June 8, 2017 | sellers
Selling your home used to be fairly straight forward. Fifteen to twenty years ago, there was a lot less staging. There was a lot less technology, and prices where not nearly as high. So the stakes were not as high. You could simply decide to put your home on the market. People would see it. Someone would want to buy it, and you negotiate a price. Often that simple. You’re done.
This is not the case so much any more. I’m sure many of us could agree that homes are a place to grow into, a place to celebrate, have birthday parties, maybe raise a kid or two, and just live. But let’s not kid ourselves. It’s an investment too. And like all investments, it requires that you take care of it.
It’s not that sellers of 20 years ago did not consider their home an investment or that they did not want the highest price for their home, but today it has become clear that a good portion of equity in many Torontonians’ houses are tied to their property. And if someone would like to sell a property, it’s more than just putting your for sale sign on the front yard and posting on the MLS.
I like to think of today’s way of selling a house very much like making a movie. Maybe not as glamorous and star studded, but similar process. Here’s why:
It Costs Money
Like all business ventures, it costs money to make money. That’s why people pay for higher education. It doesn’t guarantee money, but it will give you a better shot. If you are making a movie, you need to spend the money on your key actors and sets and special effects. People want to be entertained. They don’t want to see a student film made in someone’s parents basement. Likewise, if you sell you property, you do have to take the time to make your house presentable. And I don’t mean just clean. It takes money to stage, paint, market, fix things, hire the right people. Often, the return on this up front investment, will led to a higher sold price and better terms for your sale.
There Needs to Be A Story
Buyers want to know the history of your house. They want to know that good things went on in your home, and the bad things. So, be transparent. If the buyer feels the owner has taken pride in their property, it makes a difference. Even a story around how the place was renovated from an abandoned shack to something amazing or an old condo that was redone with modern pizzazz. Even if there’s no renos and an older couple has lived in the house for 50 years, that’s still a story. You need to talk about some of the bad stuff too. The buyers don’t need to know if you are getting a divorce, but if you have had termites, disclose it. Better to have it out there, than for someone to discover the bad stuff later.
Know Thy Audience
Like with movies, you need to know what kind of people would be interested your home. If you are a sixty something person who has lived in your condo or house for 30 years, then chances are you will be selling your home to a younger buyer. If you have a huge house where many of your neighbours are foreign buyers, then you would need to focus on national and international buyers. So, it is best to market to the right audience. Heavy, big antiques wardrobes or tables with your Hummel collection won’t appeal to downtown Millennials.
It’s a lot of work, and it can be exhausting, but preparing your house for sale and targeting the right buyers will make your sale happen quicker and likely for more money than if you didn’t do the work, and didn’t spend the money. Like all movies, the work won’t be seen. The audience will only care about the end results. And like movies, good reviews on your property can be good for your “box office” results.