Your Ottawa House & Condo Specialist



Selling A “WOW!” Home

Buying a home that hollers “WOW! This is it! This is the place!” makes sense. Of course you want a house you’ll love! But why is it important in selling your home to make it say “WOW!” to as many potential buyers as possible?

Think back to your first home (or your potential first home). Statistically, you probably decided you loved it within the first 90 seconds of stepping through the front door. According to a University of Ottawa study, buying a home is mostly based on emotion, that “WOW!” you feel when you see it for the first time. In fact, nine out of 10 buyers make a decision–even one as big as purchasing a house–on impulse. Before they’ve checked the wiring or found out where the schools are, the house is sold. The “WOW!” effect is the key to selling your home quickly and profitably.

But how do you ensure that the home that says “WOW!” to you, will say the same to others? Here’s where you need a skilled real estate agent like Melva Peever on your side who can take you through the steps of turning your “WOW!” home into someone else’s “WOW!” home.

Home Staging

As the saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. Never has the adage been more relevant than when selling your home. That’s why the first thing Melva’s going to do is to provide you with a two-hour Home Staging consultation.

A Home Stager will help you showcase the best of your home’s features by recommending ways to improve its saleability, such as getting rid of clutter, rearranging furniture or doing small repairs. You can then do the work yourself or contract the Stager to do it for you. In essence, the Stager helps you get the most out of those 90 crucial seconds you have to win over the buyer.

When several potential buyers walk through the door exclaiming “WOW! This is the one!”, you’re sure to get a quick sale and more money in your pocket.

How much more? One study showed Home Staging doubled the speed at which the house sold and increased its selling price by 2% to 10%.

You may not be able to change the location of your property or the neighbours you have but Home Staging gives you the upper hand in doing something about what can be changed. 

Professional Photography

Once your home is ready for company, Melva brings in a professional real estate photographer. The photographer will put together an array of photos for your feature sheet and the websites. Where it’s possible, there will be a 360 degree Virtual Tour. When this is not possible, extra photos will be taken for a Slide Show.

Internet Advertising

Now it’s time to sell your “WOW!” home.

According to Statistics Canada, four out of five Canadians now have Internet access. Ottawa, in particular, has the highest Internet penetration rate of all major centres in Canada. Not only are we surfing the Internet, we’re shopping it too. It is expected that by 2007, consumers will account for 60% of all Internet traffic.

That means that an Internet presence is a must if you want to sell your home in Ottawa. While Ottawans aren’t quite ready to buy a home over the Internet, they do want to expedite the process by searching for their “WOW!” home on-line.

One of the key sites Melva uses to sell your home is the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service) because about 90% of non-commercial real estate sales in Ottawa are reported on the MLS®. Potential buyers worldwide can see your home either in a slideshow format or 360 degree Virtual Tour.

Since it lists about 185,000 Canadian homes at any given time, you want your home to have every advantage. That’s why Melva does so much work up front with Home Staging and professional photography. She wants to make sure your home gives it’s best first impression so it will sell quickly and at a premium price.

Of course, there are other websites Melva lists your home on besides (, including:

Other Marketing Strategies

Even in this age of hi-tech, Word-of-Mouth is still one of the most effective marketing tools REALTORS® , like Melva Peever, use to sell homes. Melva’s vast network of other REALTORS® and her existing data base of contacts will ensure your “WOW!” home’s sale.

Print Advertising still has a place in Melva’s marketing strategy too. Every week, your home will run in the Real Estate Guide, the Real Estate Advertiser and a variety of other newspapers and publications. Melva chooses only the ones right for your target buyers.

And, finally, potential buyers actually have to see your home so they can say, “WOW! This is the one!” From time to time Melva will hold an Open House, usually on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. If you don’t wish to have Open Houses, that’s fine too.

Melva has a plan that works. Let her work it for you.

“Let me help you make your ‘WOW!’ home someone else’s ‘WOW!’ home, bringing you top dollar in the shortest time frame possible.”

