The real estate market in Vancouver is hopping, and has been since before the Olympics began. Realtors and Stagers are busy and offers are being made. Not so on the Sunshine Coast, unfortunately.
Currently, we have lots of properties for sale & the sales are not keeping up: this is called a Buyer's market. Buyer's can take their time viewing properties and making offers, and they can make lower offers as they have no competition bidding against them.
This situation is not unique to the Sunshine Coast or B.C. or even Canada. I know from Active Rain blogs that many parts of the USA are experiencing similar real estate markets.
Traditionally, what happens in Vancouver moves to the Coast:we are patiently waiting. Sellers are getting lots of viewings; however the offers are not being made. It is a discouraging time for Sellers and their Realtors.
However, it is also the opportune time for Sellers and Realtors to look around their properties and ask: if I was a buyer would I like what I see? What does my property have that other similarly priced properties don't have? Where is it lacking? What can I reasonably do to improve the presentation to make it more appealing to Buyers?
In a Buyer's market, a property needs to stand out from the crowd -in a good way - to be noticed by Buyers who are looking but remaining on the fence.
LOCATION, PRICE & PRESENTATION SELL HOUSES
THE LOCATION OF THE PROPERTY IS FIXED. It is either in a desirable location, or it's not: which means you have to try harder to capture buyer's interest. On the Coast, a view or waterfront is prime; however even these locations are not being scooped up at the moment.
PRICING IS KEY IN A BUYER'S MARKET. The Seller & the Realtor have to get it right! So, Sellers if you & your Realtor cannot agree on the price point, call in an appraiser; get another Realtor's opinion. Nobody can fault you for wanting the best ROI you can get.
On two separate occasions, my husband & I rejected our Realtor's advice with respect to the listing price for our homes on the Lower Mainland and on the Coast. In both instances, our homes sold quickly for the higher price we wanted, not the price recommended by the realtors on the mainland and on the Coast, which were as well backed up by the Realtors who came through on tour.
In the first instance, our Realtor received competing offers before the FOR SALE sign was on our lawn. In the second instance, the Buyers had been keeping a eye on our neighbourhood and our house in particular.
We knew our homes showed well due to the work we had put into them and the many compliments we received from friends, relatives and even passers by.
Realtors, helping your sellers set the right price is an important part of your job: this is not the time to pull numbers out of the air, or agree to list for a price that you know is not realistic or practical, in either direction. Do the homework necessary to establish the correct price in the current market, so it can be justified during they buyer-seller negotiations.
Realtors please - NEW PRICE is just another name for reduced price and a loss for your clients. Before you approach your Sellers with the recommendation that they lower their selling price, you have a responsibility to explore other viable options on their behalf
ASK YOURSELF THE HARD QUESTIONS: Is the property in good viewing condition? Are there a few more/a lot more repairs that really should be done to get your Sellers the price they want? Do the pictures listed on MLS present the property at its best?
There are many surveys on the value of renovations prior to listing a property which confirm the seller will realize a significant ROI, especially on major rooms like kitchens & bathrooms.
If the photos are lacking, either take better pictures or bring in aReal Estate Photographer who will do the property justice. UPSTAGING works with a professional Real Estate Photographer and some Realtors already understand the value of great photos.
Is the write-up catching buyer's interest? If not, why not? Either re-write it or get someone else with a knack for writing to edit your copy and add some punch to it.
Do your Sellers agree that some work is required; however don't know where to start or how much money to invest? If you don't have access to this information, then bring in a professional who does. A Real Estate Stager can provide factual information from their portfolio of work, as well as studies confirming the ROI on renovations completed before listing.
The important thing is for you to be able to conclude that you have met your fiduciary responsibility to your client.
PRESENTATION IS THE BIGGY
THE PRESENTATION OF THE HOUSE ON MLS AND IN PERSON ARE WHAT DRAWS THE BUYERS
It starts on the internet with the MLS listing. If the pictures are poor quality, or show poor maintenance, cluttered counters, unmade beds, piles of magazines & newspapers, the toilet seat up, no curb appeal - nobody is impressed.
TIME IS MONEY - THIS MAJOR FAUX PAS MUST BE CORRECTED IMMEDIATELY.
These pictures are going out world-wide: that is what www stands for. Do you really want other Realtors to see such poor quality presentations by you? Do your clients realize the pictures of their property are being seen world-wide, and that there are now blog sites which mock poor MLS photos? This is not good advertising for either the Realtor or the Realty company.
As a professional, Realtors should not be posting poor quality photos: and Sellers you need to follow up on the MLS listing to ensure your property looks its best and the description of the property is complete & correct.
On one occasion, an out-dated photo of our house was posted; on a second, the MLS listing was not loading properly. Both situations were caught by us the same day and reported back to our realtors, who ensured the necessary corrections were made immediately.
While meeting with a client during a staging consultation, the realtor wanted to post the For Sale sign that day, well before the renovations being discussed would be completed. Her response to that was that she was going to post an out-of-date photo which showed the property in better condition outside. Can we all say FALSE ADVERTISING!
What faster way to turn buyers off than to post photos that have nothing in common with the actual condition of the property when listed. Or to lose professional credibility.
GREAT MLS PHOTOS and CURB APPEAL ARE THE TWO FACTORS which will draw potential buyers to your property, after LOCATION & PRICE
Today's Buyers are reviewing real estate listings on-line before they even contact a realtor. Properties that do not present well within mere seconds have already been rejected by the time potential Buyers contact a Realtor.
Buyers want to see clean, uncluttered & well maintained properties. As a Buyer, I have often refused to even go inside a property that had no curb appeal or even the appearance of any attempt by the Seller to keep up the property. It was a major clue to what I would likely see inside.
