Sure, selling your house in Toronto can be quick and easy, if you have the fully renovated sexy house with parking, in a hot neighbourhood in a wicked school district. Put it on MLS and boom, it’s sold.
But what if that doesn’t describe your home? Let’s face it, most of us don’t have that perfect property. Some of us live really close to the train tracks. Some of us are on busy streets and in sketchy neighbourhoods. Some of us live on the 2nd floor in a condo with a view of the garbage area. Some of us have a methadone clinic or rooming house nearby. Some of us live in condos that aren’t in high demand or are facing construction. But that doesn’t mean we want our houses to linger on the market.
While the average time for a property to sell in Toronto is less than 30 days, sometimes Sellers need a quicker sale. There are plenty of reasons why a Seller might want that:
- They’ve been transferred and are moving to a new city
- They are separating from their spouse
- They’ve already bought another property and need to sell their current home to close on the new one
- They need the cash for something else
Just because you don’t have the ideal product, it doesn’t mean your property has to linger on the market forever.
Here are our top strategies if you need to sell your home NOW:
You’ll need to balance your need to get your home on the market quickly with the speed benefits that come from proper pre-sale preparation. Experienced agents (like the BREL team) can help guide where you should focus your attention. In deciding the timing of your listing, you’ll need to take into consideration the current market activity, the competition and how the current state of your property will affect the market value and the time it takes to sell. While in an ideal world you’d have time to do everything in the 30 Days to Prep Your Home For Sale blog, you’ll need to decide which of the following to focus on, given your goals and the market realities:
- Decluttering and depersonalizing
- Repairing and fixing all that little stuff
- Staging each room to its highest and best use
- Staging to appeal to your ideal buyer
- Staging to make your photos look great online
If the market conditions are right, and you need to sell fast, you’ll likely not want to undertake any big renovations. While a new kitchen or wood floors might add value to your house, the time it’ll take to complete the renovations likely won’t be worth it (and renovations don’t necessarily pay for themselves). Factor the current state of the house into the listing price or change the target buyer to someone who is OK with doing a little (or a lot) of work.
Pro Tip: Never skimp on the cleaning! If you’re short for time, bring in professionals.
Don’t forget: help is available! If you choose to work with a top agent (like the BREL team), they’ll have staff and resources to help you accomplish a lot of this (and some of it may even be included in the commission).
You know what they say…everything sells at the right price. If you need to sell your home fast, don’t get greedy.
- Know the comparable sales and price accordingly. Price at or below the last sale. This is especially important for condos, where exact comparable sales are available.
- Know your competition and price accordingly. It helps to be seen as the bargain! If there are two other units like yours on the market right now, price just below them.
- Listen to the market and be ready to react. An experienced agent will know the number of showings you should be getting and the number of showings that are needed to get an offer. For example, many downtown Toronto condos generally sell after 10-15 showings if it’s priced, marketed and staged right. If you’ve had more than the average number of showings for your building or neighbourhood and no offers, something’s wrong. If the problem isn’t marketing or staging and you’ve been flexible with letting people see the property, your problem is almost definitely price. Sorry. There’s nothing wrong with lowering your price a week or two into a new listing if you got the price wrong the first time.
- Know what you have, who wants to buy it and price accordingly. Different kinds of Buyers expect different things from a price negotiation, so know who your target is. We see definite negotiating patterns with first-time buyers, move-up buyers, downsizers and investors – and of course, there are cultural nuances in negotiations too. Play that knowledge to your advantage.
If you’re short on time, you’ll want to work with an agent who knows how to put together an AMBUSH MARKETING plan. With no time to waste, the marketing for your property should include:
- Wicked photography – your Buyer will likely find your home online first, so it needs to look incredible online. If the agent you want to hire isn’t outsourcing this to a professional photographer, hire someone else. Buyers don’t have any time for bad MLS photos.
- Copy that resonates with your target Buyer – The point of an MLS Listing is to attract Buyers. Forget about copy that reads like a list of features and say hello to persuasive copy that speaks to your ideal Buyer.
- Printed materials people actually want to take home with them- Feature sheets and neighbourhood infographics help Buyers remember your property when they leave – they’re an important part of marketing.
- Online, email and social marketing – tons of homes sell every week in Toronto that were discovered somewhere other than on realtor.ca, so a comprehensive online marketing campaign is critical if you want to sell your house quickly. Ideally, the marketing strategy includes an email campaign to potential Buyers and area REALTORS, presence on a website that gets a ton of traffic, promotion on social media, online classified sites, etc.
If time is of the essence, ambush marketing is key.
BRELbrag: We’re always proud of the fact that our Seller’s listings get more exposure on our website than on realtor.ca – sometimes by up to twice as much!
People can’t buy your property if they can’t see it, so you’ll want to make your home easy to show to prospective Buyers. Buyers want to see properties when it’s convenient for them, not for you. Our advice:
- Be flexible with showing times – 9 am to 9 pm is ideal
- Be flexible with showing days – 7 days a week is critical
- Have a lockbox on site so it’s easy for REALTORS to show your property.
- Always leave during the showings – nobody wants to look through your home while being watched.
- Make sure your home is in pristine condition for every showing – that means you need to wash and put away dirty dishes, make the bed and sweep the floors. Every day. Will that be painful? Absolutely. But you want this sold fast, right?
- Board the dogs – even though I’m sure they’re very friendly.
The timing of your listing will certainly impact how fast it sells. Every market has popular times to sell, but there’s something to be said for minimal competition too, so if you need to sell your house and it’s cold and December, it’s still doable. It’ll just take a very specific selling strategy.
Do you need to sell your home fast? Get in touch and we’ll put the BREL magic to work. We’ve got a track record of helping our Sellers sell fast when we need to. Next week, I’ll be sharing more insider secrets to selling your home FAST.