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episode # 340

How to Sell Your Property for Top Dollar Now!

Looking to sell a property? This episode’s for you! This week, Matt & Adam cover the current state of the Vancouver real estate market and provide effective tips for getting your property sold for top dollar in these challenging times. Where do you start? How do you prepare your property? And what are tried and true strategies for making sure your property finds the right buyer in short order. Get a detailed action plan on this episode with industry pro-tips that have made our clients thousands of dollars. Listen up!

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Episode Summary


The state of the Vancouver real estate market right now: 

August was 30% below the 10 year average of sales in Vancouver. Covid plays a very minor role in this and we are well below the average number of sales in Vancouver. As a whole, the market has softened. While there are serious buyers out there, there aren’t as many buyers in general. 

The lack of inventory is notable. Two out of every ten homes are selling – tier one properties are selling but not all tier one. So how do you ensure your property is one of the ones that is sold? It takes preparation and strategy. You have to stand out. 

1 – Depersonalize your space

You can’t imagine a home as your own place if it’s filled with Bob and Susan’s things. Remove all of your personal photos, awards, knick knacks, etc. The goal is to make the buyer see the property as their own. Don’t make the potential buyer feel like a visitor.

2 – Declutter

Think of a show home: orderly, clean lines, no chaos. Less is more. 

You need space for two people to comfortably walk through the home. Often buyers come in two; even people buying for just themselves often bring a friend or parent. So clear out hallways, empty the balcony so people can step out onto it, allow people to walk around a bed, etc.

Create visual space. A lot of the homes in Vancouver are not huge so whatever you can do to make them look bigger helps. 

If you think you’ve decluttered, I guarantee you have more decluttering to do. Step away for 24-48 hours and then come back and ask yourself: Is this adding or taking away from this room? (Hint: It’s usually taking away!)

3 – Clear and clean surfaces

For the most part, kitchen counters should be clear. Bathroom counters should be mostly clear too. Remove debris, bath mats, toasters, toothbrushes, etc. This goes back to creating more visual space and helping a future buyer envision themselves in the home. 

The fact is, 60-70% of the homes that we bring people to could be presented better. 

4 – Light it up (and light it up some more)

Replace burned out lightbulbs and add light in dark spaces. This is especially important in condos where certain rooms don’t have a ceiling light. Buyers are trained to look for natural light, especially in a place like Vancouver where it rains all the time. This is why every realtor writes “bright and spacious” in the description – it’s what people are looking for.

Open up the blinds and bring in artificial lighting for dark corners. A few lights from Winners is a small investment when you’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars on a home sale. 

5 – Neutralize art

Many homes have dark or offensive art, or even books, that become the topic of conversation amongst buyers, instead of floor plans or square footage. Keep your art neutral and don’t allow art to distract from the main exhibit, which is your home. 

6 – Mirrors and reflective surfaces make small spaces feel larger

In smaller spaces, such as condos, mirrors and reflective surfaces make spaces feel larger and give you more visual space. Especially in a condo with house-sized furniture, mirrors can go a very long way. And if possible, avoid having large furniture in a small space! 

7 – Closets should be 60% full (at most!) 

The number one question we get from sellers is, “Are people going to be looking in my closet?” And the answer is yes! 

So take the time to declutter your closets. You want a potential buyer to look into the closets and think the storage available is sufficient. Utilize vacuum bags or under bed storage to free up closet space. 

Closets should be 60% full at most. If a closet looks overstuffed, buyers will think the space isn’t large enough. 

8 – It’s okay to have storage, jut make sure it’s organized

It’s okay to have things in storage. But you want to create the vision of a life that people wish they had – so keep it orderly. Avoid chaos and the feeling of bursting at the seams. Invest in storage boxes to tuck away small items and reduce the visual clutter. 

9 – Make the bedroom as romantic as possible

We’re not talking heart-shaped beds and rose petals. But the bedroom should feel like an inviting space. Consider adding decorative pillows, a stylish throw, neutral art, etc. Think of a hotel and how enticing those rooms are – then mimic that in your home. 

10 – Spa up the bathroom

Envision a spa: white fluffy towels, a nice soap dispenser, organized items around the tub. Think luxurious for your home bathroom! 

11 – Make a sanctuary of your outdoor space 

Dress up your patio with plants and size-appropriate furniture. If you’re in a house, you want to make sure you’ve pulled all the weeds and trimmed the hedges. You want your outdoor space to look manicured, organized and inviting. 

Outdoor space is very important to buyers, especially in a place like Vancouver where it’s so limited. So if you have an outdoor area, dress it up and make it as appealing as possible. 


12 – Repair minor blemishes

If your property has some normal wear and tear, have it fixed. Walk through your home, room by room, and complete a deficiency report. We’re talking about small things like re-caulking the tub, fixing a hole in the wall, painting any stains, etc. 

Visually, you want the space to look like it’s new and well maintained. 

13 – Enhance curb appeal

The front of your house is the first impression. People fall in love with the exterior of a home. Make your house pop by painting the trim, making the door a statement colour, changing out the mailbox, updating house numbers, setting up outdoor furniture, etc. 

Show people how to use your space. Create a clear path to your door and make sure everything is well manicured. 

