Welcome to this month’s installment of 'Dear urbaneer', where we tackle tough – but vital – questions that we've received from clients.
This time around, we're helping a client who needs to sell his home in a hurry. He is seeking reassurance that he’ll be able to complete a speedy sale and get top dollar for his home.
I’ve just received a promotion at work, which is something I’ve been working towards for a long time. I’m stoked that I’ve achieved this milestone, but there's a bit of a catch: I need to relocate immediately. Unfortunately, this means I urgently need to sell my home in Toronto. A quick sale is essential, but I don’t want to have to take a hit on price because of it. What do you recommend I do to sell quickly and get top dollar too?
Signed, For Sale and Quick!
Here is our response:
Dear For Sale and Quick:
Congratulations on your career promotion! While achieving such a goal is cause for celebration, we completely understand how the consequent circumstances are causing you stress; selling your home on a tight timeline can seem incredibly daunting. Let us assuage your concerns.
First, remember that, for all Sellers, regardless of circumstance, the objective is almost always to get their property sold as soon as possible and for the most money, right? No one likes feeling obliged to keep their home in 'show condition' for a lengthy period, or having to endure the disruption of constantly vacating for showings.
But inconveniences aside, there are many reasons to absolutely require a fast sale: perhaps you've firmed up on another house purchase and don’t want the hassle and expense of owning two houses at the same time, perhaps you've experienced an abrupt change because of life events (divorce, death or illness), or perhaps, as you are experiencing, a drastic change at work takes you by surprise. These are times when speedy sales are not just more convenient or less intrusive – they are a necessity.
Although Toronto's property market is still piping hot, how fast your place might sell can have a lot to do with the property type, its location, the state of your property, and competing listings on the market that are similar to yours. After all, few of us have the perfect panoramic penthouse in the most-desirable neighbourhood with a terrace and two-car parking! However, if a fast sale is your objective, and you don’t want to leave your fate in the hands of shifting market dynamics, your success (and the speed of said success) will rely almost exclusively on wisely choosing the right realtor. At the end of the day, they're the ones who are both equipped and responsible for implementing an aggressive successful selling strategy specifically tailored to your property and your needs. At urbaneer, we employ proven actionable steps that have been gleaned from – and distilled by – over twenty-five years of experience. Want to sell your house or condo fast? Here are some of urbaneer’s best tips.
Certainly, when planning to bring your property to market, you’ve got to take steps to guarantee it shows its best self. And if time is of the essence, it is small details like this appeal that can either expedite success or present clumsy roadblocks to moving forward.
The very first thing you have to do? Purge, purge and purge some more. Not only will de-cluttering help enhance your available space – it will also speed things up when it comes time to move! So, get rid of as much as you can (donate! donate! donate!). It’s also crucial to neutralize the space by removing anything too personal (or taste specific). Yes, it's important that Sellers express their personal sense of 'home' in their furnishings but remember, buyers are not just looking for a property; they are seeking a place to lay down their own roots, express themselves, and create life-long memories. Your space must allow these Buyers to easily envision themselves living there, which includes creating a neutral canvas that they can easily see as their own.
Though it might sound obvious, make sure that your house is squeaky clean (don’t forget inside drawers and cupboards too). Now is not the time to take on major renovation projects, but ensuring things are in good repair (fix those broken handles/leaky faucets etc.) will go a long way. At urbaneer, we have a team of professionals ready to call to assist our busy clients on a moment's notice, including a sparkling cleaning company plus our exacting contractor whom we've used for the past 18 years. Sometimes you just need to bring in the professionals!
Finally, a small but meaningful step towards getting your house sold super fast is actually as simple as a coat of paint and/or new broadloom! A fresh paint job and contemporary broadloom will refresh your space and give it new life. While complementing your furnishings, be sure to select neutral colours that will appeal to the broadest customer base. Need assistance? We can make all the arrangements, and even help choose the right colours, to get your property on the market lickety-split!
When it comes to choosing a realtor, make sure they have a reliable roster of tradespeople who can assist you promptly. Even the trickiest of transformations can often be executed quickly and efficiently if you have a well-connected realtor. And remember, sometimes it's not just about getting your house sold quickly, but ensuring the realtor you hire is ready to embrace the entire home preparation and selling process so you can focus on other matters. A top realtor will expedite your sale not only quickly but ensure the process is easy-peasey and stress-free for you. Have a bit more time to prepare your property? Here's our Seven Home Runs To Achieve Top Dollar!
