You may have noticed that our blog has been uncharacteristically quiet these past few weeks….we aren’t, sadly, lounging on a beach in Bora Bora, but are knee-deep in the post-May 2-4 long weekend real estate market.
Like years past, the unofficial Canadian start of summer marks the time of year when Sellers finally decide to sell. After many months of dismal inventory, there are houses to sell, properties to see and new lives in new homes to be created.
What it Means for Buyers
More than one house for sale in your target neighbourhood! Houses that stay on the market for – gasp – more than one week! Only 3 people in that bidding war instead of 32 (and even sometimes – NOBODY – at that bidding war).
- Be the first to know when new properties hit the market by signing up for email alerts (you can sign up for updates every 2 hours or email us for daily listings). Some of the best houses we’ve sold were purchased within hours of hitting the market.
- Choose your real estate agent wisely – while there may be more houses to choose from, you’ll still need to act quickly. Having someone who knows the market and Toronto’s neighbourhoods will go a long way to ensuring you don’t buy a lemon.
- Be ready to act, but do your due diligence. Be pre-approved for a mortgage (consider the IG 2.25% interest rate mortgage), have a home inspector on stand-by and make sure you have 5% of your budget in readily available cash for a deposit.
What it Means for Sellers
This is the time of year when many Sellers get greedy. The prime time to sell was February-April, so you may need to adjust your expectations.
Twice in the past week I’ve had Buyers be the sole contenders on ‘bidding war night’, submit full-price offers, only to have the Sellers refuse to accept anything less than 10% over-asking. I’m sorry Mr. Seller: No one showed up to your bidding war except us – if you wanted 10 people to bid on your house you should have listed it 2 months ago when there weren’t 10 similar houses up for sale in your neighbourhood.
- Don’t underprice your house by $100,000 because you think you’ll get a bidding war. That’s a dangerous game to play at this time of year.
- Watch your competition – they are the enemy and will impact how much you get for your house.
- Listen to the market – Buyers decide what your house is worth. Prices are up thanks to the early spring market’s low inventory, and you’ll be setting your asking price based on these new higher comparables. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a bidding war – you’re already getting the benefit of your neighbour’s March bidding war. Prices haven’t gone down – but the built-up frenzy for houses has slowed considerably.
- Choose your realtor wisely – there’s a lot more to selling your house than putting it on the MLS.
What it Means for Real Estate Agents
This is the time of year when the kids who sell 6 houses a year get separated from the pros who sell 60. Post Victoria-Day pricing strategies need to be different, marketing strategies need to be creative and agents actually need negotiation skills to represent Buyers.
This is the time of year when a realtor’s social life comes to a halt and 16-hour days, 7 days a week are the norm. It’s the ultimate test of our systems, processes and technology. It’s the time of year when a well-managed team runs like a well-oiled machine and every client gets the full BREL experience.
The ugliest months of Toronto’s 2014 real estate market are behind us. Balance? Sanity? Please enter on the right.