Category Archives: Selling Privately

What’s the fastest way to sell your home

A lot of people ask us how long it usually takes to sell a home on saskhouses.com compared with selling a home through the MLS system.

The truth is, there really isn’t any way to give an honest answer about how long you should expect your sale to take, because there is no way to actually know, no matter how you decide to sell.

Both the MLS system and saskhouses.com keep track of  “Average Number of Days to Sell” based on the Number of Days on the Market until each Sale is reported, but those numbers don’t include the houses which don’t sell, and there are lots of those. In the past year, for example, more than half of the homes posted on MLS, and on saskhouses.com, did not sell at all. It’s a buyer’s market right now, there is lots to choose from, and while many houses have sold, many others are still on the market.

The most common mistake we see from our sellers is this. Some people tell us they will try saskhouses.com for 2 or 3 weeks, and if it doesn’t sell right away, they will then give it to an agent, so it can be sold quickly.

If it doesn’t sell in that initial 2 or 3 week time frame, we often see the seller move to an agent, and more often than not, lower their asking price. Then, we often see the property sit on the MLS system for months, and sometimes, the seller comes back to saskhouses.com after their MLS listing expires.

We have heard from many sellers that they received a better response from their listing on saskhouses.com than they did from the MLS system. Common complaints we hear are that the Agent only wanted the listing, that they didn’t really do anything to try to find a buyer, didn’t hold any Open Houses, and didn’t communicate about what was happening with the sale with the seller.

When the market is in a frenzy, like it was in 2007 & 2008, sales are fast, and easy. Nowadays, you have to work at it. That means pricing your home right, making sure it shows well, and giving buyers every chance you can to see it. And even then, you will likely have to be patient.

The bottom line is that no one knows how long your home sale is going to take, and that how you decide to sell it, is up to you!

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Buying & selling a home privately is as easy as 1-2-3!

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Check out our commercial for 2014. We would like to thank Tara Yolan of Tara Yolan Productions for the concept and production of this commercial.

Believe it or not, January is a good time to sell your home in Saskatchewan!

It doesn’t feel like it would be, with this cold weather, and all the snow, but January is actually a pretty good month to sell your home in Saskatchewan.

In January of 2013, we had a total of 89 listings on saskhouses.com, and 57 of those listings were reported Sold by their owners. That is a listing to sale success rate of 64.04 percent, which was the best success rate of any month in 2013!

Part of the reason is that there normally aren’t a lot of homes to choose from early in the year, as many sellers wait until spring to list their homes for sale. In January, there are already a lot of buyers in the market, but not as many sellers, which usually means a pretty good success rate for sellers!

And how does that rate compare with the success rate of listings on MLS? It’s a bit tough to compare, but in 2012, the Saskatoon Real Estate Board had a total of 10,857 listings, with 5,564 sales, for a listing to sale success rate of 51.24 %. Our success rate for 2012 was 54.85%. Our success rate for the entire year of 2013 right now is 49.44%, but that includes a lot of properties which were listed within the past 60 days, so I expect that number to increase to about 55% as well within the next couple of months.

The success rate of private sellers on saskhouses.com is just as good or better than the success rate of sellers who choose to market their homes through the MLS system, at a fraction of the cost. And if you are thinking of selling in 2014, it might be better to beat the rush, and list your property before spring.

If you are thinking of selling your home with saskhouses.com, the process is easy as 1-2-3 – you can start by filling out one of our on-line listing forms by clicking here.

If you are thinking of buying, you can view all of our listings by clicking here.

First impressions are crucial in the sale of your home

A study conducted by the Bank of Montreal verifies just how important it is that home buyers have a positive first impression when they first walk into your home.

In a report titled Psychology of House Hunting, the Bank of Montreal found 80 per cent of prospective homebuyers know whether a house is the right one the moment they step inside.

The study also found that buyers also rule out a lot of homes the moment they step inside, if they don’t have a positive first impression.

The average home buyer visits 10 homes before making a decision on which one they will buy. While every buyer is looking for the perfect home for them, 68 percent of respondents to the survey said they would be willing to settle for a home that is not “perfect”.

But it’s that all-important first impression – the first 5 or 10 seconds after a buyer enters your home that could decide if your house sells, or stays on the market.

Making sure your home makes a good first impression doesn’t have to be difficult. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your home is clean, and de-cluttered. Open blinds and turn on lights so when people come in the home feels bright and warm. Make sure the home smells nice too – fresh baking or scented candles can make a home feel homey, and help to make that crucial first impression a good one.

And greet the buyers at the door with a smile – be friendly, and let them know you are happy they’ve come to see your home.

 

8 great reasons to sell your home privately

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1. You have control of the selling process

When most people sell anything other than their home, they sell it themselves. They set an asking price, advertise for buyers, and negotiate the selling price and conditions. It isn’t very difficult. When it comes time to sell their home, many people have been led to believe it is a much different process. But in reality, it isn’t. You need to find a buyer and agree on a price and conditions, the same as selling anything else. And in the case of your home, your most valuable possession, wouldn’t you rather be in control of that process, rather than handing it off to a third party?

2. You don’t have to leave your home every time a buyer wants to come and see it

One of the most frustrating things about using a third party to sell your home is that you have to leave your home every time a buyer wants to come and look at it. Our last experience selling a home through a Real Estate Agent was  when our kids were still young. We would either go for walks in the neighbourhood, or go for drives, stalling for time, waiting for the agents and buyers to leave our house so that we could go back to our home, all the while wondering who was looking at our home, and what they thought about it.

