3 Ways to Screw Up in a Hot Market

Cliff Rego
Published on January 20, 2017

3 Ways to Screw Up in a Hot Market

In 2016, we witnessed one of the hottest seller’s market in Kitchener-Waterloo history. More homes were sold than ever before (6,655) – a feat accomplished with nearly 10% fewer listings than in 2015!

Many of these homes sold fast, with multiple bids, for more than their asking price.

So what if I told you that – even in a “slam dunk” seller’s market like this – it’s still possible to mess things up? That your home could sit on the market for months? That your home may *gasp* not sell?

Now, I’m not talking about million dollar homes that will naturally take more time to sell because, let’s face it, there’s a smaller pool of buyers. I’m referring mainly to homes hovering around average market value: 300k-600k. There’s every reason for sellers in this price range to sell quickly for top dollar – as long as they avoid some tempting traps.

Here are three traps to avoid like BestBuy on Black Friday:

1) Getting Greedy

“Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

I don’t know who penned this quote, but they should’ve included a disclaimer:

*except when determining your list price.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting the largest possible return when selling your home; it’s one of our primary goals as listing agents. But, no matter how hot the market, how little inventory is available, how desperate buyers are, buyers will pass on a home that’s grossly overpriced. 

The key word, here, is grossly. You may be able to get away with a slightly higher-than-market price, but even that pricing strategy can limit your selling potential.

To drive up the sale price, you want a flood of showings and multiple offers. This typically doesn’t happen unless you have an attractive list price. 

Strategic pricing based on reality continues to matter in 2017.

2) Taking Shortcuts

I don’t care how hot the market is, you can’t just slap a sign up on your lawn and expect top dollar. 

Notice how I didn’t say expect to sell. It’s quite possible that you’ll sell your home without staging, or tending to your gardens, or a robust marketing campaign.

But, in 2017, the game has changed; the yardsticks have moved. It’s no longer about simply selling your home – it’s about reaching the most possible buyers, generating the most possible interest, generating the most possible offers, and selling for MORE!

If your home is not in showroom condition, your marketing strategy is weak and, further, you don’t have systems in place to ensure all buyers get to see your home when they want (i.e. if buyers fall through the cracks), you could be missing out on offers that could have driven up your asking price.

We’re talking tens of thousands of lost dollars.

So, sweat the small stuff; doing so could pay big dividends at closing time.

3) Not Having a Negotiations Strategy

If you avoid the pitfalls above, you will have put yourself in the best possible position for multiple offers.

But what’s the plan from there?

  • Are you holding off on reviewing offers to get the most possible action on your listing?
  • If so, what’s the plan if you receive a bully offer?
  • What’s your process for negotiating upwards of 10 offers at the same time?
  • How will you know which ones are the strongest?
  • How will you know which ones are the riskiest?

This is the point in the process where big money can be made or lost. If you don’t have a defined game plan, understand the likely scenarios and know how to get the most out of buyers (while keeping your cool under pressure), you could be leaving big money on the table.

A clear negotiations strategy has never been more crucial.


As a Kitchener-Waterloo seller, you have an unprecedented opportunity to get top dollar for your home in 2017.

By pricing properly, minding the marketing details and following through on a negotiations plan that’s built for the current market, you’ll be in prime position to reap the rewards of our seller’s market.

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