5 market indicators you must know before you sell

housemonopoly 300x199  5 market indicators you must know before you sell

The market is the arena in which your home will compete and therefore the more you know about it the better prepared you will be. Once your home hits the market you are the “new kid on the block” and you have everyone’s attention. Its important to remember that this time is extremely “precious” and crucial in the selling process because statistics shows us that a home’s first 3 weeks on the market generate the most activity and interest.

Ever notice how after a couple of weeks on the market “for sale” signs in your neighbourhood seem second nature and less noticeable? That’s because the impact lessens with time, and after the 3 week mark not only does activity seem to decline but so does interest. Once the “stale bread syndrome” starts to kick in, prospective buyers start to wonder what’s wrong with your home and expect price reductions.

It is extremely important that you are well aware of the marketplace at various stages of your sale: before entering the market, upon entering the market and during the selling process.  This is where the “right” Realtor plays a key role as your partner. Timing is everything in real estate and although market trends are important predictors of what is to come, having a local expert that closely monitors your neighbourhood is crucial.  Supply and demand is what drives the market, prices and sales volume, and as local inventory changes so will the competition.

Here are the key factors you MUST know before putting your home on the market:

housingmarketstandout  5 market indicators you must know before you sell
1.Comparables “for sale”
2.Sold comparables
3.Days on the Market (in your neighbourhood)
4.List-to-sell ratios
5.Overall sales volume
You and your Realtor must closely monitor these throughout the sale of your home and make adjustments accordingly, since they will impact your home’s price and how soon it will sell. These market indicators will also help you decide how to handle any offers that come along-especially the first one! Many sellers make the mistake of not taking the first offer seriously because they think it may be too early in the selling process.
Also keep in mind that although the market is a key indicator of what a home will usually sell for, in a “hot” market anything is possible and properties can sell for well above asking price in record time.
Remember, you never get a chance to make a “first” impression and making sure you make a big splash in the market starts with hiring the right professional to prepare your home “right” from the start. It could not only make the difference between “SOLD” and “EXPIRED” but also help you sell fast and for top dollar.



Ready to Sell? It’s Showtime!

marqueeinthecity Ready to Sell? Its Showtime!

So you’ve hired the “right” agent,  done the necessary home prep and staging and now you are ready to show your home to the world. Making the best first impression, and creating that “WOW” factor that sends potential home buyers into “Gotta have it mode”, is now all up to you.

 Strategic and aggressive marketing can bring the buyers to your door, but if they leave without having that memorable experience while touring your home, they will quickly shuffle it to the bottom of their list. When buyers enter your home they want to visualize themselves living in your home. They are looking at your home with discerning eyes and will usually put a hefty price tag on any upgrades or repairs to be done.

From my experience I can tell you that the Kitchen is a huge selling point since it is the “heart” of the home and that you will be greatly rewarded for any upgrades you have done here. Of course you have de-cluttered and cleared up the kitchen counters of any knick knacks right? And of course you have straightened out cupboards (you know they’ll look in there!) and taken out the garbage and there are no dirty dishes in the sink!

Bathrooms are next in terms of upgrades and appearance and of course the main living areas.

Remember buyers see an average of 5-6 homes at once, so its important that they tour yours comfortably, safely and that they leave impressed.

Here’s the top 5 tips for showing your home:

  •  YOUR SHOULD NOT BE HOME! There is nothing worse than homeowners following and watching potential buyers while they tour their home. Let the showing agent do their job and answer any questions the buyer may have. You have the right to remain silent and anything you say can and may be used against you!
  • LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON AND CURTAINS OPEN Buyers have limited time to tour your home and trying to figure that “tricky” light fixture or find that light switch behind the wall isn’t fun-plus, it’s distracting! There is rarely enough time to open curtains or blinds throughout. Buyers will leave remembering how dark your house was-so let the sunshine in!
  • IT’S HARD TO SELL IT IF YOU CAN SMELL IT! No one wants to walk into a house and get a sudden whiff of “what died in here?” Fish, pet odours and other pungent smells are distracting, unpleasant and will raise questions about the overall care and maintenance of your home.
  • SPARKY AND FLUFFY SHOULD NOT BE HOME! or at least confine your furry companion to an area during the showing. Unfortunately not everyone is a pet lover and a jumpy dog or cat can be distracting and even annoying for some. You want the Buyer to focus on the “features” of your home not your super cute pet!
  •  CREATE A PLEASANT AMBIANCE Whenever possible leave soft music playing, set up air fresheners throughout and put out fresh flowers. Remember you want buyers to fall in love with your home…so knock their socks off!

Now you are ready for the Show! Remember that during the selling process your home is the stage and that everything is under the spotlight. Always ask yourself if you would “buy your own home” if you were currently looking for a house in today’s market.

Preparing your home for sale and showing it “at it’s best” are 2 out of the 3 key ingredients for MAXIMUM RESULTS. Do you know what the third ingredient is? What do you think is the most important thing when preparing for sale?


