The Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM, hosted by REW.ca editor Joannah Connolly, offers information and advice on the Lower Mainland real estate market every week, drawing on the expertise of an industry guest.
In our weekly series on five key takeaways from the show, the March 11 edition's guest, Adam Scalena, an East Vancouver REALTOR® with Century 21, offers essential advice to buyers and sellers navigating Vancouver's spring real estate market. He had so many tips to share that we split them into two separate articles on takeaways for both buyers and sellers.
To listen to the full interview, click here – and for the audio clips on each of the sellers’ tips below, use the slider to scroll to the minute-mark cited.
1. First, make your home look perfect, as most spring buyers are end-users. Investors tend to look for properties in down markets, says Scalena, whereas most people looking in spring are intending to move into the home. “They’re often the people who make the emotional decision to pay more for a property, where an investor will be looking at the numbers.” Take the extra steps to fix any problems such as a surface crack or a missing tile, says Adam. Declutter, repaint and make sure there are no issues that buyers could object to. He adds that, even if you don’t want to have professional staging done, a staging consult that is offered by good listing agents will give you tips on how to make your home more appealing to buyers, and inform a quick trip to a home décor store for a throw or some pillows. (Clip starts 41 mins 10 secs)
2. “Price sharp, but not below what you’re willing to take.” In last year’s spring market, Scalena explains, sellers were pricing properties aggressively low, knowing that the market would dictate a higher price when the multiple offers came in. This year, sellers need to price their homes in market-value range, priced sharply to get interest – but it has to be “a number that you’re willing to accept should the offers not come pouring in after the open-house weekend.” (Clip starts 43 mins 38 secs)
3. “Make sure your agent has a plan” – you don’t want your buyers to be able to poke a hole in a poorly executed listing strategy, says Scalena. You need to be sure that you have all the building documents in place, such as strata documents, building information, an oil tank scan and a title search for detached houses, and so on. The listing agent should have answers to all the questions buyers and their agents may have. “There’s nothing worse than when a buyer comes with questions and they get a blank stare from the listing agent. Because it’s uncertainty that prevents people from acting, in real estate,” adds Scalena. (Clip starts 45 mins)
4. Proper marketing materials are essential. “You want people to fall in love with the property before they even visit the space,” explains Scalena. “For all of our listings we get professional photography and videography done.” Floorplans are also very beneficial because they allow people to get a sense of the space, he adds, and when you see people drawing on floorplans and imagining their furniture in the home, you’re that much closer to a sale. Scalena says that good listing agents will include 2D and 3D floorplans in the price of their marketing strategy – so make sure you know what the deal includes before you select your listing agent.(Clip starts 46 mins 07 secs)
5. “Hold open houses, even if it’s a pain, on the weekend.” A lot of potential buyers will only look at homes during open houses, says Scalena. “It gives them a non-rushed environment where they can come and get a good feel for the property,” he says. “And if they see other people at the open house, it can create a sense of urgency and make the buyer act when they weren’t necessarily planning on acting, and speed that process up.” (Clip starts 47 mins 24 secs)
The Real Estate Therapist show airs on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM on Saturdays 9-10am, and streams on roundhouseradio.com. Previous shows are available to listen on demand at cirh.streamon.fm. Listeners can ask the Real Estate Therapist for advice or information via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via text on 983983 or via Twitter @EstateTherapist