Preparing Your Home For Sale in the Toronto Real Estate Market
December 9, 2016
With Christmas still two weeks away, it’s hard to believe but the spring market is just around the corner! I mention this because spring is the busiest season in real estate for buyers and sellers, which means more homes on the market and generally higher prices.If you’re thinking of entering the spring market, now is a good time to start getting ready. Homeowners sometimes underestimate the amount of work it takes to get a house ready for the market such as getting their finances in order, not to mention decluttering. After all, in order to get the most money possible you have to show your home in the best light.
Steps to take if you’re getting ready for the spring market
There are a number of things you want to start considering when you’re thinking about a move. Do you have a goal date in mind? Do you absolutely need to move by a certain date? You can always try to strategize around the market, but the market changes. You should make sure that whatever time you choose is best for your own schedule.
The market can be fairly slow in January because everybody else thinks it’s not the right time to list. However, there’s often less competition and with a huge amount of demand, it isn’t a bad time to list – the buyers that come out are serious.
The first step is to get a realtor on board to give you an idea of what things actually need to be done. I often find that people think they need to do more to their home than they actually do. A professional can save you time and money because you’re not spending money on improvements that won’t net anything in the end.
A good realtor will give you a staging consultation and recommend a stager if necessary.
What’s Happening With Your Mortgage?
Unless you’re a first time buyer, you likely already have a mortgage. You should have a conversation with your lender to find out the discharge fee. If you’re able to port your mortgage over to the new property, you’ll want to know what that looks like in terms of cost and timing.
Get a Head Start on Packing
You’re going to have to pack anyway so, if you’re planning a move, it’s never too early to get started! I don’t want to add to your holiday to-do list, but if you’re rummaging around in the basement or garage for Christmas decorations, it may also be a good time to start boxing and purging. Clearing out items you don’t need may feel like a major task, but you don’t have to tackle it all at once. Starting early will create less pressure. And you’ll be surprised at how good you feel once you start getting rid of stuff.
If you want some tips on staying organised over the holidays, click here.
The strategy behind staging a house or a condo is the same. With a house you’re often dealing with a yard and landscaping. If the home is going to be listed before everything is in bloom, find photos of what the garden looks like at its best.
You may also want to schedule a home inspection. This way you’ll know if anything is fundamentally wrong and it gives you time to budget for the repairs. If you don’t, a potential buyer will perform their own home inspection and if they find things that are majorly wrong, it could scare them off or they may ask you to sell for a lower price. Showing that a home inspection has been performed any any necessary repairs have been completed creates security for a buyer and can often result in more offers without conditions.
Showing the Home
When it comes to actually showing the home, pets can be a sticky subject. If your cat or dog is going to bolt for the door when people visit or if your pet is hyperactive, it’s best to find a place for them to live while you’re showing the home. If it’s priced right and marketed well, your home will be sold quickly so you won’t be without them for very long. Pet hair and odors can also be a deterrent.
If by some chance you are a smoker, stop smoking in your home immediately. Many people think as long as the door is open, it’s okay. But the smell of smoke infiltrates everything. And this article shows, a home that smells of smoke sells for 30% less than a fresh-smelling home.
If you have any questions about navigating Toronto’s real estate market, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!