Is It True About London Ontario Real Estate?

Is It True?

Every week I talk to hundreds of people about real estate, not only buyers and sellers, but Realtors, lawyers, mortgage people, home inspectors, want-to-be real estate moguls, tire kickers, blog comments, whiners, goody two-shoes, and to my past clients, friends and family.

I bet I hear 50 different opinions about real estate and when I ask why they say or think the way they do, it is because they read something (even though it was a British newspaper), watched something on TV (American), or their accountant, financial impersonator or boss said something that they most likely got from something they read or saw on TV!

So, I always ask, is it true?

Well, you would think I was asking them to go for a prostate exam; they get uptight (a pun) and then spout words of wisdom! I believe that facts don’t lie and until I can walk on water, I cannot predict the real estate market –or maybe I could if I made a career change and became a weather forecaster.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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

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

what is in and out when buying a home

IN

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

​                                                            OUT

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

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

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

house cleaning

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

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

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

 Why not see how you can get more money now!

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

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

Checklist before you list your home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your house on MLS

  Day 1 to Day 8: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 Do not allow average to get you average results!

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

Get Your Home Sold

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

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

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

A messy House does not sell

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

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

keep your house spotless when selling it

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

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

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

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

Exclusive Envelope Real Estate Home Audit

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

  Why is That?

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

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

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

   Selling a House in London Ontario

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

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

​  There is a better way!

 

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

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

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

Hoping To Sell A Home London Ontario

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

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

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

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

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

  • Put a for sale sign out front

  • Get it on MLS or some websites

  • Take  pretty pictures (or doctor them)

  • Make up some fancy brochures

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

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

house for sale

Who is going to buy your home? Marketing to that group, in other words, focusing on the type of  buyer your home will attract is extremely effective and works!

For example, if you have a 4 bedroom, 2 car garage house which is close to good schools, of course you would market to families, not to an empty nester or single person. Or, a one floor, 2 bedroom condo in an upscale neighbourhood of London, you would not market it to a family of 4!

Focus, narrow down, focus, focus & clarify!

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

focus on your home buyer

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

Why not focus your home on that buyer?

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

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

selling a house with Envelope Real Estate

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

Make the buyer and Realtor feel welcome.  Be as flexible on timing as possible.  The buyer may be viewing many homes over a large area.  (The average buyer sees 7-12 homes before making a decision)

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

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

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

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

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

How Can You Lose Even Though Your London Ontario Home Sells?

Over 99% of transactions done in real estate in London Ontario & area is done with the Contingent Fee Model. Risk & reward is contingent on results, in other words, if your home sells, you and the Realtor get rewarded, if it does not sell, you both lose! That’s a fact in the real world!

London Ontario Real Estate Sales, Not all are happy!

The only guarantee a Realtor has is the listing agreement, that means he or she has exclusive rights  and guarantees the Realtor has 30 to 90 days to sell your home. ( 6 month listings? I also have swamp land for sale in the desert)

professional listing Realtor has invested considerable time & money gaining experience and the skills to effectively perform his or her’s fiduciary duty to you, the home seller.

You the seller, entrust the marketing and the sale of your home, which in most cases is the most significant asset you have, to the Realtor.

If the effort put forth by both of you get a result (a sale) then both win, the home sells and the Realtor earns a fee. That is average. A great Realtor in this market will get you more money, that is above average!

Now, if the home does not sell, or  it takes awhile to sell,  you both lose, not only time, but money and in most cases, lost opportunities!

sell a house London Ontario

What amazes me the most about this business is the amount of home sellers who entrust their most valuable asset to just anybody,( a family friend, niece or nephew, or good old Bob, who sold your parents house 14 years ago), or the lowest price (cheapest) person who charges the lowest commission fee.

house not selling in London Ontario

You see, you both lose. Whether the home sells or not!

Why?

How much time and money did you leave on the table? Most home sellers never know!

If you want to win, work with a winner. Does the NHL, NFL OR FIFA champions have a team of losers? Were their top players paid less than the losers?

As a famous oil rig fire fighter said “If you think a professional is expensive, wait till’ you use an amateur.”

A Sellers London Ontario Real Estate Market, How To Price a Home

 How To Price a Home When It Is A Sellers London Ontario Real Estate Market

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. 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.

I know, I know, I know,  it is a seller’s market but even so, do you know how many homes that have been sold , even over the asking price and still, the seller left money on the table? 

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 in London Ontario 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 home buyer. That would be inefficient.

The majority of Realtors market and promote homes to hundreds of other local Realtors and even Realtors from the GTA areas who do work with home buyers, 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 Late

  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 a Realtor 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 1 month later!

To get results, “Making assumptions is the mark of a lazy communicator!”