Sellers: What to Do Now that the Overheated Market has Passed
Catching an Overheated Market isn’t Easy
One of my friend’s father used to sell things on Ebay. Anything and Everything; Esso Hockey Cards, Beanie Babies, you name it. He would watch for trending items, the new hot thing, and buy it for the sole purpose of reselling it to desperate buyers once the stores sold out of stock. I think it was more of an addictive pastime than a lucrative career; for him, it was quite a rush when he sold out of an item he was able to charge a premium for. But if he got his predictions wrong, if the item didn’t hit the frenzied panic status, no one bought his overpriced stock. The piles of boxed merchandise that littered the entire house were a cold reminder of market predictions gone wrong.
Property was certainly the mega-hot item for sale this winter, and buyers were lining up and outbidding each other to win. But since April this has changed, we are still a sellers market but more balanced. If you missed selling in the overheated market of this past winter, the best advice is not to look back, but focus on the realities of the current market, so that you can get the best sale possible. If you list now, with hopes of getting the results we saw in the past, your home will be collecting dust just like the boxes of Anne of Green Gables collector plates sitting in the corner of my friend’s basement.
What to Do if You Have to Sell:
Whether you’ve already bought your next home, you got a new job, you had a baby, you got laid off, or you’re getting divorced, you are in situation with a deadline for a sale. Client urgency is music to an agent’s ears, because if you have to sell, the only hurdle to making a commission is just getting you to sign the contract. And that doesn’t bode well for protecting your interests. You need to make sure you know the quality of professional services you’re expecting before you sign on the dotted line, because you won’t be able to change your mind afterwards.
Now that the market has shifted, the homes hardest hit are the homes in need of cosmetic updates. In January, buyers were so desperate for homes, that they were literally ignoring home improvement costs, and everything was selling, no matter its condition. Now, prices are back in line to reflect the condition of the home. Home sellers who present their home at its best & are priced properly are still doing well, but those with homes in need of upgrades and are asking top dollar, are no longer getting a sale. This is just an example of how its critical to understand the current pulse of the market, so you can identify the proper strategy when it’s presented to you.
If you are eager to sell for a high price, but are unaware of the best strategy to achieve a top dollar sale in today’s market, you’re a walking target for The Over-Lister Agent. This agent will agree with the price you are aiming for, and rush the listing to market with little discussion of marketing strategy or what buyers are wanting. You get the sales pitch about being #1 sales person for [insert: city, region, company, team, brokerage, neighbourhood, etc etc etc]. They will also agree to a very low commission, and they say they can do this because they Sell.So.Many.Homes. It all sounds too good to be true!
The home is listed too high, out of line with sales data, and is rushed to market quickly. Little to no effort is spent to prepare & stage the home, and the photos are rather lacklustre. The Result: your home doesn’t receive offers. In today’s market, If a home is priced even 10% above where max market value is, no skittish buyer will even try. Since your Over-Lister Agent had little or no factual pricing conversations with you, you might be getting a little frustrated with him/her and are wondering about how hard they’re really working for your sale. So you begrudgingly reduce your price, wondering if it’s really the price that’s the problem or the effort of your agent. Don’t worry, I’ll answer that question; it’s both. Your agent didn’t advise and strategize properly with you at the outset, and as well, your price is just too high. The low commission appealed to you because it seems like houses sell themselves anymore, but your agent can’t invest anything beyond the basic services at that price. In a more balanced market, a marketing strategy is essential, and a strong marketing strategy is never free. So now no one is happy, but you have to sell, so you keep slashing your price until you get an offer. This is the sad and predictable series of events that the majority of people experience when selling their home.
You want the highest price you can for the market, and you want to see real data on what homes have sold for. You are realistic about how those homes compare to yours in terms of size and cosmetic finishes. You might not know the exact best strategy to prepare your home for sale, but you generally know that the home has to appeal to buyers. You are willing to make your home show it’s best, NO MATTER your budget. You know putting your best foot forward is always a good thing. You find a Real Estate Professional who is focused on the facts, provides a systemized strategy, and walks you through the process of how to set the home up for the best possible sale.
You receive a marketing plan thats divided into 2 parts: PRE & POST Listing
- PRE-LISTING is all about home staging and home preparation. You receive a home preparation consultation to learn what the overall suggestions are from our design experts, that are based on your individual budget, ability, timeline and goals. You receive a written plan, outlining the room by room tasks to get your home ready. The most common recommendations are minor repairs, fresh paint, and lighting upgrades. Most of our clients spend between $300-$1500 to prepare their home for sale. This also includes multiple meetings and follow ups, to ensure you are supported and get any help you need. Our home stager will then set up your home with our inventory of props, art, accessories, to make your home look its most beautiful in photos. Photos and videos are completed by a professional company to be used to market to buyers.
- POST- LISTING focuses on pricing and targeted advertising. You review all of the current sales data the day before you list and see what the fair market range is for your home, trying for the best you can based on recent sales. Your agent advertises your listings to your target buyer, using the high quality photos and video of your beautifully prepared home. The Result: You get showings right away and an offer after 5-15 showings. You come to an agreement on price with a buyer rather smoothly, because the staging has created an emotional connection for the buyer, and they are excited to buy your home. You see all of the hard work that your agent is doing for you, and you know it has contributed to the success of the sale.
In the current market, the homes that show the biggest, brightest, and most updated are the homes that are still selling well. The advantage of working with The Village Guru is that we work with you weeks or even months before you list your home for sale because we know that 90% of the success of your sale is achieved BEFORE you list. If you have a product that buyers want, at the price the market dictates, it will sell. It’s simple to say but hard to achieve. No success comes without effort, and the best results are when you hire the right agent and you work together to get that great sale.
Do Your Research
If you are interested in selling your home for the most possible money – and who isn’t? – you do yourself a favour by ensuring you hire professionals you can trust, and value their advice. The best way to know if you can trust someone is to do your own research. Know enough so that you aren’t swayed by gimmicks and sales pitches. Because having the right strategy is the key to success in any market, and especially now that we have shifted from a frenzied sellers market to a more balanced market with buyers who aren’t in a panic.
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