How Would A Pro Sell Their Own Home?

Jeff Thibodeau:    Hey, it's Jeff Thibodeau here, real estate broker with the Brantford Homes team. You know, when it comes to selling your home in a hot seller's market, it's almost more important when the market conditions are like this to have a great strategy and preparation laid out. We see it all the time when homes get listed on the market. Some of them it's like crazy bidding war, home selling $100 grand over asking, yet other houses are just sitting on the market and maybe not even getting one single offer. I put a challenge to the team this week. I asked them to each go home and consider if they were gonna sell their own personal property in this market, how would they do it? From preparing it, from pricing it, from marketing it, and handling offers. Then I sat down with everybody one on one to interview them and get their personal strategy.

    Now, we've cut those interviews into a video that's coming up next that shows you how four professional, experience local realtors would tackle selling their own home in this market. You know, I hope you find this information useful in planning your own strategy and if you're considering selling your home this year, the most important thing that you could do is reach out to someone on our team early so that we can lay out that strategy for you and we can get you on the right path. Hope you enjoy the video, and if you have any questions, just reach out to me or my team. Talk to you soon.

Preparing Your Home

Mike Brown:    If I was gonna list my house today, I would have some decluttering to do, like most people probably should. I'd touch up some paint. I'd make sure no lightbulbs were burnt out, make sure that nothing looked neglected at all on the property.

Jon Machado:    I think the one thing that I would do is, being a new build, it's still in the neutral white palette. I would go with a nice gray color throughout the entire home and then I would accessorize and use a little bit of color to bring out some of the other tones in the home, for sure.

Jeff Thibodeau:    I would actually take the time to do a full kitchen reno and update my two bathrooms, and put the final touch because we've gone so far with the landscaping and some other premium features. I'd really wanna sell my house at the top end of what's possible.

Jon Pickering:    I know we've prepared by updating a lot of the major mechanicals of the home, so the furnace, the AC, the roof, windows, as well as the kitchen and bath. I believe for the consumer it's gonna be a first-time buyer most likely looking at our home, so it's nice to have those major costs out of the way.

Pricing Your Home

Jon Machado:    I would look at some of the recent sales and I would definitely price it aggressively. I would look at what the market value is and probably go a couple percent below that to really attract the pool of buyers into that home.

Jeff Thibodeau:    If I was selling it right now, I would knock a bunch of money off what I thought I was gonna sell it for and create a frenzy, because I know that's what's getting the most exposure to the home, and also it's the biggest chance to maybe get one of those bazooka buyers and win an extra $20,000 or $40,000 that you didn't expect.

Mike Brown:    I would not list my house for less than I was willing to accept, but that being said, the market right now is crazy and I would list it for that low number, as low as possible.

Jon Pickering:    I think right now the listing at fair market value or just slightly below by keeping it pretty competitive allows to draw enough attention to the home.

"Coming Soon" Marketing

Jeff Thibodeau:    In this market, with homes selling so fast, it's really critical to have an extra week or so ahead of the home coming in market to start to tell people it's coming. That way they can anticipate it and they're ready for that listing day. With things going so quick, sometimes a home can be up and sold before half of the buyers had a chance to look at it. Coming soon to me makes a lot of sense.

Jon Machado:    Yeah, I think that that's a great opportunity to really start to showcase the home and build the enthusiasm, so would do a "coming soon" and I would actually do a little bit of a progression and follow the steps as I paint the house and accessorize and maybe finish the fence.

Jon Pickering:    I think as much exposure as possible's really good, especially any digital marketing that you can get out to as many viewers as possible.

Mike Brown:    I would do that to create a bit of a buzz about it. I've seen it work very successfully for my clients in the past. Because it works, I would do it.

Best Day To List Your Home?

Jon Machado:    I would want to list the home on a weekday. That way you have some evenings and weekends available for people to view the home and preview the home before you review offers. I would probably choose a Wednesday or Thursday.

