Think the only time to list your home or condo for sale is in the busy spring-summer market, when we traditionally see the largest number of listings and a lot of buyers looking?

Think again!

Houses and condos can and do sell at all times of the year, and that’s been particularly true with Ottawa’s resale market lately.

As you’re aware if you’ve been following our region’s resale home market, the inventory of listings has been lower than usual for many months, and there is a lot of demand.

That helps explain why the Ottawa region has seen larger than usual year-over-year increases in average sale prices, and why properties in the most popular neighbourhoods have often been attracting multiple offers over the past year.

The average sale price between January and September of 2021 for a condo-class property in Ottawa was $421,062 up 17% over the same period last year.

The average sale price for a residential-class property in that period in 2021 was $720,402 up 25% from the same period in 2020.

With the shortage of listings (and new listings were again lower than average in September) any new properties get a lot of attention from Realtors and their clients when they arrive on the market. If you are a seller in Ottawa, the market is in your favour at the moment.

As well, buyers who are searching for properties in the fall and winter months tend to be serious and ready to act quickly when they see something they like. It could be that they have been transferred to Ottawa for work or have simply been looking for a long time in our current low-inventory market, and they are eager to buy.

If you’ve been considering selling, I’d be happy to chat with you about the current market, the listing price range we could expect and whether it makes sense to list now or perhaps wait if I think the property would sell better in the early new year or spring, if you have that flexibility.

With seller clients, I walk through the property and offer suggestions for touch-ups, based on my more than 30 years of experience of what buyers are looking for and expect, and which kinds of issues tend to turn them away from a property.

With all of my seller clients, I have a professional home stager who offers final touches and helps your property look its best. With the professional photos we take, my clients often tell me they have never seen their property looking better.

The usual tips we offer to sellers at other times also apply in the fall and winter.

These include cleaning your property from top to bottom, de-cluttering as much as possible to make the property look spacious and inviting, and changing any bold paint colours to something lighter and more neutral to appeal to the widest number of buyers possible.

There are also some tips we suggest specifically for fall-winter listings.

Here are a few:

Take Photos of Your Lawn/Gardens before Frost: If buyers will be visiting when your trees are bare and the lawns and gardens are perhaps covered with snow, take photos now to show your grounds as they look before the cold arrives. This will help buyers to see what the property looks like in warmer months.

Curb Appeal: While you can’t show off your home-grown garden flowers in colder months, you can add attractive pots of autumnal-coloured mums on your entry steps and perhaps some decorative pumpkins to highlight the season. In colder months, consider a fir or twig wreath on the door with red ribbons or ornaments.

In the fall, keep your lawn clear of leaves to give buyers that well-cared-for look.  In the winter months, of course, ensure your entry and walkway are cleared of snow.

Good Lighting and a Warm Fire: In the fall, when it gets dark earlier and the air is colder, play up the attraction of a well-lighted and cozy interior. For evening showings, ensure there is bright, warm lighting in all rooms. If you have a gas or electric fireplace, have it going for buyer showings.

If you don’t have a fireplace, ensure your rooms are warm and comfortable.

Buyers love to walk in from the cold and be greeted by a warm interior. They love to picture themselves inside on a cold winter day.

If you’re considering selling or buying property in the Ottawa area, I’d be happy to talk with you about the current market and give you feedback on your plans.

If you’re considering selling, I can let you know whether your property is likely to sell or if perhaps it might be better to wait until spring, if you have the flexibility.

With more than 30 years of experience as a Realtor in Ottawa, I’ve assisted buyers and sellers in a range of market conditions.

You can see my current listings and read more about me at www.nancybenson.com. Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.