First, this blog is meant in good fun. It is not meant to be anything other than light-hearted yet relevant insight that was compiled from 20+ years of real estate experience. We hope you find it helpful and/or mildly entertaining!
1. We’re not in a hurry!
Most people aren’t in a hurry, until they are. The key thing to know is that as a seller, time on the market is rarely your friend. As a buyer, what is your opinion of a home that has been on the market for 9 days versus 89? So, while you’re not in a hurry, those first few weeks on the market are crucial in terms of buyer interest and activity. So yes, you should be in a bit of a hurry.
2. We can always come down, but we can never go up!
This is essentially a fishing expedition. Dipping your toes in the water with a “let’s see what happens!” price is a dangerous strategy. If your list price is $849,900 when all signs indicate you should be $799,900, you are going to be relying on the resilience and willingness of the buyers to either overpay or give it a shot. Current market conditions need to be strongly considered when doing this.
3. Let’s wait and see how the open house goes.
If you have an interested buyer at the table and/or an offer, under no circumstances should you push it aside to wait for an open house. The reality is that only a small percentage of homes sell from an open house so if you have a bird in the hand, do what you need to do to make that offer fly.
4. It’s a good offer but it’s so soon. We want to wait and see if we can get more!
We hear this a remarkable amount of time and equally remarkable is the amount of time that it comes back to haunt the seller. Here is roughly how it will go. A home is listed for $699,900. An offer comes in and the highest the buyer will go is $680,000. All indications are that is fair market value. But it’s only day two so the sellers want to wait to see if they can do better. Fast forward four weeks and the home sells for $675,000.
5. We’re going to wait for the showing tomorrow.
This is a variation on the ‘wait of the open house’ concept. A seller might receive an offer on day three however there are two showings booked the next day. Do you hold off dealing with the offer in the hopes that tomorrows showings will be even better? This is another risk & reward scenario. Imagine turning the offer away and both showings tomorrow lead to nothing. Buyer #1 could quite possibly be gone. So again, better to not wait.
6. My (cousin/friend/uncle) from (somewhere other than Niagara) thinks our price is too low.
The truth is your cousin/friend/uncle means well and only wants the best for you. After a conversation with them, they might reference how the market in their town is and that article they read in the Globe and Mail real estate section. The reality is that real estate is a very segmented beast. While the macro market conditions might be applicable, your city and neighbourhood is likely (very) different than where they live. What are the days on the market? How many competing listings are there? What are the recent sales comparables? Hire a Realtor in whom you have the utmost faith and trust their guidance. Sure, listen to your Uncle, but follow the direction of the professional who is sitting in front of you.
7. It’s so low, we don’t even want to sign it back.
Sometimes this is a case of the buyer embracing the nothing ventured, nothing gained philosophy. Or think of the opposite of #2 on this list… “we can always go up but we can never do down!”. When selling a home there is always a chance that you’re going to receive an offer that disappoints. As well, that letdown is only amplified following the excitement of the news that you’re going to receive one! This is the time to take a deep breath and give negotiation a chance. On occasion a buyer just needs a little nudging to come up to a palatable number so it’s typically worth a shot.
8. We sat in our car across the street and watched the showing.
We highly recommend that you do not put yourself through the 3rd party anguish of watching other people stroll through your home. This includes ‘RING’ doorbells where a seller will sit, and watch buyers come and go. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, and in this case, this is very true. Regardless of what you think, it will hurt a bit when you hear someone remark about how they dislike your beloved wallpaper or recroom furniture. The same applies to watching them walk around your front yard and stand in judgement of your eavestroughs or 2nd floor windows. You won't accomplish anything emotionally productive sitting out there so stay in the dark and wait to hear from your listing Realtor.
9. Buyers can look past that, right?
Sometimes they can, sometimes they can’t. One of the main objectives in the ‘pre-listing’ phase is to make the home appeal to the widest segment of buyers as possible. So, if there is something that is broken or in rough shape that could be repaired or remedied without too much effort, then yes, it’s probably a good idea to make the effort. The idea is to have the buyer look at the home without having to look past too many things.
10. We want the out-of-towners. They have all the money!
This idea has (possibly) been around since people drove from Toronto to Niagara to buy a home. The implication is that Toronto = more money, so therefor they are going to buy in Niagara without regard for values or the reality of prices. Sure, while a Toronto buyer may have more available funds to purchase a home, that does not mean that they are going to buy with a blind fold on. Rather than look for those pesky and (supposedly) rich out-of-towners, focus on making your home appeal to as wide an audience as possible and then market to them all.
If you've said one (or some) of these, fret not. It's human nature to want more with a smoother path to the finish line. That said, all of these are common misconceptions that will quite possibly send you in the wrong direction in selling your home.
Thanks for reading! :)