As we’re now moving into a balanced market, getting your property to stand out on the street will take some creative knowhow. Although the number of buyers and sellers are equalizing, there’s still a lot you can do to get that sale contract signed.
When the amount of real-estate inventory matches the number of buyers shopping the market, people tend to be pickier about the price they’re willing to pay. Really hone in on the listing price you’re comfortable with — if you want to sell quickly, consider listing it on the lower side.
Never underestimate the power of a well-manicured lawn and pretty flower boxes to grab the attention of potential buyers. Make sure the front of your house is looking its best — you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Buyers often drive around their preferred neighbourhoods window shopping, so give them show-stopping curb appeal they can’t ignore.
Order of Operations
If you’re selling your current home while concurrently buying a new property, you may want to reconsider. In a balanced market, counting on a predetermined selling price to finance the purchase of your new house might not work. Holding off buying a new home until the current one is sold will give you a clearer picture of your purchasing power.
While hiring a house inspector is usually done by buyers making an offer, get ahead of the game and hire one as a seller. Having that report available for potential purchasers takes one task off their plate and that might swing the scales. Include the name of the inspection company and inspection date in the listing description, and even on the “For Sale” sign on your front lawn.
In a Fix
When the home inspector is on your property, ask them to highlight what they think are the top five repairs needed. Before even listing your home, consider hiring a contractor to take care of these problem areas. In a balanced market, the prospect of even minor renovations could scare off buyers, so nip those fears in the bud.
Pack Up Rats
Nothing puts off potential buyers like a home they can’t even see thanks to stacks of papers, overflowing cupboards and messy countertops. Go through each room and pack up 50 per cent of the “stuff” — then store, donate or trash it. When people walk into their potential dream home, they want to see large, airy rooms not shelves packed with personal knickknacks.
Up the Ante
Millennials make up the largest cohort of buyers in Canada right now so consider adding features that appeal to this generation. Installing a wine fridge or new flat-screen TV may cost you $1,000-$2,000 upfront, but your house will sell faster than one without.
In a balanced market, it’s all about making your property stand out in a sea of comparable properties. Offering something more creative than just your regular financial incentives, such as prepaying taxes or title-transfer costs, should do the trick. A year’s worth of landscaping services or paying homeowners’ association dues are just two examples of outside-the-box incentives.
When there’s an equal number of houses on the market as people looking to buy, sellers may have to get creative. A balanced market usually means prices are stable so you’ll have to look beyond listing price to get people through the door. Luckily, there’s lots that can be done to get you that quick sale you’re looking for.