Frequently Asked Questions

Ken Scott | Broker of Record & Owner
Laima Scott | Sales Representative
519-651-6228 | kls@klsrealty.com

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The top ten questions we hear the most from sellers:

Question 1

Q:What is my home, house worth?

A: The Market Comparison Approach to Value is the most common way to determine the value of your property. A Professional Realtor will show you similar properties recently sold in your neighbourhood. From this, differences for the attributes about your home are considered and a value is determined. Your home may have factors that are less attractive to similar homes in the neighbourhood that recently sold so that would have to be accounted for as well. The goal is to determine Market Value which is defined as what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller under no undue circumstances. There are some ways in which you can get more than market value but it is most definitely not pricing your home to high. This is the surest way to get the lowest value you should for your property. When you chase a falling stone, you seldom catch it. The right price is the key, and this is what the Professional Realtor will guide you with. After all, this home is yours and you can list it for whatever you want, the Professional Realtor’s job is to guide you in making the proper, informed decision.

Do not discount what you do not want to hear, it could save you thousands.

Question 2

Q:How long does it to sell my home?

A: When a home is priced properly it should take three weeks to sell and typically for 1% below the asking price. Most of the activity and excitement for your home occurs during the first 48 hours and the exposure of MLS should not be taken lightly. Many realtors have their clients on an automated system giving alerts to buyers looking for a home with your criteria. The buyer wants to be the first and last to see your home, of course if it is what they are looking for. So let’s list your home two different ways and see what happens in this example.

  1. We determine that the fair market value for your home is $350,000.
    You want to see if there is a buyer out there who really wants your home and is willing to pay a little extra to get it. You instruct your realtor to list the property at $379,900 and say you will reduce it by $10,000 each week until we get to market value. The right buyer looks at the home, wants it but doesn’t want to pay that price. They do not even want to make an offer because since the listing is new, figures you will not want to negotiate too much. The buyer sleeps on it. When buyers sleep on it, they determine in their mind all the reasons why they should not buy your home. By the time your home gets down to market value they have bought something else, or taken your home off their list. Here is what else happens; your home becomes a tool for other agents to use to help them sell your competitors home. Worse than this, and this will help the big question we always hear…Why me? … Is you attracted the wrong buyer. We always want to stretch our self…a little bit… to get just a little more than what we wanted. After all, we have friends, family and the Jones to think about. By the time you sell, it will be most likely substantially less than market value, or you would resolve yourself to not moving. Now after all those showings and inconveniences, there’s only one thing to do… Blame the Realtor.
  2. We determine that the fair market value for your home is $350,000.
    A: You list the property for $348,800. The right buyers get alerts and drop whatever they are doing to see your home. The realtors see the listing on the hot sheets and call the buyers they have that are going to be stretching to buy your home. They tell their buyer that they will only show it to them for fun. You get 3 – 5+ showings right away. You get two offers from buyers who want to compete to buy your home. Logic goes out the window and emotions take over for the buyers. When they were walking through your home they were already living in it. Nobody’s going to take that away from them. The only bond stronger than that is between mother and child. They want your home so much that they are willing to pay more than the asking price. They want your home so much that they are willing to remove any conditions they would have had without competition. Now you know the rest of the story.

Question 3

Q:What is the cost associated with selling my home?

A: When selling your home the most expensive, but most critical expense is the commission, the lawyer fee to close the transaction, typically $1,000 and moving cost.

There are two sides to the commission. One is what is being paid to the realtor listing the property and the other is what is being paid to the realtor who will find the buyer for your home. This is typically split 50 / 50 and paid by the seller. The commission being offered on the MLS system is posted for the realtor to see when they pull up your listing to show your property to their prospective buyer. This is the livelihood of the realtor and you want to make it attractive to them to make your home the most wonderful home for their buyer to buy. When you discount this, you are discounting your home. Make your home attractive, attractive in every way, to get the most return you can.

Question 4

Q:Should I sell my home privately to save on the commission?

A: When you are selling your home privately, you are doing it for mainly one reason. That is to save the commission. When someone is buying your home privately, they are doing it for one reason. That is to save the commission. It becomes a fight to see who saves it. When you think of the buyers out there looking for a home, most of them have established a relationship with a realtor. In the mind of the buyer they are not paying anything for this service. It is a great service as explained in the FAQ’s for Buyers. When a buyer comes along for your home with a realtor they will have to get paid and since they will be doing both sides of the transaction will want a fair commission. So this being the case all of a sudden you are now really only saving less than half a commission. The exposure you are missing out is critical. This exposure can find you more than one buyer. Listed professionally also gives buyers a sense of security that they will not be misled. Selling privately is like going to a garage sale. You are attracting buyers who are looking for discounts and good deals.

