What are the 5 Biggest Mistakes Home Sellers Make?

Avoid the 5 biggest mistakes home sellers make if you want to sell your home quickly for top dollar

Biggest Mistakes Home Sellers Make

This list has been created based on my experience working with many families in selling their homes at all price points.

 I.  Don’t de-clutter before listing their home

Space is at a premium in most homes in Etobicoke. De-cluttering will create the illusion of more space. It is a must if you want to your home look it’s best.

 II.  Don’t eliminate smoke or pet odours before listing

Smoke and pet odors are the two biggest turn off’s for buyers. Many buyers will not purchase a home with odors regardless of how perfect the other features of the home may be.

III. Price their house too high

The market determines the value of our house, not you. If you price your house too high, you will have less showings, your house will sit on the market, and you often sell for less than if you had priced your house at market.

IV.  Too many restrictions or limitations on showing times

There is no doubt that having people through your home is an inconvenience to you and your family. However, you need to make your home available when buyers want to see it. The more buyers through, the more likely you are to sell your home quickly for top dollar.

V.  Don’t accept the first offer because they think a better offer is coming

Many sellers feel that they may have underpriced their home if an offer comes too quickly. The truth is that your first offer is often your best. When you house goes on the market, there is a buzz and often this is the time you will get your best offer.

The good news is that all of these are relatively easy to avoid.  Follow this advice and I know that you will be happy with the results!

 

When is the best time to sell your home?

Best time to sell your homeFocus on best time to sell your home to maximize returns

You are thinking of selling your home.  You’re not in any rush but want to maximize your selling price.  If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering when is the best time to sell a house?  Here are a few things to think about when deciding what time is best for you.

Is your home ready for sale?

When you sell you home you want your house to look its best.  This means de-cluttering and doing any minor repairs that will make your home more attractive to potential buyers.  Always put your home on the market when you home is prepped and looking great.

Do you have a plan on where to move?

Many home owners want to sell first so they know how much money they have for their next home. Others want to buy first so they know they have found their dream  home before selling. In all cases, you  want to have a plan on where you are moving to.  This will avoid a lot of stress and last minute stumbling when you house does sell.

Is there good demand for your home?

Currently, in Toronto and throughout much of the GTA,  it is a sellers market.  This means that there are more buyers than there are sellers.  Generally, you will get more for your house in a sellers market so this is a great time to get your house on the market.

It’s not a science but if you take these three things into consideration, it will give you a good indiction on when is the best time to sell your home.  Of course, I would be happy to help you build a plan to put your house on the market.  Give me a call to help

Should I have an offer date when selling my home?

Conceptual portrait of a business lady with clock being short of time

Conceptual portrait of a business lady with clock being short of time

Many homeowners ask the question – Should I have an offer date when selling my home? An offer date is a specific date that you will entertain offers for your home. It typically is about one week after your home is put on the market. This gives many buyers an opportunity to view your home and decide whether they want to bid.

Often there are multiple bids on a home with an offer date. This is often referred to as a bidding war. The price gets bid up as potential buyers bid against each other.

A bidding war may result in a quick sale of your home at a high price.

However, it is not always rosy. Some buyers will not buy your home because they don not want to participate in a bidding war. In fact you may not get any offers on the offer date, which may lead potential buyers to think that there is something, wrong with your home.

Selling your home is complex and you should consult a reputable realtor on best strategies in selling your home.

What are the top Real Estate mistakes?

Real Estate has been my passion for several decades and have been very good to me. Having said that, I can honestly say that I personally have made ALL of these real estate mistakes at least once over the last 30 years. How many of these top 5 real estate mistakes can you relate to?

1. Overbuilding for the area
real estate mistakes

This home was a 60’s ranch bungalow where the roof was removed and the ceilings where heightened to 18 ft.  A luxurious master bedroom and ensuite bathroom  loft were added.  The exterior of the house was done in authentic stone.  The quality of the renovation was over the top for the neighbourhood and was not recouped when the home was sold.  It was an over build for the area.

2. Too trendy with the decor

real estate mistakes

 I love the look of this space, very trendy, very in.  Today this will appeal to many young buyers.  This color of green is very in today.  It was also in style way back in the sixties with many years where it would have been consider hideous.  Will potential buyers like the green in 5 years?

