Selling

Price it to sell

Setting a selling price for your home is a tough decision, but a very important one. Of course you want to make as much money as possible. But you don’t want to ask too much and have your listing sit for ages without selling. Here are some tips for pricing your home so it sells fast, at a price you’ll be happy with.

Too High

If your asking price it too high, buyers won’t be interested, and your listing will just sit there and get stale. A listing that sits on the market for a long time makes people think there’s something wrong with the property. Selling a stale listing, even at a reduced price, becomes much more challenging, since buyers have already seen it and passed over it.

However, dropping the price is never a good idea. It makes you look desperate to sell. Better to come up with a reasonable price right from the start.

Too Low

Pricing it too low can pose problems as well. In a hot market, a low price can actually spark multiple offers, which is great for you, because a bidding war will only drive up the price. But if there’s not enough interest, a lower price means you won’t make as much as you could have. It can also make potential buyers wonder what’s wrong with it. Plus, it could also mean you end up missing a key demographic. For example, if the homes in your area are selling for $400,000-500,000, and you list your place at $350,000, people looking in the original range won’t even see your listing.

Just Right

Setting a fair price means you’ll get more interest, potentially attract multiple buyers, and sell your property faster. So how do you set the right price? There’s really no set formula; the key to selling is listing your house for what it’s worth. To figure that out, you need to take a look at the market and see what comparable homes are selling for.

Put Emotion in Check

Yes, this is the house you’ve raised your children in, restored lovingly, or landscaped beautifully. But buyers don’t care about your emotional attachment or the money you’ve invested in renos. What it’s worth to you isn’t the same as market value.

Look at Recent Sales

Selling prices are a good indication of what buyers are willing to pay for a home in your area. Just make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. A brand new home is going to command a different price than a 20-year old house or an historic property in the same neighbourhood. Same goes for a condo overlooking the lake versus one in the same building that faces a highway.

Check Current Listings

Browse MLS® to see what’s available in your neighbourhood and what prices are being asked. (Remember, though, that asking price doesn’t always translate into selling price, so take these numbers with a grain of salt).

Find out about expired listings. These are properties that didn’t sell, and they’re a good way to get a sense of what buyers won’t pay for a home like yours.

Check Out Some Local Open houses

Take a close look at other homes that are for sale in your area. How do they compare with your place in terms of location, condition, features and size? Take their asking price and use it as a baseline for your own property.

Have Your Home Appraised

A registered valuer will do a detailed inspection of your home and local market and give you a professional assessment of how much it’s is worth. Be wary of using the assessed value provided by your city or town. It may not be up to date, and it doesn’t factor in value items such as appliances or hardwood floors.

Consider what the Market is Like

Your home’s value is based on supply and demand. Do some research on the market in your neighbourhood or city. Are homes in your area selling fast or sitting on the market for weeks or months? What are interest rates like? The economy? What about the local job market? All of those things factor in to what a buyer will want to spend to buy your property.

Most REALTORS® will do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to show you what similar properties have sold for in your area. For a CMA of homes in your neighbourhood, or to ask about recently sold or listed properties, contact your REALTOR®

Smart Renovations: Improvements that Pay

So you’re thinking about doing a kitchen facelift, putting on an addition or landscaping your yard. If you’re renoing your house with an eye to upping resale value, you may want to focus your dollars on projects that will give you the best return.

1. The Kitchen

Kitchen renos usually offer the best return of any major improvement. Just make sure you’re keeping your update in line with the rest of the house and with other homes in the neighborhood. If you put a $60,000 kitchen into a $200,000 house, you don’t have much of a chance of recouping your costs.

Don’t have major bucks to sink into your kitchen? Sometimes a small facelift like new hardware, freshly painted cabinets or new appliances can make a big difference – to both your resale value and your own appreciation of the space.

2. The Bathroom

Buyers like bathrooms that are up-to-date and stylish. Despite being one of the most expensive renos you can undertake (second only to kitchens) updating an existing bathroom or adding a new one can really boost the value of your home. If your home only has one bathroom, adding a second one is always a good idea. Or, if you live in a neighborhood where everyone else has three bathrooms and you only have two, keeping up with the Joneses can keep your property values up, too.

3. The Basement

Finishing your basement (or your attic or any other unfinished area) can increase the value of your home tremendously. Adding living space almost always pays for itself. Plus, it’s more cost-effective than building an addition.

4. Additions

A well-constructed addition usually offers a good return at resale. Improvements that increase functional space (rather than just making your home look better) hold their value longer. Just be careful not to add on so much that there’s no space left on the outside; a yard that’s too small may not appeal to buyers.

5. Hardwood Floors

Wood floors are elegant, durable and easy to keep clean. Stick with light or medium wood; dark wood looks formal and isn’t to everyone’s taste. It’s a pricey update, but you can usually recoup a good portion of what you pay for new floors – as long as your buyer doesn’t prefer wall-to-wall.

6. New Paint (Interior and Exterior)

Painting your home is inexpensive, easy, and is one of the few investments you can make that will likely see a significant profit. Stay away from intense or unusual colors that won’t appeal to most buyers – tasteful, current neutrals are best. If you’re painting the outside, keep colors in line with other homes on your street.

7. New Deck

An attractive, well-designed deck is a cost-efficient way to add usable square footage to your home, and offers excellent payback.

8. General Improvements

These may seem boring, but overall, fixing the small stuff may increase the value of your home the most. Before you spend money putting in a Jacuzzi tub, first see if any structural or mechanical fixes take priority (like roof repairs, fixing a leaky basement, repairing doors that stick, dripping faucets, etc.) The Jacuzzi isn’t going to impress anyone if the toilet doesn’t work.

Improvements that DON’T pay

There are some fixes that simply don’t provide a good return on your investment.

An in-ground swimming pool

Since many buyers don’t want the maintenance and responsibility that goes with having a pool, installing one can actually detract from the value of your home.

Major landscaping

If it looks like it will require a lot of work and money to keep up, it generally won’t appeal to buyers, no matter how nice it looks.

Replacing heating or A/C

You may make half of your money back at resale.

Replacing windows and doors

If they’re old and drafty, you’ll need to replace them, but it’s an expensive repair that you won’t likely see reflected in your sale price.

Quality counts

Whatever improvements you decide to make to your home, don’t cut corners to save money. A poorly done reno will detract from the value of your home, especially if buyers decide they need to redo it.

If you’re renoing your house with an eye to upping resale value, focus your dollars on projects that will give you the best return.