If you’re thinking about selling your home, you can’t be blamed for feeling like it might be one of the best times ever to do so. Real estate prices in Markham, York Region and throughout the GTA continue to rise at record levels. Combine that with the short supply of homes on the market, and the spill over that appears to be flowing into the Toronto area as a result of the foreign buyers’ tax recently imposed in BC, and you get what seems to be as strong a buyers’ market as anyone can remember.
The sheer number of stories, both from your personal network and the news headlines, about how many homes have ‘sold over asking’, and by how much, puts the icing on the cake. It’s enough to make you think that, without doing any of the repairs, maintenance, staging, etc., that are usually part of the home selling ritual, you’ll still get well over the price you paid for the home.
You’d be Right – But it Would be a Wrong Move
Yes, even un-staged homes that are a little tattered around the edges are commanding prices that will realize a tidy profit for the seller. But if you choose to go this route, thinking you’ll avoid the expenses of getting the home ready to be sold and make more money overall, even though your home sells for a little less, you’ll be leaving thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars on the table. Here’s why:
1. Buyers are Stretched
Especially in desirable communities like Markham, Unionville and Richmond Hill, where buyers are willing to pay more, their budgets are often stretched beyond their limits. The prospect of paying for renovations or repairs just after they move in will send them looking elsewhere.
2. Perception is Everything
Your home should be in as good shape as any in your neighbourhood, but if it doesn’t look that way, your selling price will suffer.
3. Move-In Ready is a Massive Selling Feature
Even if buyers can afford extras after the sale, the prospect of finding contractors, and going through extended periods of work being done to the house, is not inviting after the long, sometimes harrowing experience they’ve just gone through to find and buy the home.
Fewer Bids: each one of the points above will reduce the number of bids you get for your home. More competition for your home usually causes the price to rise as weary buyers get desperate to not lose another home to a higher bidder. Fewer bids generally don’t put the price up as much as more bids and you don’t get as much for your home as you could have.
It Pays Off to Keep on Top of Newer Selling Tips
If you’re still not convinced that you need to present your home in the best light possible, or you simply don’t want to, there are a few things you can do to attract more attention to your home and, hopefully, get more bids, without too much effort.
1. Find Agents Who Have a Good Online Presence
Between Google Maps and MLS, you can bet that any potential buyer who visits your home has seen it and/or its listing online already. If your agent doesn’t have a compelling online marketing strategy for your home, find one who does.
2. Become a Video Producer
If it’s not going to show quite as well as some of the other homes in your area, you need to find other ways to make your home stand out. While your agent may shoot some stills and/or video, you can help with your own, personal video tour of your home and yard, talking about the things you love about the house. Then show them your favourite parts of the neighbourhood and community. If you’re really close to shopping, prove it.
3. Spread the Word to Your Friends & Neighbours
Don’t let them wait to see your ‘for sale’ sign go up. Let them know that you are selling and ask them to spread the word to their connections. A buyer will feel like they have an inside edge on a home they hear about through the grapevine and one that comes with a personal connection. Use social media to cast your net even further.
4. Leave Your Appliances
Unless they are particularly new and/or expensive, it’s usually not worth bothering to take your kitchen and laundry appliances with you when you leave. You can get new ones with the extra cash you get from the sale.
5. Listen to Your Real Estate Agent
You took the time to find the right one, so let them do what they do best. If you really want to know the “tips and tricks” that help to sell homes in your area, your agent is the one to ask.
Regardless of when you decide to sell, it pays to do everything you can to make your home more attractive to buyers.