Selling your Vancouver home in a “down market”

Selling your Vancouver home in a “down market”

Selling a home could be a stressful activity.  A lot of home owners are very uncomfortable with strangers coming through the house, opening closet doors and cabinets but it is a part of the sales process. Another added stress of selling a home in any economy is keeping your Vancouver house in a “show ready condition. A lot of times you will have to get your house prepared for showing within hours’ notice. It isn’t such a big issue in when the market is up and properties sell within days but when the market is slow and your property “sits” on the market for months at the time selling process could get frustrating. Imagine trying sell your property for 8 month.

What is down market? Down market could mean many things. It could mean that there are very few buyers and a lot of inventory on the market (aka. the buyers’ market). Buyers’ market could be a result of many factors. Some of the main causes for buyers’ market in Vancouver are: high interest rates and/or change in immigration policies among many others. High interest rates create buyers’ market due to lower number of people being able to qualify for increased monthly payments. Change in immigration regulations could also be a factor in buyers’ market in Vancouver. Vancouver is known for having a hot real estate market for foreign investors. When immigration policies change international investors would be looking for different real estate markets to invest into and thus Vancouver real estate market will have a decrease in active buyers.

Down market could also mean significant housing price drops. Most of United States and Canada experiences significant real estate price drops and eventually recession in 2008. A lot of people could not afford their mortgages any longer and had to sell their homes or had their homes in foreclosures. When there is a large inventory of houses doe to foreclosures and not enough buyers real estate prices can drop significantly, which creates buyers’ market.

Now that we have a better understanding of what down market is and how it’s created let talk about selling your Vancouver home.

To sell a home in any market there is only one thing that’s required – a buyer!  Imagine going out fishing. It’s a lot easier to catch a fish if the river is full of them. As the number of fish decreases it becomes harder and harder to catch one. It is the same situation with buyers.  When the market is on the upswing there are plenty of buyers and a lot easier to find one for your house. Sometimes you could find a few and even have your house in a biting war. As the number of buyers decreases it becomes harder and harder to find one for your house.

In my opinion the key to selling your Vancouver property in a down market for a reasonable price is making it appeal to as many people as possible.

Why did I say for a reasonable price? You can sell anything if you lower the price enough. If you were to put your Vancouver property on the market for $10 it would sell within minute (your real estate agent would probably be the first one to make an offer).  I know it’s a silly example and you wouldn’t put your Vancouver house on the market for $10 but it gets my point across.

So how do you make your property appealing to as many people as possible?

De-personalize your home. Turn your home into a house. Take down all of the family photos. A lot of times buyers would be uncomfortable with having sellers family photos in the house they are thinking of purchasing. Think of it this way. You want to do everything possible to help buyers envision themselves living there.

Make sure your Vancouver house is in a move-in ready state. Fix up all of the little projects around the house you’ve been neglecting. Paint the walls, fix door knobs, remove carpet stains and do whatever else that needs to be done. A big majority of buyers want to buy a house in move-in ready condition without any added DIY (do it yourself) projects.

Curb appeal. Make sure your house looks good from the outside. You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but most people do. Make sure the lawn is landscaped, house has been pressure washed or painted and looks like your buyers’ dream home.

Offer “take-back mortgage”.  As I mentioned earlier one of the reasons for slow market is buyers not being able to qualify for mortgages.  If you are in a position to offer buyer take-back mortgage your Vancouver house will come with an extra added bonus that will make it easier to sell. Please, make sure to consult with your financial professional about mortgage take-back option before making any decisions.

Follow these tips for selling your Vancouver home in a down market and good luck.