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.
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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!
An effective technique to help you sell your property quickly and for the best price is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. Don’t just visualize this. Actually do it!
Drive to your property and imagine that you’re seeing it for the first time. What’s your impression? Is the landscaping attractive? Are the walkways clear? Is the front door welcoming?
Now walk up to the front door, open it, and step inside. Does the foyer seem neat and uncluttered? Is there anything unsightly from that vantage point?
Take a walk through your home, starting in rooms that a potential buyer would predictably view first: the kitchen, living room and bedrooms. Do you notice anything you could change or improve, that would make those areas more appealing?
Next, check out the washrooms, closets and basement. Are they clean and tidy?
Finally, think about the price you want for the home. As a buyer, would you be enticed to make an offer at that level? Are there any nagging doubts about the property that would hold you back?
Understanding the impression your home will make on potential buyers will help you sell it faster. Looking for a good REALTOR®?
When you put your home on the market, it’s important that you make the indoor living space as attractive as possible to potential buyers. The foyer should look spacious and inviting. The bedrooms, neat and uncluttered. The basement, clean and well lit.
All good advice.
But don’t forget the outdoor living space. That too has a significant impact on how quickly your home sells and for how much. You want to make the area around your property, from the front walkway to the backyard deck, as attractive as possible.
How do you do that? Here are some tips for sprucing up your outdoor living space that can be easily implemented.
- Trim the hedges. Like a haircut, it gives your landscaping a clean, styled look.
- Place flower pots in strategic locations, such as next to the front steps and on the deck or patio.
- Fix anything that’s loose or squeaking, such as fence gates, shutters and deck railings.
- Remove anything unsightly, like garbage bags and piles of garden cuttings.
- Sweep all walkways, especially the one leading to your front door.
- Wash the outsides of your windows. (No need for ladders, buckets and scrub brushes. Most home improvement stores now sell window washing kits that hook up to your garden hose.)
- Check to make sure everything works: water taps, electrical outlets, exterior lights, etc.
You can probably get most of this work done in a single weekend. It’s worth it. Making your outdoor living space look great will dramatically increase your home’s appeal to potential buyers.
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.
When shopping for a new home, create a wish list of the features and characteristics you want. After all, there’s no sense looking at properties with kitchenettes when you won’t settle for anything less than a full-sized kitchen that Julia Child would envy.
But there are probably some features that are nice-to-haves but not must-haves. For example, you might like a large wrap-around deck in your backyard, but would settle for a home that doesn’t have one. (After all, you can always install one later.)
That’s why it’s a good idea to create two wish lists. One list would include all the features you absolutely would not do without in your new home, and the other would list all those things you’d like to have, but are not necessities.
With two lists, you’ll make better decisions. Your shopping will be easier because you won’t be wasting time viewing homes that don’t meet the criteria on your “must have” list. The second list will come in handy when you’re comparing properties and deciding which one to buy.
Two lists also help to ensure you get most, if not all, of what you really want in your new home. And that makes all the difference.
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?