How to get the best price for your home in 2021
Over the last few weeks, I have been taking calls from several homeowners who are looking to take advantage of this sellers’ market. But maximizing your sale price during a hot market means more than sticking a “for sale” sign on your lawn and hoping for the best.
In order to maximize your sale price, you need to create a high level of demand when listing and position your home for multiple offers. Below are my top tips for sellers hoping to score multiple offers.
In a sellers’ market, there is always the temptation to push the envelope on pricing; to price slightly above the market and set a record price for your home and the neighbourhood.
However, pricing your home above market value will decrease the number of showings your home gets when it hits the market—and the key to getting multiple offers on your home is having multiple showings.
When you price your home slightly lower, it can often create a frenzy among buyers and drive up the price.
Have you ever watched an auction? It's like that, where everyone wants to acquire the home for a bargain, but the demand and attention it gets from other buyers increases the resulting sale price and maybe sets a record price for your neighbourhood.
This doesn't mean you have to give away the farm. When looking at recent solds for your neighbourhood, it’s best to list your home as a slight discount—not at a slight premium—to attract the most buyers' attention.
2. Give potential buyers and agents lots of time to view.
As I mentioned above, in order to maximize the sale price—we need to maximize the number of showings.
You don’t want to miss a qualified, motivated buyer because you had too many other showings booked or too many restrictions around showing your home.
Only a year ago it was common for homes to list and accept offers on the same day. Which sounds great in theory, but this limited the number of agents and buyers who were able to view the home before offers were reviewed and accepted.
Accepting the first offer to come in limits the opportunity for multiple offers and can prevent you from maximizing your sale price.
Is each day your home sits on the market inconvenient? Yes. Frustrating? Sometimes. A challenge to keep the place clean and ready to view? Absolutely.
I recommend listing your home and setting a specific day and time to review offers. And then make yourself scarce for those days in between.
That means you can get your home show-ready once, and don’t need to re-clean and re-stage in between each showing.
This also gives potential buyers lots of time to view your property. Thursdays are great days to list as buyers often have more flexibility to view homes on the weekend.
3. Preparation! Preparation! Preparation!
In Real Estate, they say Location! Location! Location! But as a seller looking to maximize your sale price, the phrase should be Preparation! Preparation! Preparation!
You're not trying to create a situation in which your home barely edges out the listing down the street in the hearts and minds of your target buyer. If you want multiple offers, you need multiple buyers to fall deeply in love with your home—enough to bid above the list price and enough to compete with others for it.
And this work starts weeks before you hit the market.
To generate multiple offers, prepare your home by ensuring it is:
And get ready to sing your homes’ praises. If you've done any major home improvements or replaced any appliances or systems lately, market that! Show off how immaculate, adorable and move-in ready your home is now—and tout its great working condition for the long run.
4. Expose it to the market.
Have a plan to maximize your property’s exposure on the market. The first step is sharing your property BEFORE you list.
‘Coming Soon’ messaging can double your marketing exposure and have buyers lining up the day it lists.
Coming soon or pre-list marketing could include a “for sale sign” with a coming soon rider, a social media teaser campaign or direct mail to your neighbours since they already know how great it is to live on your street.
With effective pre-list marketing, you can start racking up the showing requests even before you hit the MLS.
Pro tip: Host an agent pre-view the day before you hit the market. Agents love the opportunity to share off-market properties with their clients so an agent pre-view can help generate that buzz you’re looking for.
If you’re thinking of listing your property and you aren’t sure if right now is the best time, I’d love to chat about some things you can do to prepare your home for listing.
I’ve talked about how to take advantage of the seller’s market to get the best price for your home, but what if you’re on the other side of the equation? Navigating a home purchase can be stressful on its own—but in a hot seller’s market, there’s even more to consider.
In a seller’s market, there are more people shopping for homes than there are listings for sale giving sellers the upper hand. A seller’s market is characterized by:
As a buyer, you need to be ready to move fast, negotiate generously, and prepare for rejection. Maybe more than once.
Having an agent working to support you makes the process easier, so here are my top tips for buyers looking to stay competitive in a seller’s market.
Get pre-approval before you start shopping
In competitive offer situations, the first thing the listing agent wants to know is if the buyer is pre-approved.
Being able to send in a pre-approval letter with your offer proves that you are serious and gives the sellers confidence that the deal won’t fall apart on financing down the road.
While you’re at it, be sure to gather the income documents your lender requires (proof of income, proof of assets, and employment verification) in advance of submitting an offer.
In order to make your offer more competitive, you will want to shorten the condition deadlines as much as possible, which doesn’t leave much time to track down these documents after your offer is accepted.
I’ve talked about lending questions with Alex Lavender, Mortgage Broker previously and you can find out more about getting pre-approved here.
Shop all winter long
Having a little less competition can go a long way in landing the right home. Some buyers tend to hibernate during the winter months in favour of waiting for the infamous ‘spring market’ when the real estate industry kicks it into high gear for the warmer months.
Winter is a great time to shop as sellers who list mid-winter are often more motivated and you’ll face much less competition.
Stay alert. Sign up for an e-notification.
This ensures that you get an email alert the minute a property that matches your search criteria hits that market. You don’t want to miss out on “the one” because you went out to grab a coffee on your work break instead of checking Realtor.ca.
Schedule house tours ASAP
Once a property you like becomes available, it probably won’t last long. Make sure you give yourself an opportunity to get in on the action by going to see it as soon as possible, even if it means being a little flexible in other areas of your schedule.
Write a strong offer
Unfortunately, a seller’s market is not the time to try and score a deal.
Ask yourself how upset you’ll be if you lose out on this house, and then write your offer accordingly. If you really love it, don’t be afraid to go in above the asking price. (And a heartfelt letter to the sellers included in the offer never hurts.)
Hire an Expert
Don’t get swept up in the seller’s market. Hiring a neighbourhood expert means having someone working in your best interest, so you’re not overpaying for a property or relying on over-offering to get the property you love.
There are lots of ways to write an attractive offer and working with a professional means having insight into the market to so that you can write a winning offer
Not sure where to get started in your house search? Set up a free buyer's seminar to learn what you can do to find a home in the current market.
Real Estate Advisor based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I help people buy and sell homes with Engel & Völkers.