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.

Price a London Ontario House High, Accept Less

Price a London Ontario House High , Accept  Less?

I here this all the time from home sellers: “Lets List it High Because Someone Will Offer Less”

searching for a house London Ontario

That thinking may have worked years ago but in today’s real estate environment, home buyers have a tremendous amount of information by just a few clicks of the mouse, today’s buyers know prices and if you list a house or condo for sale in London Ontario too high, it could really cost you!

I Want to List it High Because I Know Someone Will Offer Less

When a home seller interviews a Realtor, it’s easy  to get caught up in the excitement of choosing a sales price. If a seller can get more money for the home, it means more financial opportunities for them. Unfortunately, uninformed sellers often choose the Realtor who tells them they will list it at the highest list price or worse, the lowest commission. This is, by far, the worst mistakes a home seller can make.

Establishing Value:

The reality is that it doesn’t matter how much money a home seller thinks their home is worth. The only person whose opinion really matters is the buyer who is going to make an offer, and of course, the appraiser. Pricing a house is part science and part art. It involves comparing similar houses in similar neighbourhoods of London, making the necessary adjustments for the differences between them, charting market movements and measuring the amount of housing inventory, all of this in an attempt to help determine a range of value.  This is the same method appraisers use to evaluates a house. No two appraisals are exactly the same; they are however, generally close to one another. There is no hard and fast way to just stick a price on a home in London Ontario and area.

Is the Price Too Low?

Houses sell at a price a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to take. If a house is priced too low the seller should expect to receive multiple offers and drive up the price up to the market value.  There is not much danger in pricing a home under its actual value and your competition. The danger is in pricing a house or a condo too high and having the home sit on the market for weeks, even months.

How It Starts To Go Wrong

The home seller did not interview more than one Realtor. They may have picked the first Realtor off the Internet because they have a very low commission fee, or was recommended by a friend or a co-worker  The first Realtor priced their house at $395,000. After 90 days of sitting on the market, the listing expired.

It Continues To Go Wrong
The next Realtor they hire goes and lists the house for $375,000. A few week pass and eventually  the price drops to to $365,000 and still no offers. A few people looked at the house, but no serious buyers came forward.

The Home Owner is Now Tired & Exhausted

The home seller and Realtor  then price the home at $337,000 and sold very quickly.  The sad part is that the comparable sales in the neighborhood fully justified a price of $355,000, but the home had been on the market for too long at the wrong price, and now the market had slowed.

Protect Yourself

The question is how much money does an expired listing cost the homeowner? The financial losses often exceeds the extra mortgage payments paid and goes beyond the cost or the hassle factor of trying to keep a home spotless during the listing period. It affects the value that a buyer ultimately chooses to pay because it is no longer a “fresh” listing.  It’s now stale, dated, a home that was overpriced for too long.

Don’t let it happen to you. Don’t be that seller of an expired listing.   Be sure to hire a professional Realtor to price your home correctly from the beginning.

Even with the London Ontario real estate market booming at the present time, the above still happens! Most houses and condos in London are selling for close to full price or more and within 2-3 weeks and yet, there are hundreds of properties that have been on the market for over 76 days!

 

 

Selling Your London Ontario Home? How Important is Price?

Contrary to popular belief, when selling your London Ontario home, it’s value is determined by one thing and one thing onlywhat a qualified buyer is willing to pay for it. No more and no less.

How to sell a house London Ontario

Sure, many sellers will argue that their house or condo has an insurance replacement value, or an appraised value, or a tax assessed value, but unless your insurance agent, your banker, or your tax assessor is willing to write you a cheque, guess what? None of that matters.

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 them are buyers.

So here is the ingredient to pricing your home to sellIt’s not what you think the it is worth that matters, it’s what a reasonable buyer will think it is worth that will ultimately determine what price your home will sell for.

Now you maybe thinking, “Hey wait, if I left it up to a buyer, they would pay me as little as possible”! 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.

One that will motivate you to pack up all that ‘stuff’ you haven’t used in years, hire a local mover, and wave good-bye to a home full of memories.

price your home to sell

But here in lies the trap that many sellers fall into (I did once), 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, praying or signage will motivate a buyer to purchase an overpriced home.

Why?

Because they can buy somewhere else for less or wait! 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 seller’s decision to sell, and every buyer’s 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 often smile coyly and then answer – I want both! 

Most clients want their cake with the icing generously slathered 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 Realtor’s responsibility  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.

To frame this discussion in a different way, consider what you will do should you arrive luggage in hand at the end of your listing period and the home has not yet sold. At that point are you more likely to give it a little more time or adjust your price? I know – Neither, I’ll just fire the agent! You know what? This is exactly what many sellers’ do; they fire their agent and reboot the marketing.

Does it work?

Sometimes it does, but often these sellers end up three months later in the same slow boat to nowhere. Successful sellers on the other hand take ownership of their pricing decisions by making a clear decision about which is more important to them, selling quickly or selling for top dollar.

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 buyer’s eyes. For instance, imagine for a minute that you are moving to another area of the country, to a city that you are completely unfamiliar with. If you were faced with buying a home in strange city what would be your first step?

If you were like most buyers you would probably start online by viewing listings at websites like this to get a general feel for local home prices. Next you might narrow your search down to a specific community or neighborhood by comparing utility costs, school reports, and crime statistics with other online tools . Feeling good about your findings you might then venture out into the real world to begin viewing homes in person.

As a typical web empowered real estate buyer you will look at an average of nine to fourteen homes over eight 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 Realtor 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. But this is only the build up, the next step for buyers who have found their dream home is to review a Comparative Market Analysis.

CHECKING YOUR HOUSE OUT

A Comparative Market Analysis is a report that compares a specific home, often called the “subject home” with other homes in a specific neighborhood. This analysis is then used to provide an anticipated sales price or price range for the subject property.

Although not formally called an appraisal, the report provides a similar function by giving home buyers and home sellers a clear understanding of the market data that might affect their opinion of value.

What is frustrating to me (and most real estate professionals) is that some buyers still feel they are Uncle Scrooge and that  sellers are desperate so they make low ball offers or very unreasonable conditions. Most of these buyers are getting advice from television shows, “How To Make a Zillion Dollars in Real Estate in 30 Days” books, or Joe at work that buys houses on the side and is making a fortune. (Why is Joe still working?)

The Envelope Process has proven that our clients are very educated on price, conditions and any potential market shifts.