While our Ottawa market has been favouring sellers for a year or two now, they still have a lot of important decisions to make in arriving at their listing and marketing strategy for a successful sale and maximizing the equity from their property. Here are a list of items we think sellers will wish to consider:
When do I list my property?
Always a critical question, of course and one mostly determined by where one is moving and how long a current property may take to list, sell and close.
Our 3 biggest sales months of the year are typically April (#3), May #1 and June #2 which many sellers consider as the best time to sell. Given our current low listing inventory situation, however, just about any time is probably OK for most properties.
How long will my property take to sell?
Days on market has improved with our strong market and most midrange properties should sell in approximately 30 days (or less!) and close in 45 to 60 days, although this varies with every property, buyer and seller.
MLS® listing or “exclusive” listing?
The best exposure to the most buyers is always via a full service MLS® listing that is exposed widely to all Realtors and their buyers through the MLS® ecosystem, especially realtor.ca. Some Realtors are plugging an “exclusive” listing strategy which has its purposes but is not as widely seen and generally not as effective for a seller in maximizing their marketing opportunity.
Pre-market via use of a “Coming Soon” sign on my lawn?
These signs have become quite prevalent, as listing agents seek to both do advance marketing and try to prospect for new clients via this grey marketing of listings that are not widely published via the MLS® system. Though there are some legitimate uses for such a strategy, in most cases we think is more to the listing agent benefit than that of the seller.
Do I hold back offers until a certain date?
A very common strategy is to hold back offers during the first week or so a property is listed. This gives as many buyers as possible the opportunity to view the listing in person and determine if they wish to submit an offer. Multiple offers generally means the best market selling price available at the time but sellers may lose some buyers as a result.
Some buyers are not interested in the multiple offer process which can be stressful and seem like an auction. Military or out of town buyers may not have the time to wait around until a seller offer date, as they are on tight timelines to identify and purchase a property, so one will lose most of these buyers by holding back offers.
What about a “bully” offer?
A “bully” offer is one that is submitted during the offer holdback period. Such offers are typically very strong offers and also call for an immediate decision by the seller. Tough call for sellers to make, as this buyer may come back on offer day or they may move on to the next property on their list instead and a seller may or may not get as good an offer come offer night.
Do I need to have an Open House in this market?
We suspect the number of open houses is way down these days, as properties sell quickly. An occasional open house may still be useful for that casual buyer who is not working with a Realtor or the “I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it-buyer”
How much commission should I pay?
There are two important components here: one is total commission to be paid but also the split between listing agent/brokerage and buyer agent/brokerage. Sellers should understand both carefully, as there are a number of commission plans out there that may offer an attractive lower commission rate but also restrict the amount of commission being offered to the buyer representative and brokerage which may impact the interest level around that listing.
We are able to offer significantly lower commission costs than almost all other realtors, due to our status as an independent non franchise brokerage with less overhead to cover. Give us a call and we can discuss your plans and how we can optimize your marketing opportunity and transaction costs.
Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage 613-435-4692 firstname.lastname@example.org oasisrealtyottawa.com