14 – Include modern accessories

A good way to help sell your property is with inexpensive changes that will really modernize your space. For example, if you replace the hardware on your cabinets, it’s a cheap fix and makes old cabinets look new. 

Take an inventory of dated accessories in your home, like hardware and light features, that you can easily modernize. Stylish lighting goes a long way! Prioritize the living space and bathrooms where good, modern lighting is key. 

15 – Have your home professionally cleaned

Go a step beyond a regular weekly clean or a clean you do yourself and hire professionals to do a move-out clean. This isn’t cheap but it takes clean to a whole new level. Everything will be sparkling! 

16 – Consider staging

A lot of people look at staging and wonder if the cost is worth it. But the truth is: Vancouver is a staging market. Our real estate is too expensive and you can leave a ton of money on the table if you don’t make sure your property shows as good as it could.

You can do a partial stage or even have a stager use some of your furniture and bring it complementary pieces. But you have to do a staging consultation. If even one good idea comes out of that meeting, it’s worth the time and effort. 

A good stager can warn you about potential negatives in a property and help detract from those areas. They can show buyers how those odd areas can be used. To be honest, I’d rather spend on staging than on remodeling. It’s phenomenal what staging can do! The ROI on staging is proven. 

Staging teaches people how to use the space and gives buyers ideas for what to do with a room. We’ve had buyers walk into bedrooms and not know what the room is for. Or they wonder if a bed will fit, when it usually does. 

If your property is vacant, staging helps spaces to feel bigger than they actually are. The right size furniture can help considerably. 

Bonus tip: Get in touch with a good realtor ahead of time who can give you a list of things to do to help sell your home. We have a stager we work with and we have a handy person on retainer to help upgrade homes and get them sold. 

The key to a successful rollout is the prep work you do ahead of time.  

The 15+ tips above apply to any market. But in a challenging market, this is how to ensure your property gets to the next level without buyer objections. 

Real estate pricing strategy: 5 things to keep in mind when pricing your property

1 – Understand your submarket and property type

You need to know your submarket, sub area and property type. While demand has dwindled, so has inventory in Vancouver. You need to understand where your property fits and work with someone who can provide those local details. 

2 – Don’t look too far back when it comes to pricing

In a softening market, sellers are the last to realize what’s happening. They think their property is worth more than it is. Don’t look back at Feb 2022 or Nov 2021 for comparable pricing. You need to get ahead of the market and price sharp. 

Currently, two out of every ten homes on the market are selling. So price is significant. You need to be attractive. 

3 – Forget about bait pricing

Bait pricing is when you set an artificially low price to get a lot of people through the door and a set offer date to drive multiple offers and a bidding war. Subject-free with deposit usually wins the day and sellers can leverage buyers’ emotions. 

But you need to be careful when utilizing a bait pricing strategy in a slower market. People aren’t motivated to get into bidding wars right now so many are falling flat. Instead, price sharp and be prepared to accept the price you’re asking for. 

4 – Have a good feedback loop in place

In a market that is changing quickly, you want to be able to course-correct quickly. You need the relevant info to make those calls, which usually comes from a good agent. 

Stigma is hard to deal with in a market like ours. No matter how hard you prepare, if you miss the mark and are too slow to adjust your pricing, you’ll end up spending 30, 60, 90+ days on the market. And in a slow market, there are buyers who will give your property a miss just on that fact alone. 

5 – Confidently control the narrative

You have to be confident in your property and that you’re priced to sell. A good agent can help you control the narrative. For example, instead of doing two open houses that feel dead, you can do one where all of the potential buyers come in at once. There are strategies to change how you’re perceived on the market.

Inventory is always lacklustre in Vancouver. If you own a property in a desirable city like Vancouver, you are in the driver’s seat. 

Be accommodating and cooperative, but not desperate.

Selling a property: Launch timelines

You want to go live on MLS during business hours. Avoid launching on long weekends or during popular travel periods. You only get one chance to make a first impression. 

You also want to avoid launching during stressful times for you or when you have visitors in town. Launch when you can be flexible around showings and open houses. If the property is tenanted, provide ample notice for showings so they run smoothly. 

Pick your launch date and work backwards. For example, choose a Monday three weeks out from now. 

Three weeks out: The first thing you want to do is meet with your agent, discuss goals and walk through the property. Go over a comparative market analysis, figure out your pricing strategy, sign any listing agreements and request strata/property documents so they’re ready to go. 

Two weeks out: Do your staging consultation and make sure your home is show-ready. For some people, they will need more time to get their property ready to show. Discuss your showing schedule, complete any minor repairs and ensure your agent is organizing a floor plan.

One week out: Bring in cleaners for a professional move-out clean and have professional photos and video taken. This is not the time to skimp on photos and video. Sign off on marketing copy and establish how you will be handling offers. 

From there, you’re ready to sell! 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. So guuuud. Made me laugh so much. So true and awesome.

    “I do not want to see your wedding photos. No!” That is a public service right there – mic drop.

    I am such a huge fan of this podcast. Muchas gracias, fellas. You rock and deserve every success.

    PS.. the poor VREP mugs under your stairs have taken a backseat to the famous shirts!! I feel bad for them. Go Ken Sims.

    Rhonda Davis 🤩
    RE/MAX Crest Realty

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