Making It Easy For Buyers to See Your London Ontario Home For Sale

When putting your house or condo in London and area up for sale, have you thought about how and when buyers will see your home?

Making it easy for buyer to see your London Ontario home for sale

If possible, schedule showings in the same way that is used by a majority of the homes in your area.  This may be by special appointment or by a lockbox system.   Remember that this will be the buyer’s first contact with your home, and it should set a positive tone.

Make the buyer and agent feel welcome.  Be as flexible on timing as possible.  The buyer may be viewing many homes over a large area.  (The average buyer sees 4-9 homes before making a decision)

Being flexible is very important and while inconvenient or disruptive at times, when a buyer is willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for your home, be flexible.

If you wanted to buy a car on a Thursday afternoon but one of the dealerships is closed, would you go someplace else? Or, you are in London with your family for the weekend only and some homes you would like to see you cannot because the home seller is too busy or tired? ( True story, a $550,000 house and the seller was too busy & did not have the time to keep the house tidy!) By the way, that house did sell eventually, 1 month later for $529,900!

I can recall instances in which the seller came to the door in a hostile way and demanded to know why we were 5 minutes late. Last weekend my clients and I got to a house that we had made an appointment to see (11:30 AM to 12) and we got there at 11:55 AM and the man in the house ranted and raved that we were disrupting his day and yadda,yadda yadda! We left, never even left the hallway and by the way, in this very vibrant housing market, the house has been on the market 51 days! Hmmmmm! I wonder why?

Many people have a strong reluctance to intrude or bother other people.  Remember that the decision to buy a home can be emotional & stressful, you most likely feel the same way when you are selling your home.

Have you ever tried to make your way through a corn maze out in the country? If you don’t know the layout, it’s probably going to take you a long time to find your way through.

You’ll hit a lot of dead ends, go around in circles a few times, and maybe even become frustrated before you finally find your way out.

The same can be said about selling a home in London Ontario.

Real estate transactions are not something you do every day, so you’re not as familiar with their “layout”. As a result, the process of preparing your home for sale, getting it listed, dealing with viewings and buyers, and negotiating offers can potentially be very stressful… so stressful, in fact, you might be discouraged from making a move!

That’s why finding someone who knows the London Ontario real estate market is so important. He or she knows the maze and can guide you through it.

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Do You Really Know What You Want When Buying a House in London?

 Do You Really Know What You Want When Buying a House in London Ontario?

I would say that after helping hundreds of home buyers, they do know what they want and that usually changes after seeing a few homes and then they really know what they want!

I call it market education, a system I came up with that really helps buyers and these clients can attest to that!

A great way to get a handle on your wants is to take a good look at your where you are presently living, regardless if you own your home or are renting.  What do you like about it?  Do you like its open floor plan?  Do you like the kitchen and eating areas?  Do you like the common area layout?

List out everything you like about your present home, or homes you’ve visited.

Now, let’s take a look at what you don’t like about your home.  Do you hate the mansard roof?  Do you dislike the master bedroom layout?  Are the bedrooms too small?  Is the kitchen too far from the garage, or too dark? Too small?

If you dislike something with your present home, you’re going to dislike it with your new home.  So the better you can identify these items, the more likely you are to avoid them.

What do you want when buying a house in London Ontario

Here’s a good suggestion: Take out a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle.  In the left column, write down everything you like about your present home.  In the right column, write down everything you dislike about your present home.  It’s also important you understand WHY you dislike something.

Now, from your list of “likes,” let’s compile a list of features you want for your house.  Here’s an important tip that will help you really narrow your focus.

Take out another sheet of paper and put two columns on it.  On the left hand side, you will be listing out the features of your home.  And on the right hand side, you’ll be listing out the benefits. For each feature, you want to list the benefit of that feature

Features tell you what something IS: two bedroom, two baths, 2-car garage, etc.  Benefits tell you what something DOES.  Benefits fulfill desires.

For example, a great room concept (feature) will be ideal for entertaining friends and family at special times (benefit).  So on the left hand side; you would put “great room.”

