As real estate agents in Windsor Ontario, every month we get lots of new clients that have many questions or concerns regarding the current housing market. Particularly at this time of the year, we hear from anxious sellers who need to sell their home quickly due to a sudden job transfer or financial emergency. Here are some of the top questions we have heard so far this fall:
1. I just found out that my job is transferring me out of the area. I start on January 1 and need to sell my home immediately. Is this even possible at this time of the year?
Quite simply: YES! As I have mentioned frequently in the past few months, SERIOUS buyers are out looking now and many want to get settled into a home before the holidays. As long as your home is in good condition and priced right, you have a good chance of being out of your home by the first of the year. It is critical that you pick a highly motivated and professional real estate agent to get the ball rolling. And again, if you try to over price your property and ignore much-needed or obvious repairs, it will much more difficult if not impossible to sell quickly.
2. I had a second showing on my property last week that didn’t go well I’m assuming. The buyers were originally very interested, but I haven’t heard from them. Is this normal? Do they still like my house?
Feedback is critical when showing homes. I always try to get responses from a real estate agent as soon as possible after their clients has seen a property that I represent so their memories are fresh. If your agent has not tried to contact the buyer’s agent, then he or she should. Find out what their thoughts are and what may be holding them back. Buyers are very busy with work schedules and family commitments so there are times they are still considering a home, but taking their time, particularly if their agent tells them the home has not received any offers.
3. I’m a single buyer and pre-approved for a mortgage. But I have no idea how to even start looking for a home as I don’t know what I want. Do I buy for my lifestyle now? Or do I buy for the family I hope to have in the future?
This is an excellent question and one we encounter often. Many buyers simply don’t know what they want at a particular stage in their life. I sit down with these clients and ask them to make a “must have” list and a “wish” list. Do they want to be close to downtown, work, entertainment or parks? Is commuting okay? Do they want to do landscaping, home repairs if needed? Usually after talking and getting to know them, we can make some headway, but each person is different. There are those that after careful discussion decide that condo living is where they want to be. Others decide a starter home is their choice. Regardless, it is always important to think of re-sale when buying a home. So I always tell clients that location is critical so that if they do decide to sell in several years to accommodate any life changes they make, the home has a better chance of selling quickly and for top dollar.
4. Just prior to a showing I lit some candles and sprayed some freshener throughout, however, the real estate agent later reported that my house smelled! What’s up with that?
Were you trying to cover a hidden odor or did you simply overkill on the fragrances? Buyers don’t like to walk into a home that smells of anything distracting or overwhelming. Too many scented candles can do this. This time of the year sellers go overboard on vanilla, spice or freshly baked cookie smells because they think buyers will appreciate it. But all a buyer really wants to smell is a clean, odor free home. This is why I always tell clients to go easy on anything that has a fragrance and don’t cook a heavily spicy meal when showing your home if you can help it. The first thing that buyers notice when walking into a home is how it smells. This is before they even SEE anything. So again, make that first impression a good one!