What Price To Sell a House In London Ontario if Downsizing?

                    What to be Careful of When Setting Your Selling Price

Meeting with a REALTOR

Meeting a Realtor

You have decided to sell your home and have a fairly good idea of what you think it is worth. Being a sensible home seller, you schedule appointments with three local real estate representatives, (or a friend of a friend who has a friend). They set up a time with you and maybe arrive with a “Competitive Market Analysis” (which no longer is an accurate tool, I’ll cover that in another report) and they each recommend a specific sales price.

Amazingly, two of the Realtors have suggested prices that are lower than what you expected. Even though they have backed up their recommendations with recent sales data of similar homes, you remain convinced your property is worth more.

When you interview the third Realtor’s figures, his or her numbers are much more in line with what you think your home is worth. Or they may have even suggested to you a higher price. Wow! Now you are happy and an exited home seller, perhaps already counting the money.

   A Sales Practice Called “Buying a Listing”

If you are like most people, you have chosen Realtor number three. This is a Realtor who seems willing to listen to your input and work with you. This is a Realtor that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. This is a Realtor that is willing to start out at your price and if you need to drop the price later, you can do that easily, right?

 After all, everyone else does it! Wrong!

The truth is that you may have just met a Realtor engaging in a questionable sales practice called “buying a listing.” He/she “bought” the listing by suggesting you might be able to get a higher sales price than the other realtors recommended. Most likely, he or she is quite doubtful that your home will actually sell at that price. The intention from the beginning is to eventually talk you into lowering the price.

  Why do some “buy” listings this way?

There are basically two reasons: A well-meaning and hardworking Realtor can feel pressure from a homeowner who has an inflated perception of their home’s value. On the other hand, there are some who engage in this practice routinely.

Overpricing a property in London Ontario

If you start out with a price that is too high, there is likelihood you interviewed other Realtors. They did not get the listing, of course. They got “beaten” out by someone telling you what you wanted to hear.

If your listing Realtor routinely engages in “buying “listings, he/she has probably has done this to other Realtors in the same way. Word gets around that their homes are overpriced and the home seller has an inflated value in mind. This can be very difficult to resolve.

In short, you may have ended up with a Realtor who was good at selling you, but not good at selling your home. And you are willing to pay them a fee for it?

wasting your time

It is human nature for you to want the highest price for your home. However, when you choose the Realtor who promises what you want to hear, it often leads to stress and frustration. Most of the time, it will take you longer to sell your home. Possibly, and this happens, you will end up selling at a lower price instead.

Or maybe as a result of reading this, you will choose one of the “good” Realtors in the first place. They are out there, you know!

What Happens Behind the Scenes?

If you start out with too high a price on your home, you may have added to your stress level—and selling a home is stressful enough! There will be a lot of “behind the scenes” action taking place that you don’t know about. Contrary to popular opinion, a professional listing Realtor does not usually attempt to sell your home directly to a homebuyer. That would be inefficient.

Pro’s market and promote your home to hundreds of other local Realtors and even Realtors from the GTA areas who do work with homebuyers, dramatically increasing your personal sales force. During the first couple of weeks your home should be a flurry of activity with buyer’s agents coming to preview your home so they can sell it to their clients. (See my report “When is the most important time for a new listing)

   If The Price Is Right

If you and your Realtor have overpriced, fewer Realtors will preview your home. After all, they are Realtors, and it should be their job to know local market conditions and home values. If your property is dramatically above market, why waste time? Their time is better spent previewing homes that are priced realistically.

  Dropping Your Price Too Lat

  If you start out with a high sales price, then drop it later—your property is “old news”. You will never be able to recapture that flurry of initial activity you would have had with a realistic price. Your property could take longer to sell.

Price reduced

 

Even if you do successfully sell at above market price to an uninformed buyer, your buyer will need a mortgage. The mortgage lender requires an appraisal. If comparable sales for the last six months and current market conditions do not support your sales price, the property won’t appraise. Your deal falls apart. Of course, you can always attempt to negotiate the price, but only if the buyer is willing to listen.

Your property then goes “back on the market”. Other Realtors will know this, as will their buyers, what do you think their response will be to your home?

Once your home sits on the market awhile, it is harder to get a good offer. Potential buyers will think that you might be getting desperate, so they will make low offers. By overpricing your home in the beginning, you could actually end up settling for a lower price than you would have normally received.

