Selling a home in London, Ontario is a big decision, but it doesn’t need to feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster and hanging on for dear life. The Ultimate Guide to Selling a House in London, Ontario can help you minimize the time and energy you spend when selling a house in London, Ontario and maximize your return. Follow these tips for selling your home so you get the price you want, minimize the drama, and sell quickly without any surprises.
When Should You Sell?
The truth is, people sell and buy homes all the time and this is especially true in the London area. The continued influx of buyers from the Greater Toronto Area don’t particularly care if it is spring, summer, fall, or winter - they just want to find an affordable house. However, statistically the spring and summer are the most popular time to sell, followed by fall, and finally, winter.
Homes tend to show well in the spring and summer with leafy trees, green grass, and plenty of flowers. People are more likely to shop at this time too, since the weather’s warmer, days are longer, and they don’t have to contend with bad roads. Of course, families with children prefer to move in the summer so they do not interrupt the school year.
According to the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors, May was a very good month in London. Homes sold above the 10-year average, and many homeowners received multiple offers and a selling price above asking. The demand for homes continues to exceed the inventory in the marketplace and according to Zolo, the median days for a home on the market was only 13 days!
The principle reason homes sell so quickly in London, Ontario is the lack of property listings. There simply aren’t enough homes on the market. Active listings in May were 7.7% lower than in 2017 and 44.6% lower than in 2016. The Canadian Real Estate Association summed up the London market now - it favours sellers.
With interest rates remaining at historical lows and an expensive rental market, more people want to buy now. London’s attractiveness has increased too since the area is much more affordable than areas such as Kitchener, Guelph, and Burlington, and we have good hospitals, colleges, universities, and employment opportunities too.
How Much Is Your Home Worth?
Determining the correct value of your home is very important, but it has nothing to do with what you initially paid, what you think it is worth, or how much money you’ve invested in upgrades. The value of your house is what a qualified buyer is willing to pay. Buyers watch the market closely, look at inventory, and know what’s available and the current prices.
Of course, you want to sell your home for as much as possible, but you do not want to price yourself out of the market and alienate potential buyers either. Otherwise, your home will sit on the market, buyers perceive it as less valuable, or even worse they think there’s something wrong with your home which can be an image that’s hard to shake.
Pricing your home properly the first time you list ensures you attract more buyers, it sells quickly, and you get the price your home deserves. A fairly-priced home is more likely to receive multiple offers in a hot market too, since buyers recognize it’s a good deal. An inflated price can make it seem you’re not really interested in selling or you have unrealistic expectations. Basically, it wastes everyone’s time.
Most people rely on a real estate agent to come up with a figure that accurately reflects their home’s value since they can easily access housing market data. The agent conducts a Competitive Market Analysis which examines comparable properties sold in your area, or similar nearby neighbourhoods.
They choose homes with a similar age, size, lot size, amenities, and style, and adjust the value upwards if your home includes extra features, and downwards if your home lacks features. They then average the prices of the comparable properties to establish the estimated value of your house.
Unfortunately, many people use online automated valuation models like Zillow which often provide inflated estimates based on very limited data. These websites are typically used for marketing and lead generation purposes, not accurate valuations. Consequently, you may receive a high valuation to encourage you to list, but not a true reflection of what your home’s worth.
Potential sellers choosing to sell this year can usually expect a better return than in previous years. The average housing price for the London and St. Thomas area was up 6.4% compared to 2017. London East and St. Thomas showed the greatest increases at around 11%, while other London area prices increased between 4.4% and 4.7% compared to 2017.
Preparing To Sell
You need to present your home in the best possible manner if you want to sell your home quickly and get top dollar. Buyers perceive a properly presented home as more valuable and simple home improvements can increase your return substantially. Here’s a few of the basics sales’ experts recommend.
Remove Your Personal Mark
Buyers need to visualize living in your home and your tastes may not be theirs. Store family photos, mementos, and knickknacks to create a more neutral living space.
Pare Down Possessions
Less really is more when it comes to selling your house. Too much furniture, large bulky pieces, or a home overflowing with collections, clothes, and clutter makes your home look small with insufficient storage.
Temporarily store your excess items in your garage or a storage locker. Better yet, sell, donate, or dispose of items you no longer value.
Do Minor Repairs
A dripping tap, squeaky door, or running might be an annoyance to you, but potential buyers can perceive these as signs of a poorly-maintained home and an indicator of other potential problems.
Invest in a Deep Clean
A dirty house turns away many buyers, and rightfully so. No one wants to buy someone else’s dirt. If you’re not up for an intensive house clean, hire someone. Your house needs to shine from top to bottom, inside and out.
