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Real Estate Talk:
Open houses and ads – update

Are open houses and advertisements effective in attracting buyers?

By Joseph Marovitch

Open houses were effective to a degree at attracting potential buyers as well as curiosity seekers and neighbours. With the pandemic, open houses have been replaced by virtual tours and carefully orchestrated visits with safety protocols.

With open houses, brokers acquired more new clients than potential buyers. Visitors arrived at the house, left their coordinates, visited the property, then departed. The broker would follow up a day or two later to see if there was further interest. If the response was no, the broker would ask why then ask what they are searching for. Next thing you know, the broker acquired a new client for other property.

With the pandemic, open houses have been replaced by virtual tours and carefully orchestrated visits with safety protocols.

In today’s climate, buyers are more precise and goal-oriented. Instead of visiting open houses, buyers search on-line and use brokers to find exactly what they are searching for in terms of location, size, number of bedrooms, style and so on. Once the property is found, buyers in today’s market tend to place their best foot forward, meaning there is much less negotiation. Buyers offer their best price and conditions and hope for an acceptance. The reason for this type of negotiation is that, due to the pandemic, there is far less property for sale and many more buyers searching. With this type of competition, humming and hawing can cause the buyer to quickly lose the property.

Ads can attract buyers, but often, they mostly attract clients. Advertisements maintain broker visibility as well as expose the property to the public at large. Ads also allow the broker to promote their website in that buyers can view other property they have for sale.

All that said, the most effective way to search for a property is to hire a broker. The buyer provides the criteria such as preferred location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, style, and any other items the buyer requires for their future home. The broker can use the brokerage system, Centris, to narrow the search to the desired criteria, thus finding the ideal property much more quickly.

The broker arranges visits, researches the house for any issues such as declaration of problem issues, how much time the house had been on the market and debt. The broker can ascertain if property taxes have been paid or if there is an assessment where the property has a certain number of days to pay taxes and/or other debts or be seized by the bank or government. Once these inquiries are completed, the broker can suggest a price at which to make an initial offer.

‘Following a strategy to sell relevant to today’s market is also very useful. If there are more buyers and less property available, it may be better to price the property slightly lower on the scale to attract more buyers.’

Real estate advertisements are appealing to clients seeking successful agents. Brokers whose names appear in publications regularly appear to be thriving, which can be a major draw for prospective property shoppers. When inquiring, do not forget to ask how many sales, listings, and expired listings (unsold properties) the broker has. This gives you a solid idea as to how successful the broker has been to date.

The most effective ways to attract buyers are as follows:

  1. Price within the broker’s recommended market range.
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  2. Price the property taking into consideration its condition and location.
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  3. Present the property in its best light.
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  4. Present on Centris. This system is a tool used by brokers who work with buyers.
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  5. Broker-to-broker communication, such as calling and emailing to inform other brokers the property is for sale. Clients want brokers who are pro-active within the brokerage community.
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  6. Brokers with sizeable databases of potential buyers which they email, mail and telephone call.
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  7. Virtual tours on Centris and other social media
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  8. Ads in targeted locations

Following a strategy to sell relevant to today’s market is also very useful. If there are more buyers and less property available, it may be better to price the property slightly lower on the scale to attract more buyers. The property may be asking for less than its full value, however, buyers will recognize this. With increased interest, the seller can receive more bites and end up in a multiple-offer situation. The result can be that the seller receives a higher price than anticipated.

Should you have questions or comments, please refer to the comments section at the bottom of the page. As well, to view past articles, click here.

Next article: Assessing the marketing campaign


State of the Market

The hot market has been outside the city. The markets in the Laurentians and Townships have been extremely active and competitive. Most buyers have been searching for lakefront and mountain view property. However, some have been searching for land to build their dream home. In Financial Post articles dated February 18, 2021, titled Home builders in a double bind and Cottage Country is the new battleground…, it is stated in one article that builders are having issues acquiring the materials to build while the other article states that due to the pandemic, everyone wants to leave the city for a cleaner and healthier life.

As the articles state, this is the issue. The pandemic has created a move to the countryside where inventory is limited, creating rising prices. However, for those who wish to sidestep the seller’s market and purchase land to build, there is the problem of builders acquiring supplies and building within deadlines. Due to the pandemic, it is difficult for materials to cross international and national borders. With delays in acquiring inventory, and developers’ contracts piling up, builders are raising their prices for material and work time.

‘The pandemic has created a move to the countryside where inventory is limited, creating rising prices. However, for those who wish to sidestep the seller’s market and purchase land to build, there is the problem of builders acquiring supplies and building within deadlines.’

The solution is time! In time, as more and more people are vaccinated and herd immunity takes effect, restrictions will loosen, borders will open, material prices will drop and more property will enter the market. This will all happen if we remain vigilant and take precautions.

Have a great week and stay safe!


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Other articles by Joseph Marovitch


Joseph Marovitch - WestmountMag.ca

Joseph Marovitch has worked in the service industry for over 30 years. His first career was working with families from Westmount and surrounding areas, hosting children between the ages of 6 to 16 as the owner and director of Camp Maromac, a sports and arts sleep away summer camp established in 1968. Using the same strengths caring for the families, such as reliability, integrity, honesty and a deep sense of protecting the interests of those he is responsible for, Joseph applies this to his present real estate broker career. Should you have questions please feel free to contact Joseph Marovitch at 514 825-8771, or josephmarovitch@gmail.com


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