Selling your home with a PLAN

Selling a home is a balancing act. It is a multi-layered process than can quickly go from smooth and simple to complicated and stressful when you don’t have professional help.  There is a perfect recipe for every home and every sale and the job of a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced Realtor is to craft the right blend of “key ingredients” that will deliver sweet success. The right Realtor will have the “secret” sauce that will give you an edge over the competition-no matter what the circumstances.

Here are some of the basic GAME PLAN ingredients for a successful and profitable sale:






    *LOCATION is the only variable that we can’t control when it comes to selling a home, however it is the strategic manipulation of all the others that we do control that makes all the difference.

PRICING your home right from the beginning is one of the most important aspects of the sale.  It can make the difference between you (the Seller) being in the driver’s seat calling the shots during negotiations, or begging buyers for an offer.
It is a variable that you can fully control and use to your advantage!
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APPEARANCE is another key component of a successful and profitable sale. The “right” Realtor will prepare your home properly for sale so that it WOWS upon entering. From curb appeal to staging, to minor touch ups and repairs, your home should sparkle, impress and give buyers that “gotta have it” feeling-remember selling your home is a competition once it hits the market, the preparation is half the battle!
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NETWORK is the key component that your Realtor brings to the table.  It is at its core, the market to which your home will be exposed and marketed to. It includes a network of Realtors, prospects, clients, contacts, partners, affiliates, fans, followers, friends and anyone that your Realtor networks with. This is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your agent since not all Realtors are created equal. Having a key player on your side will give you a competitive advantage over the competition.
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There are many other factors that go into play when selling your home, from strategic marketing  and exposure, to market conditions and neighbourhood dynamics, each one plays an important role and must be carefully monitored.
Your home is your biggest asset and when it comes to selling it,homeonseesaw Selling your home with a PLAN having a strong game plan is the key to putting the most in your pocket!


SELLING SMART: A Complete Homeowner’s Checklist to get Top Dollar for your Home

Getting Your House Ready to Sell

When getting your home ready to sell, you need to look at your house in a new way. Think of your house as a product about to go on the market where it is probably competing with brand new housing. It needs to show well – which means clutter-free and well kept.

Today’s homebuyers lead busy lives and may not be interested in taking on major repairs or improvements upon moving in. You need to make your house a “10”. This document will help you spot what is right and what is not so good about your “product”. It will give you the opportunity to take corrective action to ensure your house looks fresh, clean and well maintained when the “For Sale” sign goes up.

Fix It First

If you need to make improvements to your home, do the work before it goes on the market. Potential buyers are not interested in hearing about your good intentions to look after defects before a transfer of ownership takes place. Even if fix-up work is underway, buyers may not be able to visualize what your home will look like when the work is finished. They will just remember it being in a state of disrepair.

Professional Inspection: Yes or No?

A serious buyer may want to have a professional home inspector check your house from top to bottom before making an offer. Even though this guide will help you identify problems on your own, the option of hiring a professional home inspector is open to you as well. If you can afford it, an inspection in advance of putting your home on the market is a good idea. It is your best way of finding and taking care of serious deficiencies before an inspector hired by a potential buyer discovers them.

Homeowner’s Inspection Checklist

This practical, easy-to-follow guide for homeowners will help you identify common house problems and deal with them.

Let’s Begin OUTSIDE


How does your house look from the street? That is where prospective buyers will be when they first see your home; and, that is where they will form that all-important first impression. Stand at the curb in front of your house and note what you see.

Remove any clutter in your yard.
Repair cracked or uneven driveway or walkway surfaces.
If your lawn has bald spots, apply some top dressing and re-seed. Prune trees and shrubs of dead wood. Weed and mulch flower beds, if you have them. If it is the right time of year, consider buying some flower-filled planters to enhance the eye appeal of your property. Make sure your lawn is mowed regularly. Ensure that the composter area is tidy.
Are your windows and walls clean?
Does your front door need paint?
Ensure your eaves and downspouts are clear of debris and in good repair.
Are your backyard deck and walkways clean? If not, use a power washer and do any necessary painting, staining or sealing.
If you have a swimming pool, are the deck and pool clean (when in season)?
Do all outside lights work? Replace any burned out bulbs, and clean fixtures of dirt and cobwebs.
Is there a shed? Does it look presentable?
Do windows and exterior doors need recaulking? Even at 6-7 years of age, the caulking may be dried out and in need of replacement.
Do you have decorative wooden poles on the porch? Is the wood at the bottom in good condition? Overall, does it need a new coat of paint?
If you have a gate, is it well oiled?

When you have completed the curb appeal inspection, carefully check the rest of your home’s exterior.


If you are uneasy about climbing onto your roof, you can inspect most items from the ground using binoculars. Otherwise, be careful when working or moving about on your roof. Unless roof repair is a simple matter of applying new caulking, you will probably need the services of a professional.