Buyers typically examine the bathroom and kitchen most closely, so eliminate any mold and mildew issues and ensure all appliances are squeaky clean. Organize and clean cabinets, drawers, and all storage areas too. Windows, blinds, drapes, fans, light fixtures, carpets, and floors must also be spotless.
Keep pets and children away when showing your home too. Not everyone loves them as much as you do.
Throw on a Coat of Paint
Sometimes you can get by with cleaning and touch-ups, but a fresh coat of paint breathes new life into a tired home. Studies show that painting your home offers the best return on your investment of any improvement.
Focus on well-used rooms such as the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom first and choose neutral paint colours.
Consider New Flooring
If the floors in your house are tired and worn, new flooring offers the next best return on investment after painting.
Try Inexpensive Updates
Change dated cabinet hardware in your kitchen or bathrooms for an instant upgrade. Replace electrical power points and light switches for the current styles, or swap light fixtures for an affordable update.
Light Dim Areas
Set a lamp on a table in a dim area or replace an existing fixture with one that throws more light. Some fixtures even run on batteries if you don’t want to fuss with wiring. Remember, it is about creating a home that “looks” good. Open blinds and curtains and let the light in.
Consider Home Staging
We all admire those images of well-dressed designer homes, because we can imagine living there. That’s how a home stager helps you sell your home. They look at the age and style of your home and current trends and create an inviting living space buyers can imagine calling their own.
A recent survey of professionally staged homes found 85% sold for at least 6% to 25% more. That easily pays their fee and provides you with a healthy profit.
Don’t Forget The Exterior
Your home’s curb appeal is the first impression buyers get of your home from the outside. If they don’t like what they see in photos or when they drive by, they won’t investigate further.
Sweep your front entryway including railings, steps, trim, overhangs, window sills, light fixtures and even the mailbox. Wipe all the surfaces with a damp cloth. If your house is really grimy, consider pressure washing it and the driveway, patio, and walkways.
Repaint the front door and replace your mailbox, if needed. Add a new welcome mat and potted plants for color. Trim shrubs and trees away from the door and walkways, water your grass, and remove weeds.
Store clutter such as hoses, gardening tools, and children’s toys and touch up or replace patio furniture. Tidy up the garage and storage shed and fence and gate integrity.
If your home isn't selling, check out this article about 10 reasons why.
Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Few homeowners know how to sell a house. Consequently, most people rely on a real estate agent. They have the experience, skills, and connections to simplify and speed the process. They understand the legalities of selling your home and abide by a strict code of ethics too.
London, Ontario has many real estate agents, but every agent isn’t a good agent. That’s why Team Forster invites you to scrutinize our credentials, compare us to others, and discover whether we’re a fit for you.
Talk to Our Recent Clients
Just ask us for a list of our clients over the past year. We’ll gladly provide you with contact information so you can speak directly with people who sold homes similar to yours. Ask them how long their home stayed on the market, whether they received the price they wanted, and what is was like to work with us.
Ask for frank evaluations regarding our responsiveness and communication and whether we could do anything to improve. Then decide for yourself whether we’re a good choice to sell your property.
We’re a Local Area Expert
Team Forster includes a team of accredited real estate professionals, with many years of experience selling homes in North London, South London, Byron, Uplands, or Fox Field. We understand the benefits and challenges each area offers and know how to find buyers so you receive top dollar.
Team Forster is part of Nu-Vista Premiere Realty, one of London's longest-standing, full-service real estate brokerages. We’ve served sellers in the London and St. Thomas, Dorchester, Kilworth, Komoka, Lucan, and Ilderton real estate markets since 1989.
Team Forster is part of a fully accredited real estate brokerage regulated by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). We adhere to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, government guidelines and statutes, and a strict code of ethics.
Ask Us What to Expect
Ask us how we will serve you so you sell your home quickly and at the best possible price. We offer a full service from listing to the sale of your property and we’ll gladly explain our selling process so you can judge whether they align with your preferences. We know a good working relationship is vital to your success.
Let us tell you about our online, print, and open house strategies. Have questions about inspections, paperwork, or legalities? Let us answer your questions. We’ll openly discuss your needs and expectations, spell out our process, and communicate regularly in the manner which best suits you so you always know where you stand. No one wants unwelcome surprises.
Ask us about fees and commissions - we’re totally transparent. We’re happy to explain the cost of selling a house, precisely what services we provide, and our fee structure.
Let Team Forster guide you through the sales process for a quick, highly-profitable sale. Our team has the expertise and area knowledge you need for a smooth sale and a personable process. We live and work here and we’re here to serve you.
Get In Touch With Us Today!
Find out how much your home is worth?
Call or Text Team Forster 519-851-2844 for more information about selling your home in London, Ontario!