Selling Your Home: 3 things you should know before pricing your home

Selling Your Home: 3 things you should know before pricing your home

You’ve switched jobs, your family is growing or maybe you’re just looking for a change. Whatever the reason may be, you now find yourself facing the long and stressful process of selling your home. Generally, this process takes months (time to prep the home for sale + time the home is on the market + time to close with an eventual buyer), costs a fortune (realtor commissions, repairs, staging, legal fees, inspections, etc.), and requires a lot of work (keeping the home clean for endless viewings and open houses, negotiating with buyers, etc.). To help you navigate this process, we’ve put together a 3-part series covering strategies that will save you a lot of time, money and stress during your sale.

Part 1: Perfecting Pricing

Part 2: Explore Selling Avenues

Part 3: Preparing Your Home

Part I: Selling Your Home – Perfecting Pricing

Most sellers start the sale process with an expectation of what the home will sell for. Most of us come up with this expectation based on factors like the price we paid for the home, the price that people we know sold their homes for, or the amount of money we hope to make. Let’s face it, as the seller you want to generate as much profit as possible on the sale! This can be dangerous, however, because many sellers will stay firm on this expectation even though it does not represent the fair-market value for the home (based on recent trends in the local real estate market, the time of year or the price that similar homes sold for in the area). Perhaps the most glaring mistake a seller can make is listing their home above its fair-market value. This will lead to the home sitting on the market for weeks or months, and will require you to eventually lower your price. Buyers will then smell blood because they know that you will now be keen to sell, and you will likely end up selling your home for below fair-market value.

Pricing a home is not an easy task by any stretch, but there are some measures you can take to ensure that you are well-informed throughout the pricing process.

1. Understand the market

A good place to start is to build a general understanding of the local real estate market conditions at the time of sale. This includes doing your research on factors that impact buyer demand, like interest rates on mortgages (high rates means lower demand), recent government policy changes and seasonality (sale prices are typically higher in the Spring and lower in the Winter, but as a Spring seller you are also competing with many other sellers who try to benefit from this factor). Ask yourself if these conditions are favourable to you as the seller: will they fuel more buyers or make buyers shy away? There’s an abundance of information on these topics online and it can be difficult to even know where to start. To ensure that you are receiving accurate information, use credible sources like monthly or quarterly reports from the official real estate board for your City or the Canadian Real Estate Association. These reports outline the current state of the market and provide year-over-year metrics so you can see trends and understand general sentiment of buyers and sellers.

2. Study your neighbourhood and recent similar home sales

After getting a better sense of the market as a whole, hone in on real estate activity in your particular city and neighbourhood. The first thing to look at is recent home sales in your neighbourhood. But proceed with caution! A common trap that many sellers fall into is only considering homes that have sold on the higher end of the price spectrum. It is important to note that while homes may seem similar, there are often crucial differences that can lead to homes selling for vastly different prices. These factors include things like specific locations and neighbourhoods (one side of the street might have better sunlight, a nicer view or fall into a different school district), year built, nearby school ratings and other public amenities, and specific features and upgrades to the home (garage size, finished basement, landscaping, size of the home, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.). Each of these differences can account for meaningful differences in home value – for example, in some neighbourhoods a finished basement will add $30,000 to a home’s value.

3. Hand it to the Pros

Once you have a general understanding of the market, you can look to confirm your findings by talking to well-seasoned professionals. By connecting with a licensed real estate professional, you can receive their expert opinion on your home’s value. You can also get a free offer on your home directly from Properly; we take into account all of the market information and home-specific information described above to come up with a fair-market value.  

Part 2 of this series will explore the different selling avenues that you can pursue to sell your home. It is not a one-size-fits-all process, and selecting a different avenue could potentially save you a lot of work, time and money. Stay tuned!

As highlighted in this post, selling a house is stressful, requires a lot of work and can take several months. At Properly, we believe it should be fast and convenient. With our service, you’ll receive a free, fair-market offer for your home with no obligations in just a few clicks. Better yet, you can close the sale on your schedule, and in as few as 5 days. Visit our website to get your free offer today.

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