Jeff Thibodeau:    Have people plan their weekend, is I guess is what I'm saying. If they're coming from out of town, they'll be able to see the home go live on a Wednesday or Thursday and plan to come to Brantford this weekend to take a look at it.

Mike Brown:    I would avoid holiday weekends. I'd probably list it on a Thursday or a Friday.

Jon Pickering:    I think either a Wednesday or a Thursday, a bit of time before the weekend so people can plan their weekend ahead and can incorporate that into it.

Would You Hold Off On Reviewing Offers?

Mike Brown:    I wouldn't hold offers for any longer than seven days. I would hold offers, but I wouldn't do it for any longer than seven days because I wouldn't want the buyers to lose interest and maybe move on to something else.

Jeff Thibodeau:    The strategy for all of our clients should be to allow the market to properly expose the home. In this market condition, five to seven days of the public being able to see the home, especially if that's rolling over a weekend. I believe I would list it on a Wednesday and accept offers on a Monday.

Jon Machado:    You wouldn't wanna lose the momentum, so I think going anything longer than about five days, you might lose out on some buyers to other properties available.

Jon Pickering:    I think for myself, I'd have to have that discussion with my wife earlier and have a set number in mind that if someone breaks that barrier, then yeah, we'd definitely consider it.

What About Bully Offers?

Jon Machado:    Honestly, it's my belief that if somebody's gonna come with the right offer, they're gonna do it on the offer day. Now, we have seen some bully offers win in some scenarios. Personally, myself, I wanna give every buyer an opportunity to put a bid on my home and may the best bidder win.

Jeff Thibodeau:    If somebody came to the table with an offer that was too good to refuse, I would definitely look at it. That being said, we'd for sure get on the phone to everyone who's booked a showing or showed the property to let them know that the rules are about to change.

Mike Brown:    I'd look at them. I doubt that I would accept them because if they're gonna be excited enough to bring me a bully offer and I'm not waiting too long to look at them, they're gonna come back at offer day. Now, if the showings aren't going very well and I'm not getting the traction that I thought I would, then I might change my opinion. Everything's day by day, right?

Jon Machado:    Yeah, I think that social media's a huge tool for marketing properties nowadays. Your Facebook and Instagram has been very popular. We've seen that there's been more hits and more views just on social media channels than there have been through the MLS alone.

Where Would You Spend Your Marketing Dollars?

Mike Brown:    In terms of marketing my own home, I think the photos definitely bring people in. Price point, now, has a lot to do with marketing. You don't wanna list it above what other homes in the area are selling for because the buyers are used to paying more for the house than the listing price, now.

Jon Pickering:    I think just for the buyers that we're targeting, a lot of social media would be most important. Again, exposure and holding off offers that allows us to market to as many people as possible.

Jeff Thibodeau:    I would definitely focus most of my energy on promoting the home through Facebook and through just signage. We still live on a fairly busy street that people drive through, so having that sign out in front of the home for the "coming soon" period and definitely putting all of my energy into sharing the photos and videos of the home online mostly through Facebook and through our website.

Open Houses?

Jon Pickering:    I think it's a good opportunity to let buyers come back through the home and it's a little less pressure for them. Sometimes they'll even come without their agent and they can ask questions as well.

Jon Machado:    I truly believe that if there's interested buyers out there, most of them are working with agents. I wouldn't hold an open house. I would just allow for private showings and then people can come see it at their leisure with their agent and have plenty of time to preview the property and not feel like there's everybody on top of them trying to view the home at one time.

Jeff Thibodeau:    I think I would, honestly. Again, having the most number of people come through the home as possible and also open houses, I've seen it on the buyer side, can create this frenzy around the property because you may get a lot of people at the open house that are tire-kickers, we call them, are not ready to make an offer. But the two or three buyers who are serious and see the other 15 buyers there, that can cause them to actually offer you more money come offer date.

