Ottawa’s market continues to be strong and steady. There’s no shortage of buyers—some coming from as far as Toronto and further—but there is a shortage of houses for them to buy. For many, this is a clear sign it’s time to sell.
When home sellers hear those numbers, they immediately think it correlates to tons of buyers jumping at the chance to buy their home. And, because of that, they don’t think they need the help of professional realtors to sell their own house. Instead, they decide to be their own agent and save paying a commission or hire a discount brokerage. After all, with this many buyers, it’s easy, right? This is NOT the case.
Do you need a real estate agent to sell a house in Ottawa? No. You aren’t required to hire an agent to sell your Ottawa home, but you’re not going to get top dollar without one. There’s a big difference between getting your home sold for close to the list price and getting $150,000 over the asking price. Plus, buyers today are very choosy about their homes. Just because the market is hot doesn’t mean your home will sell or that you shouldn’t hire a pro. We’ll explain how skipping the most important step in your home sale could potentially kill it.
Doing it Yourself with a Discount Brokerage Comes with Risks
Some sellers think that discount brokerages are the way to go when they sell their house. This is because discount brokerages advertise a lower commission percentage or charge a flat fee for their services. But, you get what you pay for, and at discount brokerages, you don’t get much.
The way most of these companies are set up, you’re not getting someone with the experience, resources or motivation necessary to sell your home. Instead, they’ll simply put your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), leaving you to do everything else, including staging your home, conducting open houses, negotiating over price, and much, much more. There’s no doubt about it; DIY selling is a full-time job.
Also, discount brokerages get paid upfront regardless of the outcome. By contrast, we get paid for results.
Your home is likely your most valuable asset. Do you want to go the cheapest route? Or do you want to go a route that’s going to get your home sold for what it’s worth?
The Right Marketing Gains the Most Exposure
One of the risks of selling your home privately is a lack of marketing, which limits your ability to attract buyers. (They might not even be aware your home is on the market!) Worse, poor marketing skills can cause buyers to dismiss your home from their list of prospects. For example, a potential buyer might pass because you haven’t posted professional photos.
Lack of attention, or the wrong kind of attention, can cause your home to sit on the market for months.
When you hire a real estate agency like Paul Rushforth Real Estate, you get a partner who is focused on selling your home.
There are 119 things we do before your house even hits the market. Much of this involves online marketing, social media, print marketing, website development, professional photography, etc. We have marketing teams working tirelessly on your behalf to get you the exposure you can’t get by yourself. We’ve also got lots of advice on how to prep your house for sale. And the best part is you don’t pay until your home is sold!
Overconfident Pricing is a Sale-Killing Mistake
FSBO sellers, those offering their home “for sale by owner,” often envision a sea of buyers surrounded by lots of dollar signs. They think that because there’s such a low inventory, they can price the house at whatever they want.
It’s not that easy. As Paul always says, there are two things that ensure a home sells: condition and price. If your home is in great condition but not selling, you have a price problem.
Pricing your home too high is a sale-killing mistake. In an ideal world, you want to sell your Ottawa home fast, but an overpriced home will sit untouched on the market for months. And, the longer it sits, the more people start to whisper that there’s something wrong with it. So now you’ve wasted tons of time and money and have to reprice your home.
Real estate agents understand that setting the right sales price is critically important. We have access to information that an individual home seller does not. For example, we know how much Ottawa area homes have sold for. We set the selling price based on extensive market data combined with a home’s value so that your first price is fair and accurate.
On the flip side, if your home needs some renovation or updates done to get the very best price, we’ll let you know. At times we help sellers set up a pre-listing home inspection. It can help us price your home and attract prospects because buyers like houses that have been inspected before listing.
Multiple Offer Situations Can Get Out of Hand and Cost You Money
A fair and accurate price is all well and good, but what happens when your home gets multiple offers? That’s become more and more common, with multiple potential buyers vying for the same property.
In the case of multiple offers, buyers are always trying to make their offer the most appealing. They’ll put in an offer way above the asking price, say they’ll take a home with no conditions on the sale, or offer flexible closing dates where others cannot.
Multiple offer situations can quickly get out of hand for sellers. You’ll have agents, or the buyers themselves, constantly telling you why you should accept their offer. Without experience, you could be persuaded by a buyer’s agent into leaving money on the table. Imagine finding out that with a real estate agent representing your interests, you could have gotten $15,000 more!
Price negotiations are extremely difficult, so skip the regret and the stress by hiring an agent with experience in multiple offer situations who will be able to do all the processing and negotiating for you.
You Need Perfect Paperwork to Avoid Legal Issues
A big reason to hire a listing agent is to handle the immense amount of paperwork involved. There’s an hour’s worth of administrative work alone just to execute a home listing. Then, papers are continuously shuffled back and forth as you negotiate a real estate transaction. The slightest error can leave you accused of fraud or breach of contract.
A team of specialists at Paul Rushforth Real Estate is dedicated to making sure every last detail is taken care of and keeping you out of any legal trouble. As a company, we have liability coverage in the form of errors and omissions insurance and hold numerous professionalism designations that ensure we are highly trained and trustworthy. For example, we’re recognized by the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB), Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), a national association.
Lastly, you need to make sure you have a great real estate attorney to close on your transaction. Each contract is filled with specifics and legalese far beyond the closing date, closing costs, and any contingencies. We can recommend well-established lawyers that have handled thousands of transactions.
An Experienced Real Estate Agent Is Your Best Friend in Markets Like Ottawa
In a market as reliable as ours, it’s worth it to sell your Ottawa home. And, it pays to sign a listing agreement with experienced real estate professionals. Why? Because we look out for you throughout the entire process and put more money in your pocket. Whether it’s a seller’s market or a buyer’s market, we handle all the heavy lifting required to sell your home: the paperwork, the exposure, the home inspector, the painter, you name it.
Don’t risk trying to sell your own home only to make less money than you should or run into legal pitfalls. At Paul Rushforth Real Estate, you’re in the best, most capable hands, plus we guarantee home sales! If you take possession of your new home before your old one sells, we’ll buy it.
So what are you waiting for?