In the wake of softening home sales in the Lower Mainland over the past year, it can be a challenge to snag buyers. It’s not 2016, after all, when even tear-down properties sold within days and above the asking price.
With MLS listings featured online, it’s easy for anyone to roam neighbourhoods and properties to see what’s available, but getting prospective buyers to view a home in person requires some thought and care in this evolving market.
Here are a few common mistakes that owners make when it’s time to list their properties.
Sure, some owners will have to sell in winter, so the photos may have snow in the yard and feature drab, grey skies. If possible, wait until the first sunny days of spring to take photos to show off the property as that’s when open houses attract buyers. MLS listings can feature 20 photos of your property, but you don’t have to have that many. For instance, some properties include photos of hot water tanks, or cluttered attics. Be sure you check with your realtor as to what photos will be featured and use only the best ones taken, preferably on sunny days. Have your realtor return to take additional photos when your property looks its best. And be sure to approve every photo because once your property is listed, you want prospective buyers to notice it.
Is that video necessary?
Your realtor works for you. Realtors can be a terrific resource so ask them what will work best and how to show your home so it gets attention. Many listing sites feature videos tours, but do this if your property warrants it. Neglected properties do not show well on video. If a poor quality video of your property is posted, it makes no sense as people won’t be drawn in and will click to the next. If you’re not happy with the video, have your realtor do it again, then only include it if it is stellar.
Too much clutter
One of the best pieces of advice from savvy realtors is to hire a cleaning company. Most sellers can get overwhelmed at the thought of getting rid of a lifetime of items, or packing them up for storage. Hire a company to clean your home thoroughly and also consider hiring someone who specializes in downsizing and decluttering to help you pack and store what can be put away before opening your home for showings. And yes, every closet should look picture perfect because buyers will check. Nothing deters buyers like clutter.
Not being critical
The sundeck may need to be replaced, or does it just need to be power washed? If the roof is not leaking, does it need to be replaced? Homeowners often face dilemmas whether to pour money into projects before listing the property. But will the cost of a new roof be recouped in the sale price? Perhaps a new owner will replace the sundeck. Being critical means taking a fresh look at the property, so ask your friends and family for suggestions — and it helps if they’re brutally honest. Try to be detached. Yes, it has been your home for years, probably decades, but try to see it as someone who doesn’t have your emotional attachment to it.
In a rush
It can take months to prepare your home for sale and it’s common for owners to rush the preparation There’s a saying in the industry that the best time to sell is spring, and the second-best time to sell is in the fall. Give yourself enough lead time to do everything that needs to be done. It’s surprising to see photos of properties with mouldy windows, chipped paint and scuffed front doors. It’s a huge undertaking to ready your home for sale, so give yourself enough time to make it look its best. Postponing the listing for even a few weeks can make a huge difference and give you time to paint and clean.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019