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?

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!

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!

 

How Not To Price Your Home in London Ontario

            How not to price your home in London Ontario

  • Take your mortgage balance.
  • Add your credit cards.
  • Throw in your cars.
  • Add a generous portion of all the money you borrowed from relatives.
  • Pile on your down payment for that other house you have your eye on.
  • Last but not least, give yourself an extra $25,000 for just for being you.
  • Get a blank look on your face when you are told by a professional listing Realtor that the buying public doesn’t care what you owe.
  • Wait
  • Wait some more.
  • Decide you’ll stay after all.

​                           how to sell a home in London Ontario

Here’s a better plan:

  • Find out what homes like yours have sold for in the past 90 days
  • Price the house at that number or 5% less.
  • Pack your bags.

The buying public is utterly ambivalent about what you owe to who as it relates to pricing your property. They only care about their own needs. What you need isn’t on their radar, and if you aren’t priced in line with the current perception of value, your listing will get stale and sit unsold for months as you chase the market.

  Chasing the market is always being one price point behind what the public is willing to pay. You enter the market at $459,900 when you really ought to be at $449,900. You lower to $449,000 when the market for the house is $439,000. By the time you hit $429,000, it could be 2 months later and the public isn’t willing to pay more than $420,000. (True story)

Each price drop seems harsh, but your real enemy was you starting out too high.

overpricing a house

  Sellers are in a war of attrition with buyers who lurk before they call, call before they look, and look at everything before they buy. You won’t get a call, look or offer until your price conforms to what the public deems fair.

The only offers overpriced homes get is low ball offers from bold types who wouldn’t pay as much as fair minded people would on a fairly priced home. The only way to win the battle is to price your home at the market price and not allow your ego or personal preferences to cloud your objectivity.

Why go into a battle if you cannot win?

Home Improvements To Sell a House in London Ontario

There are basically two ways to go about home improvements when selling a house in London Ontario.  You’re either going to splurge because it’s your home and you simply want a beautiful place to live, OR, you’re going to take a more logical, pragmatic approach designed to increase your home’s value.

Problem is, it is quite difficult to achieve both. Many homeowners expose themselves to the very problems they’re trying to avoid in the process of home fix-ups.

Take Carol and Tom Morehead, who seven years ago purchased a home for $390,000.  Since buying their home, they’ve spent over $60,000 fixing it up and making it the “perfect” place to live.  A few months ago, they put the home on the market with another brokerage at $519,000.

The best offer they received was only $477,000.

  Their mistake?  Spending money on amenities and features that did not add true value to the home and also, it was the highest priced home on the street. Because their house did not sell, they called me in to give some advice. (You now are reading what my advice was)

Just because you spend $30,000 or $60,000 on the fix-up of your home doesn’t mean you’re going to get it out when you sell.  It doesn’t automatically make your home worth $30,000 to $60,000 more.  And that’s exactly why you may want to know which fix-ups pay off big, and which ones could cost you potentially thousands of dollars.

Another house sold by Ty

Sold by Ty Lacroix

  A Possible Solution?

There is no question, getting the best dollar for your home is not as easy at it appears.  One poor move can cost you thousands. That’s why I  have created a proprietary system meant specifically for homeowners looking to increase the value of their home.  My Home Seller Fix-up report that will get you a great return on your renovation and if you do decide in the future to put your house or condo up for sale, I do what I call my ‘No Charge Home Audit’.

Getting ready to put your home on MLS should be thought out carefully and what you like, maybe most buyers will not.

Why guess? Why gamble?

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.

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