3. House over location

go train station

You can have a stunning house with all the bells and whistles, however if this is your view…. you will be disappointed with the appreciation of  your home over time.  You can change your house but not the location.  Choose wisely.

4. Jumping too quickly to the Condo Option

condo living

Condo living can be wonderful.  Make sure it if right for you before you make the plunge to sell your sprawling bungalow in the suburbs.  If you are not sure, possibly rent first?

5. Too much trust in your contractor

contractor errors

We all want to have 100% faith in the contractor that we have selected to do our dream renovation.  Make sure that you do your do diligence, check references, see his/her work before you commit.  It is easy to put too much trust in this relationship only to be disappointed.

The 5 Biggest Mistakes when Selling Your Home

House For SaleToronto has been a hot sellers market for some time.  So you listed you house and thought it would be a no brainer that it would sell quickly and it didn’t.  What happened?  Even in a hot market it is not an automatic that your house will sell. Listed are the 5 biggest mistakes when selling your home that you don’t want to make.

1.  It’s Priced Too High

Most of us think that there house is worth more than it is.  In a seller’s market, if you have had more than 20 showings and no offer it is likely that you have your home priced to high.  Listen to the feedback that you are getting from buyers going though your home.  They will provide you with excellent advice on the appropriate price point.

2.  People Don’t Know Your Home is For Sale

Just putting your home on MLS is not enough for you to maximize your home exposure and the number of potential buyers that will consider your home.  Understand from you agent how your home will be promoted to ensure that it gets the exposure it deserves.  The more people who see your home, the more likely you will sell it quickly for a good price.

3.  House Does Not show Well

Clutter, odour, and messiness are big detractors.  Potential buyers will only notice the smell or how dirty your home is and not all the wonderful features.  Make sure that your home is spotless, over the top clean and free of any odours before you put it on the market.  Many agents will offer staging of your home.  This is a valuable perk for many home homers.  It is not cheap for the agents to do but definitely will make your home stand out from the rest.

4.  Difficult to Show Your Home 

Your home needs to be available to see when potential buyers want to see it, not when it is convenient for you to show.  If you are inflexible about showing your home, those buyers will just go to another property and you have just lost a potential buyers.

5.  Home Does Not Show Well Online

Most buyers will begin their home search online.  Make sure that your agent is using a professional photographer to take photos of your home.  If you home does not look good online, it will not get shown.

Selling your home is a stressful time.  By avoiding these blunders you can make it just a little bit less stressful and let you make the move  that you are hoping for.

 

What Pitfalls To Avoid When Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

Getting Your House Ready for SaleWhen you list your home for sale, you want it to look it’s best. Right?

Absolutely, however, looking it’s best does not mean your home needs to look like the latest new trendy home you saw on TV.

Buyers want to picture themselves in a home, and highly artistic, trendy finishes can get in the way.

When you’re ready to sell your home, it’s best to put things in pristine, move-in condition and remove all of the individual touches that made your house a home.

After all, your goal is to get potential buyers to picture themselves in the home—and they won’t be able to do that if your decorating style still dominates.

You may want to know what pitfalls to avoid when getting your home ready for sale,  Here are a few of my favourites.

Boldly Painted Walls
Decorators often tout black or another bold paint color as the perfect backdrop to metallic accessories or appliances in modern home design.

The reality is that people prefer the exterior and interior walls of a home to be neutral. Even though repainting is cheap and relatively easy to do, it’s still a pain and buyers might not want to bother.

When decorating, your best bet is to stick to an appeasing hue for the walls and use accessories to provide pops of color.

Wallpaper

Bold, graphic patterns increasingly are being incorporated into interior design, often in the form of wallpaper.

But wallpaper—even if it’s only on one wall—is an extremely personal choice and time-consuming to remove if it doesn’t appeal to the buyer

Consider replacing wallpaper with a neutral paint for broader appeal.

Lavish Light Fixtures

While potential buyers want rooms that seem airy and bright, beware of installing a showpiece light fixture that is too modern or ornate.

Fixtures should enhance your home—not steal the spotlight.

