Getting Your London Ontario Home Ready To Sell Before It Goes on MLS

      A Great Way To Ensure Your London Ontario Home Sells

Getting a home ready to sell on MLS, though fraught with anxiety, is not as hard as you may think and the effort you put in will make a huge difference in how quickly it sells and for how much.

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 professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their chequebooks. Here is how to prep a house or a condo and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.

Time Required: Seven to 10 Days

preparing to sell your home

Here’s How:

      1.        Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.

  • Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house or a condo– 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 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 incredible 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 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. 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 colours, primarily 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 condo

      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. Odours 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 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?

10.          Check Curb Appeal.

If a buyer doesn’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.
  • Trim your bushes.
  • Make sure visitors can read your house number.

Bonus Report ! 14 pages packed with ideas, get it now!

When Selling a London Ontario House, Don’t Turn Buyers Off

 What Turns Home Buyers off  When Looking at Homes in London & Area?

Messy Rooms Cause Buyers To Leave

 ODOURS …Overwhelmingly, the #1 complaint among prospective buyers was unpleasant odours in the home.  The chief offenders were smoke, pet odours, and exotic cooking aromas.  Buyers turn around and walk out because of the smells so oppressive.  Most of us are unaware of the ‘peculiar’ odours of our homes because we become immune to the smells – the buyers are not resistant to these same odours.

  CLEANLINESS...This # 2 complaint was that the seller did not bother to clean.  We’re not talking about home staging (which will help) or even unrealistic expectations of the home being spotless – just simple old-fashioned cleaning.  Selling your home can be a bit inconvenient, but when you have advance notice that a buyer is coming to view your home – clean it up!!!  At the very least, remove the pile of dirty dishes from the sink.

keep your house spotless when selling it

SELLER Being at HOME…Coming in at #3 is having the owners at home while the buyers are trying to view it.  Most buyers felt very uncomfortable with the seller there.  Many said they could not take the time to look at the features of the home because they were in such a hurry to get away from the seller.  A real problem for those selling their own home as they are usually the ones showing.

  CLUTTER...The #4 complaint is related to the cleanliness point – the dreaded clutter.  We have all seen it on the home shows; many buyers have a hard time understanding your home because of all your stuff.

 UNFINISHED PROJECTS...Unfinished projects take the #5 spot.  If you are planning on selling your home, finish up any on-going home improvement projects before placing it on the market.  Homes with half-finished painting, flooring, trim, etc. gave buyers a wrong overall impression.

When your home has the right price, and you have addressed the other items on this list, it will stand out and sell!

Exclusive Envelope Real Estate Home Audit

Our ‘Exclusive Home Audit’ that we do before putting your home on MLS, on all our websites, on all our social media pages, our blogs, our signage entails these 5 and 31 other points.  We go over everything with you so that you can sell your home quicker, for more money!

  Why is That?

We devote our time in excite buyers & their Realtor about making appointments to see your home!

Selling A London Ontario House & Nobody Knows?

One of the biggest downfalls I see when selling a London Ontario House or condominium be it through a real estate brokerage or a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) company is that most marketers & Realtors  think that if they do the following:

Nobody can find your home for sale

  • Put a for sale sign out front

  • Get it on MLS or some websites

  • Take  pretty pictures (or doctor them)

  • Make up some fancy brochures

  • Maybe run an ad in a glossy magazine that is 1 month too late or a newspaper ad ( called tombstone ads for a reason) or, a larger ad with the Realtor’s picture larger than home!

  • Do An  Open House (did you know that less than 1% of houses are sold with an open house?)

house for sale

Who is going to buy your home? Marketing to that group, in other words, focusing on the type of buyer your home will 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, narrow down, focus, focus & clarify!

Most home buyers view between 10-16 homes in London Ontario, they are very much aware of the price & condition of other homes similar to yours.  If they have a top-notch Realtor helping them, they can laser focus on the home that fits their client’s budget and criteria and not get lost on the bling and shine on properties that do not fit their client’s profile.

focus on your home buyer

You can have the fanciest billboard in the world, but if it is located in the middle of the Sahara desert, who is going to see it and if they did, how many miles and hours will it take to get to London Ontario to see it? (I googled it, 9519 KM)

Why not focus your home on that buyer?

Can You Sell Your London Ontario House For $10,000 -$50,000 More?

If you could sell your London Ontario house for $10,000- $50,000 more, would being  aware of what  home buyers are looking for & don’t care about help you do that? In a recent survey of 3167 Realtors, here are a few insights.

what is in and out when buying a home

IN

  • walk-in closets
  • laundry rooms on main or second floor
  • low-e-windows
  • great rooms
  • Energy Star appliances
  • 9 foot ceilings
  • two-car garages
  • programmable thermostats 
  • granite counters

​                                                            OUT

  • outdoor kitchens
  • laminate counters
  • outdoor fireplaces
  • sunrooms
  • two-storey foyers
  • media rooms
  • whirlpool tub in master ensuite
  • carpet on the main level

When it comes time to sell or update, keep these in mind, but what if you do not have any of these, or your home is older or you do not have the funds or time to update?

