Author Topic: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated  (Read 705 times)

Frugal Lizard

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Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« on: September 20, 2017, 06:50:49 AM »
My mom wants to sell her house on kijiji.  This is the 4th property that she is going to sell on her own - only - now she is profoundly deaf and it has been twelve years since the last time.  She sold her last house by putting up signs in groceries stores.  She will not list with an agent.  She doesn't trust anyone and has a hard time giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. 

Of course she can't do the ad on kijiji herself and has asked me to help her.  My mom needs to make top dollar on this deal because she needs to move to a higher cost of living area for health care access and to be closer to me and my siblings.  Ideally she would have had the house on the market in the spring but I think she really doesn't want to move so it is taking a very long time to get it ready to list - and she has had more health issues this past spring.  I really want her closer for this winter.
She is now almost ready emotionally to move.

Anyone with recent, southern Ontario experience selling real estate?

She has paid for a very fancy video of the place and the property looks good.  It is all cleaned up, de-cluttered and ready for viewing.

I am 90 minutes from her place so I can go to show it but not easily with my work and own family life and my mom probably doesn't want that much help. I worry that it will just sit on the market because it is pretty isolated and a unique property.  Or some sleazy agent will try and take advantage of her.  She is intensely private so doesn't want a sign at the main road so that noisy neighbours are all taking a gander.

What are the critical elements in the kijiji ad - in addition to price, fancy video and introductory pitch?
How do I maximize the exposure for the ad?  (I am not very techy - but think that some words in the title help pull it to the front of searches)
The location of the house is rural - and the kijiji ads are divided into districts - none of them cover the location of the house - should I select a bigger market area?
We have the architectural plans - should I include them?
Room dimensions? (house is nearly a tiny house - Ontario building code didn't permit a smaller footprint when she built but I am thinking this might be a selling feature)
Utility costs?  (house is super efficient and designed for solar so it almost costs nothing to run)
Do I put my phone number so that people can talk to me? (My mom emails and texts but can't have phone conversation) Do home buyers want to talk to the seller or is emailing and texting good enough?

I am just so nervous that someone will try to take advantage of my mom or will not be willingly to understand that the deafness is why she seems kind of crazy. She doesn't get any none verbal communication because she is so focused on lip reading.  And she only gets about 30% of the verbal! 

Part of me wishes she would just hire an agent but the mustachian part says no:  we can do it.  All words of wisdom are gratefully accepted.
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partgypsy

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Re: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 11:20:41 AM »
Honestly this is the kind of situation where it does make sense to get an agent. So the house does get sold in a timely manner and your Mom doesn't get taken advantage of. In your situation, I would try fsbo for a certain amount of time, like a month or two. and if it doesn't work, move to a plan B.

For the ad, yes list the larger geographical region. List all the unique positive aspects of the house. Have a contact to respond to interested buyers in a timely manner (doesn't sound like your mom, might have to be you). Get an appraisal done so you know the value of the house (It doesn't really matter what you want to sell it for, matters more what you can get for the house). 

Jon Bon

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Re: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 12:11:49 PM »
I cant speak to how things work in Canada, but we have lots of the same pitfalls here in the states. So all this could be completely different or completely the same. Canada and The US are  similar but different in so many ways.  YMMV

Something worth researching is a flat fee agent. You do all the listing work (as you already are for  kijiji) and then this agent puts it in the (Canadian equivalent) multiple listing service. So this would be a very cheap way (500) to split the difference between an agent and straighup  kijiji/Craigslist.

A BIG pro for getting into a multiple listing service is you pretty much never have to show the house. Agents call you and say "hey im Jane Smith and I am with Coldwell Banker and I have a group at 1pm tomorrow I want to take through". You google said agent make sure they are legit and then give them the code to the lock box. Its pretty painless. This is the job of the buyers agent to do, so you should not have to do anything.

We also have things like redfin that a cheaper then the traditional 6% agent.

You might have to go ahead and get an agent on this one.

Again I cant speak with any certainty if any of this is applicable to your situation. But my guess is if its not available in Canada they have a Canadian equivalent.