When you sell your home through an Agent, you can expect to be given short notice to get out of your own home so someone can come over to see it. You’ll also be asked to leave for entire afternoons, so an open house can be held without you.

When you sell your home privately, you can schedule open houses and viewings around your schedule, as opposed to the schedule of a third party.

3. You get to meet the people who will be buying your home

One of the nicest things about selling privately is that you actually get to meet the people who will be moving into your home after you move out. It is nice to be able to put faces and names to the people who will take over the space you call home.

The same is true for the buyers. They get to actually meet the owners of the home they are thinking about buying.

4. No one knows your home as well as you do

No one knows your home as well as you do, so why wouldn’t you want to show it to buyers? You know about all the upgrades and improvements you’ve made to your home, and about any areas of concern as well. You would think Real Estate Agents would want the owners of the house to be around when they show a home to prospective clients, in case they had any questions or concerns, but for some reason, they don’t want them anywhere near. Do they really think they know your home better than you do?

5. You are directly involved in the negotiations for the sale of your home

For most people, there is no reason you can’t look after the negotiations for the sale or purchase of a home yourself. You know how much you want or need to get out of the house, or how much you are willing to spend. It is not a complicated or hard process. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to do your own research to determine a fair asking price for your property, and once you have that, the process is just like selling anything else. A buyer will hopefully make you an offer, and you can either accept it, refuse it, or make a counter offer. And you won’t have a third party pressuring you one way or the other.

6. You can save a lot of money

The average commission when Real Estate Agents are involved in a sale is anywhere from 3 to 7 percent of the selling price of the home, plus GST & PST. A lot of Brokerages in Saskatchewan are using the 6, 4 & 2 commission system right now, which is 6 percent on the first $100,000 of the sale, 4 percent on the second $100,000, and 2 percent on everything else. That means that on a $400,000 home, the commission would be $14,000 plus GST &PST – for a total of $15,400.

In that case, the Commission plus Taxes would end up being 3.85 percent of the total sale price. But if you still owe $300,000 on the house, it would be 15.4 percent of your equity. It’s a lot of money, either way.

When you sell your home privately, the only fees you pay are the advertising you decide to do on your own. That can be as simple as putting a For Sale by Owner sign in the window, or advertising online through websites like www.saskhouses.com – all at a small fraction of the price you would be paying to use a Real Estate Agent. The price of your home shouldn’t be higher just because you are using an Agent to help you sell, nor should it be lower because you are selling it on your own. But by the same token, a private seller might have a little more wiggle room than a seller using an Agent, because no third parties are getting part of the proceeds of the sale.

7. There is a lot less paperwork

When you sell your home privately, you usually only have to complete one form – an offer to purchase form, which is signed by the buyer & the seller, along with a witness, and taken to a lawyer. Often, the form can be signed in the Lawyer’s Office. That’s it – the Lawyer will look after everything else, to make sure the buyer gets the title to the house, and the seller gets the money for the sale of the house. When you sell with an Agent, there are a lot more documents to complete and sign, but most of them deal with your relationship with the Real Estate Agent, not with the sale of your home.

8. It is empowering

Anytime you are able to accomplish something you’ve been led to believe you aren’t capable of doing, it gives you a sense of empowerment. And selling your home yourself will do just that. Over the years, the Real Estate Industry has spent a lot of money on fear-mongering ads aimed at chipping away at the self-confidence of people who might be thinking of selling privately. Their most recent ad warns that if you buy a home privately, there is a good chance you’ll end up with termites, facing a lawsuit, living right next to a busy railroad track, and that your neighbours will be front-yard nudists. Don’t believe it, and don’t be afraid. In reality, if you try selling your home privately, you will likely be amazed by how easy and enjoyable the process was, and by how much extra money you end up with in your pocket.

Sask Property listed on saskhouses.com surpasses 4 Billion dollars

The total dollar value of Saskatchewan property advertised for sale on Saskatchewan’s leading website for private sales passed the 4 billion dollar mark in 2012.

In 2012, $553,081,129 dollars worth of Saskatchewan property was listed for sale on saskhouses.com, bringing the total since the company started in 1999, to $4,099,742,184.

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The average asking price of a saskhouses.com listing continued to increase in 2012, reaching a record high of $347,850. That was an increase of more than 7 percent from the average asking price in 2011 of $323, 240, and it was an increase of more than 122 percent from the average asking price in 2002, when we began tracking that number.

Here is the year-by-year average asking price of listings on saskhouses.com since 2002.

2012 – $347,850

2011 – $323,240

2010 – $314,504

2009 – $306,232

2008 – $317,020

2007 – $246,711

2006 – $185,191

2005 – $164,503

2004 – $156,652

2003 – $152,532

2002 – $156,340

We would like to thank Saskatchewan buyers and sellers for making saskhouses.com the most successful private sale website in the Province, and we look forward to another exceptional year in 2013!

Average Saskatoon asking prices continue to slowly rise

We’ve been tracking the average asking price of our Saskatoon sellers for the past few years, and the latest evidence shows that averaeg asking prices are continuing to slowly increase in the Saskatoon area.

The average asking price of Saskatoon listings on saskhouses.com during the month of November was $363,965, an increase of just over $17,000 from the average asking price in November of 2011, and about $19,000 more than the average asking price of $344,249 in November of 2010.

Average Saskatoon asking prices hit a three year high of $386,591 during the month of October. The lowest average asking price we’ve seen since we started tracking them was $302,806 in January of 2011.

The chart below shows the average asking price of Saskatoon listings since January 2010.

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