This is where skill in marketing shines! Where pricing is very important and ‘Molly Maid’ or good old soap and water will make your home shine!

house cleaning

If you could have a room to room breakdown of your whole house or condo that would point out what could be done to improve the home’s value, if it would matter or not; or; would you get that money back if you did the fix ups?

It takes less than 1 hour to do and you will definitely have ideas to increase your home’s value. Many client’s have told me they got anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 more, SO you can too!

  If $10,000 to $50,000 more in your bank account is important to you, let’s get together. There is no fee for this, there is no obligation and I won’t hold your children , your pets or your spouse as hostage.

 Why not see how you can get more money now!

Average Will Only Get Average Results When Selling a London Ontario Home

  When selling a London Ontario home, the first 10 days are critical and will make the difference how quickly it sells and for how much!

Checklist before you list your home

The most important time for a new listing in London Ontario is 2 days before it officially goes on MLS and the 8 days after!

Why 2 days before? I have found that when we have prepared and gathered all the necessary marketing tools the following happens:

  • The  documents are completed accurately and thoroughly, no mistakes or missing informationn & care can be taken to describe the home to prospective buyers.

  • All the pictures are taken, edited or retaken to show the home in the best way possible way.

  • All the marketing material is ready such as feature sheets, your “Buy me” binder, your www.youradress.com webpage and cards!

  • All the websites are loaded, social pages, virtual tours are ready

  • The home owner can do the final touch ups or any cleaning that may be required.

  • The For Sale sign is up and any directional signs if needed are placed

Your house on MLS

  Day 1 to Day 8: 

This is when buyers and their Realtor are searching the Internet for buying a home in London and certain streets for something new. When excitement is the highest. You can now:

  • Be ready for all showings, have all the marketing materials and home information ready for that one buyer who loves your home!

  • You have at least one weekend when historically home viewing is the busiest.

  • If no serious offers, the pricing may be wrong or if not enough showings, the marketing needs to improve  after 10 days!

 Once day 11 starts, do something drastically to attract new buyers to your home!

The way a transaction starts is indicative on how your sale will go, quickly or a long rocky road before you sell your home.

 

Listing with a strong listing Realtor who has a reputation for being thorough will never do you any harm. Who uses the web dominately, has an above average follow up system and the finances to market your home.

Ensure that before the sign goes up and the listing gets to the MLS, everything from the lock box, listing brochures and presentations is in place and ready to go. Make sure your listing Realtor has a system to let you view the comments and feedback about your house on a special listing website . Do they have a check list (we have 201 items on it) that they share with you before it even gets on MLS?

 Do not allow average to get you average results!

In summary, the most important time for a new listing when selling a home in London Ontario is BEFORE it gets on MLS.

Get Your Home Sold

How do I know this? We sell alot of homes, let’s get yours sold!

What Turns Home Buyers Off When Looking At London Ontario Homes For Sale?

What Turns Home Buyers off  When Looking at London Ontario Homes For Sale & Surrounding Area?

A messy House does not sell

 ODOURS …Overwhelmingly, the #1 complaint among prospective buyers was unpleasant odours in the  home.  The chief offenders were smoke, pet odours, and strange cooking aromas.  Some buyers turn right around and walk out because they found the smells so oppressive.  Most of us are unaware of the ‘peculiar’ odours of our homes because we become immune to the smells – the buyers are not immune to these same odours.

CLEANLINESS...This # 2 complaint  was that the seller simply did not bother to clean.  We’re not talking about home staging (which will help) or even unrealistic expectations of the home being spotless – just simple old-fashioned cleaning.  Selling your home can be a bit inconvenient, but when you have advance notice that a buyer is coming to view your home – clean it up!!!  At the very least, remove the pile of dirty dishes from the sink.

keep your house spotless when selling it

SELLER AT HOME…Coming in at #3 is having the owners at home while the buyers are trying to view it.     Most buyers felt very uncomfortable with the seller there.  Many said they could not take the time to really look at the features of the home because they were in such a hurry to get away from the seller.  This is a real problem for those selling their own home as they are usually the ones showing.

CLUTTER...The #4 complaint is related to the cleanliness point – the dreaded clutter.  We have all seen it on the home shows, many buyers have a hard time seeing your home because of all your stuff.

