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

How Buyers Can Find Your London Ontario Home

Where Does a Buyer See Your Home First?

96% of homes sold have been previewed by buyers on the web, either through Realtor’s websites, MLS  or social media ! That is a huge number and why it is extremely  imperative when putting your home on the market  to have a great web presence or three!

I sell homes

 Below is How Buyers See Homes Before They Buy 

  • 59%  Salesperson contact
  • 27% For Sale Sign
  • 8%  Referred by a relocation service ( I work with 3 national companies)
  • 3% Bought for a combination of reasons
  • 1% Bought advertised property in a magazine or print ad
  • 1% Bought open house they saw
  • 1% For Sale by Owner

  Knowing these numbers and how buyers find your home among all the other homes on the market out there will enable you to make some wise decisions when it comes time to put your home on the market.

   Exposure and traffic sells homes! I sell homes, I do not just list them! 

Sutton Group Leads Sales

How to Get More Money For Your London Ontario Home

  Here’s an informative  guide  to  help  you  realize the  most  profit  from your London Ontario home,  and perhaps avoid  costly  repair  rip-offs.

There’s a little-known dynamic in real estate that can dramatically affect the successful, top dollar sale of your home.

The Elements That Motivate a Quicker Home Sale…

Are the Same Elements That Sell Homes for Top Dollar

      Each year thousands of homeowners needlessly lose thousands of dollars when selling their home.  But they don’t lose the money for reasons you might think. They lose money because they unknowingly left it on the table…for the buyer to pocket…by failing to recognize the hidden profit potential of their home.

And those hidden profits exist in two areas.

First, most homeowners never discover that certain small, even inexpensive repairs to their existing home could generate many times their cost in additional home value.  But on the other hand, other repairs and improvements can cost you dearly.  It’s critical to know what repairs and improvements to spend money on…and which ones to leave alone.

Second, when many savvy homeowners decide to make profitable repairs before selling, they expose themselves to the ruthless world of some contractors and their potentially deceptive schemes that drive up the costs of home repairs.Get More Money for your London Ontario Home

Between not knowing what to repair for maximum profit, and dealing with the world of contractor woes, it’s easy to understand how you might become overwhelmed with the whole process.  But don’t despair.

That’s Why I Created This Helpful Report

       I am going to reveal to you exactly what areas make sense to fix and what areas to leave alone…not using “opinion,” but real world facts.  Then, I’m going to give you a “behind the scenes tour” of the games some contractors play when fixing your home (by the way, not all contractors are sinister – I know many with stellar reputations).

This way you’ll be armed to the teeth with knowledge and strategies to stay one-step ahead of the game…and maximize the value of your home when you sell.

Many of the improvements that have the most value for you as a homeowner end up being the worst-performers as far as resale value is concerned.  ​

I will cover:

  • How to Select Home Improvements That Pay Dividends

  • Functional and Structural Improvements 
  • How to Dodge Repair Rip-Offs When Improving Your Home

  • Selecting Painters     

 

  • Selecting Plumbers

  • Selecting Electricians

  • Selecting Roofers

  • Selecting HVAC Specialists   

Here it is

How Buyers Find A House For Sale in London Ontario

HOW DO HOMES IN LONDON ONTARIO SELL?

How do London Ontario Houses sell?

How do homes sell?  It is the skill of creating sale-ability of a home.  Here are some statistics of how homes sell:

1%       of houses are sold from Open Houses.  This is only applicable if a thorough mailing to prospective buyers and proper advertising has been done.  Otherwise very few serious buyers go to Open Houses.

4%       of houses are sold through advertising in the newspaper or other real estate publications

6%       of homes are found by the buyer himself or the seller finding the buyer himself, A for Sale by Owner (FSBO)   in most of these cases, one party or the other hires a sales representative to handle the paperwork.

89%     of homes are sold through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)  when listed with a real estate company – providing a reasonable price is offered.  Yet, some homes listed for sale do not sell or take quite a while to sell!.  This is where  knowledge and expertise is required to get a home sold for the highest price and quickly.

getting a better price for your house

89%     of homes that are sold through the Multiple Listing Service are sold by sales representatives who market for buyers daily!  Remember, real estate sales representatives sell real estate!

How many sales representatives actively look for buyers daily?  I don’t have any statistics on this, but according to the National Association of Realtors, 7% of the sales representatives are doing 93% of the total real estate business nationwide!  As an example, if you had 100 homes for sale, 7 sales representatives would sell 93 homes and 93 sales representatives would divide the sale of only 7 homes among themselves.

In today’s real estate market, IT IS THE SALES REPRESENTATIVE THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE IN GETTING YOUR HOME SOLD!