We have not even discussed the mistakes you can potentially make. A realtor, MLS, paying a fair price for service, is a system that has worked since its inception.

Question 5

Q:What do I have to do to make my home, house saleable?

A: Price is the number one factor in selling a home. This was discussed in # 2 above. Other key factors are curb appeal, cleanliness, removing clutter, painting where necessary and atmosphere. With the right marketing a buyer buys a home before they even get to the home. Walking in the foyer just confirms their decision. We had many buyers throughout the years tell us this.

Question 6

Q:Should I sell or renovate, my house, home?

A: Sometimes the cost to renovate equates to the cost to sell. If you like your neighbourhood and the extra space or new garage will keep you there, it is worth it to renovate. The caution is however, not to improve the home beyond what the neighbourhood would bear. If you do end up selling you will not get the money you invested back. Also, make sure you get all the appropriate approvals from the city, if someone complained about an addition you were doing and you did not have a permit, the city can issue a stop work permit. This could end up being a real mess. Also, there are many safety factors such as digging and hitting water or electrical lines or someone getting hurt on site. When it comes to selling and you did not have a proper permit this could hold up your sale and also cost you thousands of dollars in expenses.

Question 7

Q: Should I put a sign on my lawn?

A: Most people do not want a sign on the lawn because they do not their neighbours to know they are selling. They say that 40% of the chance of selling your home comes from a sign on the front lawn. This is what you would be missing on; neighbours telling their friends or co-workers about listing in their neighbourhood, people driving around checking out the area they would consider moving to, people who are not even considering buying at all but happen to see a sign and it sparks their interest. There are many good reasons to have a sign and missing out on that part of the market could limit your market share. Also, when you list your home for sale with a realtor, people will know. They will see people driving by looking at the home, people coming in and viewing the home. It is inevitable so why not capitalize on your exposure.

Question 8

Q: Should I put in a pool?

A: With the summer we had last year I would say definitely. People are under the impression you will never get any money back for the money you spent on a pool. It is important to note that if you had a home with a pool, all you have to do is sell it at the right time of year for you best return. Sometimes because of your circumstances however,that just may not be feasible. Here is where the saying a picture is worth a 1000 words can come in handy. Even in the middle of winter, when we list a house with a pool, we could set the mood for a buyer. So even if you have no intension of selling, always have great pictures of your pool and home for that matter, filed in your computer for future use. Also, you are putting the pool there for your own personal enjoyment. If you used your pool for a few years you will not get what you paid for it and that is expected. Things to keep in mind is the cost of putting a pool is constantly increasing and if someone wants a home with a pool you have a great selling feature. If someone just does not want a pool at any cost then all that would happen is you limit your market by that small percentage people who will buy your home.

Question 9

Q:Do Open Houses help sell my home, house?

A:We have sold many homes because of open houses. This brings all kinds of buyers to look at your home. From the serious to the tire kickers, from the out of towners to the neighbours.

They are all potential buyers and so are their friends potential buyers. Here are a couple of examples: One time we were doing an open house and a neighbour from across the street came to look at the condo we were hosting. He sold his condo a month before, had moved his furniture to his new out of town home two hours away and was just packing up the rest of his belongings. He had seen that we were doing an open house and decided to pop over. He was very impressed with this unit and I went to talk to him about his thoughts. He was shaken his head and I was wondering what was going on. He said I had no idea that this place was this nice. He ended up buying this unit and selling the one he had bought. Another time we were doing an open house and a buyer walked in and said, “the only reason I came to your open house is because I couldn’t believe how high you listed this property”, then on his next breathe he said, “I am going to buy this property”, and he did. We have so many storeys to tell about our experiences of selling homes because of open houses. That is why we continue to do them after 21 years.

Question 10

Q:Should I list my house first and then buy, or vice versa?

A: Every situation and circumstance of an individual is different. Also, markets change all the time so it depends on the climate of the market. You definitely have a stronger negotiating stance when you buy a property without the worry of selling yours, buy what if you do not find what you are looking for. Do you want to rent short term, live with family or friends temporarily or live in a hotel? Sometimes people go away for the winter to Florida or to a cottage while they right for the right home.

A realtor can go over your situation and can help provide options which you may not have thought of. Usually whatever decision you make, works out to be the right one.