The funny thing is that 10 years ago almost no one had heard of Milton and yet for the last 10 years we’ve been the fastest growing community in all of Canada.
Why is that you wonder? Why is it that a small town on the boarder of the GTA (some people argue whether we’re even considered GTA or not) with a population of 50, 80, and now over 100 thousands people could be so sought after?
Well lets take a high level look before we get into selling your house in a hot market.
Milton is strategically located right along the 401 and 407. We’re 20-30 minutes from the country’s largest airport. We’re 1.5 hours from the US boarder, the largest consumer of our exports. And 30-60 minutes from many major employers through out the GTA.
We’re the second youngest municipality as well at roughly 34.4 years of age with one of the largest age groups being 0-5 years old.
I could go on and on about what makes Milton great and why so many people live here and are moving here but I think you get the idea.
So now that we know why Milton is in such demand, lets talk about the crazy market we’re in right now.
The real estate market can be broken down into three types.
A Seller’s Market, where there are far more buyers looking for homes than there are homes for sale – more demand than there is supply pushing prices up.
A Balanced Market where there is about the same number of Buyers and Sellers.
And a Buyer’s Market where there are more homes for sale than Buyers looking – More supply than demand tends to bring prices down.
Right now we’re in what’s called a Seller’s Market. And a very strong Seller’s Market actually.
Just about anyone can sell a home in a Seller’s market. Reason being is that when all the good homes are sold there are still tons of buyers looking, so they’ll still buy whatever is left over because they need a house.
But you don’t want to “just sell” your house.
You Want To KILL IT!!
So without further delay, lets go through what it takes to KILL IT in a Seller’s Market and leave your competition in the dust.
First let me preface with “it won’t be easy”. If it were easy, every home owner would be selling themselves and the 90% of REALTORS that are part time (yes, we’re embarrassed by that number too) and the 1% companies would be killing it too. But they aren’t.
And to prove that fact, Just YESTERDAY we sold a 3 bedroom semi detached home for $21,500 MORE than another very comparable 3 bedroom semi detached home that sold just days before and was right around the corner.
And while I could tell you about very similar results we’ve had selling other homes in this market, lets skip that and get on with it.
How to Kill It In A Seller’s Market!!
1) First Impressions
I’m sure just by reading those words you get it. But if you have an over active mind like me and you’ve over thought it, it’s simple. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
There are many first impressions made in your home. We’ll look into this first one a little bit more in point “5”, but having great quality professional pictures will be many buyers’ first impression of your house when they see it online.
Another first impression that buyers will have of your home is when they pulled up to your house for the first time. What does the outside of your house look like? Buyers will will decide within 6 seconds if it’s the right house for them so you want to make them WANT to come in. If it’s the winter time and there’s snow on the ground are your sidewalks shovelled along with your front step? If it’s the summertime is the lawn mowed and weeds pulled?
If the outside of the house looks like it might’ve been neglected it will create unanswered questions about the overall care of the house. Is there peeling paint on your pillars? Is the front door all scuffed and scratched? Is the door handle jiggly? Does the lock work properly? All of these are first impressions that people have of your home has they approach.
Once they walk in your house what’s their first impression? We have five senses that we rely on to make judgments about our surroundings. Sights, Sounds, Smells, Taste, Touch. If you can stimulate those sentences in a positive way you’ll increase the likelihood of an emotional attachment with your home.
Does your home looking bright and inviting? Are the windows coverings or blinds pulled open? Are all the lights on? Yes you’ll spend a little bit more money on electricity for having all your lights on, but would you be willing to spend $50 to potentially make a thousand or more?
Music has long been known to stimulate our emotions. The right type of music can have a calming and inviting effect on potential buyers making the home feel right for them.
All living animals use their sense of smell in determining if something is safe, be it food or shelter. Is it any different for us? Bad odours or even over powering fragrances can turn off many buyers.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that not everyone is an animal lover…but it’s true. If you have pets at home, it is to your advantage to make it look as if they don’t live there. At times you may want to consider temporary accommodations for any large pets (or even cats who bolt for the door every time it opens) for the duration of your listing. Cats and large dogs (even lizards and rabbits) tend to have a strong smell that stays in the home. As a pet owner you might be used to it, but for others it could be a turn off.
We’ve sold many homes where the owners had pets and some of the consistent feedback that we get from potential buyers was the overwhelming smell of pets. You’d hate to lose the potential buyer that might have been your highest bid just because they weren’t a pet lover too.
After finding temporary accommodations for your pets, ensure that you do a thorough cleaning of all carpets, flooring and even deodorizing furniture, as well as removing any litter boxes, toys and doggie beds which will hold on to odours.
Over powering smells.