 In summary, when you decide to sell your property, why not work with someone who knows the market and is financially and emotionally strong enough to guide you? Who will not tell you what you want to hear. The truth hurts but you might as well hear it now than 3 months later! To get results, let’s discuss your options and let you start packing!

Retiring, Downsizing in London Ontario Or Going Crazy?

How the wealthy are redefining their retirement and the concept of a “traditional” retirement is a relatively recent phenomenon.

When retirement schemes were first introduced at the end of the 19th century, retirees were lucky to live just a few more years after stopping work. But increased life expectancy means that today’s retirees are often enjoying 20 to 30 years of leisure at the end of their working lives.

london ontario retirees

In Barclays Wealth Insights and their wonderful insightful presentation The Age Illusion How the Wealthy are Redefining Their Retirement” you will find it quite useful not only for yourself personally but potential as a service provider to these people who are sometimes called “Nevertirees

Assessing the impact of the Nevertiree and understanding the role that I ,as a Realtor and a Nevertiree, is exciting and something I can relate to. (The Nevertiree part, not the wealthy part!)

active retirees

I have many clients who have started second or third careers, or are still growing their business and really enjoying life.

Their real estate needs are quite different than our traditional retiree and the last two years, especially the last 6 months in London Ontario, real estate has  been in demand, especially a one floor home, be it a house or a condo, have been sought after in the $500,000 plus range.

I would say that the majority of my clients are in that high end range which I truly appreciate, not the dollar amount but their vibrancy, maturity, no nonsense approach and who appreciate a professional to help them!

How To Find a Buyer For Your London Ontario House

One of the biggest downfalls I see when selling a house in London Ontario, be it through a real estate brokerage or a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Company is that most sellers think that if they do the following:

  • Put a sign out front
  • Get your home on MLS
  • Take some pretty pictures
  • Maybe make up some feature sheets
  • Maybe run an ad with the agent’s picture larger than your home
  • Run an Open House

house for sale

Home buyers  have easy access to information, and over 96% of homes are first seen through their desktop or hand held device , so your home requires quick, thorough exposure to all markets, not only on the web but social media areas as well.

Plus, who is going to buy your home? Marketing to that group, in other words, focusing on the type of the buyer you wish to attract is extremely effective and works!

For example, if you have a 4 bedroom, 2 car garage house which is close to good schools, of course you would market to families, not to an empty nester or single person. Or, a one floor, 2 bedroom condo in an upscale neighbourhood of London, you would not market it to a family of 4!

Focus on your market (or tell your real estate salesperson to)

Keep in mind that most home buyers view between 10-16 homes in London Ontario, they are very much aware of price, other homes similar to yours and with a good real estate buyer representative helping them, they can laser focus on the home that fits their budget and lifestyle.

focus on your home buyer

Why not focus your home on that buyer? Want to know who that buyer may be? Why? How?

That is what I do, I market homes to sell in London Ontario.

Does It Pay To Downsize To London Ontario?

Does it pay to downsize to or in London Ontario? Downsizing the family home can be one of the hardest decisions to be made and unfortunately for some, the decision to downsize may be financial or health related.

Last week I met with a wonderful couple who have contemplated downsizing for the past two years. I stunned them when I recommended to them that do not downsize yet! Yes, I am a Realtor and I help people sell and buy real estate but I also am a councillor and look after the best interests of my clients.

This couple were in relatively good physical and mental health and were thinking about downsizing for financial reasons. Upon reviewing their existing house, the neighbourhood, where they were wanting to downsize to, I said that they would not be better off economically if they moved!

Every situation is different but not full understanding the financial implications and future expenses, can wreak havoc of someone’s life work and savings.

I used this great financial downsizing tool to help them and I share this link with you as well!

Downsizing ? How To Price Your Home to Sell

The Secret to Pricing Your Home to Sell

  A home without a buyer has no value in the market place. Sure it might have a value to you the seller, and it might have a value to your banker, and to your insurance agent, and to your appraiser. But none of these people are buyers.

  Answers to Pricing a Hone Correctly

   So here is the secret to pricing your home to sell – It’s not what you think the home is worth that matters, it’s what a reasonable buyer will think your home is worth that will ultimately determine if your home will sell.

   Now you may be thinking – Hey wait, if I left it up to a buyer, they would pay me as little as possible for my home. True, they would. But in the real world every buyer knows that you, the seller, have no obligation to sell your home at any price. To purchase your home the buyer will have to make you an offer you can’t or won’t refuse. 

