Tips For Selling Your Home in Toronto
I have been fortunate to study and test many different marketing theories and approaches, and the classic 'Marketing Mix Method' has consistently proven the most effective in marketing a property for sale.
This approach focuses on “4 Ps “ to articluate the marketing process: Price, Product, Place, and Promotion. Hopefully, you agree with some of my ideas listed below. I’ve also included some òbvious` recommendations – because sometimes, you need to start with the basics.
You cannot change the location of your property, so focus on the other 3 P’s!!!
-Curb appeal – We`ve all heard the expression, ``You never get a second chance to make a first impression``, and this is especially true with real estate. Is the fence paint peeling off? Is your lawn mowed? Is the snow removed? Is the railing stable and secure? Are there any loose steps? There is no quicker way to erode the confidence and interest of a buyer than when he or she climbs the porch steps and grabs a rusted, loose railing. TIP: You would be amazed at how much a few hanging plants can impact how pretty a property looks!
-Touch ups and light repairs – Some Sellers think that a leaky faucet is no big deal. What they aren’t considering is that a prospective buyer might look at the faucet and then think, `If they dont take care of the faucet, they probably aren`t taking care of the rest of the property`. In other words, they take a small cue like a leaky faucet and generalize it to the rest of the property. Guess what – this small repair could make a Buyer hesistate about making an offer! TIP: If you have an older house with hardwood under the carpet, it can be a great investment to have the carpet removed – rather than simply adding a description on the listing highlighting “there is hardwood underneath the carpet”.
-Smells – Do you smoke? Do you have pets? Do you use incense? Do you cook with exotic spices? Once you decide to sell your property, you need to remove any offensive or unusual smells. Nothing turns off Buyers faster than bad smells.
-Paint – I am continually amazed at how a fresh coat of paint can transform a property, from a tired and stale living area to a fresh, inviting space. Yes, painting can be a large investment – but it can deliver a high payback in many circumstances.
-Decluttering and depersonalizing – Once a prospective Buyer is visiting your property, you want it to look as large, bright, clean and generic as possible. That means removing family photos, kids toys and especially trinkets - ultimately, ensuring all countertops are clean and clear. TIP – Remove window screens, since they can block 10-20% of your natural light. And buyers love natural light!
-Staging – Staging has received lots of media attention in recent years, and that`s because it works. Staging can range from furnishing a vacant property, to replacing an oversized sofa for a `condo-sized`sofa. Ultimately, staging encourages Buyers to submit an offer.
Obviously, Sellers want to sell their property for as much as possible, and Buyers want to pay as little as possible. Often, Sellers suggest listing their home for too much money, with the rational that they can always lower the price later. In my experience, this is not an effective strategy and often backfires. It helps to think of a property for sale as a perishable item, like a carton of milk. When the listing is loaded onto MLS and the marketing strategy is launched, the property is fresh and new, and many Buyers and Realtors visit the property. The reasonable asking price helps to convert traffic into an offer. A well-priced property can often sell in less than a month, and in many areas, it can sell in one week.
If a property is overpriced, the Buyers who visit the property do not make any offers, and the propertry ends up sitting on the market. All of a sudden, Buyers start to think that there must be something wrong with the property, since it hasn`t sold...
TIP: Some Realtors will agree to list a property at a price higher than market value, in order to pacify the Seller and win the listing. A confident, knowledgable Realtor will not accept an overpriced listing.
TIP: In the past, I have taken clients on a tour of other listed properties in your neighbourhood to do a ‘competitive analysis’ to help drive a sound, strategic price.
-Your Realtor will facilitate your promotional strategy, with input from you of course! I utilize a three-pronged approach, with a focus on Traffic, Conversion and Negotiation:
Driving traffic to your property
-For sale sign on your property (Yes, a for sale sign is still a great way to promote your property.) After all, prospective buyers often walk or drive through the neighbourhoods!
-Neighbourhood walkabout – I knock on doors to ask current homeowners if they know anyone who wants to move into the community. After all, many neighbours have friends and family that are a great source of leads
-Social media – Ask me about my advanced strategies, including Facebook, Craigslist, Kijiji and more!
-Catered Agent Open Houses – I host an exclusive open house for Realtors only.
-Extended Open Houses – Many agents have an open house on Sunday from 2-4pm, however I believe that making it easy for prospective buyers to visit your property is essential. That’s why my open houses are on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm.
-Ten thousand UA (Unaddressed admail) targeted postcards. I work with Canada Post to promote your property to targeted neighbourhoods. Sometimes, this even includes postcards to nearby condominiums and apartments, as these people may be great propsects for your property
-MLS.ca – Many buyers visit mls.ca to obtain property information, and this is a great source of advertising for your property.
Converting traffic into offers
-Professional photograhy – with the works... A wide-angle lens, high quality DSLR camera and all the bells and whistles. It makes a big difference
-Full colour feature sheets. Some agents leave an MLS listing as a take-away. But take a look at my feature sheets and you’ll see the difference. These ‘souvenirs’ are great to give to prospective Buyers, as they can show them to their friends and family, and they leave them with a ‘warm’ feeling about the house.
-Presenting a clean, fresh, bright property – Touch ups and staging is discussed above, and it is critical to showcase a clean property in order to convert a prospect into a buyer.
-Purchase incentives – My mortgage broker is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and he knows his stuff. And because I’ve been friends with him for 20 years, he offers my clients outstanding rates.
Negotiating a high price
-Pre-inspections – In certain situations, it makes sense to pre-inspect a property, to elimitate a potential barrier for a buyer to make an offer.
-Strategic pricing – In certain situations, it makes sense to list a property at a lower price to generate multiple offers (or, as it’s promoted by the media, bidding wars).
-Advanced negotiating strategies – Ask me about opening gambits, nibbling, and more!
Tips for showing your property:
-You need to make it as convenient as possible for prospective buyers to visit the property. That means using a lockbox so other Realtors can book an appointment.
-KTLO – Keep the lights on. Yes, I know this isn’t environmentally friendly, however you want your property to be as bright as possible when buyers visit. And you won’t always have a chance to come home before the buyers arrive. On that note, try (very hard!) not to be home when buyers visit. It is very, very awkward for buyers.
-SH – Spotless property! This means the beds should be made, kitchen counter clear (with no dishes), amd no toys to trip over. This can be very hard for most Sellers - after all, we need to live somewhere! Depending on your situation, you might want to move in with a parent or sibling – or even go on vacation for the first week – to ensure the property looks great every time. This also makes it easier for last-minute showing requests.
-Pets – Ideally, you should remove any pets. Some Buyers are allergic to pets, and they won’t want to stay in your property if they are!
-Smokers – Do not smoke inside while your property is listed for sale, and remove all ash trays from inside and outside of your home. Do not leave any cues that you smoke!
Interested in having Elan as your agent?
Contact Elan Weintraub, Toronto's House Hunter. [email protected] or 647-501-HOME (4663)