Is it just me or does it seem like everyone is selling their house lately?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just pay attention the next time you drive through Woodstock; you’ll start noticing new “For Sale” signs popping up everywhere, followed by “Sold” signs not long after.
With home prices across the province rising steadily over the past 18 months (as much as 20% in some areas), city centres such as Kitchener and London have become too expensive for most first time home buyers who are now flooding the Woodstock market in search of affordable real estate in a market short of inventory.
Needless to say for those who have yet to give in and sell, rising home prices are making it harder and harder to resist as each month passes.
Now, before you finally cave and decide to hop on the bandwagon while there’s still time, consider this: With the market the way it is today (low supply/high demand) you can expect things to happen quickly (much like getting swept up in a tornado) including a surge of sudden interest, quick offers and pushy buyers hoping to finally have their offer accepted.
As great as it might sound, if you aren’t prepared for listing in a “quick” market like this, your dream of a smooth and lucrative sale can quickly and easily become a memory you’d rather forget.
To avoid such an outcome we’ve prepared a list of things to pay attention to prior to putting your Woodstock home up for sale.
How To Prepare To List In A “Quick” Market
1. Prepare Yourself
Even if you’ve sold in a “quick” market before, you’ll still need to ensure you’ve got the following bases covered:
Where will you go?
If you’re selling your home, don’t wait until it goes on the market to start shopping for your next home or you’ll be homeless before you know it!
In a “quick” market like this one you’re likely to receive very “cut and dry” offers with few conditions and very fast closes.
With that said, don’t count on closing periods longer than 30 days, since most buyers have already spent months in search of a home, and will be eager to take possession as soon as possible.
Prepare yourself mentally and physically
I know what you’re thinking; “this isn’t American Ninja Warrior, it’s Woodstock Real Estate” but trust me, once that For Sale sign hits your front lawn things will happen quickly, so be prepared!
I’m not suggesting double up on your cardio or visits to the gym, but do make sure to look ahead 60–90 days to see what life has in store for you, your career and your family. If it looks like a busy period, or perhaps a stressful time at work you might want to think twice about listing your home—it’s not worth it.
2. Prepare Your Home
If your home is in a decent neighbourhood you’re likely to have people requesting to view your home immediately upon listing, and in some cases even before it hits MLS!
To ensure your home “shows” well to prospective buyers, address the following items before putting that sign on your lawn.
Air it out
You might not think your home stinks, but it probably does (at least a little bit). According to BankRate.com, the #2 biggest “turn-off” to a prospective home buyer is odours, and don’t think Febreeze-ing 5 minutes before is the answer, either. Tip: Open windows and doors for at least 30 minutes a day. Wash couch covers and bedding.
Grab some boxes and pack up as many personal items and mementos as you can prior to showing your home. Although this might feel strange, it’s imperative that buyers can picture themselves living in your home when they walk through it, so put away family photos, knick-knacks, and remove any unnecessary pieces of furniture that are cluttering up the space.
If you’re serious about selling your home you’ll want to roll up your sleeves and clean! Don’t just wipe the counters and sweep the floors, get out the vacuum, mop, and Windex and clean like your mom used to!
“Curb appeal” can make or break a profitable sale. At the very least cut the lawn (or shovel the snow), and take a walk across the street to see what your prospective buyers will see when they arrive. Would you buy your home?
Even though you’re moving, now is a good time to touch up any paint chips around the house, and you should probably fix that doorknob you’ve been avoiding for the last year.
3. Choose A Qualified Realtor
I’m always amazed at how little effort homeowners put into choosing a Realtor.
Not only is it a poor financial decision to list with a Realtor you know nothing about, but choosing the wrong Realtor for the market often leads to;
- prolonged listing periods
- reduced selling prices
Even more, in a “quick” market such as this (high demand, low inventory) choosing an inexperienced Realtor is even riskier due to factors such as:
- “Immediate” interest
- “Immediate” offers
- “Multiple” offers
- “High pressure tactics” from buyers
When faced with these situations, it’s not uncommon for inexperienced Realtors to skip steps and/or overlook opportunities to safeguard your best interest and maximize your return.
On the other hand, an experienced Realtor will know exactly what to do to keep things in order. They’ll ensure no money gets left on the table, and that your sale goes smoothly (at least what you see of it).
So Many Offers, So Little Time!
When demand is at an all-time high like it is in Woodstock, there’s a good chance you’ll quickly be dealing multiple offers from a wide range of buyers.
Multiple offers? That’s great!
In a normal market, yes.
However in a quick market with offers escalating well above list price, anxious buyers can quickly get in over their heads, with offers exceeding what they’ve been approved for in a desperate attempt to finally have an offer accepted.
Worse yet, should you unknowingly accept an offer from such a buyer you’ll quickly find yourself back at square one without ANY offers, trying to find a new set of buyers—only now you’ve wasted valuable time that you can’t get back, not to mention made yourself more vulnerable to lowball offers “just to make a sale.”
How can you avoid mishaps like this and make sure you walk away from a multiple offer situation with a smile on your face?
Simple. By choosing the right Realtor for the market, period.
As a Realtor in Southern Ontario for over 27 years, I can say with confidence that
there’s never been such an opportunity for Woodstock homeowners as there is today.
However, with every reward comes risk, and this is no different.
Even though demand is high, and offers are generous, you can quickly find yourself in an uncomfortable position, if you aren’t fully prepared to list your home in this type of market.
In order to maximize your return with as little stress as possible, be sure to; prepare yourself, prepare your home, and most importantly make sure you choose the right Realtor for your home.