Vernon is a spectacular place to Live. The homes are still relatively affordable compared to other cities in the province and in Canada. It has four distinct seasons and has everything that one would ever need for comfortable living.
Here is RE/MAX Vernon Salt Fowler's list of everything you will need to know when listing your home on the market.
Do Not Make These Common Selling Mistakes
The first thing you need to check off the list, is to make sure that you do not make any common selling mistakes. Some homes sit on the market much longer because the seller’s have made some slip-ups. These are very important not to miss if you want your home to sell quickly and at a fair market price.
One of the most common selling mistakes that I continually see is the seller using poor photos to advertise their home online. In today’s real estate market, an online marketing portfolio is a must if you want to attract a wide range of interested buyers. In order to attract interest, your photos should be:
- Crisp and clear, well-lit and in focus.
- Highlight the main selling features of your home such as views, large windows, spacious decks, and any renovations that you have done.
- Showcase the rooms to give the potential buyers a good idea of the features of your home.
Here’s the deal:
Because of the importance of an online marketing portfolio you may want to consider hiring a professional photographer.
Another common mistake is that the seller does not declutter and depersonalize their home before showing it. A properly staged home is a home that sells. No buyer wants to view a home full of personal items, instead they want to envision how their furniture and belongings will fit into your space. Give them that opportunity and remove as much clutter and personalized items as possible before your next open house.
Do not list your home in the shape it is in right now. This common selling mistake can either open you up to having to bargain on the price of your home or destroy a potential sale, depending upon the type of repair and the overall condition of your home. Before listing your home, inspect both the interior and the exterior of your home for any areas that need touching-up or repaired.
The more work you do before listing, the more attractive your home will be toa prospective buyer because no one wants to pay full market value for a fixer upper or a home with a whole bunch of projects.
Selling your home is a little more involved than just putting a for sale sign in your front yard. Without the right information, forethought and guidance, your home may not sell. As your premier agent specializing in the Vernon real estate market, I would like to outline more common selling mistakes and how you, as a seller, can avoid them.
Price it Right
One of the quickest ways to keep your home on the market indefinitely is by overpricing your home. Everyone wants full dollar for their home, but for it to be an attractive offer to a potential buyer, you are going to have to price it competitively. The easiest way to price your home is to look at comparable homes that are for sale or have sold in and around your neighbourhood.
Here’s the Deal:
By using the comparable home method, you should be able to price your home competitively and at a price that will attract buyers.
Use an Agent
Thinking about selling your home on your own? This may be the biggest selling mistake that a seller can make. The right real estate agent will sell your home faster and at full market value. A real estate agent will help you with the often overlooked but important aspects of selling your home:
- Set up open houses and private showings of your home.
- Network with other agents to attract a wide range of interested buyers.
- Help you with your online real estate portfolio.
- Take care of all paperwork, subjects, and can explain any confusing terms.
Keep an Open Mind
When selling your home, you must maintain an open mind on all offers that come your way. Sure, everyone hopes that their home becomes a bidding war amongst buyers, but you may have to be willing to negotiate and entertain offers that at first may not look all that appealing. Too many times I have watched a potential sale fall apart because the seller is not willing to consider the offer.
Any offer, even one that you may perceive as a low ball should be taken seriously. Keep in mind that you can always counteroffer and negotiate a price that you feel is more acceptable, or you can just walk away.
With a competitively priced home and the right agent, you should be able to sell your home quickly and at market value while at the same time, avoiding any of the previously mentioned selling pitfalls.
First Impressions of Your Buyer’s New Home: The Curb Appeal
Now that you are an expert on what not to do, the first thing you should do is check the outside of your home. This is the first impression that a buyer will have of their new dream house. Potential home buyers are looking for the total package when it comes to buying a home.
A well-manicured yard is a great way to attract prospective buyers and make your home more desirable. Before putting it on the market, dedicate a weekend to cleaning the outside of your home and yard. When you are cleaning, make sure to go that extra mile and:
- Turn your hose on high or better yet, rent a power washer to wash the outside of your home, your fence, your driveway and any walkways around your home. When washing, be careful not to damage any caulking around your windows or doors and the shingles on your roof.