Check the general condition of your roof. Sagging sections, curled shingles, pooled water on flat roofs and corrosion on metal roofing mean it is time for repair or replacement.
Both masonry and metal chimneys need to be straight and structurally sound, have proper capping on top and watertight flashing where they penetrate the roof.
All roofs undergo stress from snow and rain loads, so a truss or rafter may become damaged, resulting in a noticeable small depression. A professional should do this inexpensive repair.



The condition of your exterior walls directly affects the look and curb appeal of your home.

Replace old caulking. You may have to cut or scrape away old caulking to get a good seal. Do not seal drainage or ventilation gaps.
Is your exterior paint looking good? If you see faded colours and cracked or peeling surfaces, you need to repaint. Be sure to get competitive bids if you hire professional painters.
You can clean vinyl siding but defects or damage to it and to metal siding usually means replacement.
Stucco can be repaired but some skill is required to blend patches with existing stucco.


Now, Let’s Go Indoors

A prospective buyer will usually enter through your front door; so, that is where you should begin your interior inspection. You want your buyer to see a neat, clean, well-lit interior. Get clutter out of sight; ensure that carpets are clean and floors are scrubbed and polished; and that walls and trim show fresh paint (preferably neutral or light colours).

Take a sniff. Are there any unpleasant odours in your home? If so, track them down and eliminate them. Ensure all your lights work and are free of cobwebs. You want your home to look spacious, bright and fresh.

If you have considerable family memorabilia, consider thinning it out. Your objective is to help potential buyers feel as if they could live in your home. That mental leap becomes more difficult for them if your house resembles a shrine your family.

Professional realtors and decorators say the most important areas of your home to upgrade and modernize are the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers also want to see new or recently installed floor coverings throughout.



Check stairs for loose boards, ripped carpeting, and missing or loose handrails and guards.
Most problems with interior walls are cosmetic and can be repaired with spackling compound and paint.
Ensure doors open and shut properly. Minor sticking is normal but excessive binding indicates possible structural problems.
Open and close all windows to ensure they work properly. Fogging between the panes of a sealed window indicates the seal is broken and the unit needs to be replaced.
Keep furniture to a minimum so rooms do not appear smaller than they are. Ensure that traffic can flow in or through rooms unimpeded. If they contain bookshelves or cabinets overflowing with books, magazines and knick-knacks, remove some of these items.
Ensure closets look spacious, organized and uncluttered. Create space by getting rid of old clothes and junk.
Remove or lock away valuables such as jewellery, coins, currency, cameras and compact discs.



People splash water around in the kitchen and bathrooms so check around sinks, tubs and toilets for rotting countertops and floors. Problems could be due to poor caulking or plumbing leaks. Fogged windows, molds and sweating toilet tanks indicate high humidity levels, which you can remedy with exhaust fans.
In the kitchen, clean all appliances, including your oven. Clean or replace your greasy stove hood filter. Clean your cabinets inside and out, as well as your countertops and backsplashes. Repair dripping faucets.
Remove anything stored on top of your fridge and remove artwork and magnets.
Remove any items stored on countertops.
Remove items stored under the sink.
In bathrooms, scrub sinks, tubs and toilets, taking care to remove any rust stains. Remove mildew from showers and bathtubs. Fix dripping faucets or trickling toilets, and vacuum your fan grill.
Clean mirrors, light switch plates and cupboard handles.
Consider installing new 6-litre toilets if you currently have water-guzzlers.
If you have ceramic tile in either your kitchen or bathroom, ensure grouting is intact and clean.



The condition of the foundation and main structural members in the basement are critical to the fitness of any house. The purpose of your inspection is to make sure these are sound and durable.

Look for cracks, water seepage, efflorescence (white powder-like substance), crumbling mortar or concrete, and rotting wood. If any of these problems are present, you need to do further research to learn about causes and possible solutions.
If your basement is damp or musty, consider using a dehumidifier.
Like all other areas of your home, your basement should be organized and clutter-free.
Change the filters in the furnace and have it cleaned–this is the number one item purchasers want done after a home inspection.
If you have a pet with a litterbox, ensure the litterbox is clean.



Get rid of the broken tools, old car parts, discarded bicycles, empty paint cans and the hundreds of other useless items that accumulate in garages. Again, you want a clutter-free zone.
Use cleaning solutions to remove oil stains from the floor.



You have inspected your house and taken care of problems. Now you are ready for showings. You will need a plan of action that assigns duties to each family member so the place can quickly be whipped into shape.


Open all drapes, blinds, etc. and turn on lights to make the house bright.
Air out the house to get rid of cooking, pet odours, and so on.
Have fresh flowers in view.
Pick up clutter, and empty garbage.
Make sure everything is spotless.
Set your thermostat at a comfortable level.
Remove pets from the house or put them outside.
If you have an agent, leave when the house is being shown. If you are selling it yourself, you need to strike a balance between being helpful and crowding the buyer.
In poor weather, provide a place for boots, overshoes and umbrellas.
Display photos of the house in summer to show landscaping if selling in the winter months.
Leave out heating and hydro bills.
For those on a septic system and/or well, leave out inspection and maintenance information.


Source: CMHC.