Five Problems Home Buyers Have When Viewing A House For Sale

      Five Common Problems Home Buyers Have  When Viewing a Home For Sale.

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 FSBOs, as they are usually the ones showing their own home.

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 the 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.

 

Some buyers may over look some or all of these 5, but when they do, they offer a lower price because they think, “If the seller does not care about the clutter or the unfinished projects, what else is wrong with the house?”

 

If your home is priced correctly and you have addressed the other items on this list, it will stand out like a diamond among the many lumps of coal out there.

Exclusive Envelope Real Estate Home Audit

Our ‘Exclusive Home Audit’ that we do before listing a home for sale entails these 5 and 31 others and we go over everything with you so that you can sell your home in a reasonable time frame and not leave any money on the table!

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!

These Steps Will Help Your London Ontario House Sell Quicker

Even though houses in London Ontario are selling quite well,  41% of homes listed in the London area take over 60 days to sell or not sell at all!

Why is this?

Below are a few steps that you may want to consider BEFORE putting your London Ontario house up for sale and after it is for sale.

Home not selling

Keep the reason you are selling to yourself and your Realtor.

Do not reveal your motivation for selling to anyone else because they may use it against you at the negotiating table. When asked, just say that your housing needs have changed.

Different goals will dictate different strategies.

What is more important to you: the money you walk away with or the length of time your property is on the market or both?

3 Do your homework before setting a price.

The average buyer will look at 15-20 homes at the same time they are looking at yours. That buyer will now have a basis of comparison, and if your home does not compare favorably with others in the price range, your home may sit on the market for a longer time.

More Homework.

 (A good Realtor should do this for you) Find out what homes in your neighbourhood have sold for in the last 6-12 months, and research what current homes are listed for. That is how a prospective buyers and their Realtor will assess the worth of your home.

Maximize your home’s sales potential.

You may not be able to change your home’s location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generates a greater emotional response than any other factor.

101 Ways To Sell Your House in London Ontario

Deciding upon a Realtor

You and your Realtor are partners in marketing your home. Choose carefully and wisely.

Make it easy for buyers to get information on your home.

Buyers calling for information on your home value their time as much as you do. They also do not want to be hassled or frustrated because they cannot get a hold of the listing Realtor or some of the information is incorrect.

Deadlines create a serious disadvantage.

Don’t try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.

Keep emotions in check.

Do not be offended by a low offer or certain demands from the buyer. A good listing Realtor can turn these negatives into a positive situation.

10 Be a smart seller- disclose everything.

Be proactive, by disclosing any problems or defects you are giving the buyer confidence that you are not hiding anything..

All the above steps , though simple and easy to do, are not often done, perhaps because they are so simple and easy to do.

From experience, my clients have commented that thoroughness in getting their house sold and the systems we use were outstanding! (Their words, not mine!)

 Would you like to discuss how to maximize the price of your home?

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.

The Price & The Sale of London Ontario Homes

    Well Researched Pricing Leads to  Your House Selling in London Ontario

Over 94% of home buyers surf the internet to begin their home search. That means home buyers are well aware of which houses are available & what the asking price is.

searching for a house to buy in London Ontario

Today’s home buyers are wiser and have access to information that was not available years ago. Industry surveys show that the average home buyer sees 10-16 homes before making a decision!

What that means in most cases is that home buyers and their sales representative know the market for homes similar to yours. Yes, every home may be unique and have different features but to get market value for those features and uniqness is another issue all together and that is what marketing is all about.

Knowing that, now more than ever, pricing is the key to selling a house in London Ontario and area. Some home sellers think that a higher price will give them some negotiating room. But in fact many buyers don’t even look at a property that is overpriced; much less make an offer on it. This can lead to the house listing becoming tired or in the worst case scenario, not selling at all.

The first question a home buyer asks me when showing them a house to buy is “How long has this house been on the market?”

an expired listing

If it has been on the market more than 20-25 days, buyers wonder if there is something wrong with the property. After a while, the home seller then has to drop the price, taking less than they might have if they had priced it correctly to begin with.

Homes that are well-priced attract the buyers in their price range.

If the buyer’s perception is that the property is a good buy, then the seller is positioned to receive the listing price or close to it.

In closing, when selling a home in London Ontario and area, how thorough is your research of the real estate market? Or your Realtor?

Our research team is second to none and we are not afraid to tell you the truth!

How To Set a Price For London Ontario Houses

Setting a Price on A London Ontario Houses, Exciting or Scary?

When most home sellers sit down to interview a Realtor, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of choosing a sales price. More money means more financial opportunities . Perhaps it means you can afford to buy a larger home, help pay off some debt or take that long overdue vacation.

Unfortunately, some home sellers often choose the Realtor who suggests the highest list price, which is the worst mistake a seller can make.

