There’s no doubt we have a real estate inventory problem in Toronto. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve heard our stories of desperate Buyers flocking to houses and the crazy bidding wars that ensue. Today, I want to dive into the supply problem: Why aren’t people listing their houses for sale?
1. “I want to sell my house but I need to find a new house first.”
We see this all the time – people ready to sell their house, but not wanting to list it until they find their new home first. It becomes a bit of a vicious cycle. While I completely understand the fear that comes with selling your house before buying (and the possibility of homelessness or living with mom and dad), there’s something to be said for selling when the market is at its hottest and buying when it becomes more balanced.
BREL Tip: Some houses are sold before they hit the MLS. In real estate lingo, we call these Exclusive Listings, and if you’re not working with a REALTOR who is well connected and can access these secret and coming-soon listings, you’re missing out on a whole bunch of houses. It’s another reason to commit to a great agent vs going-it-alone.
2. “I want to wait until spring when my grass and gardens look good.”
Don’t get tripped up by this all-too-common myth. Yes, your house will look better when the grass is green, but SO WILL EVERYBODY ELSE’s. It happens every year. The sun starts to shine, the gardens bloom and everyone lists their houses at the same time. More supply of houses = less competition for your house.
BREL Tip: Don’t follow the crowds, follow the REALTORS. Real estate agents list their own homes for sale in February or March.
3. “It’s cheaper to renovate than to buy a new house.”
Well, it’s hard to argue with this one – upgrading to a new home IS expensive. There are selling costs to pay when you sell and land transfer taxes to fork out when you buy. If you already love your neighbourhood and the size of your house is right, renovating your current house to meet your needs might be a good option. But don’t get fooled into thinking that all that renovation money will be added be to the price of your house when you do eventually decide to sell: if you decide to go this route, make it a long-term plan.
BREL tip: Find out the ROI on your renovations here.
4. “I want to sell, but I don’t know where to start/I’m too busy watching Netflix.”
Getting your house ready for sale is a lot of work, but you don’t need to do it alone. (if you missed my 30 Days to Listing Your House for Sale blog, check it out). Plenty of real estate agents have extended teams of reliable people to help you de-clutter, primp and prep your home for sale, and many times it’s included in the commission they charge (yes, of course, that includes us).