The First Two Weeks

When it comes to selling your home, the first two weeks on the market are critical! Remember the saying “You only get one chance at a first impression”, well that applies to the debut of your home on the market as well. I cringe when I hear a homeowner say I’d like to “test” the market at a high price to see what happens. If that test price is more than 5% over where the market is at that time and they are not willing to react quickly to correct it, there’s a good chance their home will become a stale listing.

You see agents maintain lists of buyers with their desired areas, their wish lists and their price range. When a new home comes on the market that matches those criteria you can be sure the agent will visit the agent open house that a good agent will be holding, to see how closely the home matches their client’s needs. Believe me agents know when a home is overpriced and they may choose to show more competitively priced homes before your home until the price is corrected. Once a listing has become stale because either it is overpriced for the market or overpriced given its condition, it can be hard to get the buyers to come back. Buyers don’t wait around for you to wake up and lower your price, they just move on to the next competitively priced home in the same neighbourhood. You could actually be helping to sell someone else’s home if yours is overpriced.

If by the way you talk to an agent that says they can get you what seems like a small fortune for your home, make sure they demonstrate how they arrived at that price by showing you copies of the recent sold listings in your area. There are unscrupulous agents who will tell you whatever they think you want to hear then almost immediately go to work to get you the owner to reduce the price after you have signed the listing agreement.

I believe in the benefits of having a home staged. Not many of us are interior decorators and if your goal is to get top dollar for your home having it staged will make a difference! It’s all part of forming that first impression I spoke of. We of course don’t want to spoil that first impression with anything less than professional photography. In this day of internet marketing professional photography is not expensive, it’s “priceless”. I’m amazed at how many agents are still taking their own pictures, often with their cell phone and the result is painfully obvious. All a potential buyer cruising the internet has to go on are the pictures attached to a listing and if they’re not appealing they’ll simply move on to the next listing.

If there haven’t been at least 3 or 4 showings in the first two weeks and you didn’t list your house a few days before Christmas then it’s time to take a close look at what’s going on. Has there been any negative feedback from the showings that did take place and what’s happening with the competition in the area. Failure to act could well result in the listing going stale leaving potential buyers with the impression that you’re not really serious about selling your home.

The average number of days to obtain a firm offer on a home in Markham for the month of November 2012 was 26 days, in Unionville it was 41 days and in the Town of Stouffville it was 23 days. If you live in these areas and had your home for sale and had not received an offer within these time frames, then again it’s time to revisit the marketing plan to see what adjustments need to be made.

Something else to keep in mind is “the first offer is often the best”. You may have heard this before and the reason for it is, when buyers have been looking for a particular home and they find it, they don’t want to risk having someone else rushing in and getting it before them. This was true with us selling our home; the first offer was the best.

It could be that you or the people you care about are considering a big change this year. If so, feel comfortable that I can help.


Leslie Weir

Leslie Weir

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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