Gleaming Gold

Designers may be mixing silver and gold to give homes star quality, but it might be wise to change out fixtures if they have the wrong metallic sheen.

Gold can give a home an outdated, ’80s feel. Switching out the faucet and door handles with a more appealing finish—such as brushed nickel—is relatively inexpensive and can help make your home appear sleek rather than out of style.

Converted Garages

People want a covered parking space so that they have a safe place for their car—especially in areas where street parking is at a premium. Additionally, people often use their garage as storage space.

If you convert your garage into a space tailored your specific needs, such as a music practice room, it may not suit your potential buyers.

Converted Bedrooms

Like with the garage, people want rooms built for their original purpose.

If you’ve converted an unused bedroom to an office, walk-in closet, or a game room, make sure you can easily convert it back to a bedroom when you’re ready to sell.

Carpets

While designers love to play with the texture of shag carpeting as it feels soft underfoot, the majority of home buyers prefer hardwood floors

People assume carpets trap dirt, germs and odors, and they don’t want to go through the hassle of steam cleaning their home before they can move in. Potential buyers also don’t want to spend time removing carpet to expose hardwood floors.

If someone really loves carpet, it’s much easier for them to add it themselves—after the purchase.

Too-Lush Landscaping

The “outdoor living room” is all the rage, and you may be tempted to build out your backyard into a lavish wild flowers .But potential buyers may be hesitant to buy a home with an overly landscaped property requiring a lot of maintenance.

Focus on creating or maintaining a nice neat outdoor space.

Pools and Hot Tubs

A pool may seem like a luxurious feature, but it can be a big turnoff for buyers.

Pools are perceived to be expensive to maintain and potential safety hazards, especially for families with children. Above-ground pools are eyesores and can leave a dead spot in the backyard.

These sentiments extend to hot tubs, too. Many people see hot tubs as breeding grounds for bacteria, and they are not a feature easily removed from the deck or back yard.

Fancy (or Not) Pet Products

Sales of pet products are expected to increase nearly $3 billion from last year, and there’s an increasing market for luxury pet items.

But even animal lovers don’t want to see another family’s pet paraphernalia in a potential home. Even if your home is immaculate, the presence of pet-related items will give the impression that it’s dirty.

Be sure to remove all traces of your pet—including toys, food dishes and photos—before listing your

Will staging help you sell your house faster, at a better price?

Benefits of Staging Your Home The Toronto housing market is very hot. Home sales are brisk. If a home is priced correctly and marketed well, it will sell.  The real question is how fast and at what price? Will staging help you sell your house?

That’s where staging comes in. Staging is a strategic marketing tool designed to show a property in its best possible light. Professional stagers and many realtors including myself  believe in the power of this technique no matter the market — potential buyers can see all the possibilities and sellers can get top-dollar and a quicker sale.

According to the Real Estate Staging Association, professionally listed staged properties simply look better; spend 73 percent less time on the market; typically sell for more money; end up on buyers’ “must see” lists; are viewed as “well-maintained;” and have fewer concessions requested of the seller.

Individual stagers set their own fees, but a typical staging cost is about $2,500. It should be considered a cost of doing business or an investment that sellers might recoup when the house sells.  We take it a step further and include the cost of staging in our services.

Many clients initially don’t believe that they need to stage their home in such a hot market.  Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. Given about the same location and asking price, if House X is clutter-free, clean, updated and nicely decorated, and House Y down the street isn’t any of the three, which house do you think has a better chance of selling? It might come down to a simple gut feeling on the part of the buyers.

Quite simply, staging is marketing. You want your house to stand out in a crowd.

I always tell my clients, think about when you first walked into your house, what struck you and convinced you to buy the house? What did you notice? Think about that and that will help you, but sometimes you need someone else looking at it. I take what I do seriously. This is my job, but I am also honoured that someone trusts me enough to help them.

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, you have to start detaching from it, which can be difficult to do. That’s where I come in, you have to start looking at your home as a commodity. You have to decide whether you just want the house sold or do you want the possibility of selling it faster and for more money? It really doesn’t matter what the market is like. Statistics prove that staging a house works.