Mike Brown:    I would not hold an open house of my own property to the public. For one, I don't want people coming through my house without their agent with them or too many people that I can keep an eye on. I feel like that's a liability.

How Would You Handle Offer Presentations?

Jeff Thibodeau:    Really when it comes down to that, it's about making it as accessible to the potential buyers and their agents as possible. I would probably do it on a weekday, a Monday or Tuesday after everyone's had the energy of the weekend and had the time to look at their property, and I would probably hold it at the home. That way anyone has the right to come and present the offer in person, see the home one more time, and who knows? You might even have the buyer of your home waiting out in the driveway ready to make a better offer.

Jon Machado:    For me, personally, I'd prefer to do it at the office. I think that having a neutral space is ideal. Yeah, there's certainly no problem having the agent present, because having an agent present allows them to communicate things that may not be in black and white on the offer.

Jon Pickering:    I think for myself, I usually like to do it in our office. I think that it's a little more of a controlled environment and it caters a little better to the seller.

Mike Brown:    I say to the agents that are gonna be bringing offers that they're welcome to come and present them in person if that's what my client wants.

Cash/Firm Offer or Conditional Offer?

Jon Machado:    The firm deal is often the best deal. My thought process is price the home in and around the neighborhood that you would be completely comfortable accepting that price. Every dollar above that is a bonus. If it's a firm deal, the deal is done. Right? There's no waiting on whether something's gonna fall apart on conditions because it's really tough to generate that hype again if you lose out.

Jeff Thibodeau:    We are always gonna look at the firm offers as being most serious. That's always the advice we're gonna give to the client. For me, too, I know I've seen it happen where we accept a higher offer full of conditions, it terminates, and the energy on the property never comes back. For me, I'm always gonna entertain that cash or firm offer with a lot more seriousness, even if it's a slightly lower price than a conditional offer.

Mike Brown:    I would separate the cash offers from the conditional offers. If there were offers that were close, I would let all the agents know that I would be contacting them and saying, "Hey, you guys are close. Are you willing to come up?" If they're not close, I would be expressing the fact that, "Hey, if there's a clear winner, we're just gonna take it." 

Jon Pickering:    There's always a risk that that offer with conditions can fall apart. If that's the case, you might lose out on the other opportunities and you can never really recreate what we've already done.

Final Advice...

Jeff Thibodeau:    This can seem like a very exciting market for sellers and it feels like everyone's rolling the dice and some sellers are winning the lottery and others are coming up short, but it's important to remember that in these heated market scenarios, there are no real rules of thumb. We can't give you a chart that says, "Here's the exact percent under market value you should offer" and so on and so forth. It's really important to take a really clear look at your situation and what you're trying to achieve, match that with your competition on the market to position yourself the best way. For me, it's about slowing things down and walking through the steps and doing it all properly to make sure that in that short window we actually [inaudible 00:11:22] and get an offer on your home, everything's done right. We're not playing catch-up.

Jon Pickering:    I think preparation is the key for it. Take enough time to get everything in order, to clean up, to properly present your home in the best light I think is best. Giving us enough time to market the home properly and get as much exposure as possible.

Jon Machado:    I would say carefully analyze the market. Definitely go over the comps. This isn't an opportunity, just because everything is selling, it's not an opportunity to reach for the moon. I think that you wanna definitely price the home in line with what market will bear for it, and that's you're best chance of success. We've seen too often where sellers will try the "reach for the moon" price and it just doesn't work out to their favor. Buyers are conditioned to look at the asking price and assume that they have to pay more. By pricing your home out of the market, all you're doing is driving buyers away, in my opinion.

Mike Brown:    Probably talking with an agent that cares and wants to make sure that they're gonna make the best decision for them. I've actually turned down listings recently because it wasn't the right choice for them at the time and I pointed out some other options. I think analyzing every situation individually is probably the best secret or tip. Call somebody you trust and talk to them.