Understanding Market Changes

A lot of comments have been flying around lately about the real estate market in Canada, more specifically Winnipeg. 4-5 months ago we were still experiencing a “boom”, with many listed homes getting multiple offers and selling above list price. That’s no longer the norm, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
The market is just the market. Prices and buyer traffic fluctuate with economic changes, weather changes, political changes, you name it! More importantly you need to know that things happen in cycles.

In a “seller’s” market there tend to be more buyers than inventory of available homes. Multiple offer situations happen, and homes seemingly fly off of the market. Eventually more and more people decide to sell their homes, leading to a surplus of homes for sale. The amount of qualified buyers hasn’t really changed though, so homes can sit on the market, and even expire without selling. How does this affect my plan to sell? Well, I’m glad you asked!

It’s always been important to put your best foot forward when prepping your home for sale: cleaning, staging, de-cluttering, and MOST IMPORTANTLY pricing it properly. In a busy market an overpriced home will sometimes not be noticed. Even a minimal marketing plan or rough market analysis will wash in the frenzy to buy a house. However, as the market changes, so must our perspective and attitude. Now, with average days on market and competition with other listings rising, it’s more important than ever to price your home properly. Listen to your Real Estate Professional. We all have analyses of comparable homes to yours in the current market, and marketing plans to help get your home as much interest as possible. Even the best and most expensive marketing in the world, though, can’t sell an overpriced home. Look at similar homes that have sold recently, and by similar I mean if you have an 800 SF bungalow with 1 bathroom, no finished basement and no garage, you cannot compare it to a home with 2 storeys, 2 bathrooms, a finished basement, and a garage. Your REALTOR® can help explain this.

“Trying” a higher listing price can be dangerous, as your home could end up going stale on the market. It could be a beautiful, solid home, but if it’s been on the market for a couple of months buyers can wonder what might be wrong with it. Another thing to keep in mind is that often buyers have a price range that they are working with. If you are priced a little too high, and are at the bottom of their price range, they may be comparing your home to others that are worth much more. For example: Your home is priced at $359,000. Buyers that may be looking within the range of $350,000-$400,000 are comparing your home to $400,000 houses! If your home is more likely worth $349,000 and you price accordingly, you could be compared to homes at the $300,000 – $350,000 range – making yours among the nicest they might see. By pricing too high, you could be missing out on an entire group of buyers who would love to see your home!

My basic point is this: be open minded when listing your home for sale. Choose an agent that has a comprehensive marketing plan, and that you feel will do all that they can to get your home sold. Sometimes that might mean reducing price, but it’s only to stay with the market. The prices of 4-5 months ago aren’t necessarily the prices today. In this changing market it’s important to stay educated, listen to your REALTOR®, and ask questions when you need to. Be patient and trust that the market will tell you what you need to do.