Establishing Value 

The truth is it doesn’t really matter how much money you think your home is worth. Nor does it matter what your Realtor thinks or ten other Realtors think. The person whose opinion matters most is the buyer who makes an offer.

Pricing homes is part art and part science. It involves comparing similar properties, making adjustments for the differences among them, tracking market movements and taking stock of present inventory, all in an attempt to come up with a range of value, an educated opinion.

Even in the present hot market we have in London, choosing a price higher than your neighbour’s house that sold a month or two ago can come back to haunt you.

Why?

The market can shift very quick and even though our market is strong, there are still great homes for sale that have been on the market for 40-60 days, unfortunately, they are price wrong.

pricing a home ls like chess

This method is the same way an appraiser evaluates a home. And no two appraisals are ever exactly the same; however, they are generally close to each other. In other words, there is no hard and fast method  to slap a price price on your home. It’s only an educated guess and the market will dictate the price.

 Is it Too Low? 

Homes sell at a price a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept. If a home is priced too low, priced under the competition, the seller usually will receive multiple offers to drive up the price to market value. So there is little danger in pricing a home too low. The danger lies in pricing it too high and selecting your Realtor solely on opinion of value.

How It Starts To Go Wrong :  

Here is a story of a seller who did not even interview Realtors. She plucked the first one off the Internet because, “He looked like such a nice guy and he is with that big real estate company in London.” He priced her home at $499,000.  After 27 days, no offers.

Continues To Go Wrong She then lowers the price to  $489,900 . Lots of showings but not offers. Eventually , another 30 days pass and the price is reduced to $479,900.  A few lookie-loos, tire kickers and eventually an offer of $449,900!

The sad part is the comparable sales in the neighborhood fully justified a price of $475,000, but the home had been on the market for too long at the wrong price, and now the market had softened.

London Ontario House

 Protect Yourself 

The question is how much money does it cost the sellers if a home takes a long time to sell? The financial loss often exceeds the extra mortgage payments paid and goes beyond the uncompensated hassle factor of trying to keep a home spotless during showings. It affects the value that a buyer ultimately chooses to pay because it’s not a fresh listing anymore.

It’s now stale, dated, a market-worn home that was overpriced for too long.

So, how do you protect yourself? An experienced listing Realtor who is willing to tell you the truth about the value of your home and have the strength & skills to back it up  is a start.

Homes that sell within 30 days usually sell for asking price or even more!

Will Energy Costs Affect The Sale Of Your London Ontario Home?

   Will energy costs affect the sale of a home in London Ontario?

It is possible.

With predictions that energy costs may increase by as much as 40% over the next few years, if not all ready, have you had a look at your hydro bill lately?

energy costs could affect the sale of your home

 The Affordability Rule for Home Buyers Called PITH

The monthly housing costs shouldn’t be more than 32% of gross monthly income. Housing costs include monthly mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes and heating expenses.

  • Principal,
  • Interest,
  • Taxes
  • Heat

For example, if income was $50,000 a year, the gross monthly income is $4,167, therefore to stay within the 32% range, the PITH rule is $1,292. If the mortgage payment is $1200 a month and utilities such as water, electrical, gas averages $360 per month equaling $1560 per month, you would be over the 32% rule, it is actually at 37% and in most cases, not qualify for a mortgage.

At $60,000 per year, which is $5,000 a month, the 32% would be $1,600.  Here is a great link for you to learn more about debt percentages and rules.

So, what has that got to do with selling your home in London Ontario and area?

You will attract more buyers in your price range because more buyers would qualify for a mortgage if energy costs were below average.

It holds true for a $100,000 plus income earner as well.

Before upgrading your home and doing improvements, your first priority may be to see how to get the energy use down.

As well, when buying a home in London Ontario, do not just look at the purchase price. What is it going to cost to maintain it? It would be real wise to know exactly what the utility costs are, it will help get approval for a mortgage easier and if you were ever to sell your home down the road; you know your home with a low energy use will sell quicker than a home that has not been energy efficient.

In two separate instances last week, my buyer clients chose homes that were more energy efficient over others in the neighbourhood, even over better priced ones, and in one case, over one that they loved but could not get their head around the expense it would have taken to get the home energy efficient

One was a condo townhouse with electric baseboards and the other was a 23 year old house with original windows and the original furnace.

Good Communication Allows London Ontario Houses To Sell Better

One of the pet peeves home sellers have with their Realtor is lack of communication. You would think that is not the case but in a recent Real Estate Association article, 74.8% of respondents commented they wished they had better communication with their real estate sales person.

Communication sells London Ontario Houses

Below is a system that I have been using for years  because in all client testimonials, all talk about it and as success leaves clues, I will share with you  just a few traits and habits we use to keep our clients in the know!

