In the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region, homebuyers know they often have to move quickly when inventory is low. MARIE-FRANCE COALLIER / MONTREAL GAZETTE

It’s a sellers’ market now throughout most of Greater Montreal. But although overall, sales and prices are up, there’s still no guarantee of a quick sale.

It can be a rude awakening for homeowners who listed their homes with high hopes, only to watch their properties sit on the market. It’s only fair to wonder, if the market is doing so well, why is it taking so long to sell?

The most obvious place to start is price. Often, if there’s not much interest in a home, it’s a sign that it’s simply priced too high.

When sellers hear it’s a hot market, many want to ask top-dollar. But the strategy can backfire. Interest in your listing will be highest when it’s fresh. If you come out too high and lower the price when it takes too long to sell, many buyers and their agents will suspect that either something’s wrong with the home, or that you can be bargained down even lower.

In addition, buyers will typically search within specific price ranges. If the likely buyer for your home is searching between $425,000 to $500,000 and your home is listed for $515,000, they won’t even see your home on the list for consideration. Your realtor should provide you with comparable recent sales of properties in the area that are similar to your home. Your list price should not be significantly higher than the comparable sales if you want to sell with reasonable speed.

Some brokers even take the opposite tack: pricing slightly lower than the market will bear, in an attempt to sell more quickly. In very hot markets, this approach can spark a bidding war. When inventory is low and buyers are hungry, as is currently the case in many parts of the West Island and popular areas of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, buyers know they have to move quickly to put forward their best offer on a well-priced listing.

But there’s more than price to think about. It’s also perception. Most buyers today will see your home online first. If your realtor won’t invest in professional photography or take the time to write a complete and compelling description of the property, fire them and find someone else who will. Your realtor should also offer specific advice on which repairs or improvements are a must to complete before listing your home, and go over the basics of home staging prior to listing.

Market conditions may favour sellers right now, but it doesn’t necessarily mean selling will be easy. If you want to sell quickly, at the best price you can, you’ve got to put the work in to make sure your property shows well and is priced competitively relative to the other options on the market.