The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. And in typical Canadian fashion, we’ve donned our warm-weather clothes (too early) and have headed for a pint on the patio. Spring is here!

It’s Thursday morning and Brendan and I are heading into our fourth offer of the week. On Monday, we sold a fabulous loft in the St Lawrence market; Tuesday we got slaughtered in a bidding war for a house near the Upper Beach; yesterday we strategically snagged a killer house in Leslieville for some awesome clients, and tonight we are headed into yet another bidding war in Little Italy. Yes, dear readers, Toronto’s spring real estate market is indeed here.

By now everyone has heard about that bungalow in Willowdale that sold last week for more than $400,000 over-asking in a bidding war with 17 people that pushed the $759,000 price to well over a million dollars. So what’s a buyer to do?

Our tips for surviving the spring real estate market in Toronto:

  1. Be an open house warrior. Everybody loves a spring open house (especially in Leslieville) and it’s not uncommon for 100+ people to tour a house on a sunny weekend. Plan your open house route.  Leave the kids and the dog at home. Wear slip-on/slip-off shoes. Think of it in the same way as nabbing those Kate Spade shoes or big screen TV at a Boxing Day sale.
  2. Speak softly and carry a big stick – You might need that stick to Win a Bidding War. Be strategic. Be smart. Be ready to act fast. You can get the house you want without losing your mind (but yes, you might shed a few tears along the way).
  3. Keep calm and carry on. As the weather gets warmer, more properties will inevitably come on the market. This happens every year. Your ridiculously low pre-approved interest rate is probably valid for a while; and even if it’s not, a slightly higher rate in a less crazy market might still save you money in the long run.
  4. List your house Seriously, if you’re thinking of moving, you might as well take advantage of the inflated spring prices. If you buy and sell in the same market, you come out even. If you can afford to sell now and wait a few months before buying, you might come out ahead.

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