Let’s get started! There is more to selling a property than just selling the property. There are many different strategies for selling properties and it takes experience to know which is the best strategy for your property. It’s all about the balance of time and money. Some properties benefit greatly when they are professionally cleaned and staged. Why is this? Buyers love to see a property at its best. Maximizing a properties potential is a strategy for getting the most value from the sale of the property.
Vacant Home Tax: The City of Toronto is introducing a Vacant Home Tax starting in 2023. There is a deadline to submit a declaration online by February 02, 2023. This tax is to encourage homeowners to occupy the properties they own and not have many properties sitting empty year round. The overall idea here is to reduce the squeeze on the rental market in Toronto. The reality is this probably will not make any significant difference to the rental market but the tax will bring in extra dollars for the City of Toronto. Please click here for all the information relating to the Vacant home Tax.
Property Fraud: Last year 2 people impersonated a couple and sold their house in the GTA when they were out of the country! This couple profited from the sale and have disappeared, enjoying a life off of someone else’s lifetime investment. Click here to read the article. How could something like this happen? Well, Real Estate fraud is real and it happens more than is reported in the news. There are all types of fraud that deal with property and mortgages. Mortgage fraud is more prevalent than Real Estate fraud but it is important to understand your rights and how to prevent something like this from happening to you. The listing agent was convinced they were dealing with the rightful owners of the property because these 2 fraudsters were using fake identification and convinced the Realtor they were the owners of the property. There are many questions of how these fraudsters got hold of the sale proceeds which is a deeper story involving, I am sure, fraudulent bank accounts. How could the rightful owners protect themselves? 1. The first thing that comes to mind is if you are out of the country for an extended period of time, have a “go to” person who will look after the house, whether that is a family member, friend or a property management company. Property insurance companies require that a property they insure is occupied and not vacant. 2. Some homeowners are lucky enough not to have a mortgage but I suggest having a small mortgage on the property at all times is important because it helps prevent these types of crimes. Banks are a natural line of defence against these types of frauds because they have a history with the real owners and in a situation like this would have reached out to the real owners using their original contact information regarding the sale of the property and the transporting or termination of the mortgage. Who gets to keep the house? The new buyers or the original owners? The consensus is the original owners would retain the property because the new buyers purchased the property through fraudulent means without being aware they were purchasing the property from people who did not own the property. What happens to the new purchasers and their funds? Title Insurance should cover the losses for the buyers and it would take quite a bit of time for the buyers to get back their investment. Your home is not just your home, it is a valuable lifetime investment and it’s always wise to protect this investment at all times: 1. Maintain a small mortgage to prevent fraud. 2. Title Insurance is important for properties with no mortgage. 3. Always have someone looking out for your property if you go away.
What are the different strategies for selling a property? There are many strategies and steps to getting a property ready for market. Timing and market conditions play a big role when determining the best strategy. Below are the steps that apply to getting a property ready “For Sale”.
Decluttering: A property needs to be decluttered before the property goes to market. This is one of the biggest issues with properties before going up for sale. Buyers want to be able to walk through a property and see every corner of the property. If the property is jam packed with possessions how will a buyer envision their belongings in the home? A cluttered property will look smaller also detracting from the properties potential. All properties should be de-cluttered prior to the sale of the property.
Updating: In many homes there are improvements that can be made that will improve how the property is perceived and a well perceived property sells for more. In some cases, it can be as easy as re-cocking the bathtub or replacing burnt out lightbulbs throughout the property. In other cases, there is more substantial work to do. It takes an experienced Realtor to know where to draw the line. How much should I spend and how much will I get back? Houses that tick all the boxes; location, schools, community, house size, property size, recent house renovations are the perfect properties for prepping and removing the negatives. These types of properties are usually worth an extra investment. Properties that have been in the family for multi-generations and have had no updates; original kitchens and original bathrooms are probably not worth the extra investment to prepare the house for sale because the whole house would need to be updated and that is best to leave for a new owner. One type of buyer for properties that need a full renovation are professional contractors who “Flip” properties for a living. Finding the balance is a tight rope act between spending just enough money and too much money. This balancing act is also about time. How much time do I have and how much time will it take? Will I miss the peak real estate market for selling? An experienced Realtor will be connected to all types of trades who are trusted and have a proven record. Only an experienced Realtor will be able to give you an honest opinion on how to move forward.
Cleaning: A clean, broom swept property is a must for properties. There is nothing worse than showing a property where the bathroom and kitchen are dirty. It is a clear reminder that this is someone else’s home and it’s obvious there is a lack of care for the home. All these steps take a coordinated effort and the scheduling of professional services. As your listing Broker Realtor I always rely on a work-back schedule and only hire the best in the industry. All homes should be cleaned to some extent before going to market for sale.
Staging: A property that is staged correctly will appeal to a maximum number of potential buyers. Staging is very important and I only work with the best stagers. A poorly staged property is just as bad as not staging it at all. There are many poor stagers out there that do not understand space, colour and balance. I myself spent a number of decades working in the advertising industry as a Graphic Designer and Art Director. I have a very keen eye and for this reason I only hire the best. Staging talks to different parts of the brain, emotional and intellectual. Emotionally the room is beautiful and intellectually the room is a well balanced space. Staging should never be underestimated.
Media Advertising: Everything looks great! The property is ready to go, what’s next? Media services is the next step to showing off this great property! Top notch photography is a must along with floor plans! Every buyer wants to see floor plans! Every property I sell has the best photography and floor plans. A 3-D walkthrough of the property is very important for buyers who cannot make it to the property. Maybe these buyers live in another province or country? Online advertising and printed in-house materials all have their place to advertise the property for sale. Offering the most complete information to buyers will be one step closer to the sale of the property. Never underestimate a buyer’s need for information about a property they are interested in.
I have gone through the basic steps of getting a property ready for sale but there are different strategies for different properties and these different strategies are driven by the condition of the property and the current environment of the Real Estate market.
There are 3 types of properties:
A property that ticks all the boxes
A property that ticks most of the boxes
A property that is a diamond in the rough
Properties that tick all or most of the boxes are worth the investment: decluttering, updating, cleaning, staging and media advertising.
For some properties, they are a diamond in the rough. Some properties are past the point of continued living unless there is a major renovation or home replacement. These are the properties where added investment to sell the property will not have a significant return. There are many properties that come to market that need to be totally renovated. There are buyers for these properties. These buyers have a different set of criteria than your traditional buyer. Generally, these buyers are looking for a property sale that is driven by price. The bottom line is “how much”? These types of buyers are looking down the road and counting the cost to renovate or rebuild.
There are 3 types of markets in Real Estate:
Sellers Market: This is a great time to take the extra steps to make a property looks it’s best. There are more buyers than houses for sale and this could lead to multiple offers on your property. Making a home look it’s best is the best chance for a maximized sale.
Buyers Market: A property that ticks all the boxes is best to remove any negatives in a buyer’s market. Buyers will have higher expectations and there will be less competition in the market. A property that does not tick all the boxes may not be best served with staging. It might be a cost that will not pay back. It’s a judgement call that shouldn’t be made without a trusted experienced Realtor.
Balanced Market: In a balanced market it can be a tough judgment call. One telltale sign is “how many days will it take on average to sell the property”. Most staging contracts are for 30 days, after that the contract will need to be extended or the staging is removed. It really comes down to market conditions and the condition of the property. An experienced Realtor will guide you to making the best decisions.
Selling an investment property has it’s challenges and usually tenants are the added challenge. Every investment property sale is unique and will need to be assessed on an individual basis. Contact me for the best strategy to sell your investment property. [email protected]
Maximized Seller’s Guide