- Make sure to clean both the outside and the inside of your windows.
- Weed your yard and flowerbeds. Trim and prune bushes and shrubs. Mow your yard and remove debris.
Attention to Detail
Subtle changes to your home’s exterior can go a long way to put that final touch on your next open house. Some easy, yet effective transformations include:
- Replace or repaint your mailbox.
- Add house numbers to your front gate.
- Replace your mat to welcome guests at your front door.
- Add shutters to make your windows look bigger and break up your home’s exterior. To maximize their effect, choose a shutter colour that contrasts with the colour of your home.
- Add flowers, planters and hanging baskets.
A newly painted home is a great way to add value and attract a wide range of buyers. If a fresh coat of paint is not in your budget, there are other, smaller painting projects that will still increase your home’s curb appeal.
- Add some colour to your front door. A brightly coloured door will make your home stand out amongst the completion. Red and yellow are always popular colour choices for your door.
- Paint the accent areas of your home such as the trim around your doors and windows. Again, try to find a colour that contrasts that of your home.
These simple tips will not only add value to your home, they will also help your home stand out in the very competitive Vernon Housing market.
Setting up The Inside of Your Home for Sale: Staging
Now that the buyer will walk up to their wonderful first impression of a manicured lawn and appealing home exterior, you will move inside and set up your home, so that the buyers will imagine their lives in your home. Stage the home for all buyers, not just to your taste.
Embrace the Project
Staging itself can be a hard pill to swallow for some homeowners, as the cost can be high in an often financially-trying time. However, the rewards associated with a successful stage are great, and almost always worth the time, effort, and money that are put into it. Whether you decide to go at it alone or hire a professional stager, the sooner and more earnestly you take on the process will benefit you in the long run.
A Clean Slate
Before beginning the process of staging a home for the market, take the time to remove excess clutter. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in the home, and the easiest way to ensure that they will be able to do so is by removing both personal items and random knick-knacks. An easy rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it in a year then toss it out, your new home won’t need it either! This also applies to furniture. Take this time to sell or donate anything that you don’t imagine bringing with you. The benefits of this part of the process are two-fold, as you’ll thank yourself greatly for this when the time comes to move!
What Matters Most
It can seem impossible to stage your entire property from top to bottom, and for good reason. Be reasonable in deciding which parts of your home to attend most fruitfully in the staging process. To this point, first impressions are key. Put attention to the main living areas and entryway, as this is the first space your prospective buyers will notice. Next, the master bedroom and so on. A bit more attention in specific spaces will go further than half-hearted attempts throughout.
Keep it Neutral
In the selling process, the aim is to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. While your home can’t be a chameleon, a light and bright scheme throughout will allow for prospective buyers to utilize their imagination and visualize themselves in your home. If possible, give rooms with more creative colors a quick two coats of white paint, and keep furniture and décor as mainstream as possible. Further, once you have decided which furniture to keep, consider some subtle rearranging to make each space feel more open and inviting.
Showcasing your Home Through an Online Portfolio: Listing Photos
Now that your home is looking gorgeous from the out and inside, it is time to take those fantastic listing photos. You can take these yourself or hire a professional, but most importantly the following tips will help you to attract the most buyers to your home.
A successful listing that generates a wide range of interested buyers and gets full market value is more than just open houses and private showings. A strong online portfolio, complete with photographs that capture your home’s selling features is a necessity.
Let There Be Light
If you do not have additional light sources such as strobes or flashes, you are going to need to take full advantage of the available natural light sources. Some tips on shooting with natural light include:
- Never shoot into the light as it will blur or make the room look dark because of how bright it is outside.
- Try to photograph rooms using early morning or late afternoon light as it is a little softer.
- Stand by the window and shoot into the room. If you want to showcase both the room and your window, it is better to split them into two separate photos to avoid shadows, or washed out images.
