Frequently Asked Questions

Questions:

How Do You Price A Home?

What Is The Difference Between List and Sale Price?

To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade?

Buyers: How Do I Get The Best Price?

Sellers: How Do I Deal With Low Offers?

What Do You Charge?

What Does It Cost To Buy A House Through You?

What Is Your Marketing Strategy?

HOW DO  YOU PRICE A HOME?

House pricing is not an exact science, however, a reasonable estimate of a home’s value can be arrived at by using a variety of means.

  1. I create a CURRENT MARKET ANALYSIS (CMA) which outlines similar homes over an approximate six month period and evaluate their similarities and differences in comparison to your home.  I look at not only which houses are active on the market  but which have expired and sold.
    1. Similar homes are described as homes in comparable condition/age/square footage/style/location etc.
    2. ACTIVE Listings are your competition, we want your house to be BEST ON SHOW….to look like the best value for money compared to the other houses that buyers are looking at.
    3. SOLD listings give a good idea of what the market will bear.
    4. EXPIRED listings are a valuable resource.  Houses that don’t sell do so either due to over-pricing, bad location or poor condition when compared to similar properties.
  1. I also do a neighbourhood snapshot which shows ALL house sales (MLS and private) within one calendar year and 500 meters of your home.  This will show similar and dissimilar properties, however, it gives an overview of the general value for the area and we can determine whether your house exceeds, falls short or is at par.We will discuss any unique features that may make your home special, things that add value, upgrades and character.  There may be some features that can be viewed as a detriment for example pools and hydro corridors appeal to some and are deal breakers for others.
  1. Together, we will evaluate the condition of the home and whether or not some improvements would be practical. I ask you to consider the fact that you are selling a home, purchasers are buying a house.  While your home may have special meaning and memories for you, they DO NOT translate to sale price.  Don’t be offended if someone doesn’t like your furniture, paint or wallpaper…it means that they are looking at the house as theirs and you need to start giving it up as yours.
  2. The services of a professional appraiser can also be used to determine the value of a house.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIST AND SALE PRICE?

The list price is an estimate of what the house is worth. The sale price is the actual amount the property sells for, this is also considered market value.

It is important that the list price be reasonable from day one because having “negotiation room” can actually work against you.  Statistically, a home that is listed even 5% above where it should be will not only take longer to sell, but will often sell for less than it would have if priced properly from the outset.  The reason for this is that the initial weeks of listing are the most important and you may lose potential buyers with an unrealistic price and by the time the price is reduced, these buyers have bought elsewhere, forgotten your property or just scored it off their list.  Additionally, over pricing your home helps sell other homes by making them look like better value.

We work together as a team to determine the list price, however, I will strongly advocate for a price within 2-3% of what the home should sell for.  This is not about under-pricing, this is about knowing the market and targeting your home appropriately.  If priced appropriately I will not repeatedly come to you for price reductions.  It is not a good strategy to price high and keep reducing, it costs you time and in most cases money too.

I will keep you apprised of changes in the market and response to your property and it may be that we need to review our strategy, however, we will do so knowing that we started from the right place.

 

TO UPGRADE OR NOT TO UPGRADE?

While there are some valuable improvements and investments that may enhance the value of your property, it is important to know how these changes may affect your sale price.  If you are renovating over time to enjoy improvements, do not expect to get all of your money back as buyers will consider them used as soon as you make the changes…so enjoy them for what they are.

If you are making changes to sell, then KISS is the rule to follow (Keep it Simple Silly!).  Very often a neutralizing paint colour or just a fresh coat of paint will instantly modernize and refresh a home.  New light fixtures and doors can also completely transform a home for relatively little cost.

Complete bathroom or kitchen overhauls should only be attempted if the existing ones are rotting, leaking or irreparably broken.  “old” is not a reason to spend thousands of dollars, especially as a buyer may have made different choices – or may have been willing to live at a lower cost for a few years with the “old” cabinets/fixtures.

 

BUYERS: HOW DO I GET THE BEST PRICE?

