If you’re like most people, your home in Collingwood is your single biggest piece of equity and, as such, the financial foundation of everything you hope to do today and in the future. Perhaps even more importantly, your home may also be a living storehouse of memories that mark the passage of life for you and your loved ones.
For these reasons and others, the process of selling your home – whether it’s your first time or you’ve sold many – can be one of the most emotional, and also stressful, experiences you ever go through. There are many factors to consider and decisions to make.
That’s why we hope this Guide will provide helpful info about all the most important aspects of selling a home, including:
- Determining why you’re selling and setting your objectives
- Interviewing one or more REALTORS® and selecting the one you wish to use
- Strategically setting an asking price
- Preparing your home in a variety of ways so that it is attractive to buyers
- Effectively marketing your home through a variety of online and traditional methods
- Staging your home so it looks its best during open houses and showings
- Negotiating the best possible deal with the buyer
- Completing the transaction
That said, this information can only supplement the help of an experienced and trusted REALTOR® who will provide you with expert consultation at each step of the sales process.
One benefit of working with Karl Hannan and Locations North is that each of our offices includes many REALTORS® with extensive knowledge and experience of all aspects of selling. In addition, Locations North has the largest online, mobility, print and radio marketing budget and presence among Georgian Triangle brokerages.
All this and more is why we are the Georgian Triangle’s #1 brokerage overall, as well as in each of the primary markets we serve: Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Thornbury and Meaford. So we do hope to hear from you when you decide to sell.
Know Why You’re Selling, Make Your Plans
Regardless of the Collingwood real estate market and economy, it‘s important for you to clearly understand why you’re selling because it will affect everything from your asking price, to how much time
and money you invest in preparing the home, to how the home is marketed, to how you approach the negotiations.
And from the get-go, clearly defining your reasons will help you set your goals, research your options and make your plans. Key questions whose answers will shape your entire strategy include:
- Are you selling because you want to sell, or because you have to sell?
- Are you buying another home? If so, will you be “moving up” (perhaps due to a growing family), or moving into a smaller home (perhaps due to becoming an ‘empty nester’)?
- What are property prices doing in your area? What is the listing-to-sales ratio and the average days-on-market for listings? Is this the time to sell? What is more important to you: the money you walk away with, or the length of time your home is on the market?
- What are your baseline sale price requirements?
- What are your “must-have” and “like-to-have” conditions and terms?
- Are you in a position of offer a buyer some form of financing?
You may want to answer these questions on your own, but you may also benefit by consulting an experienced REALTOR® right from the start. That said, once the sales process begins you should not share your motivations for selling with anyone other than your REALTOR® or the trusted financial professionals you work with.
Strategically Pricing Your Property To Get Top Market Value
Determining the best asking price for a home is one of the most challenging, and also important, aspects of selling it.
In fact, it’s a balancing act. On the one hand, you don’t want to set a price so high that it discourages showings and serious offers from the qualified, motivated buyers who would otherwise determine your property’s top market value.
On the other hand, you don’t want to set a price that’s so low that it attracts lots of interest, but sets the stage for offers and negotiations that will get you less for your home than you could if your pricing was a little more aggressive. This balance, which corresponds to your home’s true value in the marketplace, is depicted in the following Pricing Pyramid diagram.
1 – What’s Your Collingwood Home Worth?
In a perfect world your home’s value would be everything you need it to be to fulfill your plans and financial goals. Ultimately though, your home’s value is not determined by you, but by what the market – founded upon supply and demand – is willing to pay for it at a given time.
These days, the “market” increasingly refers to buyers who have researched property values online for at least a year, have already viewed 10 homes and aren’t under any pressure to buy. This is particularly so in the Georgian Triangle, which includes so much recreational and luxury real estate, such that buyers often contemplate buying for years before they finally do.
To determine your home’s true market value, as well as set expectations for what you’re likely to sell it for, you should:
- Try to be impartial. Unfortunately, the “market” isn’t interested in what you originally paid for your home, or how much you need to sell it for to buy your next home and meet your financial goals. In addition, your home may have features that you highly value, but which might actually reduce its market value by limiting the number of potential buyers who’d be interested in purchasing it.
- Remember why you are selling. Do you want to sell or do you need to sell? Is a faster sale important to you?
- Consider the market itself. Are area home prices trending up, down or leveling off? Is there still a lot of listing inventory with high days-on-market numbers? Doing your own online research here at LocationsNorth.com or elsewhere will help keep you informed.
While these considerations will yield an approximate market value, the best way to determine your home’s value will be get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from an experienced REALTOR® who lives the market day-in, day-out. We have over 55 REALTORS® in our four offices who’ll be happy to provide you with a CMA, so please contact us when you’d like one.
2 – Price Your Collingwood Home To Sell When Its Market Exposure And Buyer Interest Are Highest
As noted in the previous section, the key to getting top market value for your home is: on the one hand, to avoid overpricing it such that you get few showings or serious offers from qualified, motivated buyers; and on the other hand, to avoid underpricing it such that you get lots of showings along with offers that are less than what you can and should could get.
Another way to view this balancing act is in terms of how long it takes your home to sell after you list. Real estate sales analysis has repeatedly shown that you’ll get top market value if you sell when your home has its maximum market exposure, buyer interest and showing activity. With the exception of hot sellers’ markets, this “window of opportunity” usually occurs about 2-5 weeks after you list, as depicted in the Activity-To-Time-On-Market diagram below.
So in short, timing is crucial to getting top dollar for your home. This means that you need to price it so you get a firm offer during weeks 2-5 of the listing. This, in turn, means that you need to price you home realistically right from the beginning.
3 – The Dangers Of Overpricing Your Property At The Time You List
The strategy of overpricing your home when you list – knowing that you can reduce the price later – might seem to make sense at first glance. However, it seldom works. In fact, sellers who overprice their homes (even just 10% above market value) and then reduce the price one or more times often end up getting less than they would have if they had priced it realistically from the start. And as depicted in the following Consequences Of Overpricing diagram, this may mean that you actually end up getting less than market value for your home.
There are many reasons why:
- Fewer buyers – even if they like your home – will respond to your marketing if they think your home is overpriced.
- Fewer REALTORS® will show your home to their buyers if they know it’s overpriced.
- The right buyers – i.e. those looking to buy a home like yours – may never view it because they’ll confine their search to a lesser price range where yours should be.
- You’ll attract the wrong buyers – i.e. those looking in your price range – who won’t be interested in your home, having viewed others truly worth what you’re asking.
- Your overpriced property will make others look better, so you’ll actually help to sell your competition.
- You’ll get fewer, if any, serious offers because buyers may consider it a waste of time.
- Even if you do get a serious offer, the excessive price can lead to a mortgage rejection for the buyer if the lender has a professional appraisal done on your home. This leads to critical lost time waiting for finance approvals that never go through.
And the result?
- Beyond about six weeks, your home will increasingly be viewed as a “stale” listing – i.e. as a commodity with a history of being rejected by other buyers.
- There will be less market buzz among both buyers and REALTORS®, less showings, less offers and less likelihood that you’ll get your asking price.
- When you eventually do reduce the listing price it won’t generate as much interest as if you’d priced it right from the start.
- As it happens in many cases, after repeated price reductions you’ll end up getting less than if you’d priced it right from the start.
- You’ll go through the inconvenience and stress of having your home listed for longer and not selling it.
- On account of not selling your home, you may miss great opportunities to purchase that next home you really want.
As your Real Estate Agent I will guide you through the selling process with professional marketing, constant communication and proven plan. Call me today 705 607 5900.