Buyers do not want to inherit or take on the Seller's problems. Unless they are specifically looking for a "fixer-upper", they want the problems fixed before they view.
BUYERS WANT MOVE- IN READY: THEY WILL PASS OVER PICTURES THAT SHOW MESSY, UNKEMPT PROPERTIES or a listing that has TOO FEW PHOTOS OR PHOTOS THAT DON'T GIVE THEM A GOOD IDEA OF THE LAYOUT & CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY
POOR QUALITY PHOTOS SHOULD NEVER MAKE IT ONTO THE MLS IN THE FIRST PLACE
I continually hear realtors say, "I don't want to hurt my client's feelings"; my clients can't afford staging (this before they even know the cost of staging!);or sellers say, "I don't want to hurt my realtor's feelings". One realtor even told me I was out of touch with our real estate market and refused my recommendation to review AR blogs because they were all about USA real estate, not Canadian and certainly not B.C. Wrong! We Canadians are out there and our voices are being heard.
PULEEEEEZ PEOPLE - THIS IS A BUSINESS TRANSACTION - TIME TO PUT PERSONAL BIASES ASIDE!!!!
SELLERS - Ignorance is not bliss
When you are likely dealing with the largest financial investment you will ever have in your lives, you need to be sure you have explored all reasonable options.
The ROI you receive from the sale is likely to be the main source of funding for buying another property; part or all of your retirement income; part or all of the inheritance you will pass onto your children; or money to spend on a vacation. Whatever the money will be used for, you have a personal responsibility for protecting your investment - no one else knows what your needs are as well as you do. You can turn to specialists for advice; however you also need to consider they may have their own agendas - which may come before yours. BE ALERT!
Do not put the responsibility for your financial gains & losses solely in the hands of someone else. Be actively involved in the action plan & the decision-making.
If you are not satisfied with your Realltor's performance, discuss your concerns with them. If they won't listen to you, get another Realtor's opinion.
The Realtor is providing a service to you - not the other way around. You have the right to know you are putting your largest financial investment into the hands of a Realtor who has the knowledge and expertise to market your property aggressively (which involves far more than just putting up the FOR SALE sign!), and who will provide you with all relevant, professionally-based facts and opinions with the primary goal of getting you the best ROI possible.
REALTORS - Sticking the FOR SALE sign in the lawn, planning an open house and waiting for offers is not the best that you can do: which is what you owe your clients. You have a professional responsibility to provide your Client with all relevant information so they can make informed decisions.
When you are reviewing comparables, ensure you are reviewing true comparables, not just other properties in the same neighbourhood: there may not be any others of similar value in the same neighbourhood or nearby; you may have to consider possible comparables further afield.
For comparison sake, Lawyers are not permitted to reject any means of settling a legal matter without discussing it with their Client, and they have an obligation to reveal all related discussions with their Cient, and to advise them when pursuing a legal matter is not practical economically. The Client, not the Lawyer makes the decision, either following or ignoring the professional advice received.
Realtors should follow suit. This is a business deal you are part of, not a popularity contest. If your Client needs to hear some hard truths about how their property looks, then YOU are the person to do that. Then they live with the consequences of their own decision.
It is unprofessional and cruel to list their property as is and subject them to ridicule, no showings, low ball offers or no offers....if they won't listen, provide them with feedback from viewers, keep putting the facts before them. Myself and other Stagers have clients who have told us they were not properly informed by their Realtor and/or were not aware of real estate staging and how useful it could be to them. They will not soon forget the time wasted and possible sales lost due to the first Realtors lack of professionalism.
Involve a professional Real Estate Stager who can show them a portfolio of 'before & after photos' and statistics on how the property moved from 'FOR SALE' to 'SOLD' as a result of staging recommendations, which were either done by the Stager or by the client.
AUTOMATICALLY DISCOUNTING REAL ESTATE STAGING IS NOT THE REALTOR'S CALL TO MAKE. REALTORS HAVE A PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT THEIR CLIENTS HAVE ALL AVAILABLE OPTIONS TO REVIEW WHICH MAY GET THEM A FASTER SALE AT A BETTER PRICE.
TOO MANY REALTORS ARE STILL UNDER THE ILLUSION THAT STAGING IS EXPENSIVE AND AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME THEIR CLIENTS CANNOT AFFORD IT.
THAT IS A DECISION FOR THE SELLER TO MAKE, NOT THE REALTOR
THE FACT IS THAT REAL ESTATE STAGING COSTS LESS THAN THE FIRST PRICE REDUCTION AND CONSISTENTLY IMPROVES THE ROI
AND IN MANY INSTANCES, A REAL ESTATE STAGING CONSULTATION (which costs only $150 for a 2 hour consult with me) MAY BE ALL YOUR CLIENTS NEED TO GET THE MESSAGE AND DO THE WORK THAT WILL ENSURE THEIR PROPERTY IS PRESENTED AT ITS BEST
THE SELLERS ARE THE ONES WHO WILL LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE DECISIONS MADE, SO THEY SHOULD BE THE ONES MAKING THE DECISIONS - INFORMED DECISIONS!
IN THE END, THIS IS THE GOAL OF THE REALTOR, THE REAL ESTATE STAGER & THE SELLER - WHICH HAPPENS TO BE A MUTUAL GOAL!
UPSTAGING YOUR HOMES IS THE GO-TO REAL ESTATE STAGING COMPANY ON THE SUNSHINE COAST OF B.C.
We create FAB from drab and ensure your property is "OPEN HOUSE READY"
Call 604-885-6680 to arrange a staging consult for your property or your client's property today