Real Estate Talk:
Spring preparation to sell
Now is an excellent time to prepare if one is planning to sell in the spring
By Joseph Marovitch
February 23, 2022
Now is an excellent time to prepare if one is planning to sell. Historically, more homes enter the market starting in March. This permits sellers to take advantage of many factors affected by spring. The air has an earthy fragrance and is warmer. Everyone has a spring in their step as they look forward to summer. Snow melts and buds pop. People just seem happier, more energetic and enthusiastic about everything. Finally, homes show best in the spring and summer with greenery and sunlight.
As March is not the driest month, it is best to start with the interior of the house. If repairs are required, such as paint, cracks, plumbing, electrical or anything else, then now is the time to do this. Next, start spring cleaning. Rummage through the house and prepare an inventory of all the items that are not necessary. We call these items stuff. Stuff is what we accumulate over time that we no longer use or want.
Two years ago, I purchased a stationary bike stand so I could bike over the winter. Then I joined a gym, and the bike stand remained in my closet for two years. That is stuff. My rule is if it is unused for two years, it goes. The more stuff one can eject, the better. Buyers want to see a house with space and light. The more little kitchkas there are in a house, the more distracted the buyer will be. The buyer will not see the house as they should. It is like trying to see the forest through the leaves.
Historically, more homes enter the market starting in March. This permits sellers to take advantage of many factors affected by spring.
After repairs and cleaning, it is time to organize. We organize by placing furniture in the best locations. Couches and chairs should be in strategic locations, not too far from each other but not too close either. Beds are neatly made, throw blankets are placed without wrinkles. Small items should be hidden.
Many times, I have shown a property where I walk into the kitchen with a client and the kitchen counter has a dish soap bottle on the counter, cups and plates by the sink, post-it notes on the fridge door, a dish towel draped over the faucet, etc. Get rid of these things. If we are to sell, we want picture-perfect. Picture-perfect with space and light sells faster and for more money.
As we approach April or warm weather, it is time to clean the front and back yard. Pick up the leaves, plant seeds. If the exterior requires repair, such as the windows, railings, balconies, or roof, then do it.
The alternative to house repairs is to declare them in the seller’s declaration and price accordingly, accounting for those repairs. Note that I am referring to structural and immediate issues. Cosmetic issues do not require a seller’s declaration statement nor a major price reduction.
The house may require a new roof. This must be declared and either repaired or the price reduced so the buyer can do the job. A paint job is not a must-do, and the buyer may want to paint even if there is new paint. Therefore, reducing the price in advance is not necessary, though in some cases, a new paint job may get more money for the house.
‘The alternative to house repairs is to declare them in the seller’s declaration and price accordingly, accounting for those repairs. ‘
Another issue a seller should address before listing is to make sure the certificate of location is still valid. If the certificate is ten years or older, if there have been structural changes to the house, or if there have been municipal changes made since the house was purchased, a new certificate is required to sell the house. A certificate can take up to three weeks to attain.
One last issue is pre-inspection. Sometimes, if the house has several structural issues or the seller inherited the house but never lived in it, it is good to have a pre-inspection. The pre-inspection will indicate all evident issues. This will give the seller a chance to either repair the issues or price accordingly and declare the issues in the seller’s declaration so the buyer cannot use them to reduce the price further. If the seller knows the house to be in good condition, I suggest letting the buyer perform their own inspection after they have decided they like the house.
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State of the market
Everyone has an opinion on where the market is going and yet it seems like a ship on the sea with no one at the helm. One opinion is interest rates will rise, causing demand to slow down. Another is more homes will enter the market causing the market to favour buyers, and another opinion is the pandemic has come to an end therefore more people will want to sell.
Here are the facts; interest rates are low. Rates are rising but have had no effect so far on demand, which remains high. Inventory remains low as well. There are too many buyers and not enough homes. This state is due to the pandemic, a large demography of millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996, who are now married with children – and the drive to make more money on the sale of property.
Recently, the government has decided to remove all pandemic restrictions. The government is of the opinion that the pandemic is coming to an end, for the fourth time. Government is also aware that the public is frustrated and ready to explode with further mask mandates and business closings. However, as in the past four waves, there is no guarantee that we will not get hit again.
‘There are too many buyers and not enough homes. This state is due to the pandemic, a large demography of millennials… and the drive to make more money on the sale of property.’
While the government is removing restrictions, medical experts are saying it is too soon and too fast to remove masks and other restrictions. There are those who will remain cautious. However, there are those, mostly the younger generation, who will jump at the chance to take off their masks and go to events. Who can blame them, except if it is too soon, can we stand another wave without societal consequences? As well, what does this mean for the real estate market?
This past week, the truckers in Ottawa, many unvaccinated, returned to their own cities. There is the possibility that the protest event was a super spreader which means that these protestors may have restarted another wave.
The only thing that is apparent is, with a pandemic, inventory will remain low, demand will remain high, as will prices.
Have a great week and stay safe.
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Other articles by Joseph Marovitch
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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