5 signs of trouble

Top 5 signs your house is overpriced

If you're selling your home, you need to understand that the right pricing is imperative.

The most common reason a house doesn’t have a buyer is because the list price is above market value. 

When selling your home, it is imperative that you set a realistic price. If you make the mistake of setting an exorbitant price, it is important that you identify this error and change it as quickly as possible.

How does a seller know if their house is too expensive?  Here are the top 5 signs that your home is overpriced.

1.  our home is priced far higher more than your neighbours

In general, in most neighbourhoods, home values will be relatively consistent. 

If your home is listed at way more than your neighbours, and they are receiving showings or offers and you are not – you need to get your price more in line with the home down the street. 

If your home is a much higher price than your neighbours, it's entirely possible that your realtor didn’t do thorough research on your house price. Or, the agent did and you chose a higher list price than recommended.  

If either of these things happened, you will want to adjust your list price accordingly. 

2. You have had few or no showings

Basking in the initial euphoria is a popular emotion that’s very common to sellers. Sellers are satisfied with their home being listed for sale and advertised all over the Internet. Weeks pass, and there are a few or no showings of your house.  No second showings.  No offers. 

Now that excitement turns to fear and frustration. If this sounds familiar, the chances are that your home is too pricey. If your home has been listed for sale for a few weeks and you only had a few showings, you need to adjust the price in hopes of generating some activity. 

3. You've haven't received any offers

In most Okanagan real estate markets, if a house is priced at market value, a homeowner should get at least one offer within a month. If you have not received an offer for a few months, you need to make the necessary price adjustment.

Certainly, there are types of properties that typically may take a very long time before they receive an offer, but it's pretty rare. This is usually a luxury home or a specialty property such as Okanagan Waterfront.

4. You hired an agent who “bought” your listing

In the Okanagan real estate market, there are hundreds of realtors. When interviewing potential realtors to sell your home, it is important that you know the kind of questions to ask during the interview.

One of the key questions should relate to the pricing of your home. It is essential that you understand how this realtor came up with the suggested listing price of your home.

If you are interviewing numerous Okanagan real estate agents and one of them suggests a price tag that is way more than the others, you need to know concrete facts of how they arrived at that figure.

There are many agents who will “buy a listing” by recommending a price that is higher than the market value. If you made the mistake of being wooed by this tactic and hired an agent who suggested a very high listing price, it’s possible that your house is more expensive than the market expectation.

5. Your neighbours’ homes are selling faster than expected, and yours Is not

One of the most depressing things for a seller is when neighbours' homes are selling, and yours hasn’t even received and offer. If you’re selling your home and you’re facing this challenge, then you need to adjust the price of your home.

If you hit the right price on a home the first time, you can expect to sell it in a reasonable period of time If you choose to inflate the price, it will either not sell or take a long time while the market values creep up in your area due to general market conditions.

Selling your home is never easy. It is a grueling process and most people, once they decide to put their home for sale, want to move on in a reasonable period of time.  \The only way to do this is to hire a knowledgeable real estate professional to help you price your home right the first time. 


How to pick a winner

How to select your real estate agent

The right real-estate agent knows the market and can get you the best price, not the one who promises you the highest price just to get you to list with them.

The agent brings the market to you. The market brings your price.

Many of the same questions, hesitations and strategies connected with seeking out professional assistance in any field — whether you're looking for a doctor, dentist, lawyer or accountant — come into play when you're selecting a real estate agent.

Some people find an agent through a family member or friend, which is often a reliable approach.

But you might not always find the most appropriate assistance this way. And in a transaction as significant and intensive as buying and selling a home, that can be critical.

A referral from a family member or friend doesn't guarantee a perfect match. Just think of something as simple as a movie or restaurant recommendation.

Your close friends rave about a new Chinese food place downtown, so you check it out. Could this possibly be the same restaurant they were describing?

Mediocre service. No chopsticks. Bland flavours. It's the same restaurant. Same cook. Same waiters. Just different perceptions.

Regardless of how you get an agent's name, it might be worth interviewing at least a couple before you make a final decision — or, at least, arming yourself with some criteria to go over with any agent who has been recommended to you.

A few things to look for:

  • If you're looking for an agent to list your home, be wary of anyone who suggests they can get an unreasonably high sales price.
  • An agent might use a high listing price to secure a contract, only to seek a lower price later, after little traffic is generated at the initial price level.

Meanwhile, you've lost what can be the most critical period in selling a home — the first weeks immediately after it's listed.

Check on experience and productivity. As with most professions, experience pays in Okanagan real estate.

Experienced agents know the market and the marketing process. They'll have the best chance of quickly and smoothly helping you to buy or put up your Okanagan home for sale.

The number of transactions an agent is handling monthly or yearly is going to give you an indication of how committed that agent is to the profession.

  • Is the agent a part-timer who's just dabbling in real estate sales
  • is the agent a full-time professional whose livelihood depends entirely on an ability to successfully and repeatedly negotiate win-win real estate transactions?

If you're a buyer, does the agent offer buyer agency? More and more customers are deciding they want full and fair representation on the same level as the seller.

Be sure to discuss buyer agency with any agent you're thinking about working with. Does the agent know the market? Is the agent active daily in the local market? Is the agent part of a national network?  

It can be especially important if you're selling in one city in preparation for moving to another.

Your selling agent can refer you to a suitable agent in your destination city, and keep in close contact with that agent, so both your selling and buying efforts are closely coordinated.

And a final point:

  • Does the agent seem primarily interested in sharing expertise and market knowledge in an honest and straightforward manner?
  • Or does the agent seem more interested in telling you what you want to hear?

