Performance Realty
Brokerage, Independently Owned and Operated


8 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid 

Everyone makes mistakes - that's just part of being human.  However, when it comes to selling your home (possibly the most expensive thing you will ever sell), a simple mistake can cost you a very large amount of money.  Here are some of the more common mistakes which are easy to make, but will now be easier for you to avoid:

1.  Limiting your marketing opportunities and exposure

No sign! No Open Houses! Showings only between such and such a time…

At times, circumstances dictate that showings must be put on a schedule. Most times this happens when a property is tenanted.  Because tenants have no control about the property being sold, it can be frustrating for them to have people through.  We will often try to accommodate showing times with a tenant's schedule.  While most buyers understand the need for tenanted properties to limit showings, they do not expect any other properties to have the showings limited, unless there are special circumstances.  Showing restrictions are in most cases viewed as a seller not being serious about selling.  When buyers are ready to look for that perfect home and do an offer, they want to see all they can so that they do not "miss" anything.  

Although 80-90 % of buyers do their home search on the internet, once people have made a conscious decision to buy, they all of a sudden start noticing signs on lawns. Many people will drive around the area they want to be in, specifically looking for "For Sale" signs, or they will see a home on the internet and want to do a drive by first.  When there is no For Sale sign on the lawn, without question, you are missing out!  The exposure a sign can give is tremendous.   Those who do not wish to have a sign usually do not want their neighbours to know they are selling.  But those living near you will know soon enough, and in the meantime, your home will take longer to sell, and risk becoming a "stale" listing that gets overlooked.

Is this the house that is for sale?  Yes, it is.

Open houses are usually done for a couple of reasons: it makes the seller happy to think something is being done and it allows the agent to try to connect with a few buyers that come through, in hopes that they can get a few new clients.   We do Open Houses for different reasons.  Firstly, we want your neighbours to come in to see your home!  Why? Because we have found that neighbours like to have a say in who moves into the neighbourhood, and once they know about your home, they will start to tell those they know about how great a place it is!  We also have seen first hand where buyers come in to an open house because they didn't want to "bother" their agent, and when they like the home, go and call their agent, who does up an offer. We love that, because we have been able to promote your home to those coming in, telling buyers a bit more about the home than can be found on the MLS® listing, and we have helped sell your home!  We also do our open houses a bit differently than most real estate agents.  We try to do an open house the first Sunday of the listing, from 2-4 pm. After that, we have found that we have more success in getting those who are seriously looking by holding our Open Houses from 1:00-2:30 rather than 2-4, when people are out with their visiting relatives looking for something to do.  Many times we have people waiting for us to open up at 1 pm, and we are told that this allows them to see our property and not be rushed during that 2-4 period. We track where those who come into our open houses find out about it, and most of the time it is through the internet. 


2.  Assuming that a "Looker" is a "Buyer"

Although it only takes one buyer to love and want your home, most likely it will not be the first person through.  We have had several really good years of brisk markets where multiple offers are the norm.  Sellers are becoming conditioned into thinking that their property will sell after the first or second showing.  And certainly that can happen.  But consider these scenarios:  a real estate agent is out with a buyer for the first time, showing them homes in different neighbourhood, since the buyer is not sure of where he/she wants to live; or the buyer is unsure of what type of home they want and needs to see several; or they may be weeks/ months away from buying but need to see an occasional home to know what they want.  Transferees or those coming from out of city/ province will have only a few days to find a home, and so will want to see all they can for a couple of days before settling on one.  And some Open Houses are flooded with folks out for a Sunday drive, just looking for the sake of looking!  Be patient.  Be well priced, be accessible, have your home in tip top shape and a buyer will come! 


3.  Overlooking market conditions and trends 

Ah Spring!  We watch for the birds to arrive, for the grass to turn green and For Sale signs to go on the lawns!  While any time is a good time to sell, spring is definitely the best. The spring market can begin anywhere from February to April, depending on so many things- the economy, the weather, interest rates and here in Ottawa, politics. And don't overlook what's trendy!  Ottawa happens to love attached homes, in fact most years there are more new townhomes being built than detached homes.  Ottawa loves townhomes! And now condos are "where to be", whereas about 10 years ago they were not very popular. Currently there are many new condos being built and the resale condo market is booming.  Another consideration is how long it is taking for homes to sell.  At some times of the year it may take on average 20-30 days to sell, other times it might be 60-90.  And what is the norm for one neighbourhood may not be the same for another.  We are here to tell you about the current market, to offer advice as to how to interpret what is happening, so you can make well informed decisions. 


