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A realtor’s tips for selling your home

Couple shaking hands with realtor

In this post, the second of two parts, we asked Toronto realtor, Anne Marie Lorusso of Freeman Real Estate Ltd. five questions about selling a home in a market affected by COVID-19.

Q1: Have you noticed any change in the volume of inquiries from those planning to sell their home this year?

Yes, I would say I am getting more calls than expected from people who are planning to sell their home. COVID-19 has required many people to work from home, putting space constraints on their current living arrangements as they try to accommodate home offices and children’s learning environments. Consequently, a trend toward more defined spaces is growing. There are some concerns among homeowners over the increased number of condo listings, but we won’t know about any long-term impact on the market for some time.

Q2: Are the physical distancing requirements of COVID-19 having an impact on the number of buyers who are coming out to see properties?

There was a bit of a slow down from when we first shut down in the middle of March until about May, but things are back to a new normal now. As people have grown accustomed to more vigilant cleaning protocols, wearing masks and using hand sanitizer at every turn, it’s less of a hindrance for buyers and sellers.

Those planning to sell their home should know that many prospective purchasers are now privately viewing homes when they may previously have waited for an open house. This may require a little extra patience on behalf of sellers as you make time for private showings.

Q3: Would you say 2020 is still a good year to sell a home?

While 2020 has presented a number of challenges, it’s a great year to sell a home as inventory is low and so too are interest rates. This may change towards the end of the year and early into next year if companies reassess their workforce and annual bonuses, but there is more demand for houses than supply in Toronto right now.

Q4: Are there any special staging requirements or preparation those selling their home should consider?

Staging is still the key to getting the highest possible sale price for your home. Most of the properties you’ll be competing with will be at least lightly staged inside and out. The goal is to give buyers that “wow factor” with purposed, aspirational décor. I truly believe that professional staging can lead to a return of two or three times your investment. Your realtor should be able to connect you with professionals who can help you maximize your investment when preparing your home for sale.

Q5: What advice would you give to someone planning to sell a home within the next year?

When there is more demand than supply, a home in good condition will sell easily. For homes in less-than-ideal condition, careful consultation with your realtor will help prevent it from lingering on the market. That may mean budgeting some time and money for staging and home repairs, so be sure to meet with your realtor early on to make a plan of action.

While we often hear talk of the “spring” market, homes sell at every time of the year. That said, there are cases when a home sale is best held for the right time of year. For example, homes with a pool in good condition can fetch a higher sale price in the spring when prospective buyers can visualize themselves lounging by the pool in the near future.

There are often questions about whether to sell a home before buying the next one or buy first and then sell. Your realtor can help you decide which is the right choice based on your circumstances. Either way, your needs will be well served by speaking with a qualified mortgage broker to obtain a pre-qualification for a mortgage and to lock-in a rate guarantee for three months. You’ll be glad you did when you find your new dream home!

Many thanks to Anne Marie for taking the time to answer our questions! Care to learn more about working with a mortgage broker? Visit our recent blog post on the subject.

Are you looking for information on buying a home? Read part one of our interview with Anne Marie Lorusso.

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