   But here-in lies the trap that many sellers fall into (I did when I first started in the real estate business), which is the mistaken idea that we can hold out for an inflated price and eventually the market will come to us.

  Wrong!

  Buyers are under no obligation to buy any particular home, and no amount of marketing, open houses, websites, or signage will motivate a buyer to purchase an overpriced home.

 Why?

  Because they can buy one of your neighbors homes for less! This reveals one of the most important considerations in pricing your home – Price VS Time.

  Understanding Price VS Time

   The age old dilemma that has faced buyers and sellers since the dawn of private property rights is a simple question:

  What is more important ,price or time?

  Believe it or not this conundrum underlies and controls every sellers decision to sell, and every buyers need to complete a purchase. For sellers this boils down to the need to sell within a set time frame or instead to hold out for the best possible price, and as you might guess, for buyers it’s the need to buy within a set time frame or to purchase a home for the lowest possible price.

   A seller who would like to sell for top dollar should be prepared to potentially wait longer for a buyer willing to pay a premium price. Like trying to sell ice during December, a seller might have to give the stuff away just to get rid of it, but if they wait long enough, say until mid-August when temperatures crest over 100 degrees suddenly that same ice can have real value. On the flip side, a seller who needs to sell quickly, and doesn’t have time to wait, should expect to discount their price somewhat because of the limited time they have to expose their home to the market.

   What’s the difference?

  Timing!

   Buyers are in the same boat. A buyer who has the luxury of shopping for a home over a long period of time can probably wait to find a bargain, while another buyer who must buy a home in the next few weeks will probably be willing to pay a premium. Again it boils down to price vs. time. So you might ask yourself what is your highest priority – Selling quickly or selling for a higher price?

   When I pose this question to my own clients they answer – I want both! The funny thing is that they aren’t kidding!

   Quite a few home sellers want their cake with icing on top. Because of this, many homeowners will attempt to put the responsibility of getting both top dollar and fast sale on the back of their hired gun, the real estate agent. The result can be summed up in one word – frustration. Why? Because no matter how much a seller yells, screams, and kicks a real estate agent, they don’t do miracles.

  This is why successful sellers understand that while a real estate agents job is to provide marketing, expert advice, and negotiating services, in the end they don’t own the property. They don’t make the final decisions on pricing. The seller does, and ultimately the seller’s asking price will in large part determine how slowly or quickly the home will sell.

  Successful sellers have learned that to price their home accurately means they need to think like a buyer, they need to get inside a buyers skin and look at the world through a buyers eyes. If you’re like most buyers you would probably start online by viewing listings to get a general feel for local home prices.

Searching for houses for sale in London Ontario

   As a typical internet empowered real estate buyer you will look at an average of nine homes over 1-2 weeks with the assistance of a real estate professional. By the end of your journey, like many buyers, you become so knowledgeable about the market that by the last showing you are able to guess, with reasonable accuracy, each homes listing price before your agent can even tell you.

  So what happened here? As a buyer you went from a blank slate, with no impression of the market to having the ability to predict listing prices. A big leap sure, but this description is exactly what most buyers’ experience. 

   So as you can see, pricing to sell your home is not the price your neighbour suggests, or a friend of a friend, or to recoup your costs of a poor renovation or upgrades.

   When we do an Envelope Home Audit and a thorough CMA, you can rest assure that the price we come up with is the one that will enable your home to sell quickly and for you, netting the most money. Remember, homes that that sell for the most, sell quickly!

 

Downsizing to London Ontario? What Next?

  “We’re thinking about downsizing to a smaller home in London Ontario. Having been out of the real estate market for many years, how do we find the right place and someone to walk us through the steps?”

Finding A Great Realtor in London Ontario

When it comes to buying or selling a home in London Ontario, one of the first steps many people take is choosing a real estate professional to work with. Much like you’ll be searching for a home to meet your needs, you’ll want to take a few steps to choose the real estate professional who is right for you.

Regardless of how you find the real estate professional, it’s always a good idea to meet with at least a few different representatives before selecting the one you’d like to work with. When you have your short list and are ready to meet with a few candidates, consider asking these questions:

1. What is your experience? Experience is about more than how many years someone has been in business. Take the time to learn about the types of properties they typically work with, which neighbourhoods they work in and how many homes in the type you are looking for they helped buy or sell in the past year or two.

2. What is your approach to the buying or selling process?For the buying side of things, how will the representative search for suitable properties and what is their approach to negotiations? When selling, how will your home be marketed to help attract the right prospective buyers? By understanding their approach, you’ll know what to expect and will be able to determine which representative’s philosophy and methods align with your preferences.