The worst time to secure the services of a "yes-man" or an agent who seems to have a bit too many irons in the fire is when you're entering a transaction involving something as expensive as your home.

You need straightforward, reliable information - even if it's not necessarily flattering regarding the home you're selling - or very encouraging regarding a home you think you might want to buy.

Getting a good real estate agent isn’t that hard and once you follow these steps you’ll avoid disappointments. If you’re ready to buy or home in the Okanagan Valley, then contact the Salt Fowler Team at RE/MAX Vernon now.

For sale by owner

When deciding how to sell your home, you should carefully evaluate the pros and cons of hiring a realtor.

While most sellers hire an agent to do the hard work, some homeowners sell their real estate themselves.

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers may save money, but to succeed, you need a keen knowledge of real estate sales.

There are numerous reasons why homeowners decide to sell their homes themselves. Some enjoy the feeling of being in charge of everything that happens with their home, but most sellers just want to save the commission. 

Sellers can avoid using a realtor, but they need to work hard for their money. Statistics say that only seven per cent of FSBOs actually sell, with the other 93 per cent eventually hiring a professional. 

In order for you to be part of this seven per cent, here are some pointers that will help you to become a successful FSBO seller:

  • Do not skimp on the preparation of the house. Your home will have to compete with other homes listed by agents who take the time to educate their sellers the right way to prepare their homes for showings. 
  • There are many online articles that can help you educate yourself on this important component of home selling. 
  • Learn all the paperwork used by realtors. To write an enforceable contract of purchase and sale is not easy. If you choose to sell your home yourself, you will need to engage the services of a legal professional in order to ensure you have a valid contract. 
  • Too many FSBO sellers forget this vital point and end up in a very disappointing position at the end of the transaction when they find out their contract is unenforceable, or they have missed some very key points. 
  • Exposure is key, as the more exposure your home gets, the more buyers you attract and the more chance you have of selling. You must get familiar with all the many online and offline advertising and marketing tools that can help you promote your home to the most people.
  • High-quality photos and videos are very important. You may want to familiarize yourself with the sites that you can use to make a video presentation of your house. A picture speaks a thousand words and a video speaks a million.
  •  Work on your negotiation skills and be ready to refuse some offers. If you choose to co-operate with realtors, which only makes sense if that realtor has a buyer for your home, remember that realtors are professional negotiators.
  • You will need to be ready to represent yourself in a manner that will allow you to come to a win-win arrangement and not be taken advantage of. That buyer's agent is working for the buyer and not for you. 

In summary, you may find that it is wise to hire a professional realtor to help you sell a home. 

Often the amount a person saves selling FSBO is far less than what they lose from poor negotiating or extensive legal bills fixing mistakes. 

Unless you have the above points mastered, it may cost you less to hire a professional to do all the work. 

House-selling secrets

How to sell a house that didn't sell the first time

If your house has just expired from the market, you are probably bombarded with realtors calling you, looking for their next listing.

But before you give your realtor an extension or choose a new one, step back and examine the six key points to ensure you sell your house the next time. 

You need to spend time researching ways to get back on track by examining the previous strategy your Okanagan realtor was using and why it failed.

When you analyse your past relationship, you will probably discover that one of these following four important components in selling your home was lacking: 

Teamwork: Were you and your listing agent working together to make the sale of your home a reality? 

When discussing what you want to achieve in selling your house, did your agent provide a concrete marketing plan to get the job done?

If the objectives were not realistic, did the listing agent let you know the problems at hand or did they just take your listing for granted? 

An open line of communication is imperative in getting your home sold. If you saw your agent once and then did not talk to them again for the duration of your listing – time to find a new agent. 

Marketing your home for more reach:  Often, the only mistake made when hiring the first realtor is they had no marketing plan. If your home is not exposed to the market properly, it is tough to find a buyer. 

When interviewing agents, examine their marketing plan and reach. Ask them to show you how and where exactly your property will be marketed.  Ask for customer testimonials to be sure others have been happy with their service and results.

The condition of your home: Would you consider the condition of your house excellent?  

Are there things you could do to make your home more desirable the next time it is for sale? If your house looks like a dream house for someone else, it has a far better chance of selling for a better price than homes that offer potential. 

When buyers come in to check your house, are they satisfied with what they see or they are probably calculating the amount of money they’ll need to fix the house? If so, your price will need to be adjusted accordingly. 

Price: Is the price of your house working for you or against you? If the price works for you, and the marketing plan was effective, then a suitable buyer should have materialized within the listing period. I

f it works against you (too expensive), many potential buyers will ignore your home.

The right price can be determined by so many factors such as:

  • Market conditions – What is happening in the economy in your city?
  • Competition and the number of houses within your price range
  • The condition of your home, and
  • Market timing – Some months are better for selling certain homes than others.

Any real-estate professional you interview should be able to help you with all the above. If they cannot, move on. 

For more information on the best way to sell your Okanagan home the first time (or the second, or the third), contact the Salt Fowler Team at RE/MAX Vernon and Just Add Salt!

More Just Add Salt! articles

About the Author

Lisa Salt is a Vernon born Realtor® who, along with her husband Gord Fowler from Calgary, lead one of the most successful and dynamic real estate teams in the North Okanagan. 

An international clay target shooting champion, Lisa brought the attributes of hard work and diligent focus to the real estate industry to create the success she and her team have today. 

To experience the local knowledge and expertise that only someone born and raised in the Okanagan can offer, call Lisa today and 'Just Add Salt'.

Website link:   http://www.saltfowler.com

Contact e-mail address:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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