The 3 keys to selling your property fast

Regardless of how the current market is performing, there are three key areas that vendors need to focus on to secure a sale. Whether it’s a buyer’s market or seller’s market, there are really only three things to consider when selling any home: Product, Price and Promotion.

In a buyer’s market, you must address the following in order for someone to even consider writing an offer. In a seller’s market, you get top dollar if you cover the following.


That first impression is everything.  Start with the exterior before making your way inside. Stand in front of the property and look at the old roof, the peeling paint on the eaves and window trim, the leaves in the gutter, the overgrown lawn, the dead trees, the fence that is falling over and the front door that sticks, and ask yourself: is this a home that has been taken of?

In a slow market, for a buyer to even consider writing an offer, the product needs to be in excellent condition, which means all of those deferred maintenance items need to be addressed prior to listing the home.

If you fail to address these initial maintenance issues, you risk three outcomes:
1. A potential buyer will either deduct the cost of engaging a professional to fix everything they believe needs repairing
.2. They simply won’t bother making an offer as they can go down the street and buy house that presents in better condition.
3. They won’t bother booking a showing to see the rest. Deferred maintenance sends a subconscious message that if the front of the home is in average or poor condition, it’s a representation of the seller’s attitude towards the care and maintenance. Therefore, the rest of the home is likely the same.

It also makes a buyer’s mind wander to thoughts like, ‘I wonder how well they have maintained the furnace, the hot water tank, have they dealt with any water or drainage issues, or just let it go for months, if not years.

Once the front of the home is in good shape, you should turn your attention getting inside the property. Making sure the front entrance is clean and appealing is your next priority. It's the point where all buyers stand and take a good look around while someone fumbles with the key to get inside.

Once inside, evaluate each room as if you’re a potential buyer. Identify paint touch ups, broken light switches, cracked tiles and any other small repairs that can help to lift the look of the room. It may seem tedious, but don’t be tempted to skip over any repairs. In as low market, buyers notice everything.

Ask your real estate agent for staging tips and suggestions. After all, they view properties day-in, day-out so they’re in a good position to offer advice.

When the market is booming, vendors have the benefit of urgency on their side: when prospective buyers are aggressively competing against each other, they’ll often pay a premium price to secure their favoured property.

In a slower market, however, buyers have the luxury of being able to shop, look around and take their time before making any decisions. Under these circumstances, the best way to get a buyer off the fence is to combine an outstanding product with an irresistible price.


Sellers make two common mistakes when settling on their list price.
1. Pricing their property where everyone else is or,
2. Listing at a higher price with the assumption that they can lower it later if they don't achieve it. In doing this, vendors risk alienating buyers at the beginning of their sales campaign, which can drag out their eventual sale by weeks and even months.

The aim of the game is to wow potential buyers from the get-go, as the best buyers are often the ones who go through your home within the first two weeks. These are the serious ones and more than likely the ones who know the market, often better than the seller. These buyers have been inside every other similar home on the market and are waiting for the ‘perfect home.’ So, a seller needs to know the market intimately to set the price right.

You ultimately want to make the buyer say, “this is the best property we’ve seen so far and the price is great – we’d better make an offer, today.”


You may have a fantastic piece of real estate to sell at a competitive price, but if no one knows about your property, how are you going to attract buyers?

This is the challenge that many vendors face, particularly if they are marketing the property themselves. When it comes to promoting the home to potential buyers, those using REALTORS have a distinct advantage.

If you are selling the home yourself as ‘For Sale By Owner’, then promotion is one of the biggest hurdles that a seller can face. You need to consider this seriously and budget for advertising both online and offline.

In today’s marketplace the reality is that over 90% of buyer start their search online, and is the go-to resource for those in the market to purchase property. So if you want your property seen by the most people, you’ll need to get it listed on MLS (

Only registered REALTORS are able to list properties on MLS, so those attempting to side step the middleman will need to be creative.

The only other promotion a seller can  offer is unique selling propositions that are so unique, they set the property apart from all other properties.  Not in the physical sense, but in the way the property can be purchased. 

Seller financing, rent-to-own, incentives like paying the buyer’s mortgage or condo/strata fees for a period of time are all unique selling propositions. These are benefits that can be offered on any home regardless of its physical appearance. Seller financing and rent-to- own are promotions that target a unique buyer who is often not even looking on MLS because they cannot qualify at the bank. Therefore, those promotions need to also be targeted in different media.

Finally, make sure the house is clean. A buyer can get over a toy left on the floor or even some clothes on the bedroom floor. However, most buyers will not get over a dirty toilet, moldy shower stall, or a smell that cannot be explained.

Start with your product, price is to sell and then tell the world it’s for sale.

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