A low-ball offer can be tempting as a means for getting “a deal” however it can be detrimental.  Presenting an offer that is substantially lower than market value (unless there are extenuating circumstances) can make a seller more antagonistic as it can look like you are trying to steal rather than negotiate a fair price for a property.  It is important that a CMA be done prior to writing an offer to establish a reasonable price.  A low price can sometimes be palatable if it corresponds with a quick possession date and few or no conditions.  Price is only one motivating factor in a contract, so make sure you are pre-approved and can go in with as few conditions as possible.

 

SELLERS: HOW DO I DEAL WITH A LOW OFFER?

Many home sellers are insulted when they receive an offer substantially lower than asking price and may not want to respond.  Generally, you do not want an offer to die in your hands because you never know how far a buyer may be willing to go.

Remember that the buyer has little or no emotional attachment at this point, so do not be insulted when they view your home as a commodity.  Look at all of the factors in any offer, it may be that an unconditional offer has some merit beyond the price.

Negotiations should not break down over emotional reactions, I will help keep you focused on your goals and accomplishing them.

WHAT DO I CHARGE?

What does it cost to sell your home through me? I have chosen to not put a number here as we can negotiate a mutually agreeable remuneration.

I am a full service REALTOR® for several reasons:

  1. I protect my clients from potential legal pitfalls by doing as much due diligence as possible for both buyers and sellers.
  2. I protect my clients against overpricing/overbuying
  3. I assist my clients in making factual decisions rather than emotional ones.
  4. I protect my sellers from potential lawsuits by ensuring the proper and appropriate disclosures are made.
  5. I protect my buyers from purchasing unwisely by ensuring that the proper inspections are carried out and seller disclosures are requested.
  6. If  you are buying, I will search MLS and private databases and use my extensive network to unearth homes that may not be on the market yet, but may be soon
  7. I do not just sign a contract and put a sign on your lawn, I invest considerable time and energy in assuring that your home is property positioned for maximum positive exposure
  8. I believe that it is important to factor the cost of the buyer’s agent into my pricing because while it may sound cost effective to make the buyer pay that fee, with all of the ancillary closing costs associated with a home purchase, most buyers need that fee factored into the price so it can be mortgaged.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO BUY A HOME THROUGH ME?

Normally there is no additional charge to using me to purchase your home, there are a few exceptions to that rule which we will discuss prior to working together to make sure that we each have a clear understanding of obligations and expectations.

 WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY?

My marketing strategy will vary a little home to home and client to client.  I firmly believe that traditional newspaper advertising is not as successful as it once was so I am selective in the publications I choose.  I use a variety of media to ensure that your property is appropriately exposed.

  • I provide a customized lawn sign from a widely recognized and respected national CANADIAN company.
  • An Agent open house with REALTORS® from the closest of our 14 offices will tour your home, keeping it in mind for their clients.
  • Public Open Houses will be conducted when and if appropriate.
  • Your home will be featured on the following websites:
    • Angela Higgins.ca
    • HomesNiagara.com
    • Royallepage.ca
    • NiagaraREALTOR.ca
    • REALTOR.ca
    • Your home’s personal website*
    • Youtube*
    • Facebook*
    • Stcatharines/kijiji.ca*
  • Open houses are published in local papers as required and on-line at:
    • Kijiji
    • REALTOR.ca
    • AngelaHiggins.ca
    • Your home’s personal website if applicable
    • NiagaraREALTOR.ca
  •  *          If your home has reasonable drive by traffic I purchase a unique website for your address so that potential buyers with web enabled phones can get instant and complete information.  This website will also be linked through REALTOR.ca, homesniagara.ca, AngelaHiggins.ca and my facebook, account
  • *          If your home has reasonable drive by traffic, I will put a box with feature sheets on your for-sale sign.
  • *          Providing a minimum of 10 pictures are possible for showcasing the advantages of your home, I will create a  video for your home that will be on youtube and linked to your website or REALTOR.CA if a personal website is not recommended.
  • I use facebook ads to target the proper demographics to reach thousands of local residents
  • I market my website – which links to your home – in every piece of correspondence (email or hard copy) that I send out, on my personal business cards and my facebook page.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE ANSWERED ON THIS PAGE