3. What services will be included? Discuss your particular needs and expectations with prospective representatives to ensure they are able to provide the services you want. For example, when selling, will the representative have professional photos taken of your home or prepare multimedia promotional materials? How will they promote and market your home? Understanding exactly what services will be provided, and later documenting them in your written contract, will help avoid misunderstandings later on.

4. What are the commissions or fees that I will need to pay? Commissions and fees can vary between brokerages and the services provided, so be sure to understand what will be provided and what it will cost. Keep in mind that, as with most things, you pay for what you get.

5. Do you have references? As with most job interviews, getting in touch with references is an important step before hiring someone. Speaking with past clients is a great way to learn more. Were past clients pleased with their experience? Was the representative responsive and easy to get in touch with? Would they recommend them to others?

Buying and selling a home is a major decision, so it’s key to take the time to find the right representative for you. Whether it’s homes within a certain price range, in a specific neighbourhood, income properties or condos, it’s smart to find a representative experienced in buying and selling your kind of place.

 Ask these 11 Questions Before You Hire Any Realtor

Retiring To London Ontario Is On The Rise

How the wealthy are redefining their retirement and the concept of a “traditional” retirement has changed and I am seeing that retiring to London Ontario is on the rise.

When retirement schemes were first introduced at the end of the 19th century, retirees were lucky to live just a few more years after stopping work. But increased life expectancy means that today’s retirees are often enjoying 20 to 30 years of leisure at the end of their working lives.

london ontario retirees

In Barclays Wealth Insights and their wonderful insightful presentation The Age Illusion How the Wealthy are Redefining Their Retirement” you will find it quite useful not only for yourself personally but potential as a service provider to these people who are sometimes called “Nevertirees

Assessing the impact of the Nevertiree and understanding the role that I, as a Realtor and being  a Nevertiree is exciting and something I can relate to.

(The Nevertiree part, not the wealthy part!)

active retirees

I have many clients who have started second or third careers, or are still growing their business and really enjoying life.

Their real estate needs are quite different than our traditional retiree and the last two years, especially the last 6 months in London Ontario, real estate has  been in demand, especially a one floor home, be it a house or a condo, have been sought after in the $500,000 plus range.

I would say that the majority of my clients are in that high end range which I truly appreciate, not the dollar amount but their vibrancy, maturity, no nonsense approach and who appreciate a professional to help them!

Logic or Emotion When Buying Real Estate in London Ontario?

There is a Huge Difference Between Logical & Emotional Decisions When Buying or Selling a Home  in London Ontario or any other place in Canada

The majority of Canadians do not buy lor sell logically. Most buy or sell emotionally and then try to justify  those decisions logically.

logic or emotion when selling?

In real estate, some real estate salespeople logically try to convince their clients to buy. That is why they do not sell many homes or help buyer’s buy homes! Knowing that people will get involved in a property emotionally first & then; it is up to the real estate sales representative to provide solid, logical reasons to justify the purchase or even for that matter, the sale of a home.

Everything we buy is an emotional purchase. Take the shoes you are wearing. That is a logical point however the colour & style is your emotional choice.

What about a certain brand of food when there are 5 others just like it? We buy it because of advertising, or your parents or friends bought it. You do not logically decide which brand to buy unless you are a frugal shopper and even then, saving money is an emotional decision!

In real estate, the same thing. Everyone needs shelter of some kind, which is the logical point. The type they presently own or rent is an emotional decision. Buyers may want a home of a certain size or location or like they grew up in, that is an emotional decision. For others, it may be based on what they can afford.

That may sound logical but money and emotions are linked.

So, when it comes time to sell a house or buy a house or a condo, are they logical or emotional decisions?

To effectively get buyers involved in your home, your listing Realtor must help the buyer and their real estate salesperson make your house stand out physically, emotionally and financially.

CHECKING YOUR HOUSE OUT

To effectively help buyers to acquire your home, your salesperson must eliminate those things that create fear or tension and replace them with words; images and information that will make a home buyer want to invest their hard-earned money in your home.

When you are planning to buy, you may wantto do the opposite and from experience, I have seen well balanced people make some poor choices, which were emotional and not logic.

Logic or emotion is your choice! So is the Realtor you choose to help you.

Moving Up or Downsizing in London Ontario?

  “We’re thinking about downsizing to a smaller home. Having been out of the real estate market for many years, how do we find a representative to help us buy and sell?”

