Expert tips for selling a home in Ontario
Looking to sell your home in Ontario? You are in luck!
The Canadian real estate market is growing at a breakneck speed as move–over, and move-up buyers keep driving activity in different parts of the country. RE/MAX predicts that the Kingston housing market will continue favouring sellers, with prices rising to 10%.
However, you need to understand that buyer needs and motivations are changing fast, and strategies that worked in 2020 may not work in 2021. Who would have thought housing prices would go that high (average price for a single-detached home in Kingston hitting $464,083) in the middle of a pandemic? Who would have thought real estate agents would make a historical sale in October with more than a 25% increase from the previous year?
Many regions across Canada continue to face a housing shortage; experts feel 2021 will remain a sellers’ market. But don’t let that slow you down and make you relax. The real estate industry is like a pendulum; the market can easily shift to a buyers’ market anytime like it has been for the longest time.
That means being smart and planning ahead before putting your house on the market. Learn what Ontario homebuyers want such as spacious homes and give it to them. People are also looking for homes in the suburbs and other quieter places. Your home is a hot sale if it meets the current market requirement and expectations.
Not sure how to make a record-breaking sale? Use these expert tips for selling a home in Ontario, and watch as buyers enter into a bidding war.
Familiarize yourself with the market
Learn what the market looks like and what buyers are looking for. For instance, Canadians want to continue working remotely. Does your home provide quiet office space, and are there entertainment features to keep people busy as they stay home and enjoy working from home?
That is why there is a mass exodus in Toronto’s downtown. The Canadian housing market reports show that the Atlantic Canada and Prairies are still relatively affordable for the average home buyer. Saint John, Moncton and Halifax housing activity has been driven by move-up buyers and province buyers who are either working from home or have expedited retirement plans.
Know what you can add to serve the needs of current prospective buyers before putting up the home for sale. Consider the average sale for similar homes in your area and interest rates in the future.
Space is a prominent buyer demand that has adversely contributed to higher sales in detached homes across Kingston and other parts of Canada. Your home may be spacious, but if too cluttered, it may look rather small. Consider getting rid of bulky used items like furniture to create a clutter-free, clean and spacious home. Remember, you will be moving out of that home soon, so make a point of going through all your stuff and donate used items to charities and waste management companies.
A cluttered home is not too appealing for most prospective home buyers and can jeopardize your sale. You may not get the most out of your sale.
Clean, paint and renovate if needed
Did you know that kitchen and bathroom renovation can increase your home value by up to 100%? According to World Bank, you can get back 100% if your kitchen was already in great shape.
The whole idea of cleaning and renovating is to make your buyer imagine themselves living in your home. Big-ticket features like the roof, furnace, windows, doors and landscape play a huge role in attracting customers. If your home is not in its perfect state, consider working on it before bringing prospect buyers for inspection.
Renovations improve the exterior and interior look and even raise your home’s value, so you make a bigger sale. Remove the old stained paint, clean the entire space and replace old features with new ones. Ideally, you want to look at the kitchen, bathroom, and landscape. Scrub those windows, clean the countertops, remove those cobwebs until everything is sparkling clean to create a favourable first impression.
The landscape says a lot
The landscape is what everyone sees before they enter your home. Canadians are more interested in luxury homes than ever before, and Hamilton-Burlington and Ottawa have already started feeling the heat. 15% of Canadians spent more time monitoring and researching the real estate market throughout 2020 to get the most out of their money.
So, take advantage of this knowledge and rethink your landscape. If it looks rather dull and empty, consider adding furniture like swing chairs in the garden, lighting or water features and if you can afford, install a sprinkler system. You can also hire landscapers to plant trees and flowers, maintain your grass, build wooden structures like gazebos and design the entire layout of your yard.
The exterior part of your home tells the whole story. Buyers will notice the beautiful flowers and plants as soon as they pull up to your house, but if they don’t, they have nothing much to like about your home. Remember, people are spending most of their time at home and will have enough time to take care of their yards.
However, landscaping can be extremely expensive, don’t be too extravagant installing fountains and building swimming pools. Keep in mind that you need to make the most out of your sale. So, go for small landscaping projects that won’t dig a big hole in your pocket.
The future of real estate buying and selling is technology. As Canadians continue to embrace working from home, online shopping, and online studies, there is a likelihood that house buying will go virtual. That will mean more work for sellers looking to sell their homes in Ontario. RE/MAX also found that one-third of home buyers prefer working with realtors who offer virtual services to enhance the selling and buying process.
Posting attractive features of your home is the easiest way to capture the attention of buyers. That’s where landscaping, cleaning and painting come into play. To have exceptional pictures, you need to set an exceptional standard. It’s even better if you can hire a skilled photographer. Go for floor plans, HDR photos 3D or virtual tours.
Prospect buyers can view your home—all rooms in 3D and buy physically without ever meeting you. Its Covid times and potential buyers will want to spend their time touring your home from the comfort of their couch, so make sure that it is showcased at its finest online.
Virtual tours will be the order of the day, and soon, you won’t need to get out of bed to sell a property.
Organize your paperwork
Be sure to prepare the documents and keep them ready for potential buyers. Potential buyers are likely to ask lots of questions like list of updates, mortgage details, utility bills and renovation details.
Preparing your paperwork helps you stay a step ahead of everyone else, and you will typically answer every question and present evidence where necessary. Organizing your paperwork shows commitment, responsibility and seriousness. Your real estate agent will do most of the paperwork for you. It’s quite essential that you discuss every aspect of your home with your realtor.
Let them know the best things and the faults in your home. Knowingly concealing flaws can get you into serious trouble. The last thing you want is to have a buyer pull out of an agreement after discovering you were concealing a costly fault or deficiency. You can also be slapped with an expensive lawsuit and asked to compensate your potential buyer.
Choose your price wisely
In a sellers’ market, you dominate. You can choose your price based on what you want, not what it’s worth. Asking prices don’t always matter in Canada, especially in 2021, where there is a low supply and high demand for housing. The fact that Ontario is a sellers market and homes are being sold in record times and at high levels above asking, with almost no conditions, should boost your confidence.
Nobody will sue you for pricing your home a bit lower than the market price in the area. Ideally, you’re looking to attract, initiate buyer excitement and generate a bidding war in a short period of time. If your home meets local livability standards like a larger garage, larger yard and proximity to amenities like schools and park, it is likely to sell faster and at a better rate.
Your home is also a hot sale if you are selling from an area with low inventory like Kingston. Look at the demand and how people respond to similar house prices in the same area to come up with a reasonable price.
Hire a reliable Real Estate agent
To win any war, you need the right weapons, and in your case, a reliable real estate agent is what you need. Working with a professional has many benefits like identifying potential pitfalls, preparing paperwork, finding prospective buyers and negotiating prices and terms on your behalf.
An experienced realtor provides you with the peace of mind you need throughout the process. Additional findings by RE/MAX in 2021 showed that more than 36% of home buyers would prefer to work with a realtor.
Realtors know what buyers want and how to locate them. They are more experienced in price negotiations and can quickly sell your home faster and at a better rate than you can on your own. Remember, it’s entirely your choice whether to engage a real estate agent or not, so go for what works for you.