A house that “shows” well and is priced well will sell, and sell quickly, according to the experts. And timing can be everything. First impressions count, even from the moment a potential buyer drives up to a house. When a house first goes on the market, it usually receives a lot of interest from real estate agents and the buying public. That’s the time to strike. Once that first wave of interest passes, time can become an enemy for a seller.

Vacant houses take longer to sell. Many people think that an empty room lets potential buyers see what the room could look like, but empty rooms actually make the space look smaller. I sold a house in The Queensway recently.  It was a beautiful new build with all the bells and whistles.  It was listed with another agent who was trying to sell the home empty.  Once I got the listing, I staged the home and it sold for a record neighbourhood price house in 2 weeks.

If you are interested in selling your home quickly for top dollar, I can help!

 

Great Tips to De-stress Moving

hand offers house key as concept

hand offers house key as concept

Here are a few of the tips that I give my clients before they move in:

1. Don’t move at the beginning or end of the month. Everyone else does; you can’t get trucks, people, or utilities installed, etc. If at all possible, try to move mid-month, both for your own sanity as well as for the sake of your pocketbook.

2. Stake out the parking spots in front of your new home. Be willing to take a ticket or two (which usually range from $45-$65) to make it easier and faster to get in and out–otherwise you are paying people to carry your stuff up and down the street. But don’t block a hydrant — you’ll get towed.

3. Don’t move yourself. Your desk job hasn’t given you the stamina to cart heavy boxes, and unless you were born to a life of manual labor, you probably don’t know the tricks of maneuvering furniture through tight spaces. Even if you do, there’s a good chance your furniture simply won’t make it upstairs. The first time you gouge the door with a sofa negates the cost advantage, so please don’t try to be a hero.

4. Get rid of all liquids in glass bottles before you move. I recommend having a Drink All My Alcohol Party a week before moving. Likewise, if you haven’t cracked your textbooks since college, you might want to sell them use the money to fund decorations for your new home.

5. Change the locks asap. Who knows who the prior owners gave keys to? New cylinders are around $10-12 at the local hardware store, and only take a few minutes to install.

6. Got kids? Moving day would be a great day to have them visit their grandparents. This gets the the two most stressful sets of people out of your life on moving day.

What home improvements that don’t add value to your home?

Improvements that don't add value

Surprising list of home improvements that don’t add value

Every homeowner must pay for routine home maintenance, such as replacing worn-out plumbing components or staining the deck, but some choose to make improvements with the intention of increasing the home’s value. Do you know what home improvements don’t add value to your home? Certain projects, such as adding a well thought-out family room – or other functional space – can be a wise investment, as they do add to the value of the home. Other projects, however, allow little opportunity to recover the costs when it’s time to sell.

Even though the current homeowner may greatly appreciate the improvement, a buyer could be unimpressed and unwilling to factor the upgrade into the purchase price. Homeowners, therefore, need to be careful with how they choose to spend their money if they are expecting the investment to pay off. Here are six home improvements that don’t add value when you go to sell your home.

1. Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are one of those things that may be nice to enjoy at your friend’s or neighbor’s house, but that can be a hassle to have at your own home. Many potential homebuyers view swimming pools as dangerous, expensive to maintain and a lawsuit waiting to happen. Families with young children in particular may turn down an otherwise perfect house because of the pool (and the fear of a child going in the pool unsupervised). In fact, a would-be buyer’s offer may be contingent on the home seller dismantling an above-ground pool or filling in an in-ground pool.

An in-ground pool costs anywhere from $10,000 to more than $100,000, and additional yearly maintenance expenses need to be considered. That’s a significant amount of money that might never be recouped if and when the house is sold.

2. Overbuilding for the Neighbourhood

Homeowners may, in an attempt to increase the value of a home, make improvements to the property that unintentionally make the home fall outside of the norm for the neighbourhood. While a large, expensive remodel, such as adding a second story with two bedrooms and a full bath, might make the home more appealing, it will not add significantly to the resale value if the house is in the midst of a neighbourhood of small, one-story homes.

In general, homebuyers do not want to pay $250,000 for a house that sits in a neighbourhood with an average sales price of $150,000; the house will seem overpriced even if it is more desirable than the surrounding properties. The buyer will instead look to spend the $250,000 in a $250,000 neighbourhood. The house might be beautiful, but any money spent on overbuilding might be difficult to recover unless the other homes in the neighbourhood follow suit.