Sometimes people try to mask a smell or to make a home smell nice, but over do it. Placing candles or air fresheners everywhere could over power a sensitive nose, especially when they aren’t all the same fragrances and in all honesty, give the buyer a headache. You’ve gone through all that trouble to get a buyer to your home, you don’t want them running for the door. Sometimes, less it more.
Simply removing bad smells and bringing in fresh air will do wonders, then add a subtle fragrance.
Some ideas are to remove the garbage and recycling and wash the bins. Do a thorough cleaning of the washrooms including the floor all around the toilet and walls next to the toilet – especially if you have little guys who are learning to stand like “big boys do”…Accuracy tends to be in the low 20% in the early days but I digress.
Finally open the windows and air out your house. Yes, even in the winter….especially in the winter. It will be cold and you will have to heat the house again but since it’s cold out we tend to lock the house up tight in the winter and the air gets stale. Bringing in fresh air will make a big difference.
Let’s face it. We all have some degree of damage in our homes. A gouge out of the drywall, chipped corners, loose or broken taps, broken railings or even just a sink or tub that overflowed and there are water stains somewhere.
Whatever it is, fix it. You’ve probably be planning to do it for the last 3 years anyways so you might as well start now.
You probably don’t notice it anymore because it’s now part of the landscape and you’re used to it. But a potential buyer doesn’t feel the same. They see all the damage and it doesn’t sit right. A few of the thoughts that might go through their heads are “what else is broken that I can’t see” or “how much is this going to cost to fix”?
And if you don’t fix it, it WILL reflect in the purchase price, I promise! You might still sell quickly in todays’ market, but you don’t want to be a “left over”, leave those for the part-time and 1% agents, You want to be the home that EVERYONE wants! You want to KILL IT!
Nothing makes a house look small like clutter. Lots and Lots of STUFF. The fact is, the longer you live in a house the more stuff you collect. Christmas presents, more and more toys, things you ”gotta have”. The funny part is, we never seem to get rid of the stuff we had before. We’re not replacing it, we’re adding to it. And when stuff collects it fills the rooms and the rooms feel small.
And who wants to buy a house that feels too small?
Taking a week or two to organize and get rid of the clutter in your house will do wonders for how it looks and feels. Grab some boxes, label them with the room that you’re filling from and pack them with all the stuff that you don’t use on a regular basis. Then put them away in the storage room or in your garage. Or better yet give it away, because chances are you don’t actually need it.
Think about this for second. Have you ever gone into a model home that was empty? Or was filled with just ordinary stuff that mismatched?
There’s a reason why builders stage their model homes and there’s a reason why builders will build specific models just to be on display. Because they can get perspective buyers emotionally attached by going through a house and seeing the potential that could not otherwise be illustrated by simply looking at floor plan.
The goal of staging at home is to make it shine above all your competition, to grab the emotions of every potential buyer that comes through your door.
When you combine staging with a clean, fresh smelling, well maintained and decluttered home it creates an experience that homebuyers are not finding anywhere else, and that creates additional demand in an already demanding market.
It’s why when we list our houses above market value I have agents ask me if I’ve listed below market in order to create a bidding war. Staging adds that much perceived value. And people will gladly get in line and pay extra for perceived value.
5) Professional Pictures.
This point will be short because it wraps back around to point number one, First impressions, but having professional pictures taken of a clean, ready and staged home will be the first impression that buyers get when sifting through hundreds of homes on the Internet. When you can stand out among hundreds of homes you’ll be sure to be on the top of the “must-see” list.
6) Invest In Marketing
So now you have a beautiful show ready home that you know will sell, but who knows about it???
Marketing is how you let buyers know about your must-see home!
It’s all too surprising, but far too few Realtors actually earn the commission they charge. You would be blown away to know how many Realtors won’t even invest a couple hundred dollars in professional pictures, let alone investing in promoting their listings (your home) through various advertising campaigns, but will instead rely on the Canadian Real Estate Association’s website, Realtor.ca, to do the marketing for them…one site….THOUSANDS of listings…, all the while asking for thousands in commission from you, for what?
In order to be the house that sells first and for top dollar, you have to identify your demographic and be in front of them, everywhere. Wherever they go, they see your listing. Their friends see your listing. Their family sees your listing. Their co-workers see your listing. And everyone is telling them about it!
It’s a tailor made marking campaign specific to your buyers and is everywhere they are.
And when you pull all these techniques together your house becomes the Must-See, Must- Have house.
It creates Demand within a demanding Seller’s Marketing.
So there you have it, our insider secrets on how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. As we mentioned, it IS a lot of work, but that work pays off every time!
And when you’ve sold your home in just a few short days and for more than your competition, you scream Anyone Can Sell A Home In A Seller’s Market, But I KILLED IT!!!!