4.  Choosing a Realtor® who gives me the highest price  

The desire to make a lot of money on a sale is in us all.  We all want as much for our homes as we can.   Chances are you've heard about what others on the street have been selling for, or what others have sold for in other areas.  Many times, a Seller has over-improved the home with expensive finishings, thinking that they were going to stay in the home "forever", and so now hopes to get it all back.  All of the money you have invested as a Seller to fix up your place, though, may not necessarily get a return of it all.  A real estate agent should be honest with you.  When choosing a real estate professional to market your home, are you looking for the person who gives you the highest price?  We would rather give you an honest answer rather than an overinflated price, hoping that it appeals to a seller's desire for profit.  We hate having to reduce the price of your home once or several times to get it to where it should have been in the first place. We know that in the meantime, days and weeks have been wasted and buyers have looked elsewhere, while your home has sat and become stale. The most activity is usually within the first 2 weeks when the listing is new.  Over the past few years we have noticed that if there are a fair number of properties on the market, buyers will be hesitant to put in a really low offer, hoping a seller will come down. It's many times easier to buy something that's well priced from the start.  Don't be fooled into thinking that the one with the best price is the best choice!


5.  Assuming a Bank Appraisal or MPAC Tax Assessment is your home’s value 

A bank does an appraisal for the purpose of lending a mortgage. They want to know that in the event that the seller defaults on his mortgage payments and the bank ends up owning the home that they will be able to sell the home for more than what the mortgage is for.  So at times a bank appraisal will be lower than the actual market value.  On the other hand a Tax Assessment is done so the city can determine your taxes. It too is not always a true reflection of what the home's market value is.   In fact, the tax assessment can be a hundred/ several thousand dollars less than the market value price.  There are two ways to really find out what your home is worth.  (1) You can contact a certified appraiser and pay for an appraisal ( we can recommend  several to you),  or (2) you can have a real estate agent do a  Market Value Analysis as part of their marketing plan.  A Realtor® will compare your home to those currently for sale, those having sold recently and those which have not sold, and will take into consideration many other factors to come up with the market value of your home.    


6.  Failing to "showcase" your home

While most of us love our homes, our taste is our own and not everyone will love it as much as we do.  Since the proliferation of home improvement and staging TV shows, the majority of buyers want to find a home they can just move into. One that looks like the magazine or TV show they saw. Several years ago buyers preferred to find a fixer-upper, so that they could make it into what they wanted. But the trend now is to find a place that feels like home, where improvements are not necessary immediately.  So think of where you could store some of your furniture or belongings while the house is on the market. Do you need to have a garage sale, donate to the Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul?  Perhaps you need some Frogbox bins or PODS portable storage, or to ask family if you can borrow a corner of their basement for a while.  Then get started at de-cluttering.  From the front door through the rest of the house, remove nic-nacs, get rid of as much clutter as possible, and move furniture so that the rooms look larger.  Try to see your home through a buyer's eyes.  Do you need to hire a stager?  Do you need to paint/ do touchups, wash windows?  A home that shows well will sell faster and for more money.  A little effort on your part will pay off tremendously!

Before After
Never underestimate the power of little changes like updated paint and simplified decor.

7.  Incorrect pricing

Many times when a home sells the first day or so, we will hear comments like "we should have asked for more money".  In reality though, a quick sale usually means the home was well priced!  A home that is overpriced at the start is very much disadvantaged for several reasons.  Firstly, most of the showing activity happens during the first 2 weeks.  Buyers know that Sellers are reluctant to come down much in price during that period, and so they would rather put an offer on a home that seems to be at market value than overpay for a home.  Secondly, once the price starts to be reduced, buyers may feel like the seller is “desperate” and will now bring in a low offer, or they may see the price change and want to wait until it “drops further”.  


8. Lowest Commission

Everyone is wants a bargain! Most families have tried no-name household/ food products and know that many are just as good as the brand name.  But it's also well known that there are some things in life that are worth paying for.   Reputation, high standards and quality results are not something we take lightly!   Typically, when you list your home for sale, part of the commission is offered to the agent who brings in the buyer.  Our business model is one of doing our utmost to expedite a sale, not just to put a sign on the lawn.  When you list your property for sale with Barb and Jenn at Royal LePage Performance Realty, we are part of a full service real estate company with proven market share.  We are a brand that is world wide; our office is locally owned.  We set high standards and have the benefit of non-selling managers who do not compete within the company and are always available should a difficult situation arise. It’s just one of the many ways that set us apart!


Tel: (613) 238-2801
Toll Free: 1-877-757-7386
Fax: (613) 238-458
165 Pretoria Ave.
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 1X1
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