Sellers: Your Neighbour Is NOT The Expert

When people hear that you’re selling or buying a home, it’s inevitable; they’ll start to offer you their two-cents’ worth of advice on how to make the deal happen faster/better/easier/whatever. Although well meaning and they may make some good points, their advice might not always be accurate. I want to dispel some of the myths you might have heard about when selling a home. 


BS Fact #1: “My home is worth (insert price here) because that’s what my friends/neighbours/plumber told me.”


Real Fact: Maybe. But how do they know? The only way to know how much your house is worth is by looking at the comparable homes that have recently sold in your neighbourhood, being objective and being realistic about how buyers will perceive your home.


BS Fact #2:  “My house is worth much more than the neighbor’s house because…[insert any of a dozen reasons].”


Real Fact: Sellers don’t determine how much their house is worth. Buyers and appraisals do. Lenders must have appraisals to establish a value that the bank uses to decide if they want to loan the money or not. Buyers make an offer based on what they are willing to pay for the home in the present market. These two factors determine a home’s value.


BS Fact #3: “I want to price my home high to ‘Test the Market’”


Real Fact: Want your home to sit on the market? THIS is how you do it. Buyers can easily tell if your home is overpriced by comparing it to other homes they’ve seen - even in a seller's market. They may not even bother to step foot into your home. When you price a home correctly, you are more likely to have a quick and painless sale. As your Realtor, I can help you with your pricing strategy. A good strategy = more money in the bank.


BS Fact #4:  “I was told it’s a bad time to buy (or sell) real estate.”


Real Fact: I could very well be. But you need to remember that not everyone who tells you this is in the same financial situation. If your neighbor refinanced several times and does not have much equity in the house, he’ll likely conclude for you that “it’s a bad time to sell.”  Well, yes, for him it is, but that’s not the case for everyone. (Note for Ottawa 2020: It's never a bad time to sell!)


BS Fact #5: You can just sell your home as-is. You don’t need to make any improvements.


Real Fact: The first week your home is on the market is the most crucial. This is your home’s BIG DEBUT! Buyers have no problem about walking right out the front door within seconds if the house doesn't look like it could be theirs.  So before you put your house up for sale, you’ve got to put in a little bit of elbow grease. Stage your home. Declutter. Keep it clean. Repair. Typically, buyers are looking for a home that is “move in ready”. Buyers who are willing to tackle the repairs after moving in automatically subtract their perception of the  cost of needed fix-ups from the price they offer. Spending a few thousand dollars for the right work on your home before you sell it, usually translates into a higher selling price.


So there you have it! Don’t fall for these myths! 


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8221-B Campeau Drive

Kanata, ON K2T 0A2

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Nepean, ON K2J 5G3

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