It’s summer and for many in the Windsor Ontario real estate industry, this is often the busiest time of the year. Buyers want to move in before schools starts, and while the weather is nice. Housing activity in Windsor Ontario is encouraging and homes are absolutely selling. Interest rates are still attractive and there are some excellent bargains available.
In the past few months, I have received lots of email from clients and others regarding various real estate concerns. I thought I would share with you some of the most common that I have received regarding buying and selling during the summer.
Question: How is selling my home in the summer different from other times of the year?
After a very cold winter and spring, buyers are welcoming the warmer weather and making appointments in higher numbers than in recent years. What buyers want to see is a home that looks bright, airy and move in ready. So make sure that you take away all the winter decorations and create an open space. Windows should be sparkling clean and drapes pulled back to bring in as much natural light as possible. Bedrooms and bathrooms should be cheerful so take away heavy, dark comforters and towels and replace with summer colours. If you have a great outdoor space, make sure it looks terrific as buyers want a place to spend their downtime and entertain during the summer months. Decks, porches and patios should be cleaned and any repairs fixed. If you have a pool, does it inviting? Properties with lots of fresh flowers in pots, grass mowed, weeds removed and outside toys put away during showings are favoured by buyers.
Question: I know buyers want a home in a good school district, but mine isn’t the best. How can I sell my home?
Yes, it’s true. Buying a home within a good and sought after school district is very important, whether buyers have children or not because homes in these areas sell more quickly and at top dollar which is great news if you are the seller. However, it’s critical that sellers determine who their target buyer is when they decide to sell their home. If a seller lives in a location that doesn’t have a good school district, a home will need to be priced accordingly and depending on your home, marketed toward specific buyers. There are those buyers that don’t particularly care about being in the best school district, as long as the schools are decent. If your home has all the bells and whistles and priced affordably, then play up those amenities. If you live in a smaller house or condo, then target seniors or those downsizing.
Question: They say the best time to sell a home is during the summer, but I don’t want to sell until this fall. Is this a mistake?
Absolutely not. I tell all of my clients that the best time to sell a home is when you are ready. In many ways, I believe the fall and winter are the best times to sell because this is when serious buyers are looking, and serious buyers make offers. The most important thing is to make sure your home is in good condition, decluttered and has good curb appeal. Above all else, price it right in order to get the most amount of buyers to your home. Overpriced properties will sit on the market no matter what time of the year it is.
Question: My house has been on the market since April with not even one offer. I know my home is correctly priced but it’s not moving nor do I have any appointments coming up. What’s my next step?
If your home is priced correctly and you have yet to receive an offer, set up an appointment with your real estate agent and walk around the house. Does it need massive repairs? Does the home have an easy flow and free of clutter? Is the property clean and have good curb appeal? If all of this checks out, then ask your real estate agent for feedback from other agents and potential buyers that do walk through the home. Chances are there is one major reason it’s not selling. It could be location, neighbourhood or another reason that is preventing buyers from coming back for a second visit. Ask your agent if it is being marketed correctly online. Are the photos professional and show your home’s good points? Are signs up and easily seen by those driving by? And finally, look again at the price. This is the number one reason why homes don’t sell. Remember, it’s buyer’s that determine a house is worth, not the seller.