Thinking about listing? Here’s how to navigate a sellers’ market

5 steps for successful sales in Victoria real estate

It’s a sellers’ market in Greater Victoria, but if you’re thinking of listing your home this spring, beginning the process now will help you achieve the results you want.

“Traditionally the market starts to pick up in March and April before peaking in May, so anyone wanting to put their home on the market before it seasonally peaks needs to start the process now,” says Jane Johnston, a Realtor with the Briar Hill Group at RE/MAX Camosun.

“Right now there are only 984 listings on the market and that’s extremely low based on the seasonal average,” notes Johnston, who after years of investing in buying and selling homes, entered real estate professionally in 2006. Most recently the award-winning Realtor joined RE/MAX Camosun team, appreciating the international opportunities the company provides.

A former teacher, Johnston emphasizes client education. “If clients are selling their home, they need to be aware of what’s happening in the market.”

Here are 5 essentials Johnston shares with sellers:

  1. Start the discussion with a realtor early. Part of that should include an honest review of your home and what might help get the biggest bang for your buck when preparing for listing. New counters, cabinet fronts and a fresh coat of neutral paint can offer easy updates, Johnston says.

  2. Consider working with a home stager. “We find our professional stager not only helpful in preparing a home for sale but also but also getting the seller ready,” Johnston says. “There’s a real emotional attachment to a home that can make it challenging for sellers.”

    That professional eye can also help prevent what Johnston says is a common homeowner mistake: decluttering too much. “It has to feel homey. If it’s too sterile, it won’t feel welcoming.”

  3. Look outside. It may be a sellers’ market, but first impressions are important to getting people into your home and generating the results you want. A home that is well-kept, inviting and easy to access will appeal to both buyers and real estate agents. “Curb appeal is definitely important, especially as more people start their real estate search online,” Johnston says.

  4. Price reasonably. Homeowners can be inclined to try to over-reach in a sellers’ market, but those homes often sit unsold for much longer than those appropriately priced. “You want to attract the largest number of buyers and agents, and to do that, you need to make sure you don’t overprice it,” Johnston says.

  5. Look forward. Preparing a home for sale can be a massive undertaking, but don’t forget to consider what’s coming next if you’ll also be purchasing. Johnston advises you to “secure pre-approval for your new mortgage, if needed, and consider a long closing date on your sale to allow you time to find something new.”

“The main focus of my job is managing people’s stress,” Johnston reflects. “I work to keep them informed throughout the process so they always know what’s going on.”

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