3. Extensive Landscaping

Homebuyers may appreciate well-maintained or mature landscaping, but don’t expect the home’s value to increase because of it. A beautiful yard may encourage potential buyers to take a closer look at the property, but will probably not add to the selling price. If a buyer is unable or unwilling to put in the effort to maintain a garden, it will quickly become an eyesore, or the new homeowner might need to pay a qualified gardener to take charge. Either way, many buyers view elaborate landscaping as a burden (even though it might be attractive) and, as a result, are not likely to consider it when placing value on the home.

4. High-End Upgrades

Putting stainless steel appliances in your kitchen or imported tiles in your entryway may do little to increase the value of your home if the bathrooms are still vinyl-floored and the shag carpeting in the bedrooms is leftover from the ’60s. Upgrades should be consistent to maintain a similar style and quality throughout the home. A home that has a beautifully remodeled and modern kitchen can be viewed as a work in project if the bathrooms remain functionally obsolete. The remodel, therefore, might not fetch as high a return as if the rest of the home were brought up to the same level. High-quality upgrades generally increase the value of high-end homes, but not necessarily mid-range houses where the upgrade may be inconsistent with the rest of the home.

In addition, specific high-end features such as media rooms with specialized audio, visual or gaming equipment may be appealing to a few prospective buyers, but many potential homebuyers would not consider paying more for the home simply because of this additional feature. Chances are that the room would be re-tasked to a more generic living space.

5. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

While real estate listings may still boast “new carpeting throughout” as a selling point, potential homebuyers today may cringe at the idea of having wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpeting is expensive to purchase and install. In addition, there is growing concern over the healthfulness of carpeting due to the amount of chemicals used in its processing and the potential for allergens (a serious concern for families with children). Add to that the probability that the carpet style and color that you thought was absolutely perfect might not be what someone else had in mind.

Because of these hurdles, wall-to-wall carpet is something on which it’s difficult to recoup the costs. Removing carpeting and restoring wood floors is usually a more profitable investment.

6. Invisible Improvements

Invisible improvements are those costly projects that you know make your house a better place to live in, but that nobody else would notice – or likely care about. A new plumbing system or HVAC unit (heating, venting and air conditioning) might be necessary, but don’t expect it to recover these costs when it comes time to sell. Many homebuyers simply expect these systems to be in good working order and will not pay extra just because you recently installed a new heater. It may be better to think of these improvements in terms of regular maintenance, and not an investment in your home’s value.

The Bottom Line 

It is difficult to imagine spending thousands of dollars on a home-improvement project that will not be reflected in the home’s value when it comes time to sell. There is no simple equation for determining which projects will garner the highest return, or the most bang for your buck. Some of this depends on the local market and even the age and style of the house. Homeowners frequently must choose between an improvement that they would really love to have (the in-ground swimming pool) and one that would prove to be a better investment. A bit of research, or the advice of a qualified real estate professional, can help homeowners avoid costly projects that don’t really add value to a home.  Make sure you know what home improvements don’t add value to your home before it’s too late.

 

BIggest Mistakes Home Sellers Make

WANT TO SELL YOUR HOME FOR TOP DOLLAR?


mistakes to avoid when selling

The Etobicoke market is hot.  Your home will sell if it is priced and marketed properly. Your job as the seller is to make it easy for someone to buy your home. It needs to be inviting, easy to show and represent good value in the eyes of the buyer.  If you want to get TOP DOLLAR you need to avoid the biggest mistakes home sellers make time and time again. .   Based on working with many sellers, here’s my list of what to avoid.

  1. Difficult to set a showing time

  2. Picking the wrong agent

  3. The home is overpriced

  4. Bad photos on MLS

  5. Seller unwilling to make minor repairs prior to listing the home

  6. Seller unwilling to de-personalize or de-clutter

  7. Pets home during the showing

  8. Unpleasant odours in the home

  9. Seller that likes to play tour guide during showings

  10. Seller unwilling to negotiate with buyers

  11. The home is just messy

Avoid these top mistakes home sellers make and your next real estate move will be your best.  If you need help with getting your home ready to sell, happy to help.  Let’s chat