As a Windsor Ontario real estate agent for over 25 years (and still counting!), I can say with 100% certainty that if you want to sell your home quickly and at top dollar, listen to the advice of the professionals. Without a doubt, a good agent will hear their clients, but it also is necessary for sellers to heed the advice of an agent they like and trust. Let me give you an example:
A few years ago I toured a home that was beautiful inside and out. The location was good, with terrific schools, near shopping and other highly sought after areas. There is no doubt it should have sold quickly. Problem? The owners were heavy smokers and owned several pets. You get it, the house reeked of smoke and animals. The real estate agent representing the couple tried her best to eliminate the offensive smells, but the sellers had no interest in boarding their pets nor did they stop smoking in the home while it was for sale. Buyers simply couldn’t get over that first impression when they walked in the front door: before they noticed anything, they were overcome by the horrible smell. When odors penetrate into the walls, furnishings and draperies, a massive cleaning needs to be organized, but the owners felt the home would sell on its own. Not surprisingly, it sat on the market (which was already slow), and the listing was eventually removed. Perhaps if the owners had listened to the advice of their agent, the home would have sold.
But these scenarios happen quite often where sellers feel they don’t need to heed their agent’s advice. But one thing has not changed in the real estate market: Buyers want a home that is move-in ready. The overwhelming majority don’t want to make repairs or improvements. With the example above, buyers knew they would need to repaint, clean carpets, remove drapes and HOPEFULLY the smell would be gone.
Another common problem:
Not too long ago I walked through a home that was just listed. It became clear almost immediately that the home was overpriced. It was thousands of dollars over similar comps, yet despite their agent’s warning, the sellers believed that by starting high, they could negotiate a better price when the offers came in. The problem: no offers came in. Why? The house was overpriced! After several months, and many price adjustments later, the home finally sold for much less than if they had priced it correctly from the start. Homes that are clearly not priced correctly won’t gather interest from real estate agents, who don’t want to waste their clients valuable time by showing them properties that are overpriced as it could lead to all kinds of problems later, including the appraisal the loan company will order once an offer is accepted.
I always tell my clients that to make a property stand out, to attract the best, serious buyers and to make a home sell quickly, is to do the following:
1. Price it right!
2. Property must be marketed to the target buyer! Condos for example should have a different marketing program than a large family home.
3. Sellers should make as many updates and repairs they can. Again, buyers want move-in ready homes.
4. Never turn down a showing. Today’s busy buyers look at homes seven days a week at all times of the day and evening.
Finally, always remember the longer the house is on the market without an offer, buyers will assume something is wrong with it. Sellers must trust their agents when listing their home so that it will get attention from buyers who are ready to make an offer and move quickly. When looking for a real estate agent, always interview the top three brokers in your area who come highly recommended. Check their references, make sure they work full-time and have plenty of experience in selling similar style homes in your neighbourhood. While there is nothing wrong with hiring an agent who is new, you want to make sure that he or she can negotiate with the best of them, as you don’t know who your agent will be working with when a buyer brings an offer. Clearly, experience counts.
For more information on what an agent can do to sell your home today, contact my office.