This Market Hurts

Have you wrestled with how to price your listing in order to guarantee a sale in a Buyer’s Market?

I’m not talking about what your home should be worth, nor what the local municipality declares the assessed value is, nor the amount your insurance broker quotes for a basic replacement policy.  I am not even hinting at what dollar figure your bank expects to grab if foreclosure becomes imminent.

I am talking about straight up, no holds barred, punch in the gut, final sale price.

In the 20+ years I have bought and sold homes, Buyer’s Markets and Seller’s Markets have battled it out in the economic wrestling ring.  In a Seller’s Market, buyers line up to jostle their way to a seller’s front door.  In a Buyer’s Market, sellers nibble fingernails and pace empty hallways, wondering why they are not peppered with showing requests.

Hope and expectation are the two emotional commodities that we experience when buying or selling the biggest asset of our lives.  Whether any given buyer or seller falls on the hope side of the equation or the expectation side depends on market trends.


As I write this, we are in a distinct Buyer’s Market.  Sellers hope to realise a certain price.  Buyers expect to get a deal.

In any given market, a property is worth what a reasonable buyer is prepared to pay for a specific property in current market conditions.

Knowledge is Key!

When considering a viable asking price, you need to know what homes with similar characteristics as yours are selling for, which listings are not selling but are languishing on the market and how many homes are being offered for sale but are expiring due to lack of interest from qualified buyers.

This information will guide you to that lovely sweet spot where your home sells while the neighbour’s listing grows stale.

Keep emotions in check.  Let the numbers do the talking.

Comb through hard data, find out why certain properties are selling, while others are not and don’t be afraid to price strategically.  In most cases, pricing to sell will save you time, money and a whole lot of aggravation.

If you find yourself listing your home in a Buyer’s Market, the smartest action you can take for yourself, your family and your future is to pinpoint that magic window where your hope for a successful and timely sale intersects with a qualified buyer’s ability and desire to close on a transaction.



A Bigger Piece of the Pie!

What shape is your lot?

While location is the best-known key feature contributing to the value of real estate, lot shape makes a difference, too.  Not only does it impact the day-to-day use of a property, lot shape is also one of the factors that determine whether or not you can add extra structures, such as a garage, a shed, playground equipment, etc.

Rocking the rectangle.

The majority of the single family homes I sell are situated on standard, rectangular lots.  Most often, depth is longer than width. Occasionally, a lot will be placed at the end of a block and the developer will maximize the use of space by reconfiguring a rectangular lot so that frontage ends up being longer than lot depth.  If you like spending time with a snow shovel, buy one of these homes.

Little Known Fact:  I enjoy shovelling my sidewalk.  Fresh air, exercise, chatting with neighbours….  What’s not to like?

2015-01-16 13.33.04

What’s not to like?


Easy as pie.

Pie lots are also created when a developer wants to maximize the use of leftover space.  They sell for a premium because there is room to roam, places for kids to play, parents to BBQ, pets to poop, etc.

If the triangle is wider at the back and narrower in the front, the owner of a pie lot enjoys more privacy from neighbours. If the lot is a reverse pie and the front is wider than the back, then the house is typically set back from the road a little further and street traffic is less of a concern.

The value of pie lots is driven by supply and demand.  There are fewer pies and people tend to like them, so value goes up.  When you buy a home on a big pie lot, you can rest assured that down the road, when it is time to sell, that big ‘ol pie will bring in the buyers.

I just listed a solid home in a mature neighborhood that sits on a nice pie lot.  If you, or somebody you know,  would be a good fit for a big lot, check this out:


A big ‘ol piece of pie