Homes can be sold under almost any market conditions but when demand is low and supply is high things get tougher for home sellers. As I write this article, the active inventory of residential MLS listings in Saskatoon sits at 1,364 properties. Based on five-year averages, buyers can expect to see roughly 488 new MLS listings come to the market in the next thirty days. Looking to the same measure of historical data, about 270 Saskatoon homes will sell during that time. No matter how you slice it, the vast majority of the homes that are currently offered for sale will still be for sale a month from now.
So, what is a quick sale is vital for you? What if you don’t have time to wait it out? What can realistically be done to increase your odds of selling over the next thirty days? Frankly, there are just a few things that you and your agent can actually control but those things are all important factors in capturing a buyer’s interest and closing a sale. The three areas where you and your agent have full control are presentation, promotion and price.
Presentation Part 1
In a crowded real estate market homes that don’t show well, or those that are in poor repair are a very tough sell. It’s just too easy for a buyer to pass. They have every bit of confidence that something better will come available soon. Unless your home has some unique quality for which there is a reasonable level of demand you must be prepared to put in some elbow grease, or spend a few bucks to properly prepare it for sale. Alternatively, you can make up for those shortcomings with a lower price. You’ll likely need to price the home so the buyer can see a clear net gain of equity as a result of doing the work. Here’s what the math needs to look like to interest buyers in most of these cases – Purchase price + cost of repairs = a clearly below market price.
Even homes that are in good repair can benefit from some basic pre-sale preparation and some staging. Improving the condition of your home is one way of adding value to make your offering more attractive to prospective buyers.
Our home preparation list and our preparing for a successful photo shoot article both have some basic suggestions for improving presentation.
Presentation Part 2
The old cliché, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” couldn’t be more accurate.
Several studies indicate that almost all buyers begin their home search online. They use the Internet to qualify properties for onsite viewings and eliminate those that they don’t care to see. Today’s online tools allow buyers to quickly favorite or trash homes while they browse. Once your home is eliminated from the list it’s very difficult to recapture a buyers attention.
Web appeal is the new curb appeal. Your home must show as well online as it will when the buyer visits in person and fortunately for you; the bar is generally set fairly low. It’s not that difficult to look better than the competition. An average house, presented well, can have more web appeal than a great house that is presented poorly.
Presenting your home in the best possible light with professional quality images and attractive written descriptions will play an important role in your success or failure as a seller. Improving the online presentation of your home could increase inquiries and showings resulting in a faster sale.
Now that your home is looking good, you need to ensure that potential buyers can easily find it and the Internet is clearly where buyers for your home are looking. Some people feel that Canada’s leading real estate website, realtor.ca can adequately expose a property to the market. You definitely want to be there but here’s the big catch – according to HitWise, realtor.ca reaches fewer than one in three home buyers. Two of three choose to look at homes elsewhere. If realtor.ca forms the bulk of your online marketing effort you’re actually missing most of the market. Information on your home should to be available at a variety of home search websites to maximize the possibility that buyers will find your home. A robust web-marketing plan will include placement on a number of important websites and an active effort to draw buyers to your property including pay-per-click advertising campaigns and spotlights ads where available.
The wonderful thing about Internet marketing is the ability to track and count visits to your property’s online ads. You can know, without question, that people are seeing your home.
If preparation or promotion are lacking you may be able to make some adjustments in those areas and find success. If your home can be easily found by home buyers and it looks great online, it’s likely failing to sell for another reason.
No amount of preparation or promotion will sell a home that’s clearly priced above market value. If your home presents well and buyers are aware that it’s for sale you have just one option to bring about a faster sale – lower your price to make it more attractive. Generally speaking, the roughly 270 Saskatoon homes that do sell over the next thirty days will be those that appear to offer the best value, in the sole judgment of those who offer to buy them. Remember, buyers have what seems like an endless selection of homes and they’re not feeling much pressure to move quickly. They must see good value to be drawn into a negotiation on almost any home.
Best wishes for a speedy sale!
I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate