To get top dollar for your home, you need to be strategic. Any run-of-the-mill realtor can throw something up on MLS and hope for the best. What separates an average realtor from a great one, however, is strategy: a winning combination of market knowledge and the ability to create a personalized market strategy for your home. Investor realtors can do just this. They also work with regular homebuyers and sellers, and they are trained to see value where others can’t – leading to better outcomes and higher sale prices for you as the seller. Want to know how investor realtors can help? Expert real estate investors Matthew Lee and Ming Lim (who run Volition Properties, a leading Toronto real estate investment advisory and realty firm) shared how their investor realtors can get you the most for your property.
Have a Realtor Strategy
You need to be strategic about who you select as your realtor. Don’t go with someone just because they are “cheaper.” You wouldn’t want a discount heart surgeon, so why would you settle for anything but the best realtor for the biggest financial transaction of your life?
Have a Market Strategy
When you understand the inner workings of your particular market and the current market environment, you can use a good market strategy to create an ideal target buyer and determine how to best try and attract that particular buyer profile. Everything else – marketing, renos, staging, descriptions – flows naturally from this.
Have a Reno Strategy
Does your home already fit your particular buyer profile’s needs, or do you need to make upgrades to cater to their desires? Your realtor expert should be able to clearly identify what fixes or upgrades you need to do in order to attract the right buyer – and what increased selling price you can potentially expect as a result. They can even help oversee the renovations. For example, Volition Properties has done many $25K kitchen upgrades that have resulted in an increased $75K sale price for clients.
Get the Best Reno Bang for Your Buck
Which renovations will give you the biggest return on investment or ROI? Every property and every market is different, so it’s best to get expert advice from your realtor as your starting point. For example, if your property is a starter townhouse and your target buyer needs a move-in ready home, it makes sense to do renovations prior to listing. The goal would then be to see the ROI in the increased sale price.
Know When to Do No Renos at All
Do you really want to spend money, time and energy on renovations that won’t pay off? It’s important to know when you just aren’t going to get the money back from renovations – and the ROI isn’t worth it. In a hot seller’s market, for example, you may need to get the property listed ASAP in order to take advantage of the hot market. Or, you may be in a situation where – in your particular neighbourhood – buyers require a blank canvas to put their own finishing touches on.
Have a Listing Strategy
It’s not just maximum exposure that you want: you want the right exposure. With a listing strategy, your realtor demonstrates how they plan to target your ideal buyer while getting you maximum sale price at the same time. The plan should demonstrate how they will be highlighting the property against current market needs, and where and how they will list the property.
Buyers may value certain things that aren’t important to you as the seller. The key is to hone in on those aspects and offer them to the buyer – especially since it’s no skin off your back. For example, the buyer may prefer flexible timing on closing. Investor realtors like Volition Properties have the depth of expertise necessary to conceive and negotiate these considerations to help get you top dollar.
Creative deal-making can be an excellent way to get an extra boost in sale price. For instance, you could offer things like a vendor take-back, rent-to-own, agreement for sale, sandwich leases or joint venture with a contractor prior to sale. These are advanced-level strategies, however, and you should be working with an expert investor realtor on these.
Get Your Rents up Before You Sell
One of the primary ways that a buyer valuates an investment property is by looking at the rents it generates. The higher the rents, the higher the ROI – and the higher the property value. This means staying on top of rent increases every year and upon tenant turnover. It also means looking for creative ways to boost income sources – like a coin-operated laundry, renting out the garage separately, renting out parking spaces separately, and the like.
Create Value for the Buyer
Change of use doesn’t necessarily always involve expensive renovations, but it can potentially create tremendous value when done correctly and by the book. Examples of this include putting in a basement rental suite, getting approvals for an extension or a laneway suite prior to sale, changing a single family home into a legal luxury triplex or severing or assembling a large plot of land for development use.
Work With Your Tenants
Investment properties can be more challenging to sell due to them being tenanted. One of the best tactics is to incentivize tenants to cooperate with showings, keep their unit tidy for showings, vacate the unit for showings, agree to house their pets elsewhere for the listing period, and so on. If you need the property completely vacant, you could negotiate a mutually beneficial scenario.
Is It All About the Money?
It’s also worth considering the non-monetary aspects that are important to you – such as a quick sale, minimized headaches or perhaps reduced disruption to your lifestyle. While maximum sale price is typically the number one goal, have a frank discussion with your realtor expert about what your priorities are. These should be incorporated into your listing strategy as well.