In A Soft Housing Market, Home Sellers Need To Up Their Game


What a difference a year makes.  Last year, houses were selling almost as soon as they were listed. Homeowners were getting multiple offers over asking and agents were smiling.

Now, one year later, things aren’t so rosy. The GTA has been hit with a triple-whammy to slow things down.

The Ontario Government added a 15% foreign buyer property tax last year the Federal Government added home buyer “stress tests” for mortgages, effectively reducing how much people can borrow. The Bank of Canada just raised interest rates yet again. That makes 3 rate hikes in the past 12 months.

There are now more homes on the market, they are staying on the market longer and buyers are not overbidding each other as they did a few months ago.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. This slowdown is a much needed adjustment to the hyperactive market we saw not that long ago.  An over-priced market has to come down eventually, and we don’t want to see a crash that hurts everyone involved.

Key factors when selling your home

There are 3 factors that you need to understand and address to sell your home for top dollar and as quickly as possible in this market.

1. Your house has more competition than it had earlier this year.
2. Because they have more time, buyers are going to be more picky than they were previously
3. You will get fewer offers than you would last year

So, how should home sellers react to these changes?

Clean up the house and give it a fresh coat of paint

No home is perfect for everyone, but don’t give someone who might like your house any reasons to pass on it or underbid.  If you were selling your car, you’d probably spend some money to get it cleaned and detailed. Do the same with your home.

Repair any obvious flaws in walls, doors, floors etc.

Repairs are a must do when selling a home. Every little flaw is magnified 10x in the eyes of the buyer. If they see a flaw, they’ll wonder how many other (bigger) flaws exist that they don’t see and if they bid, they’ll overcompensate for those flaws by reducing their bid significantly.

Get your home professionally staged and photographed to WOW online or in person viewers

It’s been your home for years, but now it’s time to help them see it as THEIR home. It’s not enough to “declutter” or “depersonalize”. Those activities are a given.

Have the home professionally staged. Staging is not simply bringing in some furniture and hanging paintings etc.  It’s about understanding the potential buyers’ needs and wants and presenting the home to best meet those needs.  And those staged rooms will look great when photographed and put online.

Remember, your home is COMPETING with a LOT of other homes to get a buyer.  The best way to compete is to make your house the one that everyone LOVES and fights over. Even in this slow market, it’s possible to get great offers in a short period of time. You just have to help your house show how great it really is.