Senior couple in front of home.

When it comes to buying or selling a home in London Ontario, one of the first steps many people take is choosing a real estate professional to work with. Much like you’ll be searching for a home to meet your needs, you’ll want to take a few steps to choose the real estate professional who is right for you.

Regardless of how you find the real estate professional, it’s always a good idea to meet with at least a few different representatives before selecting the one you’d like to work with. When you have your short list and are ready to meet with a few candidates, consider asking these questions:

1. What is your experience? Experience is about more than how many years someone has been in business. Take the time to learn about the types of properties they typically work with, which neighbourhoods they work in and how many homes in the type you are looking for they helped buy or sell in the past year or two.

2. What is your approach to the buying or selling process?For the buying side of things, how will the representative search for suitable properties and what is their approach to negotiations? When selling, how will your home be marketed to help attract the right prospective buyers? By understanding their approach, you’ll know what to expect and will be able to determine which representative’s philosophy and methods align with your preferences.

3. What services will be included? Discuss your particular needs and expectations with prospective representatives to ensure they are able to provide the services you want. For example, when selling, will the representative have professional photos taken of your home or prepare multimedia promotional materials? How will they promote and market your home? Understanding exactly what services will be provided, and later documenting them in your written contract, will help avoid misunderstandings later on.

4. What are the commissions or fees that I will need to pay? Commissions and fees can vary between brokerages and the services provided, so be sure to understand what will be provided and what it will cost. Keep in mind that, as with most things, the cheapest deal is not necessarily the best one.

5. Do you have references? As with most job interviews, getting in touch with references is an important step before hiring someone. Speaking with past clients is a great way to learn more. Were past clients pleased with their experience? Was the representative responsive and easy to get in touch with? Would they recommend them to others?

Buying and selling a home is a major decision, so it’s key to take the time to find the right representative for you. Whether it’s homes within a certain price range, in a specific neighbourhood, income properties or condos, it’s smart to find a representative experienced in buying and selling your kind of place.

 Ask these 11 Questions Before You Hire Any Realtor

Mortgage Poor in London Ontario?

Being mortgage poor in London Ontario is not unusual as some think. This month alone I have helped two families sell their large home with a large mortgage and move to a smaller home with a smaller mortgage. I wrote this blog last year and if you can relate to this couple, downsizing or upsizing is not as onerous as it seems.

I will call this couple Bill and Mary to protect their identity and their ‘keeping up with the Jone’s ‘ previous lifestyle.

How to sell a house London Ontario

They were referred to me by their accountant who asked me if I could help them out. Here is the outline:

  • $460,000 house with a $370,000 mortgage
  • two car loans $37,800
  • $21,500 credit card debt
  • $18,000 line of credit
  • two chidren under 10
  • $102,000 combined salary income
  • $31,000 in RSP’s
  • $900 in savings!

A very nice hard working couple in their 30’s who realized they were getting deeper in debt, working hard to keep afloat and if something happen to one of them such as a lay-off or sickness, they were in trouble!

They finally came to the reality that though they had a beautiful home and on that on the outside looking prosperous and happy, the reality was that they were treading water, just keeping afloat was a chore.

I asked them how serious they were to re-invent their lifestyle, build for their future and if they could discipline their ego and self-worth by not doing what their friends were all doing.

It took a few months of soul searching and to get to the end of the story, here is what happen after two years and one month.

  • I sold their home for $466,000
  • Paid off the credit card debt & line of credit
  • Bought a $149,000 townhouse with a $125,000 mortgage
  • one car loan at $11,500 left
  • $55,000 in RSP’s
  • $11,000 in a TFSA
  • $87,800 combined salary income
  • Two family vacations
  • A plan to pay off their mortgage in 4 years

happy real estate clients

  I got them to subscribe to a few financial freedom blogs that would show them that there were other people living  with financial freedom and it was not income that was the biggest reason, it was focusing on expenses and putting a true value on ‘keeping up with the Jones’! Here is one of the best financial freedom blogs out there.

  Are they happier? Have less stress? Lose any friends? How is their ego’s and self-esteem?

Yes to very happy and no stress,  new appreciation of true friends and their new found self-esteem of being financially disciplined.

 Was it easy? Was it hard?

 Fear of the unknown is one of the strongest fears we can have so facing reality and knowing that in this case, ‘what could be the worst thing that could have happened to this couple when they downsized’? 

 That their ego would get bruised?