1. Be Aware of the Market
Before even considering to list your home to sell, it is essential to know the market. Ask yourself questions like: What is the supply/demand for my home style in the current market, and in my neighbourhood? What new construction has recently or are scheduled to be completed within the next year that may appeal to buyers that would be interested in my home? What homes have sold in the last 6 months in my immediate area, and what did they sell for? How many homes are currently listed for sale in my immediate area that are comparable to my home, and what are they listed for? How many days on the market does it take, on average these comparable homes to sell? If you are selling a condo, how many units are currently listed for sale in your building, and how do they compare to your unit? The Realtor you choose should be able to help you in assessing the current market and help you develop a listing strategy.
2. Be Different & Unique
One challenge that homeowners and especially condo owners face, is that there can be a lot of similar comparables available for sale at one time in your area. This gives buyers more selection to choose from when searching for a condo in your building. One way of making your unit stand out, is to market the unique features that are associated with your unit, that makes it stand out from the competition. For example, have you upgraded the flooring? Installed a custom kitchen & upgraded the appliances? Have you renovated or customized the washroom? Have you installed upgraded light fixtures or custom window coverings? Have you added any custom built in closets or cabinetry to the condo? Have you added square footage to your home by doing an addition or extension? Have you upgraded your outdoor space or landscaping? Any upgrades that you have done should be highlighted and marketed in your feature sheets, virtual tour/website as well as your MLS listing, and will make your unit stand out when compared against the competition.
3. Be Priced to Sell
Your pricing strategy can be your ally or your foe. Arguably, the list price of your home is the most important factor that will determine how quickly your home sells. If your home is priced too high, you will be missing valuable prospect buyers that are searching within your list price range. Pricing too low, could result in your home selling for below market value, before being able to hear from all buyers who have potential offers. Ultimately, you would want to price it competitively, based on current previously sold statistics, and adjust your pricing based on market conditions and unique features that your unit has over the comparables. Your Realtor of choice should be able to assist you in compiling a Comparative Market Analysis and suggest a pricing strategy.
4. Prepare, De-Clutter & Stage
You want to present your home to buyers in top condition possible. This means fixing any deficiencies in your home such as broken door hardware, cabinetry hinges, and patch any damaged drywall. A fresh coat of paint is a low investment and will do wonders for your listing strategy. De-clutter wherever possible, and decorate your home with a minimalist feel, giving the impression of space and airiness. Home staging is another option that I would consider. While I am not a fan of complete home staging, as buyer’s may feel that the unit may look fake and not lived in, I would advise on bringing in some unique staging pieces that could give your home that extra polished feel. Some staging suggestion items could include: fresh flowers, plants, decorative branches, & decorative sofa & bed pillows. Be sure to ask your realtor of choice for advice on home staging, or third party home staging services that they may offer.
5. Highlight Building & Neighbourhood Amenities
Another way of making your home stand out is to mention amenities that are specific to your home, and building for condo owners. For example, does your house utilize any energy saving technologies such as solar panels, geothermal heating or LED light bulbs? Similarly, Condo owners should be sure to mention any building amenities which could include such examples as a gym, pool, party room, theater, or rooftop terrace.
Neighbourhood amenities are equally important to buyers in search for a home. Some of the top neighbourhood amenities that are valued by today’s Toronto and GTA home buyers are: walking distance to public transportation/TTC, proximity to quality schools, proximity to hospitals, being in a walk-able neighbourhood (i.e. close to local restaurants, malls and shops), proximity to local community centres, proximity to places of worship and proximity to major highways.
Being aware of the local market, having realistic selling expectations, emphasizing your home’s strengths and making your home inviting and appealing to buyers will give you the greatest chance of selling your home in less time and for the price you want!
Wishing the best of luck to all the homeowners planning on listing their home to sell this spring!