The Toronto real estate market is still strong for freehold homes. Freehold is any house that is not a condo.
Condo sellers, I have some bad news for you; as of this post, the market has shifted towards a more balanced market.
Not quite a buyer’s market.
A balanced market where homebuyers have a lot of choices so they can take their time in choosing which condo to buy and have the ability to negotiate the price lower than the listed price.
Even with a lot of condos sitting on the market doesn’t mean you can’t set your condo up for success.
A well-prepared and well-priced condo could still result in more than one buyer offering on your home.
To make sure you are in the right frame of mind when it comes time to list your home for sale, keep these ten recommendations top of mind.
10 Things Condo Sellers Must Understand
1 – The ability of a buyer to close on a home is far more important than the offer they are making.
Just this past week, a condo that I have listed accepted an offer just below the asking price but the offer was packed full of conditions including financing.
The buyer’s agent assured me there would be no issues with getting a mortgage. 3 days later, the offer was voided because the buyer was declined for a mortgage.
6 days after that offer, another offer came in $5,000 less than the previous offer but was only conditional on the status certificate being reviewed by the buyer’s lawyer.
Rather than dwell on the price difference between the two offers, I helped my sellers realize that this buyer had a better chance of completing the deal because their mortgage had already been approved.
2 – The more challenging a seller is in the negotiation stage will be remembered when it comes time for the buyer to firm up their offer.
Have an open mind when it comes to negotiations. If the buyer is asking for your wine fridge, are you seriously going to let a $300 appliance get in the way of a good offer price?
If you do, the buyer may feel slighted and find reasons to let a deal die and look elsewhere.
3 – Buyers are looking at other condos. Condo sellers sometimes operate under the idea that their condo is the only one on the market.
The condo market has changed; have I mentioned that already?
4 – Even if it’s a seller’s market, it doesn’t mean that a condo shouldn’t be prepared and marketed like it was a buyer’s market.
Now is even more important than ever for sellers to realize how much of a difference good staging can affect a selling price.
Read this post to get a glimpse into the importance of home staging.
5 – A seller’s home should be available to be shown anytime, every time. Sellers should not be home during these appointments.
Appointments may be few and far between. Let buyers come in when it’s convenient for them, not you.
6 – The market determines the price of a home.
This cannot be understated.
Don’t get caught up on record sales prices in the past.
This is a different market.
7 – A real estate agent’s commitment to marketing is directly related to their ability to sell.
A REALTOR “testing” the market tends to have minimal staging, online media, sub-standard photos, and no virtual tour.
Virtual tours are one of the most important marketing tool for your home these days.
Read more about virtual tours here.
8 – Having one agent represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction is not worth any discount offered, especially if the negotiation takes a bad turn.
Nothing more to add…
9 – Staging is More Important Now More Than Ever
It may not be fun, but having a stager come in and give an objective assessment and staging plan is the most effective first step in transforming your condo from home, to show home.
10 – A seller’s condo is no longer their home, it is a showroom.
It is a space that is warm, inviting but, most of all, neutral. A smart condo seller knows that any reminder of who they are can detract from the buyer being able to envision themselves living there.
Don’t get caught off guard. Don’t be cocky.
Condo buyers do have choices these days, especially in downtown Toronto.
Get prepared and you’ll be that much more successful when it comes time to sell.