- Find the perfect light/colour balance by turning off all the lights in your home and just use the natural window light. Natural light will give your photos the cool, crisp blue hue, while the lamp light will give your photos more of an orange colour.
The Right Tool
If you are thinking that you can capture all the selling features in your home with your phone, you may want to rethink that strategy. Effective listing photos make each room or area appear bigger which will catch any prospective buyer’s eyes. To properly do this, you need a wide angle lens and unfortunately phones do not have this option. You can, however, purchase attachable lenses that will give your phone the same capabilities of a wide-angle lens.
Enlist your Agent
Finding the right real estate agent may be the most important decision that you make when it comes to selling your home and getting full market value. The right agent can also help you with your home listing photos. They know what home buyers are looking for and how to capture the images that are guaranteed to catch the eye of any interested customer.
Using visuals as well as strategic social media listings will draw a wide range of interest to your home. Well shot listing photos will not only inspire and motivate, they will also sell your home faster.
Selling Your Home Through an Open House
Those perfectly shot listing photos have attracted numerous buyers, so let’s have an open house.
A successful open house will not only generate interest in your home, it should attract a wide range of buyers and sell your home faster and at market value.
Spread the Word
A successful open house starts with an advertising campaign that gets the word out to as many people as possible. The key to reaching a large audience is using a wide range of advertising techniques. These mediums should include:
Word of mouth – spread the word to all your social circles and colleagues. Let them know the date, time and location.
Post signs – post flyers around your neighbourhood and on busy intersections near your home to attract passersby.
Social media and internet – use your Twitter and Facebook account to stir up interest. Advertise your open house on your online listing portfolio as well as other real estate pages.
Give your Home that Extra Touch
As discussed above, a well-staged and clean home is a must if you want to generate interest and attract potential buyers. However, beyond this there are some extra touches that you can provide that will only add to the success and the ambiance of your next open house.
- Add a centerpiece to your dining room table and fill some vases with flowers and put them in your kitchen and bathroom. This will add colour as well as class to your display.
- Move the vehicles out of your driveway and if possible, keep the street parking in front of your home open as well. This will provide plenty of close parking for visitors and add another layer of convenience to your open house.
- Turn on all the lights in your home and open curtains and blinds. The better lit your home is, the larger it will appear.
Provide Added Details
A great way to keep your property fresh in the minds of a potential buyer and differentiate your open house from others is to provide a full colour brochure that highlights your home’s key selling features as well as some important information about your home. This information should include:
- The year your home was built and the contractor or builder responsible.
- The total square footage as well as square footage for each room.
- Any major renovations that you or a contractor have done to your home.
These helpful tips will draw a wide range of buyers and stir up awareness in your home.
Now to the age-old question: Is it better to sell in the summer, the winter and even around a holiday? We will discuss the pros and cons of selling within these months and times of year.
Selling Your Home in the Summer
Summer is finally here. Vernon seems to be made just for this special season, so be sure to get out and enjoy the surrounding areas, festivals and fun that the city has to offer. In addition to these activities, summer is also a great time to buy a property.
Increase in Inventory
Vernon’s summer real estate market is all about increased inventory. The amount and variety of homes available on the market swells in the summer months, making it the perfect time to buy your dream home. The increase in inventory is a combination of the following factors:
- Warmer weather and longer days making house hunting that much more enjoyable.
- School’s out. Less schedules and more flexibility make summer the perfect time to seek out your perfect home.
- Perfect weather to move belongings from one home to another.
Selling your Home in the Winter
How about selling your home in the winter? Summer is a good time to sell, but what about winter?
If you are selling your Vernon or North Okanagan home, you may have heard that in the wintertime it is almost impossible, for a variety of reasons. Although it may be a challenge to sell your home in the winter, do not get discouraged, it can be done. There are ways in which you can maximize your home selling potential in the winter.