The size of a real estate company or its name has very little to do with the sale of your home or any other property.  Yes, there are some companies, which sell hundreds of homes, but they also have hundreds of sales representatives.  The average of sold homes per sales representative is usually very low.

Discounting commissions or making deals with sales representatives that you, too, can sell   the house will not change the facts of how homes are really sold.  Something important to keep in mind:

If the only way the sales representative can get the listing is by discounting commission, you can be sure they will also discount the price of your home when negotiating an offer on your home!

It will only take that much longer for you to realize that you have to do something else in order to sell your home.

Price a House in London Ontario, High or Low?

More Money When You List Your House For Sale in London Ontario

When  a seller sits down to interview Realtors, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement over choosing a sales price. More money means more financial opportunities for the homeowner. Perhaps it means the seller can afford to buy a more expensive home, help pay for their child’s  education or take that long overdue vacation. Unfortunately, some home sellers often choose the Realtor who suggests the highest list price, which is one of the worst mistakes a seller can make.

Interviewing a Realtor

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 just like her. The person whose opinion matters is the buyer who makes an offer and their Realtor. 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.

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 price tag to slap 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 should 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 interview her Realtor. She plucked the first one off the Internet because, “She looked like such a nice person.” She priced her home at $419,000. This Realtor never heard the experienced Realtors chuckling or shaking their heads  at the price. After 90 days, the listing expired.

Continues To Go Wrong The next Realtor,  who was referred to her by a co-worker, ( again, no interview)  listed the home at $404,900. Months passed and eventually the price dropped to just under $390,000. Still no takers. A few tire kickers, but no serious buyers.

More Than a Year Later By the time the last Realtor was hired to list this home, the seller had grown weary and exhausted, exasperated and of course, discouraged.  It was now 12 months later. Together, the seller and her professional listing Realtor priced the home at $385,000. It immediately sold for no conditions. The sad part is the comparable sales in the neighborhood fully justified a price of $400,000, but the home had been on the market for too long at the wrong price, and now the market had softened.

Some Realtors Specialize in Expired Listings There are Realtors  whose basic real estate practice is comprised of finding expired listings and relisting them at market value. I know one  who sits in a small room with a phone, desk and chair, dialing number after number. Last year she sold more than 17 homes & has 3 active listings right now. She makes a pretty good living repackaging overpriced homes.

pricing a home to sell

Protect Yourself

The question is how much money have those expired listings cost the sellers? 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.

If you or anyone else you know who may be selling a home, don’t let it happen to you.

Work with a professional Realtor and ask these questions before you hire anyone!

Some London Ontario Home Sellers Hurt Themselves

Why do some London Ontario home sellers hurt themselves and most times are not aware they do?

I was discussing this with a client of mine the other day as we had put in an offer on a house in London that had been on the market for about 51 days (the average is 27) and why the seller was being difficult?  Even his Realtor felt our offer was really good and was becoming exasperated with his client.

It reminded me of a guest blog a few years back and here it is:

Via Mike Carlier ABR CRS GRI (MarketLink Realty):

When sellers sign a listing agreement, they indebt the listing broker  to the fiduciary duties that they deserve from us.  Often, sellers do things that help the eventual buyer gain an advantage in the sales process.  Sometimes, sellers are their own worst enemies.

 I’m thinking about asking sellers to sign a statement acknowledging that they understand that certain acts or omissions by them will decrease the final price they receive and increase the time it will take to get there.  Here’s my first draft of possible acknowledgments:

 

•1.       I understand that my asking price will define the expectations and limit the number of buyers who see my home.  An unreasonably high asking price will create unreasonable expectations from buyers.

 

•2.       I understand that there is a finite number of buyers who may want to see my home.  Every appointment request that I refuse will significantly limit my chance of receiving an offer, and increase the amount of time needed to sell my home.

 

•3.       Every day my home is on the market is a day closer to a price reduction and/or failure to sell.  In the near term, housing data indicates that my home has a higher market value today than it will at any time during the duration of the listing agreement.  It is in my best interest to sell quickly, even if I don’t absolutely have to move soon.

 

•4.     Buyers typically tour between four and forty homes.  My home needs to be in first place to get them to make an offer.  If its price, condition, and presentation are not number one, I will not get an offer.

Close doesn’t count.

By the way, finally the seller listened to his experienced Realtor and accepted our offer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

How To Prepare Your London Ontario Home to Sell

       How To Prepare Your Home to Sell In London Ontario

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

Time Required: Seven to 10 Days

How to prepare your London Ontario Home to sell

Here’s How:

      1.        Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

organizing your house or condo before it sells

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

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

         7.          Make Minor Repairs.

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

minor repairs to your home

 

      8.         Make the House Sparkle!

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

 

  9.          Scrutinize.

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

10.          Check Curb Appeal.

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

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

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

Let me show you how.