Updates on the Greater Toronto Area resale housing market have been prominent in recent news headlines, and with good reason.
People from around the world are excited about living in our city and statistics reflect this fact: August, for example, saw 7,998 homes changing hands.
And if you are one of the people who have decided to downsize into a condo and you’re ready to put your house on the market, listing your property in the fall has several distinct advantages. Among them is the more limited competition your property will face in the autumn market and that buyers are drawn to the cosy indoors once temperatures start to drop.
The exterior is your first impression of a home. Making your home stand out with spectacular fall landscaping is a simple undertaking. Hearty mums, ornamental grasses and kale are inexpensive purchases that will give your property curb appeal and make a great first impression with buyers. Complete a neat appearance outside by trimming shrubs, pruning trees, weeding the lawn and sealing the driveway.
Many homeowners opt for a home inspection prior to listing the property. This inspection can help identify small inexpensive fixes and allow you to address any larger concerns before presenting the property to buyers. This small undertaking can help make the sale go smoother, faster, and get you the best selling price for your property. To get ready for an inspection, ensure functional elements such as the windows, fireplace and furnace are clean and in working order, scheduling professional maintenance for the latter. At the very least, replace your furnace filter so that fresh air is circulating throughout your home.
De-cluttering and de-personalizing your home goes without saying, but before you do so, take a ruthless approach to dealing with discarded items that typically find a home in the garage. Once you’re knee deep in packing boxes, you’ll need the extra garage space to pile them. In fact, when it comes to all storage areas — the garage, closets, drawers and cabinets — it’s essential that they’re as tidy as possible so that you don’t risk buyers questioning whether you have enough home organization space.
While you’re packing make an effort to compile documents that will help your realtor market your home, such as a survey, property tax and utility bills, appliance manuals and warranties, and a list of paint colours used throughout the house. Frequent showings mean you’ll soon be spending less time at home so get a jump on chores normally reserved for fall such as cleaning gutters, caulking around windows and doors, and touching up exterior paint.
Painting will probably be needed inside your home as well because the way you live in a house and how you take it to market are completely different. If you have a bright red feature wall, now is a good time to transition to a neutral palette and, at a minimum, be sure to repaint all white trim around the house. This simple and affordable fix-up offers the best return on investment.
Even if your walls don’t need a colour overhaul, you’ll find that they need patching and touch-up painting after your personal effects come down. This can be a time-consuming process so the sooner you get started, the better.
Once the packing and fix-ups are complete, ensure your home remains spotlessly clean and smelling great at all times.
Last year saw 92,783 home sales throughout the GTA at an average price of $566,631, and this year’s market is on track to surpass these results. Once you become part of the action remember that it’s important to detach from your current surroundings, focus on the future, and trust that your realtor will work in your best interest while bringing an objective approach to the process.
Talk to a Toronto Real Estate Board realtor for updates on the market, and visit TorontoRealEstateBoard.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a commercial realtor by visiting TREBCommercial.com.
MARK MCLEAN is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 39,000 realtors in the Greater Toronto Area. Write to Mark to share your thoughts and questions at email@example.com.