Home sellers must keep an eye on the competition

Taking 'a walk in a buyer's shoes' can help pinpoint how a property must be displayed in order to maximize appeal and value


Thinking of selling?  A valuable article posted in the Vancouver Sun this morning......


The months of September and October continued to propel Vancouver's housing market, and the strong market and high prices have not gone unnoticed among property owners.

This fall season, however, can also see an increase in listings as the selection of available houses and condos on the market rises. What does this mean if you are planning to sell in the near future?


As buyers increasingly have more choices, it's critical home sellers consider how their property is being presented and how it stacks up against other similarly priced homes in the area.

"Typically, it's home buyers who study listing information and attend open houses, but we encourage home sellers to also work closely with their agents and conduct some basic competitive research before listing their home for sale," says Ron Sowden, CEO of Dekora Home Staging. "There is no better way to understand your competition than to research comparable listings and attend a few open houses in your area," adds Sowden.

Of course, most listing agents will provide an analysis of comparable sales, but the key is to also gathering current market information about listed homes rather than just past sales.

The next step in the process should involve a careful analysis of how your home compares with other local listings in terms of price, condition and presentation.

"Consider creating a simple ranking of listed homes and evaluate your property against the others from a competitive standpoint. Also, solicit additional unbiased opinions to either validate or challenge your assessment," says Sowden.

Armed with competitive intelligence of this nature, home sellers gain a considerable advantage provided they take action on the information.

"To be successful, home sellers need to first 'walk in a buyer's shoes' and then take the necessary steps to ensure their home shows at its best," advises Sowden.

It sounds simple, but most busy families will need to hire the appropriate professionals to make the necessary enhancements.

A good place to start is the Shell Busey HouseSmart web page (www. housesmartcentre.com), which includes a qualified contractor referral network.

Real estate agents are also a great resource for other professionals like landscapers, home stagers and painters.

"Identifying that improvements are needed before staging and listing is a big first step, but once sellers commit to taking action there are plenty of folks who can help prioritize each task and ultimately maximize the appeal of a home," says Sowden.

"And all that effort will go a long way when the house hits the market".



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