I’m Convinced! I Want Melva To Sell My Home. What’s Next?

The first formal step in selling your “WOW!” home, is entering into a Listing Agreement with Melva. It’s a contract in which Melva, through Royal LePage, commits to actively market your home for a specified period of time. It also commits you to a pre-established marketing fee that is to be paid upon the successful closing of the sale.

As part of the Agreement, Melva may require the following documents:

Plan of Survey or Plot Plan: A survey of your property which outlines the lot size and location of buildings as well as details of encroachments from neighbouring properties. This may be required in certain areas to complete the sale of your home. Your legal professional may recommend a survey, especially if significant changes have been made to your property. If these documents are not available then your legal professional will explain Title Insurance to you.

Property tax receipts: Most Listing Agreements require that current annual property tax assessments be shown.

Mortgage verification: Few homeowners know the exact balance of their mortgage as it is paid down. You will be asked to authorize your mortgage lender to provide the figures required.

Deed or title search: This document is a legal description of your property and the proof that you own it. If this is not available your Property Tax Assessment notice shows the legal description.

Other documentation: In some instances, it may help the sale of your property if you can provide prospective buyers with information on such items as annual heating, electrical, and water expenses, as well as any recent home improvement costs. Some provinces require that you sign a property condition disclosure statement.

Pricing Your Property

If you price your property too low, it may sell quickly, but you’ll lose out on money. If you price it too high, it may not sell at all. Melva can help you figure out the best asking price for your home. A well-priced property may generate competing offers, which will drive up the final price. Other real estate professionals will be enthusiastic about presenting your property to their buyers. Your home will sell faster because it is exposed to more qualified buyers.

As part of your pricing strategy, Melva will put together a comparative market analysis, which is a good indicator of what today’s buyers are willing to pay. It compares the market activity of homes similar to yours in your neighbourhood:

Homes that have recently sold represent what buyers are willing to pay.
Homes currently listed for sale represent the price sellers hope to obtain.
Listings that have expired are generally overpriced or have been poorly marketed.

Some sellers believe that if they price their home high initially, they can lower it later. Instead of making you more money, this strategy could end up hurting you.

Early activity is key. As soon as a home comes on the market, agents and potential buyers sit up and take notice. If it’s overpriced, interested parties will quickly lose interest. By the time the price drops, the majority of buyers are lost. When a home has been for sale too long, buyers will be wary and may reject the property.

You’ll miss the right buyer. You may think that interested buyers can always make an offer, but if your home is overpriced, potential buyers looking in a lower price range will never see it. And those who can afford a home at your asking price will soon recognize that they can get a better value elsewhere.

You could run out of time. You may end up having to drop your price below market value if your home doesn’t sell initially. Price it right the first time, and you won’t end up having to sell it for less than it’s worth.

The Elements of An Offer

Here’s a quick reference to everything you need to know about accepting on offer on your home.

Price: Depends on the market and the buyers, but generally, the price offered is different from the asking price.

Deposit: Shows the buyer’s good faith and will be applied against the purchase price of the home when the sale closes.

Terms: Includes the total price the buyer is offering as well as the financing details. The buyer may be arranging his/her own financing or may ask to assume your existing mortgage if you have an attractive rate.

Conditions: These might include “subject to home inspection,” “subject to the buyer obtaining financing,” or “subject to the sale of thepurchaser’s property”.

Inclusions and exclusions: These may include appliances and certain fixtures or decorative items, such as window coverings or light fixtures.

Closing or possession date: Generally, the day the title of the property is transferred to the buyer and funds are received by the seller, unless otherwise specified (except in Manitoba and Quebec).

For more information on how Realtors can help visit


“I think the biggest testimonial I have for you would have to be that you included our whole family in the process of finding our home.  My girls love you as much as I do!  As a military family we have such a limited time...

Hilary & Andrew

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Melva Peever, Broker
Royal LePage Team Realty

105-383 Parkdale Ave
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 723-5300 Office/Pager
(613) 294-7119 - Cell