Shinplaster

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Re: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 02:43:17 PM »
Have you looked at ComFree?  For a flat fee, they will help with photos, list it on MLS, give you a template for offers, etc.  You (or your mother) still show the house, etc.  Buyers can contact your mother (or you) through the site to set up appointments to view.   You could also mention that your mom has hearing difficulties, so all contact will be through email or text, not phone.  A statement that if an agent brings a buyer that concludes a sale, a commission will be paid.  Otherwise, no agent will bring buyers through, and you might not get enough traffic through kijiji alone.

On kijiji, I believe you can pay a fee to have your ad always be at the top of every page.  If you don't want to pay the fee, make sure to bump the ad up every couple of days.  Once it gets 5 pages down, no one is looking.

Photos are important.  Good lighting, good angles to show the rooms, etc.  There's nothing worse than seeing close up photos of a bed, or pillows, etc.  Buyers want to see the room, not the owner's possessions.  If you can label the rooms in the photos, bonus.  Depending on how a house is set up, it can be hard sometimes to know if you're looking at a basement office or a main floor bedroom, etc.  Measurements are good - no one wants to waste time seeing a place that will not fit their needs/possessions.  If costs for utilities are low, I'd definitely mention that in the listing.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 04:55:50 PM by Shinplaster »

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 11:13:59 AM »
quick update:
I helped my mom list her house on kijiji.  She was adamant that she is not using a "rip off artist" real estate agent.  She has a lawyer lined up for the sale, she just needs someone to do the computer stuff.
The professional video that a friend of mine shot makes the house look fantastic - it is a pretty neat place.  She is paying 10 bucks to have the link to the video on the kijiji ad. The video tour makes it really easy to understand the layout of the house.  I have no idea how much she paid for it, but it is really good.  My friend started the business of making these films about four years ago for real estate agents. He also provided a couple of dozen photos and the website linked to the ad.
Since she doesn't really want to move, I think it will be fine if it takes a while to sell.  My friend thinks the house will sell easily - but I think it may be hard for the right buyer to find it. 
We shall see.  If it doesn't sell, then she re-thinks strategy.  I am trying not to feel nervous about everything as I have done what I can.
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Shinplaster

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Re: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 11:59:56 AM »
Real estate in SW Ontario seems to be on fire right now, so fingers crossed for a quick sale. 

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 10:11:44 AM »
thanks Shinplaster.
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Goldielocks

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Re: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 11:40:58 AM »
quick update:
I helped my mom list her house on kijiji.  She was adamant that she is not using a "rip off artist" real estate agent.  She has a lawyer lined up for the sale, she just needs someone to do the computer stuff.
The professional video that a friend of mine shot makes the house look fantastic - it is a pretty neat place.  She is paying 10 bucks to have the link to the video on the kijiji ad. The video tour makes it really easy to understand the layout of the house.  I have no idea how much she paid for it, but it is really good.  My friend started the business of making these films about four years ago for real estate agents. He also provided a couple of dozen photos and the website linked to the ad.
Since she doesn't really want to move, I think it will be fine if it takes a while to sell.  My friend thinks the house will sell easily - but I think it may be hard for the right buyer to find it. 
We shall see.  If it doesn't sell, then she re-thinks strategy.  I am trying not to feel nervous about everything as I have done what I can.

I would pay a low "flat fee' agent rate.. meaning that I would describe it as paying xxx to get it posted to MLS.  Try looking for the lowest possible way to get it onto the MLS.  (FSBO, 1% agent, they have different names).   Talk to the person you are signing up with to negotiate a "MLS ONLY" type deal, with the caveat that they have exclusive agency rights for the next 6 months if you call in an agent.   

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Selling my mom's house on kijiji - any advice appreciated
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 09:34:10 AM »
My mom sent me about five emails last Monday about this that and the other and then a long rant about kijiji and what I needed to do to make her ad come up at the top of the pages.  After waiting six hours before responding, I, at some length, pointed out the flaws in her plans and indicated that I have done all that I can with her preferred approach.  She requested that I keep her 'kijiji thing private'.  WTF, how do you sell something by keeping it private? I then suggested that perhaps she should rent an apartment for the winter and sell the house with none of her personal items in the house so that her privacy is protected. Now we have radio silence and I am somewhat relieved. 

My brother visited her this weekend and I will get the scoop tonight.
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