Despite what you hear in the media, not every Toronto house or condo sells in a week. Sometimes properties stay on the market for a long time. It’s not fun to make your bed every day and it’s especially stressful if you’ve already bought another property . But before you decide to lower your price, it’s important to take a step back and seriously analyze what else is going on.
How long has it been on the market? While 29 days may seem like an eternity to you, it’s the average amount of time properties took to sell in Toronto in 2014. If your property has been on the market longer than average (in particular, the average for your kind of property in your neighbourhood), than it’s a sign that something’s not right.
Are you motivated to sell? We sometimes come across Sellers who don’t really seem motivated to sell. How do we know? They make showing the property difficult; they insist on pricing above the market value; they walk away from offers rather than negotiate; they decide to increase their price mid-way through the listing. There are certain variables of the selling process that are controlled by the Seller – and if you aren’t doing what you can to help sell the property, it’s not going to sell.
What’s the condition of the property? There’s zero debate that the exceptional home sells faster. Is your home spotlessly clean? Is it well staged to optimally show off the rooms? Have you taken care of all the little things that might detract a Buyer? Buyers judge what they can’t see by what they can, so taking care of the details makes a BIG difference in how long it will take to sell.
How easy is it for potential Buyers to see your property? This is a biggie. If you’ve restricted showing times to be convenient for you, recognize that those times may not be convenient for the Buyer. If you want to sell your property for top dollar, you need to make sure it’s easy for Buyers to see your home – ideally 10 am-8 pm every day, with an hour or less notice. When our Sellers refuse showings because it’s inconvenient for them, over 70% of the Buyers don’t bother to book another showing. Ouch.
Is the location a detriment? Unfortunately this is something you can’t change, and real estate really is about location, location, location. If your home’s location is less than ideal (busy street, near the train tracks, overlooking an alley, etc.), don’t worry, it will still sell. But you may not have accurately priced in the negative effects of your location. Be honest with yourself about the location and make sure you price yourself to reflect it.
Is the marketing working? How many people are seeing your home online? How does that compare to other properties like yours? Your agent has access to all sorts of data, so make sure they’re sharing that with you. Are the photos turning people away? Is the marketing targeting the right Buyer? If your home is being seen by the public but they aren’t booking appointments, something’s up.
What else is going on in your neighbourhood? It doesn’t get more hyper local than real estate, so if your neighbours are getting bidding wars or selling in a few days and you’ve been sitting on the market for months, you’ve got a problem. If something negative has happened on your street (for example, a murder or assault), than will slow sales for a period of time (but don’t worry, your street will recover).
Is it priced accurately? How does your pricing compare to similar properties in your neighbourhood that have sold? Were you realistic when you set the price? Have any sales occurred since you set your price that change what the price for your home should be?
- …have been on the market longer than average; and
- …are motivated to sell; and
- …have a property that is in good condition; and
- …are flexible in allowing potential Buyers to see the property; and
- …are getting good results from the marketing; and
- …have priced in any negative factors about your location
….are still sitting on the market
It’s time to lower your price.