One of the most common questions I receive as a realtor is "How's the market?" It is a great conversation starter at the hockey rink or more recently on the soccer fields as soccer season gets underway. It also can be a great conversation killer if the person asking is a seller and I tell them what the market REALLY is like! Well, I'm writing this blog post to confirm that YES, WE ARE IN A TOUGH MARKET and maybe make some suggestions on how to deal with it!
Now for all you skeptics out there who don't want to acknowledge the reality that I am currently living day in and day out as I try to scratch out a living in this profession called real estate, I'm going to pull out some statistics. I know, I know... stats can be used for or against depending on what side of the fence you are on but I'm going to keep things simple and to the point.
Here is a graph comparing last year's sales to this year for the entire number of sales in the Outouais
Do you see all those negative percentages. SALES ARE DOWN! In fact from January 2014 - May 2014 there have been 43 less sales made in the entire Outaouais area.
Now to drill down even more and take a closer look at the market where I live and do most of my business in. Let's look at the area that is statistically referred to as "Les-Collines-de-l'Outaouais." It includes Chelsea, La Peche, Cantley, Val-des-Monts and the Pontiac. If we look at year to date sales in this area for January to May there have been 56 sales made compared to last years 81. That is 25 less sales and over 1/2 the total loss for the entire Outouais area! Needless to say, not only are we in a slower market but Chelsea, Cantley, La Peche and Val-des-Monts are taking the brunt of it! I'm not making this up! All of these numbers are taken directly from the Centris System which tracks all realtor made sales in Quebec.
NOW WHAT? WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU ARE TRYING TO SELL YOUR HOME IN THE CURRENT MARKET?
This is another question I get a lot from not only clients I'm trying to sell homes for currently but other realtor's clients or just people thinking of selling their homes. The reality is that things are taking longer to sell and it is only normal for people to become impatient and frustrated. Second guessing starts to happen not only with the sellers but I think even on the realtors side of things. We all start to think that we have to reinvent the wheel and change our patterns and strategies. STOP! DON'T PANIC! I'm not sure we do! The systems for marketing homes (I choose to use the Century 21 System and some of my own social media touches) are tried, tested and quite frankly work! I do think we need to pay very close attention to detail. There is less room for error. Gone are the days of being able to throw a sign up and presto buyers come flocking to your door. The phone rings off the hook and the house gets sold to the first buyer. Oh... and if the first buyer doesn't work, no problem, there are plenty more willing to pay the price!
Every buyer counts right now! Buyers are being much pickier. The reality is that buyers are being much more careful about what they choose to invest their money into. They don't have the security of the real estate market increasing year over year by crazy amounts.
So having said all of this I think it is even more important when you are trying to sell your home to work with a realtor who has good, proven systems in place and you trust! Why trust... well when you put your house on the market and nothing happens, I mean the phone doesn't ring and the buyers don't flock to your door, despite them doing everything they have done for years, you want to make sure that when those things eventually do work they are ready to take really good care of the first (and maybe only) buyer who comes along! Make sure your realtor is ready to be honest and willing to have the real but sometimes hard conversations with you so that you can make well informed decissions! Make sure the lines of communication are open!
These can be stressful times for selling but a good, attentive realtor can help a lot!
Thinking of selling or know someone who is? Call me! 613-371-7999
These people did and I think ended up quite happy!!!!
Heartfelt thanks for helping Ghislaine and I sell our home on Lac des Loups. You are truly an a-typical real estate agent, and all on the positive side. You know how skeptical I was originally about giving up a 5% sales commission; I honestly felt the fee was disproportionate relative to the value of the services offered. Well I now have to eat those words. I can now honestly say that you have well earned your fee. You did an excellent job marketing our property on your website and with your contacts. You brought us a dozen visitors in a tough market. You went out of your way to facilitate every part of this deal, especially during price negotiations and obtaining adequate financing for the buyers. Another one of your unusual strengths is your ability to understand and deal with people in situations that are, at times, emotionally challenging. If it hadn’t been for your a-typical devotion and professionalism towards both the buyers and ourselves in concluding a win-win deal, we undoubtedly could be looking forward to another wonderful winter on Lac des Loups (Hi! Hi!).
We do not hesitate recommending you to anyone who requires honest and professional real estate sales services.
Pierre & Ghislaine Charette"