There are tons of homes in Toronto for sale at the moment as inventory levels have risen by 27% since June of 2009. These numbers are a sign of a market shift, so home owners and Realtors must adopt new ways to market their product. The days of multiple offers and line ups of buyers waiting to buy your home are passed us. Although the data shows that prices have increased by 1.7% since June 2010, the reality is that the real estate market in Toronto will start to gradually become a buyer’s market. To what extent? I don’t predict a correction but rather a steady price increase of 3-4% per annum because of the low interest rates and low inflation rate that we as a consumer have come to take for granted.
The most experienced Realtors that have listed homes in Toronto for sale will recognize that simply placing a For Sale sign on a front lawn won’t cut it anymore. Having a strategy and tailor made marketing plan is the key to selling.
The first thing prior to listing, the Realtor and home owner should assess the condition of the property, is the home in poor condition? If so, what can be done to better improve the overall look and feel to better present it to potential buyers. Also research the local competition. If 90% of the homes in your market are not selling, then your home needs to outshine the top 10%. Look at the homes that are sold conditionally because that's your current indicator. Sold comps could be two to three months in arrears of market movement. You want to know what is happening right now, and pending sale data will tell you which homes are selling.
The right Realtor will not waste your money on silly print ads that don’t work but instead will hire the right professionals that bring something to the table. Also most homes in Toronto for sale that are displayed on MLS only have one picture uploaded. Having multiple pictures showing the key rooms is a must. Shoot wide angles with plenty of light showcasing the home’s best features. The kitchen is generally the most important shot followed by the living and dining room, and remember not to exclude photos of the rear yard and it features.
Extensive advertising will be essential in this new era of home selling; many aspects of marketing will be needed. A combination of things such as newspaper ads, internet media and local magazines are a great start. Consider uploading a You Tube Video of the home instead of doing the virtual tour thing; make your home stand out from the rest!
Pricing the home accordingly is also key; an overpriced home that sits on MLS will only make the DOM tick away, dated listings don’t usually sell for list price. In a buyer’s market, price your home a minimum of 2% less than the last comparable sale. If you can’t live with that price then don’t list your home as you will set yourself up for disappointment.
Hiring the right Brokerage/Agent is also very crucial, hire an agent that is competent, experienced and honest. If you desire full-service and want an agent to spend tons of money on the listing, hire a full service brokerage and interview several agents. To find the best listing agent don't base your decision solely on the suggested sales price or how much the agent charges you because there are other considerations. Discuss with the agent prior to listing his/her marketing plan and the strategy they intend to use to successfully sell your home.
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