And on the right hand side, list out all the benefits (or reasons) for the “great room” design:  family entertaining, business entertaining, Christmas holidays with the family, etc.

Understand What Each Other Is Looking For, And Why

If you’re a husband and wife looking for a home, this exercise will eliminate many disagreements down the road.  You will both understand what the other wants, and WHY they want it.

I recommend you rank each feature in terms of its importance to you and your spouse.  You’re both going to live in the house, so it may be wise to know what the other is looking for. If you are single, do this as well, you never know when that perfect person shows up and if never, no harm in going through the exercise.

Gourmet Kitchen in London Ontario

For example, a well designed gourmet kitchen (remember, list ALL the features of the kitchen you’re looking for) may rank high with a woman, while having a man cave may rank high with a man.  Or vice-versa. Try to understand each other’s priorities. If you have been married for a long time, hopefully you know that by now.

A Lot of  People Have More Dreams than Money

Ranking will also show you areas you may need to eliminate because of price constraints.

And by having each person rank the importance of the features they want, you won’t be eliminating a high priority item and putting additional stress on an already stressful time.

More about “Market Education” 

Turn One London Ontario Rental Property Into a Retirement Fund

 How to Turn One London Ontario  Rental Property Into a 7 Figure Retirement Fund
In my various meetings with different families, I hear many express concern over their retirements. Many are worried that they won’t have enough saved to retire.

This is pretty scary considering how many years we work throughout our career.

London Ontario Rental Property

To help with this challenge, I just finished a new report detailing how you can turn just one rental property into a 7 figure retirement fund.

You can download this new PDF report here:

In this report, you’ll learn how to:

  • How to get someone else to save an extra $412 a month for your retirement!
  • How to setup a compounding money machine designed to accelerate your wealth!
  • How to have an extra million for your retirement!

Needless to say, this IS a powerful report and is definitely worth studying. You can access it now on my site here:

Be sure to study what happens if you follow this plan for 25 to 35  years! You’ll be able to leave a fortune to your family!

To truly change your life, you need an asset that throws off regular, monthly cash. That might mean something like a real estate property paid off in cash.

   If you are renting out a $225,000 property that you own in cash, you could very reasonably have $1,400 coming in per month that you get to use to make stock market investments. Do this for a couple decades, and you are going to benefit from rising rent cheques that give you even more money to invest, and then the investments from years gone by start to throw off meaningful income all of their own, allowing you to spend your life constantly taking incoming cash and making fresh investments.

  At that point, investing is an art form. It’s a lifestyle.

  You’re not playing the lame game of trying to beat the S&P 500 by a point here or a point there each year, but instead, you are laying the bricks of a financial fortress each month as you create a perpetual income machine that lets you build a collection of assets that keep on generating cash.

How To Prepare Your London Ontario Home to Sell

       How To Prepare Your Home to Sell In London Ontario

Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it’s not luck that makes that happen. It’s careful planning and knowing how to  spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their cheque books. Here is how to prep a house  and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.

Time Required: Seven to 10 Days

How to prepare your London Ontario Home to sell

Here’s How:

      1.        Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.

  • Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house– a product to be sold much like a new home builder will do it. It is bricks and mortar!
  • Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
  • Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
  • Say goodbye to every room.
  • Don’t look backwards — look toward the future.

 

2.            De-Personalize.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there! You don’t want to make any buyer ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”

3.            De-Clutter!
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.

  • If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
  • Remove all books from bookcases.
  • Pack up those knickknacks.
  • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
  • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
  • Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

 

4.            Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:

  • Alphabetize spice jars.
  • Neatly stack dishes.
  • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
  • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
  • Line up shoes.

organizing your house or condo before it sells

5.            Rent a Storage Unit. 
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”

6.            Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

         7.          Make Minor Repairs.

  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
  • (Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the orange bathroom.”)
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
  • If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!

minor repairs to your home

 

      8.         Make the House Sparkle!

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Wax floors.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Replace worn rugs.
  • Hang up fresh towels.
  • Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.

 

  9.          Scrutinize.

  • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
  • Make sure window coverings hang level.
  • Tune in to the room’s statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?
  • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You’re almost finished.

