Thursday, January 8, 2009

If You are Thinking of Selling, Now's the Time to be Listing!

If you are considering selling your Crowsnest Pass, Alberta home at this time, you need to take a hard look at the current market. Homes in the Crowsnest Pass seem to be spending about 120 days on average on the market before closing. Considering it usually takes about 30 days from contract to closing, this means you will probably go about 90 days before agreeing on a contract with a prospective buyer. This is a relatively long time for an actual closing, so your time line needs to take this into consideration. If you want to sell by spring, now is the time to be listing! If you are planning to move, give yourself 3 to 4 months for the sale to take place. Some homes do sell much more quickly but each circumstance is different. How long will it really take your home to sell? That depends. It depends on several factors:

What are these factors?

Location: Are you located in one of the more popular subdivisions and locations? Which town are you in?

Ease of Showing: Buyers have many properties to choose from in today's market. Being able to accommodate potential buyers at their convenience is key. If a real estate agent has 10 potential properties for a client to look at today, but you need them to come either "tomorrow or whenever", this just may not work. To sell, you need to capture the potential buyer when they are available.

Curb Appeal: If you can't get them in the front door, you can't sell them! The lawn and landscaping needs to look appealing during summer, and snow removed during winter. I read that a buyer decides within the first 10 minutes of seeing a property if they are interested. You have to entice them with the outside and dazzle them with the inside.

Staging: Once inside, you need to dazzle them. You got to put your best foot forward! Remove clutter. Furniture that is too big for the space makes the space appear smaller. Get rid of the wild colors... remember, neutral! Clean. Your home may not be a palace but it can, and must be clean. Buyers will not overlook filth! Clean... sells!

Pricing: I did not put price at the top of this list although most agents today believe price is the major consideration in selling a home. Certainly the price must be reasonable for the market and reasonable for your needs. Many agents, including myself, will not take a listing if the price desired is too high for the market. Remember, the market sets the price - not the seller or the real estate agent!

Negotiate: Expect to negotiate. Homes in the Pass market appear to be selling for about 93% of asking price on average. So, buyers expect to wheel and deal. This should be expected and considered in the pricing strategy.

Strategy: Marketing in this environment does require a strategy. Exposure to the right pool of potential buyers is key. Most buyers search on the Internet so that is a key component of any strategy. Marketing strategies involve multiple approaches. Discuss these with your real estate agent.

When all is said and done, it is sometimes just plain luck that a buyer finds your property before another one captures their eye. If all the things above are considered and acted upon, you will find that buyer... probably sooner than the average days on the market!

If you are considering selling your Crowsnest Pass home, give me a call or drop me an email.

John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at:

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