Now that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is on its way, we are in the last quarter to sell your house for the year. This is usually a busy final months, period then it slows down. While there are still properties for sale close to Christmas and the new year, typically there are a lot less buyers out there, and buyers usually want to push closing dates a few months after the holidays. Fewer buyers means less demand, and could leave your house on the market for a while which would put a bad stigma on it, if you do not price your house correctly.
Nobody wants to move at Christmas Time, so really that means if you want to sell your house, you must do it now if you are thinking about it.
I always post a few tips around this time of year to get the maximum staging out of your house. So here it goes
1. Make sure to rake the leaves and have the lawn and outside of your house tidy. While this is a good tip all year long, at this particular time, the leaves and dirt from bushes and trees will make your house look more dirtier than usual. First Impressions are everything.
2. Bright Lightbulbs: I always get the same response from sellers, are the buyers gonna pay my hydro bill. No, but it could cost you thousands of dollars if they think that the house doesn’t show well. When a buyer walks into your house, you want them to see everything, even in the daytime, so brighten it up and leave the lights on.
3. Take pictures of the lawn: This is a something you must’ve done a few months ago, it might be too late now. Yes its a beautiful sight, to see all the colour change in the leaves and trees, but you want the buyers to see what the outside of the house looks like in the spring and summer peak time. Get some pictures and include it in the brochure and maybe on the listing.
4. Pumpkin and other Scents: There is a fine balance between nice scent when you walk in a house and lysol killing you. Try to get some welcoming scents, at the store, and make sure it is not too strong.
5. Decorate: Buyers want to see what the house looks like decorated for autumn, or halloween. You want to keep it neat, and show worthy, but decorating the house for the fall, shows that the house is cozy and is a welcoming feeling for buyers.
This is the last time of year that will have maximum exposure so get cracking if you are thinking of selling and get your house ready!
There are many factors that go into winning a bidding war. Primarily its the money on the table but in some cases your agent or you might be losing before you even go into the presentation. Here are few factors to consider. It’s not always the money talking for some owners. Owners who have lived in a house for a long time want to make sure they are selling their house to somebody that will do right by them and their property. It gets very emotional. Another factor to consider is that being in the power position, they probably will not want to be put in a smaller state. This is something that many agents and people go into a presentation not taking into account. Listed below are a few factors that can make you lose a bidding war before you even go in.
1. Not enough money going in: If you know the area sells for a certain amount and you under bid, this will probably insult the people selling. Go in at asking price at least.
2. Conditions: If your agent knows the area well then they will understand that you must go in with little or no conditions. Its unfortunate but that is what it will take to win. This could supercede money sometimes. They would probably take a bit less money to have the deal closed then and there.
3. Attitude: If there are ten more bids, you’re just another notch, don’t go in with the attitude that your shit don’t stink! If they don’t like the agent, they’ll just move on. Be humble and not arrogant! No Games. I once had a client tell me to go in and offer an amount that was good for only that 5 minutes. Turns out we were lower than the rest and I looked like an idiot.
4. Have some sort of rapport with the selling agent at least. Go to the open house with your agent and talk to the selling agent a bit. So they know who you are, and can get a bit of a soft spot for you. I know this sounds crazy but, at the very least, if you and your agent have this, then when you are bidding they can give you some hints as to how much higher to bid without going too high. This is not a science but a feeling when agents are speaking.
5. Always present in person and be there. You should always (if serious) have your agent present, and you be there in person. Why? So they know you are serious, and when you need to up the price, it can be done. If you or your agent are not there, then like in #4 you cannot get those subtle hints as to how things are working out and how to take control of the situation and your bids. The only way I would say don’t go is if you are just throwing a bid in the pool and not going higher. There is no reason to be there in that case.
Finally the best thing to do is be patient. Going into bidding is not for the faint of heart for the agent or the buyer. It is tough out there and you could be bidding for months and a lot of time is spent. You must understand that you are just one of thousands that are looking for a house.
As a part of my job, I must interview for jobs. I must explain to people my process and how I work and the things I will do to market and sell their house. Somewhere in there I hear, well the last guy said that we could get this, and do that. Making statements and saying that you will definitely get a certain dollar figure or sell your house by a certain date is a lot of horse crap.
A few things that I’ve learned about my industry is that Realtors and even now, For Sale by Owner sites and appraisers can give you a gage at something but nothing is written in stone. So many factors can affect your sale for one better or worse. Something could happen in the marketplace that could dramatically change what the last house sold for and your house will sell for now. It can go either way. You could be on the benefitting end of a change, or you could lose.
A good example of this is you put your house up for sale. The last comparable house sold for $650000, it is an identical model. Your house has some interest and the day after you put your house up for sale, a bigger newer house which has been renovated with a finished basement and better finishes goes on the market around the corner from you and is on the market for $25000 more than yours. They end up selling their house for only ten thousand dollars more than yours after negotiation, and it sells firm in one day. Your house is still on the market. The next day another house goes on the market and it goes on the market for $15000 less than you’re selling yours for. Their lot is slightly bigger than yours but the house is almost identical. Here’s my point, if an agent or company selling your house told you that your house would sell at $650000 or in that range, just to get the rights to sell your house, they are already lying to you. If the case study above is any indication, your house could sell for less. FYI the case study above almost occurs a lot.
Common Promises from Realtors and For Sale by owner companies that are Horse SH#T!
1. You Will Get XXX amount if you list with me: Nobody can tell you what your house is worth, only the market will determine that, and the market changes with every buyer. It go could in both directions.
2. I have buyers for your property: If you have a buyers for your property then you don’t need to list your house, just simply make the deal happen, or negotiate a price.
3. We will sell your house by this date: Nobody is psychic, while comparables are a very good gage for determining days on market, buyers might not like something that your house has. There may be something about your house they don’t like, compared to the other houses. You may have a stigma attached to your house that the other didn’t.
4. If your house doesn’t sell in 30 days I will buy it: The agent will want to buy your house at a reduced price, if you were going to sell your house at a reduced rate, then list it at that price to begin with.
5. Your house doesn’t need any marketing and I can just post it on MLS: Even in the hottest market, your company or Agent should do the most marketing to drive up bids on your house. While yes you can sell your house with a simple post, the name of the game is getting the most for your house, not doing the least amount of work to get there. While yes you might have saved $5000 on commission by listing your house yourself, but you lost $300000 in agents and buyers bidding on the house with some common marketing tools and practice.
The best thing to do is interview 3 agents and companies, yes interview a for sale by owner company, to see what it will be like to sell your own house, and after interviewing them you will understand a bit more what’s going on, but you should find an agent that will not sugar coat anything and will work in both your best interests, not just telling you a bunch of stuff to get the listing on their website.
Ever have questions about the way the Real Estate Process Works? “Old Pops” and Ernie Answer questions from their mailbag. Watch the Video Blog here.