Why setting a good selling price for your property

Whatever the nature of the property you want to put up for sale, you will need to set an initial selling price with your broker. Why “initial?” Because you must consider market fluctuations, of course, but also and above all, the negotiations between you and the buyers. Between fair estimate, higher bid, and successful sale, there is a correlation. I’ll tell you why!

The Montreal Real Estate Market in 2021

For 3 years now, the real estate market in Montreal has been “on fire.” We are talking about real estate overheating, and it is not the pandemic that caused it to slow down.

According to the latest figures from the APCIQ, the Montreal metropolitan area saw a 15% increase in sales in 2020.

The month of August was particularly active this year: in all, 4,878 residential sales were concluded in August, an increase of 39% compared to 2019! However, there is a drop in residential listings of around 21%.

Indeed, buyers are jostling when too few properties are on sale. Properties for sale are becoming increasingly rare, and competition between brokers is sharpening. But beyond that? The law of supply and demand strongly requires prices increase. This is why properties are very often sold at higher prices. The median home price is estimated to have increased by 24%.

To sell, it is essential to take this information into account.

A market favourable to sellers, but at what price?

You will have understood: the market is clearly in favour of the sellers. A property in Montreal sells in a short time while buyers often take more than 6 months to buy due to the large number of offers they must make. But as a seller, you must be very careful. There are several risks in this situation:


Some brokers inflate the price of your property…

To seduce you, some brokers will promise you a very high selling price, well above the price that potential buyers would be willing to pay.

Inflating the starting price is a very bad idea. A price that is too high will lead to a long sale and a price that will have to be lowered (often several times!).

But also, because setting a fair price guarantees you more interest from potential buyers who will therefore position themselves to buy, which will possibly lead to an overbidding.

If inflating the price is already risky, it is even more so in a market as dynamic as today’s because buyers will simply not dare to make an offer! In a less tense market, as a few years ago, potential buyers did not hesitate to make negotiated offers… But they no longer take this risk today. This can therefore put off potential buyers who would have paid the right price!

To work with a broker who seduces you by promising you too high a price, so you risk ultimately selling your property at a lower price than if you had put it on the market at a fair price from the start.


Example of an inflated price on a property in Montreal


Here is a concrete example of a single-storey house listed in Ahuntsic in early 2020 at an initial price of $745,000.


Since the asking price was well above potential buyers’ willingness to pay, 3 months later the listing broker lowered the price to $697,000.


Again, without a potential buyer, the broker made another price drop to $649,000 3 months later.


Even though 2 price reductions on the property in less than 6 months inevitably create mistrust and potential buyers do not take the risk of making an offer. This brokerage contract ended up expired and the property was still unsold.


I then took over the mandate. As always, I followed the same strategy: register at a fair price! Result? This same property sold quickly without a price drop!


Some list prices that are too low for your property…

Under the pretext of overbidding, one might think that it is wise to lower its initial price since in any case, there will be an overbidding so we will obtain the desired price. It’s wrong, and it’s not a good idea. First because nothing guarantees these higher bids, but also because the price is an indicator of quality for buyers. A house priced too low may give the impression that you are trying to hide defects or poor workmanship, problems invisible at first glance, while a property sold at a “fair” initial price will arouse less suspicion from buyers. A lack of confidence in your property will probably result in a longer sale, a lower bid, just the opposite of what you want!

Others promise one-upmanship without guarantees…

As stated above, one-upmanship is not a precise science. As brokers, we must make every effort to carry out your project, and our role is to predict what we can predict. In this case, a promised one-upmanship does not always happen. It is much better to let you have a good surprise than to promise you something unpredictable.

Rest assured; brokers are subject to the rules of the OACIQ (Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier au Québec). We must follow all the ethical rules of the profession.

As a professional, I am committed to supporting you throughout your projects. And if you are a seller, I guarantee to set a fair price for your property, for all the reasons we have just seen. Putting my experience at your service is my job. Do you need help selling your home at a fair price? Call me Éric Jolander at 514 975-1133 and let’s work together to optimize your sale!

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