IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO SELL?
Consider the Market
First, you may want to consider whether it is currently a “buyer’s market” or a “seller’s market” in your area. The ideal scenario for a seller is when there are lots of buyers eager to purchase a property and a limited amount of inventory. A “seller’s market” can result in quicker sales and top prices. On the flip side, if there is ample inventory and fewer buyers searching, sell times can increase and it gives buyers the upper hand in the negotiation process.
Some people do not have the luxury of riding out the market and banking on the optimum selling conditions. If you are planning to purchase another property right away, it is less of an issue to sell when the market is weaker as your next purchase will probably also be obtained at a lower price. If you are upgrading to a larger home, trading up in a down market can work to your advantage as you will enjoy a greater profit when the market recovers.
The Vancouver Real Estate board publishes monthly statistics comparing the inventory with the properties sold; the data also outlines trends compared to previous years. The Johnson Team is pleased to review this information with you and provide their professional opinion on the state of the market.
Request a Current Market Analysis (CMA)
Ultimately your decision to sell will largely be based on whether you can obtain the right price for your home. Jim is happy to offer a free market evaluation of your property. They will take the time to review current listings and recent sales in your area, as well as consider other factors such as upcoming developments that might impact the value of your home.
Should I Buy or Sell first?
If you are still on the fence whether it is time to upgrade to a new property, it helps to take stock of the market and see what properties are available that meet your criteria and what it costs. Just ask Jim to add you to their Private Client Service(PCS) email system. This tool allows buyers to program their search criteria so when a new property is listed on the local Multiple Listing System (MLS) that fits the criteria, the buyers will receive an email alert.
Sometimes it can be a little tricky selling your current property at the same time you are hunting for your next property. The ideal situation is to have your “closing date” the same day for the sale and the purchase of your properties. As a buyer, you can make your offer “subject to” the sale of your existing home to make sure you’re not left paying for two homes. As a seller, you can try to extend the closing dates to give yourself more time to find your next home. If you find your dream home before your existing property sells you can also look into the option of “bridge financing” to cover the mortgage on the old property until it is sold.
Review Your Mortgage Terms
There are many types of mortgages and it is helpful to review the terms of your mortgage prior to listing your property. Once a property is sold, many people use the proceeds to pay-off or “discharge” their mortgage. If you have an “open” mortgage you should be able to do so without any penalties. A “portable” mortgage can also be very handy if you are purchasing a new property and want to transfer your existing mortgage. On the other hand, “closed” mortgages can result in large penalties if you want to pay out the balance before your term expires.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE TO PREPARE MY HOUSE FOR SALE ?
Once you sign the listing agreement things will move very quickly to get your property up on the market. If you are planning to sell in the near future, it is very helpful to start preparing your home right away.
Maximize “Curb Appeal”
Yes, first impressions really matter and “curb appeal”, simply put, is based on the buyer’s impression when they drive up to your home for the first time. How the buyer feels as they walk up your driveway and enter your home, will set the tone for the entire showing.
It helps if you can try to see your home through a buyer’s eyes and emotionally detach enough to see your house as a product, not a home full of memories. Start by surveying your yard and entrance way and see if there are any imperfections that can be addressed. On the outside of your home trim the trees, weed the garden and consider planting a few new flowers to make a great first impression.
For the inside, take a thorough tour of your home just like a buyer would and take notes. Click here for a handy checklist of things to review.
Remove Clutter and Excess Furniture
Your house will feel a lot bigger and more inviting when you clear out unneeded items. In addition to tidying up closets, consider removing bulky furniture and rearrange the remaining pieces to make the best use of space. In the kitchen, put away small appliances like toasters and coffee makers even if you normally leave them out to maximize potential counter space. If you haven’t used something in the past year, toss it, donate it to charity or sell it. You may also consider getting a short term storage locker to store personal items such as seasonal clothing, holiday decorations, memorabilia etc. You are moving so you might as well start packing now. When in doubt, remove it!
Depersonalize your home
Part of the de-cluttering process includes “de-personalizing” your home. You want buyers to walk through your house and feel like it could be their home, not yours! Avoid leaving personal items like a family photos, refrigerator art, ornament collections, religious artifactsand memorabilia. Also be sure to tuck away personal items such as mail, school notices and prescriptions. Buyers need toemotionally place themselves in your home so make sure they have the space to do so. You certainly don’t want them so distracted by your things that they miss the attributes of the house itself.
Spring” Clean everything
Cleaning is a cost effective way to make your home more attractive to buyers. Scour your home from top to bottom including walls, floors, counters, windows, window-coverings, lighting and trim. Give extra care and attention to the communal living spaces such as living room, bathrooms and kitchen. And once it’s all clean, keep it clean! You never know when your ideal buyer will request a showing.
Neutralize if Necessary
Bright colours or dated wall paper can definitely be a deterrent for some buyers. If you have the time and energy, consider replacing strong colors with more neutral choices which will appeal to more buyers.
Minor Repairs and Upgrades
It pays to fix the little things like leaky faucets, burnt out light bulbs and doors that squeak.You don’t need to spend a fortune to make a big difference. Consider upgrading light switches, door handles and cupboard knobs. Mirrors are also a great addition to help a room feel bigger.
It’s Showing Day
The time has come to show off your home to potential buyers. You can make your home more inviting by turning up the heat and making your house feel extra cozy. Fresh flowers and lighted candles (battery-operated ones are recommended) are also a nice touch. Don’t forget to open the blinds and curtains to showcase natural light and show off any good views. You should also leave all doors in the house, including bedroom and bathroom doors open.
Jim is happy to offer additional tips and advice when it comes to prepping your home for sale. We want to sell your house as much as you do!
HOW WILL THE JOHNSON TEAM MARKET YOUR PROPERTY?
Jim Johnson works hard to maximize advertising and stay atop trends such as social media to maximize exposure. Here are some of the many ways we will ensure your listing gets out to potential buyers:
- Multiple Listing Service – MLS Computer program, hot sheet, catalog and website, realtor.ca
- Classic Newspaper Advertising – local real estate papers such as the Bulletin’s Real Estate Weekly
- Drive-by – Visible FOR SALE signs.
- Multiple Website Exposure including nanaimojim.com, westcoast.sutton.com, as well as many other landing pages that link back to the Jim Johnson’s website.
- FACEBOOK– Jim Johnson has his very own FACEBOOK site! Check us out!
- Direct Contact with Other Realtors – Jim talks to dozens of realtors everyday and will always plug their listings
- Jim Johnson has a clientele of Investors for Rental and Development Property that we call on frequently when new opportunities arise
- His Clients including Referrals and Repeat Buyers–Jim Johnson will always scour our database to match our own buyers with a new listing
- Commercial Listings require extra exposure– we utilize the Western Investor Publication, as well as Commercial E-mail Blasts to all Commercial Realtors in B.C. We also have many contacts and clients looking to capitalize on the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which involves purchasing a business with the intention of immigrating to Canada.