The Vancouver Real Estate Market has seen a major market correction and with it, an influx of new listings hitting the market. With inventory piling up there is more competition among sellers which is why it’s important to avoid these common mistakes if you want a successful sale.
- Poor Quality Photos, Bad Marketing.
Almost all potential buyers start their home search online. With the current in pouring of listings hitting the market each week, buyers have a lot more inventory to choose from. In order to catch their attention your home has to stand out. Blurry, poor quality photos in a sea of sharp professionally done shots can make it easy for buyers to scroll right past your property. Make sure your Realtor is earning their selling fee and paying the cost of a professional real estate photographer. When your Realtor comes by with the photographer, make sure to keep clutter out-of-the-way and showcase your property the best you can.
Marketing your property means more than just putting it on the MLS. I’ve found that a majority of people who come to my open houses recently have seen the listing on Facebook. I use geographical tags and demographics, to make sure our listing pops up on the news feed of those who are actively looking on real estate websites, for homes that match the criteria of the house I’m marketing.
- Your Listing is Overpriced.
You need to look at your property in the eyes of a buyer who has many homes to choose from. Ask your Realtor to show you other properties on the market that are comparable to your own, and objectively ask yourself if you would buy your home over the others. If you’re working with an Agent who is “buying listings”, this will be difficult. “Buying the listing” is a Real Estate industry term that refers to the unethical practice of Realtors knowingly telling a home seller that their property is worth more than it in fact is to get the listing. Make sure you’re shown why your Realtor is suggesting a certain price, and don’t just get blinded by dollar signs. Your home will actually sell for more if it is priced correctly the first time and not being reduced in price over and over.
- Your Listing Has Become Stale.
So, you went on the market overpriced, chased the market down a few times, and now you’re priced where you should have been. Anyone who was looking at a home in your area has already seen it, either in person or online, and has a negative association attached with it (price). Now it’s time to come off the market, wait a while (1 week -3 months) and bring it back on. Make sure to add fresh photos and a new write-up. When you make yourself look like a desperate seller, Realtors swoop in to try to get a deal for their buyers. It’s better to take your time and regenerate new interest.
- Your Home Doesn’t Show Well.
Buyers are more likely to write an offer on something that elicits a feeling. A few months ago I had a listing in a newly built building, and after doing some market research I suggested a price I felt was very strong. The morning of the open house, three other units came on the market – they were on higher levels with mountain views, and one was larger than ours. They were all listed for less! They were also all hosting an open house on that day as well. I had staged our unit and made sure it was warm and smelt good during the open house. I peaked at the other units during their open houses, and one Realtor had the windows wide open and the place was freezing. All three were kept empty. We were the first unit to receive an offer despite being priced higher because after the buyer saw all four units, “she just felt like ours was home”. All the units eventually sold but ours sold for the highest price.
I recently did a property tour with my buyers where two houses were professionally staged, clean, and warm while the last one sticky. Our feet were actually sticking to the floors. There were fruit flavoured candles lit in every room which was triggering my buyers allergies. Needless to say, we were in and out within five minutes.
Quick tips to get your home show-ready: get rid of clutter. Keep everything off of your counters. Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms are on their A game. Ask your Realtor if he thinks staging is the right fit for your listing. Lastly, do not overdo it on scented candles – lots of people have allergies or sensitivities. Instead, put water and vanilla extract in a baking pan and heat it up in the oven at 350 degrees. It’ll create a warm light waft of “fresh cookies” around your home.
- It’s Unavailable To Show.
The first two weeks that a listing is live are the most important. Try your very best to accommodate showings, at least 3 days a week. Keep your house show-home ready. This is difficult especially when you have work, pets, children, etc. However, the more available you make your home to potential buyers the more likely you are to have a quick, successful sale.
Sometimes even if you’re ready to show your home every day of the week your Agent is not. It’s very frustrating as a Realtor when I’m trying to set up showings for my clients and the other Agent simply won’t answer my showing request or is unable to accommodate our showing because of their personal schedule. Most of the time buyers will want to move on to a different property and not try to make a specific property work. Unfortunately, a seller won’t even know the Realtor is turning away showings and simply put, your home won’t sell if a buyer can’t see it. Make sure you’re supervising the situation. Ask your Realtor for a weekly report or have a friend call and try to set up an appointment and tell you how it goes.
For more information about the real estate market in Vancouver, and current trends, contact Dawar Zada