Toronto housing prices are holding strong, but the real estate market is changing and along with it so should your expectations. Here are a few things to keep in mind during a changing market.

1. PLAN AHEAD

Timing is critical as the market is changing. It is becoming more balanced and you can no longer expect to sell within a week or assume you’ll be able to close exactly when you wanted. You need to understand that it will take longer so don’t expect results earlier than what your realtor has projected. Don’t call them every day asking why you haven’t received an offer yet.

2. ADJUST EXPECTATIONS

You need to be realistic about the value of your property – as of late, prices have been holding steady. However, the market has moved so drastically in the span of a year so, you should expect a more modest increase in value as this is a natural progression of the current climate.

3. PLAN

Working with your realtor on your strategy is key. If you’re planning on purchasing after you sell your home, get a realistic timeline on how long the sale and possession of your place will take. You should also assess the inventory you would be interested in purchasing to understand if you should be buying before or after you sell.

Another important item to note is the days of endless bidding wars — and pricing a property low to encourage them — are over. This doesn’t mean the market is tanking or that it’s a buyer’s market. The market is simply stabilizing and strategies should be adjusted to reflect it. Holding back offers should only be used in a market with little inventory or on a very ‘special’ product that is not typical in your building or area. If your property isn’t ‘special’ or highly sought after you’re going to want to price it at value and allow for offers at any time.

If you’re still under the impression that you should be holding back offers on your listings you’re just plain wrong. There is a high probability you won’t be successful using that strategy. The market has shifted and as realtors we need to start utilizing a different strategy.

4. ALLOW FOR EXTRA TIME

It’s best to plan ahead and alleviate the stress that would come from not having the funds ready for your purchase on closing. Give yourself some extra time, as much as we try, realtors cannot predict the future.

5. STAGE

It’s important now more than ever that your home shows impeccably well. With a changing market, buyers have an increased supply of housing to choose from and ensuring your home shows in its best light is imperative.

This means that staging is very important. Staging your home includes the small things too, like making sure your blinds are fully open to allow light to flow into the room and give the appearance of a larger, more open space.

6. CLEAN

Make sure your home is clean and odourless. If you have animals or were cooking recently be cognizant of the smells. Remember, you’re trying to sell your biggest asset and it’ll help to present it in the best light possible.

7. BE FLEXIBLE

You want to ensure your place is seen by as many buyers as possible. You never know who might be the right one and you wouldn’t want to turn down their viewing because you were working from home that day and were to ‘busy’ to move to Starbucks. Be sure to accommodate as many showings as possible and be flexible around dates and times.

8. DO NOT PANIC

With the changing market it will take longer to sell your beloved abode than it would have about 4 months ago. But that does not mean you should have a knee-jerk reaction and immediately drop your price when your house doesn’t sell after the first few days. Your realtor is your advocate, get a clear plan of strategy from them and make sure you have a set window ahead of time that you can stick to so you don’t jump the gun!

9. BE REALISTIC

Realty is key when it comes to pricing your home. If the last property sold for X but has a ton of features that your home doesn’t, you’re not going to be able to get more for your home just because there house sold a few months ago.

You need to be realistic about the difference in properties values. Locker, parking, exposure, washrooms, patios and square footage can dramatically affect a list price and, subsequently, what a buyer will pay for it. If you have a similar unit to another that sold you can expect to get around the same price as they received. The average property increases in value about 5% a year, so you shouldn’t expect to earn 5% more, just because your selling your property two months later. 

10. IF YOU DIDN’T PLAN ON SELLING, DON’T

If you weren’t planning on selling, you shouldn’t be selling. It’s that simple. Don’t let scare tactics intimidate you. The fear mongering, click bating and ‘fake news’ are B.S. Don’t listen to these ridiculous articles telling you that real estate prices are going to go down and won’t come back up. Real estate is a long-term investment the market will see some fluctuation but if you hold steady and stay the course, you’ll profit in the long run.