“How much did a house sell for in Ottawa?” is a question frequently asked by would-be sellers.
Although it’s getting easier, obtaining accurate sold data for Ontario can be trickier than you think.
Why Do I Need To Know How Much A House Sold For?
Whether you’re looking to sell or rent your home, this information is essential to set a realistic price for your own home. In fact, deciding on a pricing strategy is one of the most important things Ottawa sellers must do before listing their house.
If you price lower than the going rate for your area, you run a very real risk of losing out on profits. But priced too high, your house will not attract many buyers—eliminating the possibility of a bidding war—and could sit on the market for far longer than you’d like. So, pricing your home right from the very beginning is critically important.
It’s also necessary to find out how much properties are selling for when you are looking to refinance your home. An appraiser will determine the value of your home and, in doing so, will examine house prices and recent real estate transactions in the area.
How To Find Out What A Property Sold For
Here are 5 ways of finding out how much a particular house sold for in the Ottawa real estate market, but be warned… some of them are far from easy!
1. Ask A Real Estate Agent
For a fast, hassle-free, and reliable answer, ask a local real estate agent.
Not only do agents have access to an online database with accurate information, including property sales, but they can also tell you which sold properties were comparable to yours. In addition, they’ll estimate how much particular Ottawa properties would have sold for today.
How does this impact your own home sale? Real estate professionals such as the Paul Rushforth Team will put sold home prices in context and give you sound, realistic advice on what your home is worth in the current market. All this is done free of charge and at no obligation. (Not long ago, this useful sales data was not freely shared by realtors!)
Is It A Buyer’s Or Seller’s Market?
A realtor can explain this to you in more detail, but, at a very high level, here’s how to tell if Ottawa is in a buyer’s market vs. a seller’s market.
If absolutely no other homes hit the market, we’re in a:
Buyer’s Market if it would take 6+ months to sell all the inventory.
Seller’s Market if it would take between 0 and 4 months to sell every property.
Balanced Market if it would take 4-6 months to sell all available inventory.
The rate at which available homes can be sold (if no other houses enter the market) is called the absorption rate. Understanding current market conditions will help wrap your head around home prices.
Ottawa has experienced a very strong seller’s market with a low real estate inventory recently. In a situation like this, only real estate professionals will have access to price details of the most recent sales through the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) system.
2. Study Current Listings
Scrutinize the prices of houses currently available and, if you have access to them, any upcoming listings in Ottawa as well. Focus especially on homes in your area which are comparable to yours in regards to location, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, age, condition, and upgrades.
Review the asking prices of these “comps,” and you’ll get a rough idea of the average price for a home in your neighbourhood. This method works if you are satisfied with an approximate ballpark figure. However, it’s not the most accurate since there is often quite a difference between the asking price and the amount that a home actually ends up selling for. (Who knows, maybe you’ll find your area is one of Ottawa’s top neighbourhoods; after all, price and interest directly determine demand!)
3. Ask Your Neighbours Who Have Recently Sold
Have any of your neighbours just sold their house? Seize the opportunity between the time you see that “Sold” sticker go up and the moment the current owners pull away in a loaded moving van. Just knock on their door and ask casually, “So how much d’ya get?”
One drawback: This technique may prove effective and get you information about the sale, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
4. Look Around Online
Do you have a few spare hours to invest in searching the Internet? If so, you might be able to find a site that offers sold prices. But beware. This type of site may or may not be working correctly at any given time, and could require a registration process.
Consult The Ontario Land Registry
When you turn to the Ontario Land Registry for help, you’ll have two options to find out how much an Ottawa home sold for: 1) visit the Registry’s brick-and-mortar office in Ottawa City Hall OR 2) set up an account to search online. Either way, it’s a hidden cost when buying a home in Ontario; there is a small administration fee for land registry queries.
How Much Is Your House Worth?
So what does all this mean in terms of how much your home is worth? The saying goes, in real estate, that a house is worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it.
That’s why it’s vital to get your house out there in front of a large pool of buyers. As proud professionals who are members of the Canadian Real Estate and the Ottawa Real Estate Boards, Paul Rushforth Real Estate agents have the experience and the know-how to list your home in the most effective way, at the best price.
Ready for a professional opinion about how much your house is worth? Call us in confidence or get started with a free online appraisal.