It wasn’t too long ago that Toronto was a seller’s paradise. In fact, this city has been a seller’s market for the better part of a decade.
But in 2023, softer market conditions had experts touting ‘sellers fatigue’ and predicting the return of a “buyers market”.
Sluggish sales have continued into the new year. So if you've decided to sell your home in the dynamic landscape that is Toronto real estate, then there are some things you should know.
First things first. Let's talk about what a ‘buyer’s market’ really means.
A true buyers market is when there are more homes for sale than there are eager buyers, giving home hunters a bit more leverage. However, this isn’t the case in Toronto. In fact, there are even fewer homes available than there were in 2001, despite an explosion in population growth.
Despite this, sales are slow. That’s because higher interest rates mean it’s harder for people to obtain financing. And two, the overall lack of affordable housing means people are waiting for prices to drop.
Because these two larger factors are currently at play, there is less competition for individual listings.
But just because buyers have more negotiating power, it doesn’t mean sellers shouldn’t list their properties. It simply means homeowners and their real estate agents must strategize more effectively, given the current fragility of the housing market.
Curb Appeal: Like Dressing Up For An Important Date
In a buyer’s market, first impressions matter more than ever. It's like getting ready for a job interview — you want to present your best!
Spruce up that curb appeal, trim the hedges, give the front door a fresh coat of paint, and consider cosmetic touch-ups in the kitchen or bathrooms. Remember, you want your potential buyer to fall head-over-heels the moment they lay eyes on your home.
Pricing: The Goldilocks Dilemma
Pricing is a bit like Goldilocks trying out porridge. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
In a buyers market, it's crucial to be realistic about your home’s market value. Consult with a Strata real estate expert who has looked at comparable sales in your area. Find that sweet spot where your home is attractive to buyers, without feeling like highway robbery. And be cautious about using an offer date strategy, in the hopes of attracting multiple offers. That plan works well in a seller’s market. But it’s very risky when market demand just isn’t there.
Show Off Your Home's Best Assets
Think of your home as a superhero with a unique set of superpowers. Showcase those assets!
Maybe it's a spectacular skyline view, a chef's dream kitchen, or a backyard that's perfect for young families. Highlighting these features can make your home stand out in a sea of listings.
Staging: Cue the Spotlight
Staging is your chance to play director and set the scene. Declutter, depersonalize, and create a space where potential buyers can envision their own lives unfolding.
Afterall, a well-staged home is like a blockbuster film: Captivating, with viewers eager for the sequel.
Stay One Step Ahead
Traditionally, home inspectors are called in by eager buyers ready to make an offer. But why wait? Be a trendsetter and hire an inspector, even before potential buyers come knocking. By having an inspection report ready for your home, you're not just one step ahead; you're leaps and bounds ahead of the game. It's also your secret weapon for a smooth and impressive home-selling journey.
Sweeten the Deal
The current buyer landscape in Canada is dominated by millennials, making them the largest cohort in the market. To capture their attention, think about incorporating features that resonate with this generation.
While it might require an upfront investment, installing a wine fridge, motorized blinds, or a built-in flat-screen TV can significantly accelerate the sale of your property compared to one without these modern touches.
For a touch of creativity, think about sweetening the deal with something like a year's worth of landscaping services. Out-of-the-box incentives add an extra layer of appeal to your property in a market filled with similar offerings.
Patience is a Virtue, Especially in Real Estate
But more than anything in a buyer’s market, patience is not only a virtue — it's your secret weapon. While it’s true that homes are taking slightly longer to sell, it’s crucial to stay the course and trust the process.