  • We keep you up to date by phone calls, email and text, whatever is your preference
  • We follow up on all showings with cooperating agents with phone calls so that you will know what Realtors and buyers are thinking about your home.
  • Every 7 days we have a discussion about all the activity over that period, or lack of it!
  • As well, you will have a password to log in to your own address website where you can see all of our activity such as feedback on showings, all our notes and activities, prospect requests, listings emailed, graphs of activity, buyer interest and where they come from.You can know instantly on what we are doing to market your home.

Most importantly, I’ll negotiate forcefully on your behalf to get you the highest possible price, not try to make you take the first offer that comes to the table!

Upon acceptance of an offer, we coordinate with the cooperating agents, lender, home inspector, and appraiser; handle any complications that can occur so that the most important thing of all occurs . . . your home closes on time with no stress or worry!

You will always know what is going on.

 Why?

 Why not? You have hired me to market your home, get the best price possible & to sell it in a reasonable time and the only way that can happen is to have open & clear communication, be it good or bad!

 I market and sell homes, I do not just list them!

At What Price Do Your List Your London Ontario House For?

 Does Setting a Price on A London Ontario House Excite or Scare You?

When most home sellers sit down to interview a Realtor, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of choosing a sales price. More money means more financial opportunities . Perhaps it means you can afford to buy a larger home, help pay off some debt or take that long overdue vacation.

Unfortunately, some home sellers often choose the Realtor who suggests the highest list price, which is the worst mistake a seller can make.

Establishing Value 

The truth is it doesn’t really matter how much money you think your home is worth. Nor does it matter what your Realtor thinks or ten other Realtors think. The person whose opinion matters most is the buyer who makes an offer.

Pricing homes is part art and part science. It involves comparing similar properties, making adjustments for the differences among them, tracking market movements and taking stock of present inventory, all in an attempt to come up with a range of value, an educated opinion.

Even in the present hot market we have in London, choosing a price higher than your neighbour’s house that sold a month or two ago can come back to haunt you.

Why?

The market can shift very quick and even though our market is strong, there are still great homes for sale that have been on the market for 40-60 days, unfortunately, they are price wrong.

pricing a home ls like chess

This method is the same way an appraiser evaluates a home. And no two appraisals are ever exactly the same; however, they are generally close to each other. In other words, there is no hard and fast method  to slap a price price on your home. It’s only an educated guess and the market will dictate the price.

 Is it Too Low? 

Homes sell at a price a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept. If a home is priced too low, priced under the competition, the seller usually will receive multiple offers to drive up the price to market value. So there is little danger in pricing a home too low. The danger lies in pricing it too high and selecting your Realtor solely on opinion of value.

How It Starts To Go Wrong :  

Here is a story of a seller who did not even interview Realtors. She plucked the first one off the Internet because, “He looked like such a nice guy and he is with that big real estate company in London.” He priced her home at $499,000.  After 27 days, no offers.

Continues To Go Wrong She then lowers the price to  $489,900 . Lots of showings but not offers. Eventually , another 30 days pass and the price is reduced to $479,900.  A few lookie-loos, tire kickers and eventually an offer of $449,900!

The sad part is the comparable sales in the neighborhood fully justified a price of $475,000, but the home had been on the market for too long at the wrong price, and now the market had softened.

London Ontario House

 Protect Yourself 

The question is how much money does it cost the sellers if a home takes a long time to sell? The financial loss often exceeds the extra mortgage payments paid and goes beyond the uncompensated hassle factor of trying to keep a home spotless during showings. It affects the value that a buyer ultimately chooses to pay because it’s not a fresh listing anymore.

It’s now stale, dated, a market-worn home that was overpriced for too long.

So, how do you protect yourself? An experienced listing Realtor who is willing to tell you the truth about the value of your home and have the strength & skills to back it up  is a start.

Homes that sell within 30 days usually sell for asking price or even more!

De-stress When Selling a London Ontario Home

Whether you’ve lived in your home in London Ontario for awhile, you know it’s not just a shelter, or even another investment.  It’s the place where your dreams came to life, or unfortunately for some, ended.

Moving from a house or a condo

So, there comes a day when it’s time to move on.  You have taken the time to reflect on old memories, and prepare to build new ones.  You have decided it is time to leave the past behind for a new future.  It’s no wonder why buying or selling a home is often emotionally charged and potentially overwhelming.

   When you are thinking of selling your home in London Ontario, there are a number of things to think about, to prepare for, and to organize. 

   The price you are thinking or wishing to sell your home for is usually the first concern for most, and that I can truly appreciate.

  With the housing market being very strong in London Ontario, your home will definitely sell so perhaps you may want to ask yourself the most important question of all, “How can I maximize the sale price?”  

 Determining your bottom line based on accurate information BEFORE you list your home in London Ontario will give you peace of mind, clarity and a sense of security.

  I can write this because my clients have told me that not only did they get their price in the time line they wanted, the process was less stressful than they thought!

Keep in mind that information is available every where about selling a house or condo in London Ontario, but not insight!

  happy sellers with Envelope Real Estate