OUR HOUSE (IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET…)

Since you’re here (and thanks a lot for coming) I thought I’d talk a bit about what happens when you call us, interested possibly in listing your house with Royal LePage.

The end result of those conversations, of course, is that you end up on this page and that really is a picture of your house up top. There’s probably a lockbox on your door by that point, and a sign planted on the front lawn. There’s a flurry of social media campaigns, and newspaper ads, brokerage tours. You’re talking to us most days, getting updates, and it probably feels slightly like distant (but lovely!) relatives have appeared on the doorstep and just won’t leave.

But what happens before all that excitement?

First of all we’ll come over and chat. You can ask us questions. How long have you been doing this, you might say; how many houses have you sold in this neighbourhood; how are you going to market my house; how much will you cost me; what if it doesn’t sell; what should we do to get the place ready; how much is it worth? Those are some of the most common questions, and so maybe we’ll work through all of those and many more besides. We’re there to give you good honest answers and advice. There’s no time limit on that meeting (unless you set one). And we will never promise you anything we don’t think we can deliver.

Presumably you’ll give us a tour of the place as well, and tell us what works and what doesn’t, what you’ve upgraded and what you’ve never got around to. You might also fill us in on the neighbours, and the schools, the walk you like to take in the morning down to the coffee shop. Anything that has pleased you about living in this house and what about it might excite buyers.

We’ll give you a Comparative Market Analysis within a few days of that meeting. It’s important (to say the least) that the house is priced accurately, and we’ll pull all the relevant data (houses with similar attributes that are listed or have sold recently; regional statistics on average sale price increases, loads of pictures of the most comparable properties (“the comps”), along with our thoughts and our reasoning. This report can run from a dozen pages to fifty, depending on the property. We want you to feel empowered by this data. And we want you to feel that the listing price makes sense. We’ll talk about our findings with you and discuss openly any areas on which we differ in our opinions.

If at that point you’re confident that we can do the job, we’ll talk about listing dates and strategies. We’ll discuss how showings work, and open houses, lockbox protocol, whether to set a date on which to review offers, what happens if we receive multiple offers. Real estate might not be brain surgery, and we’re not running NATO here, but there are a lot of moving parts in a real estate transaction, and we want to give you as good a sense as possible of how that machine operates.

We order virtual tours of all of our properties. We like the good people at iGuide for that work. Their photographers are all great, and as well as a gallery of stills, they provide us with interactive 360 degree panoramas and floor plans. It’s the best product we know of for showing off a home, especially in this age when most property searches are conducted online, and the perfect buyer for your home may live on the other side of the world.

We advertise in the newspaper, because there are still some buyers who search that way. We don’t feel it’s the most useful or cost-effective part of our out-reach, but if nothing else we want buyers driving by your house to recognize our names when the sign appears, we want them to think of us as competent, professional realtors, and yes, successful ones too. That impression will help us attract good qualified buyers. And newspaper ads are still a decent way to announce an open house.

Facebook campaigns, as well as focused efforts on Instagram and Twitter, are part of the plan too.

And then, when offers are presented, we’ll be there to help you negotiate the best possible deal. That has a lot to do with price, of course, but date matters too, as well as the conditions attached to the offer - are they overly burdensome; do they tie your house up for weeks on and with no guarantees. We’ll sort through the offer together and decide on the best response.

Another shot of the office

Another shot of the office

When the house sells firm, after any inspections and appraisals, we’re not going to disappear on you. We’ll arrange for the virtual tour to be decommissioned, and the sign to come down, if necessary we’ll send your Agreement to lawyers and bankers. We’ll be there, available to you at any time, right up to the closing date, and on beyond it.

There will be links on this page (the one devoted to your lovely house) to the virtual tour, and to maps and floor plans. There will be a gallery of all the still photographs. In short, everything we think will aid in the sale of your house will be in one place, where all buyers can find it. Check out some of our other recent sales for examples.

The aim is to avoid the nightmare that is people show up saying, “I wish I’d known you had that one for sale.” We think everyone on the hunt should come across your listing. That’s why we built this new website. And we’re pleased with it. Just yesterday there were lots of Canadian visitors but also people from China and South Korea, even the Bahamas. We’ll send you the analytics every Monday, so you can see that data yourself.

I’ve rambled on much longer the I intended. But I really want to demystify the process a bit. Show you what we do, and prove our worth, I suppose. Done right, real estate sales is a multi-faceted process, and an exciting one too. It’s not what Cheri and I expected to be doing, I don’t suppose, but we’re happy to be here.

Call us if you’re considering a move this year. We can talk. No obligation, of course; we’re about as far from pushy as you can be. But we’d love to hear from you.

Cheers.