What should I know before I sell my home in Vancouver?
Start by reading our Vancouver home selling guide below. It's filled with helpful information for home sellers and lots of food for thought. You can then take a look at your neighbourhood's current properties for sale or start browsing the MLS to see homes for sale across Vancouver, this will give you a preliminary sense of what properties like yours are selling for in the city, to simplify your searches we offer many updated state of the art real estate home selling tools that will help you along the way so you become a savvy and informed real estate seller, tools like QUICK SEARCH, SAVE MY SEARCH, EMAIL SOLD ALERTS for my neighbourhood, SIMPLE MARKET UPDATES, and many more are just some of the tools that can help you better understand the market so you are as informed as possible before listing your home.
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Before you sell your property in Vancouver, you need to answer several questions:
This information is taken from Vancouver realtor Adan Sprauer free guide, "Selling in Today's Vancouver Real estate Market" which you can receive by contacting Adan.
1. Is this really the best time for me to sell?
In today’s Vancouver Real estate timing can be everything. When you put your home on the market it impacts the price you get. If inventories are low and there are buyers in the market for your type and price of home, you can get more than if you were competing with five similar houses in a slowing market. The time of year may impact property values as well. For example, Vancouver real estate usually slows in December because no one wants to be in the market during the holidays. People usually buy in December because they have to, not because they want to, and inventories are generally lower.
So sometimes December is one of the best months to get the highest price for a house. Because every situation is different and things ALWAYS change, the sale of a home has to be evaluated at the time the house goes on the market, not using market conditions that are six, three, or even one month old, it is important that your agent understands today’s market condition.
Do you really need to sell? Should you sell or keep your place and rent it? You need to carefully analyze your particular situation, and you need to explore all your options before you decide to sell, communication with your agent is key, seating down and discussing your options and plan is the first right step.
2. What are the current market conditions in Vancouver?
You need to know what is happening in the market right at the time you plan to sell your home. News media is always saying this and that about the Vancouver real estate market, but this is often far from what is actually happening. You may have heard how bad or good the real estate market is across the Lower Mainland or Canada, but you need to know what it's like where you are selling.
The Market is always changing and when things are slow in one area it can be the opposite for another a couple of blocks away! I still see the occasional multiple offer. However, that is the exception and not the rule. Inventories in Vancouver have increased and average marketing times have increased, but there are still buyers in the market ready to buy good homes that are priced correctly. Although things have shifted towards a buyers’ market over the last couple of weeks this depends on the area and can also change fast so it’s important to understand what today represents in your market area.
3. What is my house actually worth?
Determining the market value for properties in Vancouver is different than for the suburbs. In the suburbs, in a housing development, size and condition largely determine price. You look at the last three months of sales of homes in the development and adjust for condition and amenities. In the city, pricing becomes more of an art than a science because no two homes are alike. You need to look at what homes sold for in similar neighborhoods, but adjustments for size, style, and upgrades become increasingly subjective depending on the property. For example, a particular four bedroom, two bath home may sell for $1000,000 while another Four bedroom, two bath home about the same size and condition may sell for $900,000 ... or $1300,000 depending on the location and style. You must take great care in setting a price, because if a Vancouver house is priced too high it will generally end up selling for less than it would have if it were priced correctly at the start. For a much more detailed look at home pricing, please contact Adan.
4. How long will it take to sell?
Today the average DOM (days on market) time is about 45 to 100 days, but if you over price your home it could stay on the market much longer. Vancouver buyers have an unusual trait: they would rather make a full price offer on a fairly priced Vancouver home than make a low offer on an overpriced home. If your home is correctly priced (and isn't particularly unusual), you should expect to have it sold within about 30 to 60 days, and another 30 days for closing.
5. How do I find a good Realtor?
JUST CALL ME! lol- Good Realtors in Vancouver are not all that easy to find. Good Vancouver agents possess a very strong sense of the market and are attuned to its nuances and subtle changes. Their approach to their client’s needs are well thought out and documented.
Here are a few things that I would do if I were to hire an agent: I would only work with agents that have been in the business for at least five years and that have some advanced designations. Even if you think you know the right agent, you should interview several agents, or at least three. I think it is important to work with Vancouver agents who both list properties and represent buyers, because they have a fuller view of the market. I would then interview the Vancouver agents who I think best understands my needs and would best represent me. I would probably talk with 4 -5 agents over the phone, but actually sit down with only two or three at the most!. I would also call their references. Finding a good agent in Vancouver could be one of the most important decisions you can make. Selling your home or buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions there is to make. To get the highest possible price for the home you are selling in Vancouver, and to protect yourself from any possible problems requires the use of experienced professionals. Find one that is able to tell you the truth about your property and about the current market conditions. Don't choose an agent because they give you the highest price or because they have a bubbly personality; choose them because they have a proven track record and they know how to represent your best interest.
6. Should I sell my home myself?
Some people are very successful at selling their home themselves in Vancouver. However, it does require work. When people tell me that they are going to sell themselves because they want to save the commission, the fact is they actually are going to earn the commission they expect to save. But not all of it. Many FSBO (for sale by owners) in Vancouver end up paying the buyer's agents some commission, usually 3 percent.
One of the biggest problems with a FSBO in Vancouver is the difficulty in showing the home because the owner works. Another complication: it is always better if the owner is not present when a prospective buyer sees the home, but if you're the agent too, you need to be there and typically at the buyer's convenience. Another potential concern is having a perfect stranger knocking on your door wanting to see your home. Real estate agents in Vancouver sell the most homes, so a FSBO needs to market the home to all the other agents for the best chance of selling it. Even in the hottest of hot markets not all FSBO's sell, you have to price your home correctly, make it easily available to show, and market it effectively. And don't get overly emotional or take the negotiations too personally.
Word of caution I learned yearly in my life before I was a Vancouver realtor:
“ Mr. FSBO at the end of the day everyone pays a commission you can pay it to the Buyer and you do all the work! Or you can pay it to a professional and they do all the work , at the end of the day everyone pays a commission”
7. How much will it cost me to sell my home in Vancouver?
Cost of selling a home in Vancouver
There is no set cost for real estate commissions in Vancouver there are many brokerages with different compensation structures , If you list your home or condo with a professional full service Vancouver Realtor and they sell it, the rule of thumb or going rate is that your closing costs will be around 7% on the first 100K and 2.5% on the balance this takes into account paying the buyer’s agent side that will bring the buyer for your home, although this is a common structure of compensation there are many options and discounted services available, it is important that you understand what you are getting, at the end of the day remember you are selling one of your biggest assets and it is up to you and only you to decide how to best sell it.
8. What do I have to do to get my home ready to sell?
This depends on the market and your competition, but generally, home sellers believe they have to do more to their property than they really do. The first impression of a home is when you drive up to it and when you reach the front door. Those areas should be cleaned up to look in good order. Once inside, you should let in as much natural light as possible, and rooms should not be cluttered. Kitchens, particularly, should be free of clutter, and basements should be clean and bright (use 100 watt light bulbs) and have the windows cleaned. Typically, you don't need to paint or put in new carpet. If your carpets are very dirty, you might want to have them cleaned. Spend as little money as possible and don't get carried away. The people who buy your home will get carried away and repaint, put in new carpet, or tear out the old carpet and refinish the hardwood floors, and so on.
The information on this page was taken from my free report "Selling in Today's Market." You can receive a copy of this report by contacting David today.