10.          Check Curb Appeal.

If a buyer won’t get out of her Realtor’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get her inside.

  • Keep the sidewalks cleared.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Paint faded window trim.
  • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive. (But not in the winter, marigolds hate winter!)
  • Trim your bushes.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.

And now, you are ready and all the moaning and groaning, elbow grease and some effort, you can now expect to receive more money for your home! Pretty good return on your investment is it not?

Let me show you how.

Why Are London Ontario Home Buyers Not Prepared?

Entrusting your hard earned money with someone when buying a house or a condo in London Ontario should not be taken lightly!

Be prepared as a home buyer

Yet, most home buyers choose a sales person (actually, in a 2014 Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) 45% of first time home buyers and 41% of homeowners wish they had done something differently during their transaction!

A further 32% of buyers reported that they did not feel prepared & knowledgeable about the process and in the age range of 18-34, 50% felt they were not prepared!

The question is why? 

Is that why buyers are overpaying for homes, allowing their emotions to cloud their judgement ? Fear of loss is one of the biggest motivators in life. How can you lose something you never have had in the first place?

The sun still shines above cloudy skies, let the storm pass, there will always be the right home out there at the right price.

London Ontario House Sales up 26.2%

574 homes in London Ontario and area (The London and St Thomas Association of Realtors) (LSTAR) were sold in January 2017, an increase of 26.2% over January 2016

The trend of high demand and low supply continues, with January experiencing a 12.2% decrease in the number of listings compared to the previous year.

houses are selling in london

In January, a total of 434 detached homes were sold, an increase of 15.1 % over the previous year, while there were 140 condominium sales, up 79.5% from 2016. The average sales price was $285,418, up 0.5% from the previous month.

St. Thomas also had a very healthy January, with a total of 55 homes sold, up 39.1% from the same time last year. The average home price in St. Thomas was $192,474, down 28.1% from the previous month.

The best-selling house style in London Ontario & area in January continues to be the two-storey, followed by bungalows and ranches. The average price for a detached home in January was $313,879, up 2.3% from the previous month, while the average price for a condominium was $197,190, up 2.8% from the previous month.

 Is London mirroring Toronto prices?

House Style Units Sold Average Price
2 storey 128 $407,000
Bungalow 58 $229,599
Ranch 37 $362,543
Townhouse 64 $157,469
High rise apt. condo 36 $158,775

You can search all properties for sale in London here.

The following table is based on data taken from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) National MLS® Report for December 2016 (the latest statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

City Average Sale Price
Vancouver $972,529
Toronto $773,251
Fraser Valley $642,233
Victoria $581,915
Hamilton $515,001
Calgary $482,863
Kitchener-Waterloo $425,548
Ottawa $398,557
Edmonton $363,928
Saskatoon $339,993
Niagara $325,100
London St. Thomas $288,748
Canada $486,388

Time & London Ontario Income Properties

Successful real estate investors in London Ontario and area understand time as a trusted ally and use time to build wealth and as a yard stick for their decisions.

Invest today and use Time as your friend

Every week I get calls and emails from wannabe investors whose main criteria when asking me about properties in London Ontario is how much is the rent collected and comment that they want or need more than that. Makes sense when you think about it and if that was the main criteria for buying properties, you can now understand why some struggle and give up.

Compounding and time work for the wise real estate investor. They understand that positive cash flow, even if it’s a few hundred dollars on a duplex or triplex over time, adds up. They understand that monthly their tenant is paying down the principle on their mortgage and there is even the possibility that the property increases in price overtime, therefore, building what I call quiet equity.

Real simple isn’t it? Yet, because it is simple, we as humans like to complicate things!

Yes there are risks in investing in real estate but 99% of the time you have control over your investment, you can see it, touch it and not some fund manager you will never meet & who gets a piece of your pie before you do or ‘your financial advisor’ who makes money off of you, even if you don’t!

Yes, there are ‘stories’ about flippers, deal makers and get rich quick people but in the real world, time balances everything out, even the tortoise and hare understand that!

Make time your friend, we all have the same 24 hours, some just use it better than others!

My investor clients do well!