— We take our content seriously. This article was written by a real person at BREL.
You already know the market is on fire, with TONS of demand from Buyers and very low inventory, but what does that mean for Toronto Sellers?
You’re in Control
Truthfully, it’s been a long time since Sellers haven’t been in control of the Toronto market, but the current market conditions are strongly in favour of Sellers. That means that in most cases, you get to pick the terms: your preferred closing date, no financing or home inspection conditions and nice big deposits. And hopefully, multiple people driving the price of your home up.
You’re Going to Get a LOT of Showings
Despite miserable winter weather and the ongoing pandemic, Buyers are out in full force and you may very well have 50 or 100 or more potential Buyers traipsing through your home. Our best advice: move out while it’s on the market. COVID safety precautions still mean that only one group of Buyers will be allowed in your house at a time, so it’s very possible that you’ll have all-day back-to-back showings, every day. Trust us: that hotel or Airbnb cost will be well worth keeping your sanity.
You Still Need to DO THE THINGS
While almost any home will sell right now, if you want to squeeze the most amount of money out of your sale, you still need to:
- Be strategic about how you price the property. While it might be tempting to just slap a big listing price on your home and hope for the best, Buyers have become accustomed to certain pricing strategies in the GTA and it’s to your benefit to play along. If everything in your neighbourhood is selling for $200K more than the asking price, it’s safe to assume that most Buyers will add $200K to your asking price – so if you price it too high, they’ll add $200K to that price and your home will seem out of reach.
- Put your best foot forward by getting your home ready for sale and investing in professional staging. Top agents and teams will guide you in the things you need to do to optimize the look and feel of your home, and many (like us!) will include full staging in their commission. Staged homes don’t just sell faster – they sell for a lot more money too. I’m talking tens of thousands of dollars more. [Related: Read more about our staging services here: Staging Is Just the Beginning…and It’s Included]
- Stunning photography and marketing are more important than ever. Sure, there are a lot of Buyers looking for homes right now – but reaching the RIGHT Buyers is key to getting the best price. There’s so much more to marketing a home than putting it on the MLS (and don’t trust anyone who tells you differently).
It’s Still Going to Be Stressful
There’s nothing convenient about selling your home – even in a hot market. If you hire the right agent, they can help reduce much of the pain of getting your home sold and help talk you down from the stressful bits. Almost all Sellers worry that their home won’t sell – this is TOTALLY normal. A great agent will make sure those insecurities don’t result in you selling your home for less than you should.
In Other Words, Don’t Take a Bully Offer
When the imbalance between Buyers and Sellers is as great as it is right now, some Buyers will try to circumvent the ‘offer night’ process by making a bully offer). Truth: accepting a bully offer is rarely the right move for the Seller unless there are special circumstances. Think about it: a Buyer who tries to avoid a bidding war by submitting an offer early is doing that because they think they can’t win on offer night. Which means they think somebody else is willing to pay more. Wouldn’t you rather wait and see how much more the other Buyer is prepared to pay? Sure, there are situations where accepting a bully offer does make sense – but it’s rare these days.
Timing Still Matters
It’s important to be strategic when selling your home, and timing it right can make a big difference in how much you sell it for. Some of the things you’ll want to consider:
- The weather – We may be Canadian, but a 30 cm dump of snow will still affect the number of people who see your home that day. So will a surprise week of warm, sunny weather. Of course, in a hot market like we’re in right now, if everybody else decides to hold off listing their homes for sale because of the weather, you could be at an advantage – motivated Buyers will stop at nothing for an opportunity. There are no easy answers when it comes to weather, but you should be ready and take the guidance from your agent.
- Religious holidays, Family Day and March Break – While COVID has greatly changed the impact of holidays on selling your home, you’ll want to monitor things carefully. If you’re selling a 4-bedroom home, you’ll likely be selling it to a family with kids – are they likely to travel for March Break? If February’s Family Day becomes a Christmas do-over and we get to finally see our families, you may not want to be on the market that weekend.
- The Competition – This is one of the most critical factors…what other comparable homes are for sale right now and when are they accepting offers? Depending on the type of property you own, having nearby competition might be a good thing (it’ll direct more traffic to your neighbourhood or building and Buyers who might not otherwise have seen your home will be persuaded to see yours at the same time); but it might work against you if there are 3 houses on your street all looking at offers on Monday night. Again, your agent can guide you on what’s happening around you and how it may affect your sale.
The Market is Fluid – What is True Today May Not Be True Next Week
Our crystal ball didn’t tell us to invest in Zoom in 2019 or stock up on toilet paper in February 2020, so it’s important to remember that the real estate market is fluid and unpredictable too.
We know interest rates will be going up soon and we know the feds aren’t comfortable with how fast prices are appreciating, so it won’t be a huge surprise to see the government attempt to cool it down soon. Changes spook Buyers – at least in the short term.
There’s a tradeoff between taking time getting your home ready for sale and taking advantage of great market conditions We’ve seen more than a few Sellers spend months fixing every little thing in their home and then miss out on the market opportunity. Don’t be that person. If you’re working with an agent who is on top of what’s happening and understands your goals and motivations, listen to them! Or at least know the risk that you’re taking.
Who Should Consider Selling Right Now:
- Investors with (good) tenants in place. There are tons of investors out there right now looking for their next property and their motivation will undoubtedly decrease when interest rates rise and their profit margins are negatively affected. While selling a tenanted property comes with it’s own unique challenges (we wrote about that here: Selling Your Tenanted Property), if your goal is to sell to another investor, this could be a great time to list your property for sale. If you already have a good tenant who pays their rent, that’s one less thing for a new investor to worry about.
- Imperfect houses in imperfect locations. We don’t all live in perfect houses and neighbourhoods, so if your home has a few strikes against it (think: no parking, located on a busy street, an unfinished basement, one bathroom or it’s in rough shape) – listing it for sale when demand is at its highest and competition is at its lowest is a smart move. Winter Buyers are much more prepared to make compromises if it means not having to compete with 25 other offers or being priced out of the market.
- People moving out of the city. The exodus to the ‘burbs and beyond continues, so if you’re looking to cash out and live mortgage-free in a smaller community, the current market conditions are almost perfect for Sellers. And if you don’t have to buy in the same market, that’s a double bonus. Ca-ching!
- Anybody with a house – Kidding, not kidding. While condos are hot commodities right nw too, Toronto homebuyers’ seem to have an insatiable appetite for houses. If you’re planning to move from a house to a condo, you’ll probably still be in a bidding war – but the gains on your house will be greater. (Related: Moving to a House from a Condo)
If you’re thinking of selling in 2022, it’s never too early to start the conversation with a REALTOR. Get in touch!