The key is to present a first impression that will last even after the potential buyers have left your home for sale in Vernon, BC, and turn them into active buyers. Even the slightest discomfort will turn those potential buyers away and on to the next Vernon or North Okanagan house to view. You can avoid these pitfalls by following just a few simple steps:
- Sure the weather is less than desirable and there is a foot of snow on the ground, but that does not mean that your potential buyers need to see or feel that when they arrive at your home viewing. Make sure that your driveway and walkways are clear of any snow, ice, or other obstacles. You want to make sure that your home is accessible and clean looking. In addition, many buyers will not even waste their time getting out of their car if they have to hike through snow, just to get to the door.
- When showing your home to potential buyers, keep in mind that they have probably been viewing multiple homes for sale in Vernon BC. That involves multiple trips in and out of cars and other homes. It is best to keep your home a little cooler than normal, as your potential buyer may be slightly overheated from all the traveling around. This will make them feel more comfortable when they arrive and are more likely to take their time looking around and asking questions, than trying to get in and out because they are uncomfortable.
- You know that lighting is key when showing your home. It can be critical, as it tends to open up a room and make it seem and feel more appealing and homier. Typically, during the winter months, there is less natural light, therefore, you must utilize other lighting to make sure that your rooms stay well light and still present the welcome home feeling.
- It is a given that every person coming to view your home will have some wet boots or shoes. Be sure to provide a specific area for those wet boots and shoes. Keep the area clean and free of water, so people are not stepping in water puddles and other uncomfortable situations. This will show functionality and organization within your home and show that you are thoughtful.
Selling your home in the wintertime is not impossible, with a little help from the information above and realtors in Vernon go ahead and show your home in the wintertime. Show your potential buyers how this oasis from the cold can be theirs. There is even a nice assortment of Vernon, BC waterfront homes if such is your pleasure!
Selling your Home During the Holidays
Although the winter holiday season is when many people get together and enjoy the comfort of their homes in Vernon, the Okanagan Valley or elsewhere, this time of the year is considered as one of the best seasons for selling a house.
At this point, you may be asking yourself: ‘Why would I sell my house over the holidays?’
More Serious Buyers
It is a common reality that people who look for Vernon BC homes over the holiday season are more serious buyers. Otherwise they would be focusing on Christmas and keeping warm! The ones that are out there, although fewer, need to buy.
Fewer Options Available
Many people take their Vernon BC homes off the market come Autumn, which gives you a competitive advantage. In other words, with low competition in this season, you can be one of the few Vernon real estate options available to the serious buyers.
Decoration, Decoration, Decoration
Every one of us gets amazed when seeing a well decorated house for Christmas. During the holidays, your home shows lively, more attractive to sellers and with great Christmas spirit.
Show Off the Spirit of Christmas
The Christmas holidays reflect love and caring, and this can be your unique value when including your home in the Okanagan real estate opportunities. Simply because your area will be decorated and full of Christmas lights, you can easily motivate a buyer to buy your property and show them how creative the people in your neighborhood are. Usually everyone is in a good mood!
It’s a Holiday Season
Knowing that everyone is home during the holidays season means that people have more time to look for Vernon BC homes during the holidays than an actual working week – which is another important reason why listing your home over the holidays is a great idea.
Many people are obliged to buy a new home before the year ends just because of their tax reasons. This is a great opportunity for any of the Vernon BC homes on sale during the holidays.
The plethora of real estate opportunities in Vernon lets you think smart when selling your house over the holidays. Did you know that you could earn more when selling your property over the holidays season – and delay the closing or extended occupancy until early next year? As you may know, during the spring there is a large variety of houses on the marketplace with lots of competition and selling it over the holidays may give you the opportunity to make more money before the market is flooded with homes.
Selling your home in Vernon should be a breeze now that you are an expert. Summer, winter or even around the holidays are great times to sell your house. Make sure, it is fixed up on the outside and in, have your fantastic online portfolio and get ready for your first open house. Most importantly, hire the right real estate agent for you. Your home will sell fast, and you’ll get the price you were always dreaming of.