better decision about which homes to consider. It helps you balance the positives — “I love the large kitchen with the marble countertops” — with the negatives — “The bathroom off the master bedroom is small” — to ultimately make the best buying decision.
Also remember to take your list with you when shopping for a new home. Use it as a checklist or as a way to organize notes. Ultimately it will make it easier to shortlist homes, compare them, and determine when you’re ready to submit an offer.
Want to find out which homes on the market fit your wish list?
Let’s face it. When you visit a home during a scheduled viewing or open house, you’re usually seeing it at its best. The rooms are tidy. The sinks are clean. The closets are organized and uncluttered. Even the lighting is set to its brightest.
That’s just good old-fashioned marketing.
However, not every house you see will actually look this way. For any number of reasons, a house on the market may be less than tidy, poorly decorated, and even in need of minor repairs. You may open the front door in anticipation, only to be immediately turned off by stains on the carpets, faded paint on the walls, cluttered hallways, and more.
First impressions form quickly. It’s easy to make quick judgments and move on. But, you may be passing on what could be a dream home.
Don’t make that mistake. Make your purchase decision based on a carefully considered second impression, not just your first.
When viewing a house, imagine how it will look with a fresh coat of paint, some redecorating, the minor repairs completed, and your furniture adorning the rooms. You might just find that a home that doesn’t show well is really a diamond in the rough.
(One caveat: Be careful of houses that don’t look like they’ve been well maintained. There could be issues lurking that require expensive repairs or renovations. Always make a professional home inspection a condition of your offer.)
There are advantages to buying a home that doesn’t show well. They attract less interest and, therefore, less competition from other potential buyers. The listing price may be lower too.
Do you sometimes review the real estate ads in your local paper? Do you drive by an open house sign and feel the urge to stop and check it out? Those are common indications that, at least on some level, you’re thinking about the possibility of making a move.
But how do you decide if you should actually move?
The first step is to consider whether there are any practical reasons to consider buying a new home. What’s pushing you in that direction?
- Is your current home too small for your needs?
- Is the commute to work, for you or your spouse, too long? (Perhaps longer than you expected when you purchased the home?)
- Are there property features you would now like to have, such as a larger backyard or a more spacious kitchen?
- Has the neighbourhood changed in an undesirable way?
- Do you have personal reasons for wanting to move, such as a desire to be closer to relatives in another area?
Carefully consider those things that can’t change unless you move. For example, if a major highway was recently built near you, the ongoing sound of traffic isn’t going to go away. It’s now part of the neighbourhood.
If there are no practical reasons for moving, there may still be other reasons for wanting a new home. You may want to move your family to a better neighbourhood, with better schools or you may simply want a bigger home, with a larger backyard, more rooms, and a wider driveway.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with simply wanting a better place than the one you have now. In fact, that is a common reason why many people make a move.
The point is, if you’ve been thinking about a new home for a while, perhaps now is the time to take the next step. A good REALTOR® can help you understand your options.
You probably know there’s more to selling a home than putting up a FOR SALE sign. But if you don’t understand the process in detail, you might feel intimidated and stressed when it comes time to put your property on the market.
Fortunately, the home selling process isn’t that difficult to understand. There are basically six steps.
Step one is selecting the right REALTOR®. You need a knowledgeable, trusted expert who can guide you through the process, take care of all the details, and help sell your home quickly and for the best price.
Step two is preparation. You need to ensure your home is clean and uncluttered. It’s also important that you take care of any needed repairs, even minor ones like wall dents. You may also need to consider a home improvement, such as replacing worn carpeting.
Step three is the listing price. You need to select a listing price at or near the fair market value of your property.
Step four is promotion. How will buyers find out about your property? Will they see it on MLS? Will they come across an ad in the newspaper or on the internet? Will they receive an invitation to an open house? An effective promotion plan is critical.
Step five is dealing with offers. Ideally, you’ll get several. But the best offer is not necessarily the highest one. An offer can fall through for many reasons, so dealing effectively with offers is, perhaps, the most important part of the home selling process.
Step six is the transaction. Once the sale is made, you want to know that you have the right professionals in place – your lawyer, mover, etc. – to make sure all the after-sale details are taken care of properly.
Want more ideas for making sure the home selling process goes smoothly for you?