 UNFINISHED PROJECTS...Unfinished projects take the #5 spot.  If you are planning on selling your home, finish up any on-going home improvement projects before placing it on the market.  Homes with half-finished painting, flooring, trim, etc. gave buyers a bad overall impression.

If your home is priced correctly and you have addressed the other items on this list, it will stand out and sell!

Exclusive Envelope Real Estate Home Audit

Our ‘Exclusive Home Audit’ that we do before putting your home on MLS, on all our websites, on all our social media pages, our blogs, our signage entails these 5 and 31 other points.  We go over everything with you so that you can sell your home quicker, for more money!

  Why is That?

Because we excel at exciting buyers & their Realtor about your home!

When Selling a House in London Ontario, How Do You Decide Price?

   What price do you choose when deciding to put your house or condo for sale on MLS? I won’t go into the debate about “free advice”, you know, your hairdresser, co-worker, Uncle Ted who knows everything about everything, your financial advisor, or the “Free Market Evaluation” postcard or online generalities.

   Selling a House in London Ontario

 Below are a few things you may want to give considerable thought to when selling a house in London Ontario:

  • Not choosing the right price when a property is first listed. In other words, thinking “We can always come down”.
  • Putting the property on the market at an unrealistic price. A property must be priced on a comparative basis to the other properties which are similar. (I should add, everyone thinks their home is different but buyers and their Realtor do not think so.)
  • Not relating marketing time to price. Generally, the quicker you want to sell, the less you should be willing to take.
  • Calculating brokerage fees on top of the sales price. A home is worth what it is worth, with or without a commission.
  • Thinking that buyers aren’t comparing your home, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with every other home on the market     ​
  • Do not add up all your credit card debt, car loans, line of credit, mortgage, that one month luxury cruise and then $20,000 just for the heck of it, and that is the price! (Think I am joking here, I actually was on a listing presentation and the price they wanted was to be able to do the above. First off, I did not take the listing because they wanted $66,000 too much, plus, they went through 3 Realtors and 10 months and got $81,000 less than their original asking price!)

​  There is a better way!

 

7 Things You Do Not Want A Buyer To Say When Selling a House

When selling a house in London Ontario, at a minimum there are 7 things you hope you do not hear from a buyer or their Realtor. All sellers want to sell you would think?

At times I question if home sellers even know that they may be harming their opportunities to sell.

Hoping To Sell A Home London Ontario

Over the years I have shown hundreds of buyers many homes in all price ranges and here are some of their questions to me as they too question if the home seller is serious about selling.

  • Where did they ever come up with that price?
  • This is a nice house but not at that price, the others we have seen are in better shape and for less money!
  • Don’t the sellers know we are here only for this weekend, why can’t we see their house?
  • It said in the listing it was a short walk to schools & amenities, a short walk if you were a professional marathon runner!
  • It said in the listing ‘newer appliances’, these are at least 8 years old! Or, newer roof, furnace, flooring or fill in the blank newer ___________!
  • How long has this home been on the market?
  • Why wouldn’t the seller fix that _______________?

When selling a house or a condo in London, do it properly or you may have to do it again!

Your London Ontario Home Is For Sale, But Nobody Can Find It

One of the biggest downfalls I see in marketing when a  London Ontario home for sale, be it through a real estate brokerage or a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) company is that most marketers & Realtors  think that if they do the following:

  • Put a for sale sign out front

  • Get it on MLS or some websites

  • Take  pretty pictures (or doctor them)

  • Make up some fancy brochures

  • Maybe run an ad in a glossy magazine that is 1 month too late or a newspaper ad ( called tombstone ads for a reason) or, a larger ad with the Realtor’s picture larger than home!

  • Do An  Open House (did you know that less than 1% of houses are sold with an open house?)

house for sale

Who is going to buy your home? Marketing to that group, in other words, focusing on the type of  buyer your home will 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, narrow down, focus, focus & clarify!

Most home buyers view between 10-16 homes in London Ontario, they are very much aware of the price & condition of other homes similar to yours.  If they have a top notch Realtor helping them, they can laser focus on the home that fits their client’s budget and criteria and not get lost on the bling and shine on properties that do not fit their client’s profile.

focus on your home buyer

You can have  the fanciest billboard in the world, but if it is located in the middle of the Sahara desert, who is going to see it and if they did, how many miles and hours will it take to get to London Ontario to see it? (I googled it, 9519 KM)

Why not focus your home on that buyer?

How Easy Is It For London Ontario Home Buyers To See Your Home?

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

selling a house with Envelope Real Estate

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 Realtor feel welcome.  Be as flexible on timing as possible.  The buyer may be viewing many homes over a large area.  (The average buyer sees 7-12 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.

I tell my sellers and my buyers, one of the reasons I have less hair on my head (bald) , is let me take the stress and worry, that’s why you are paying me!