Buy My House

Wednesday Sep 28th, 2022


When it comes to selling, more and more choices are coming to market for consumers to consider when deciding on how to sell their homes. With it likely involving the largest asset of their lives, most sellers choose to partner up with a realtor to navigate all of the moving parts involved in a successful sale, from the way a home presents to marketing materials, pricing strategy to negotiating offers, and all of the little hiccups and potential challenges that come along with the process, including the often emotional counselling that comes with someone selling their beloved memory-filled home.

Netflix’s new series Buy My House has taken much of the typical emotion and the intangible “this feels right” out of the selling process. The show puts a real estate spin on the Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank format, with homeowners pitching to 4 real estate investors or industry players, who have the financial backing to make an immediate offer. After a brief history of the property, viewing photos, and listening to the sellers’ pitch, these 4 real estate tycoons (including NFL player Brandon Copeland, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, Corcoran Group President and CEO Pamela Liebman, and financial property specialist Danisha Wrighster) decide whether they see enough value or potential to make an offer.

Regardless of the type of property, six universal truths seem to hold true, whether you’re a seller on a reality TV series with a property in the US, or you are selling your home through the MLS in the GTA:

  1. Overpricing will never result in an acceptable offer. Market value is the price that someone is willing to pay for a product. It is not what the seller feels that it should be. Having unrealistic expectations will prolong the selling process and, oftentimes, will net you less in the long run than if it was priced right from the start. This has more significant repercussions in a slowing market. Realtors representing themselves in a sale often believe that their product is superior and deserves a premium price – you’ll see a couple of examples of this in the series.
  2. Location is everything. Areas that have growth potential, best attract tourists for short-term rentals (for investors), or were in high demand for lifestyle reasons, are always going to be most coveted and will almost always hold their value.
  3. Motivation drives the bus. Sellers with a reason to move and a timeline in mind will always be more willing to negotiate a deal, than those who are only willing to sell if they get their (often inflated) price. Even if the property checks off everything on a buyer’s wish list, if they don’t see value in the purchase, buyers will not be willing to come up to meet the seller’s price expectations unless there is motivation to do so. A sale becomes only possible when there is at least one motivated party.
  4. Investors will always want to make money. If your target market is investors, they are not going to be the ones that are willing to overpay for a property purely on emotions – the numbers have to make sense to them, whether it’s for rental, flipping, or conversion.
  5. Unique is not always a good thing. Owning something that is very rare or unique limits the buyer pool when it comes to selling your property. There are fewer comparable sales available to determine value. It may take much longer than average to find that buyer.
  6. Personalizing or custom renovations may not be valued the same by all. Design choices are personal and completely fine for you to enjoy while you live in the property, however, someone else may not see the value in the finishes that you’ve chosen. Yes, you went through the painstaking feat of importing that marble from Italy 13 years ago, or you appreciate the comfort of carpet on your feet in the bathroom, but sellers must be realistic that these may be deterrents to selling their home down the road, and the only thing to remedy this is a lower price.

Whether selling through a private sale, live auction, online bidding system, working with a realtor, or to investors on a reality show, sellers should keep in mind the following for a successful sale:

  1. It is important to set your asking price realistically, based on the most recent comparable sales in your immediate area.
  2. When renovating, it is okay to make unique and personal design choices, but keep in mind that if you don’t make some changes prior to selling, buyers will likely discount the price they’re willing to offer you so they can budget for renovations themselves.
  3. Sellers or their realtors must be great at marketing not just the property’s features but the area amenities as well, and all of the reasons why the location is worth choosing.

The show is entertaining and viewers will certainly enjoy the tours of the many different properties across many different cities. It is also interesting to hear the commentary from the 4 real estate investors on their opinions of each of the properties and what they see as potentially good investments. Check out the series on Netflix if you have a chance – happy watching!

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