Are you getting ready to sell your Ottawa home? Looking to sell your home fast? Have you been hearing about your neighbours selling for 10, 20 or even 100 thousand dollars over asking? Great! Whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market, it may seem like an easy task. But don’t buy into the myth that selling in 2022 is simple.
We have been steering many lucky clients through this unprecedented market-value growth in Ottawa over the past 14 months and without proper guidance, you could end up leaving thousands (hundred thousand!!) of dollars on the table.
1. Hire A Trusted Realtor
In this market, it’s more important than ever to hire a reputable full-service real estate firm. Why? Bottom line, because it’s simply the best chance you have of getting the highest offers and most money in your pocket.
Wondering if you need a real estate agent to sell your home? Often, home sellers are tempted to choose the cheapest service possible. Don’t. We have seen homes increase 50, 60 or 100,000 dollars in value over only months. You need a team with experience who can act fast and use every strategy in the book. And honestly, in this market, if you’re not paying very much money, how invested will that agent really be?
Alternatively, many people may be leaning towards a “For Sale by Owner” approach. Think about all that involves, though. We have dozens of qualified buyers clamoring to buy a home. Can you handle 30-40 showings a day? What if you get 10-15 offers? How do you know what the best offer is? In this market, trying to sell your own home would be like me trying to do my own surgery.
Plus, they’ll help expose any hidden costs that you may not be aware of.
When looking for a Realtor pay close attention to Google reviews and get recommendations!
2. Decide On A Pricing Strategy
An experienced agent will be effective at reading the market in order to help you choose the best pricing strategy for your home. Everything will depend on your own unique situation; your house, your street, lot size and orientation, features and renovations and ultimately what comparable listings are currently on the market.
All that and much more will need to be factored into determining the ideal pricing strategy for you. Like when selling a cottage, it not easy to price, you need a real estate agent in your corner.
Pricing a bit under market tends to create a lot of interest and get multiple offers.This will cast the widest net and bring in the most potential bidders, but isn’t without risk.
You could price slightly above what you think your house will sell for, and just wait. This can be risky as well, since it tends to discourage a number of potential buyers from giving your home a second look.
Our team recommends pricing competitively to generate the best type of buzz around your property.
You can opt for no conveyance of offers for a certain time (usually seven days), which means you, as the seller, won’t see any offers that come in during that period.
Pricing competitively in this market and holding offers for a certain time (removing no conveyance and setting an offer acceptance date) will often invite “bully offers.” That’s when someone comes in and knocks your socks off with a crazy high offer ahead of the offer acceptance date.
To entertain a bully offer also means we would notify anyone else who’s expressed interest in the property. Accepting one bully offer can often lead to a multiple bully offer situation, pushing up the price even more. Ask me how I know!
3. Add Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is super important; it’s what brings people to your door. At the end of the day, capturing that perfect image from the street for your listing is key. Potential buyers that are house hunting online will often click on the photo of the front of your home, and if it isn’t the best photo of your property, they simply won’t go on to the rest of the pictures.
So spruce up your front view. Clean up the yard. Paint the front door. Make sure your garage doors are in good shape. Clean and Tidy is ideal, but set up a few pots of flowers (even fake flowers) and a wreath on the door. And put out some chairs with lovely cushions—anything to show that it’s a warm welcoming house, inviting the visitor inside.
Declutter inside and out. Make sure that your yard doesn’t look too busy, with overgrown bushes and gardens galore.
Indoors, aim for a look that is minimal but presentable. Get rid of excess furniture and personal items like family photos. Decluttering is a fantastic way to make your house show bigger. Consider hiring a home stager to come in and make your stuff look the best it possibly can.
5. Choose The Right Renovations
If you are an inexperienced seller, you may feel nervous that you need to renovate your home before putting it on the market. However, be cautious about renovations beyond the basics, such as essential repairs, painting, and decluttering.
Avoid major home improvements like room additions; they don’t provide much of a return on your investment. Most buyers prefer a neat, tidy and meticulous house — a blank canvas that they can update to their taste.
6. Make Sure You Have Great Photos
High-quality photographs and video are probably more important than the actual showing. Let’s face it; no one’s going to come through your house if the photos are terrible. And there are still some people who are concerned, who don’t want to physically go through houses due to COVID, so they rely solely on your pictures.
Make sure your agent uses a great photographer. We work with the best photographers in Ottawa, who can also provide virtual staging.
7. Consider Doing A Pre-Inspection
Purchase offers subject to inspection used to be common (just 20 months ago!), but with all the competition among buyers now, it’s like offering $50K less.
As a result, we see some sellers who want to do a pre-inspection and provide that information for buyers. This gives buyers peace of mind that an inspector has looked at the house.
If it encourages more and better offers, a pre-inspection can easily be worth the cost to you. Keep in mind however, that if you do hire your own inspector, and they find issues with the home, you will need to fix them or provide that information to potential buyers.
8. Move Out For A Few Days
In the past, you might have had two showings a day on the weekend. So we’d tell our sellers, “Go have a cup of coffee for half an hour, 45 minutes, or go for a beautiful walk.”
Recently, though, we’ve had 30 and 40 showings daily for some properties. When that happens, the house is no longer yours. When we list a property, we explain to owners in advance, “You will be out of your house during the period of showings.” We also push to do the offer presentation as quickly as possible — usually within three, four, or five days.
So you’re facing only a few days of pain. To make this time less inconvenient, we often advise sellers to temporarily move to their cottage, get a hotel room, or stay with family if COVID allows.
9. Avoid Leaving Money On The Table
If you haven’t sold a home in a while (even if you’ve sold two or three or four in your lifetime), you should be aware that the market has changed. The real estate market in all Ottawa neighbourhoods is changing so quickly that if you are not IN the market every day, you won’t have any idea what’s going on.
We’re hearing nightmare stories of sellers trying to do it on their own and leaving thousands and thousands of dollars on the table. People simply don’t know what their house is really worth!
At Paul Rushforth Real Estate, we are in constant touch with the market. We have access to up-to-the-minute Ottawa selling prices. Our team is out there helping sellers like you every single day. And we get results — fast sales for top dollar.
Talk with us and find out how we can get these amazing results for YOU.