Set The Stage
Undoubtedly, in our HGTV-obsessed society, you are familiar with the concept of staging. With the proliferation and popularity of this media stream, buyers have expectations of a well-staged home as a baseline. Here's one of our more recent and very popular posts called Behold The HGTV Effect On Toronto Real Estate that's worth a read.
At urbaneer, as part of our comprehensive service, we provide our Style Enhancement service, where we help homeowners fuse their own belongings with some from our stylish cache – or for larger projects using one of our preferred staging firms – to create an optimum showcase. A design palette that is suitably fresh and on trend, while also playing to your property's strengths, will better appeal to a today's Buyers who are bombarded by images of contemporary, impeccably-styled spaces every day in the media.
The sense of 'Home' is a crucial intangible that is key to an expeditious sale of your home, and involves striking that delicate balance between a space that looks happily lived-in and a space that is well-styled and has broad appeal. Urbaneer can help you, room by room, to make sure that each space is neutral and expressing the best use of its space. Also, since photos – or even videos – can create a compelling reason to entice buyers to see your home, ensure that the areas are well-lit and appealing when staging or styling.
Creating a memorable impact for the buyer as soon as they cross the threshold relies heavily on the multi-sensory experience that staging and style enhancement create. It’s always essential, but even more so if you are on a strict timeline for your sale. Oh, and don't forget to have a great music playlist that appeals to your target market!
The Price Is Right
Pricing is another crucial factor when determining how fast your home will sell. Obviously you want top dollar, but you have to be careful on being too unrealistic or greedy; for having predetermined expectations can stop a speedy sale in its tracks. By the same token, you want to be sure that your home is priced fairly and competitively, so that you get the most money possible.
When pricing a property, comparable sales in your area are a good barometer to guide you. Price your home either near these prices or slightly below. If you are competing against similar properties on the market in the area, it can be strategic to price your home more aggressively. Other factors to consider include the state of your home (i.e. Is it modern and up-to-date? Are renovations needed? If so, how much will that cost the future Buyer?) and its location (it’s fair to charge a premium for a AAA location that is close to amenities). Does your home boast any unique features which could be a selling (and pricing premium) point? Having pioneered the Innovative Space Market in Toronto through the 1990s and 2000s, we're well-versed in pricing properties with unusual qualities and features and, being well-versed in the latest styles and design trends, we can counsel you on how to present your property to your target market. Here's one of Steve's own journeys called How I Came To Transform A Vintage Home In Charlottetown, PEI that demonstrates his design eye.
Attention condo owners: this last point is particularly relevant when looking at selling a condominium, where buyers will happily pay a premium for unique qualities, good finishes, and a thoughtful floor plan – anything that can help set your space apart from the conventional will serve you well. Take a moment to read a past Dear urbaneer post called “Dear urbaneer: How Do I Boost The Value Of My Condominium?”. At urbaneer, with our specialty in buying and selling unique urban spaces, we know how to create value-enhanced qualities that will make your place shine ahead of the competition.
Did you know there are Seasons To Real Estate? When you come to market for sale can have a big bearing on value, and your pricing strategy as well. If you are in the slower season (i.e. during Holiday) there will be less stock on the market, but less competition and a smaller pool of Buyers as well. However, it's important to point out that the typical seasonal market dynamics don’t always apply to the hot Toronto property market. Toronto operates in line with it's own unique set of variables, which is yet another reason to enlist the support of a knowledgeable, experienced realtor (like urbaneer!). Check out our most recent seasonal Toronto Real Estate Market Forecasts, which reflect our efforts to keep a finger on the pulse of the market!
A swift response to 'timing the market' can translate into a swift and profitable sale. Be confident your realtor can explain who your target market is so you can factor it into setting your asking price.
The Marketing Plan
When time is limited, clear impactful marketing that delivers directly to your target market is crucial. And, as we said before, choosing a realtor who has the experience, contacts, and resources to create and employ such marketing is paramount.; it will likely mean the difference between delivering you to your goal (quick sale, top dollar) or leaving you hoping for the best (Maybe it will sell. Maybe it will sell fast. Maybe I’ll get top dollar?). Urbaneer has decades of experience in helping clients achieve swift and profitable sales. We reduce the stress of the experience with detailed strategies and with numerous actionable market steps. And it works – just ask our clients! Here are some of our most recent Testimonials.
In terms of marketing, make sure you choose a realtor who is actively engaged in promoting their listings. For example, at urbaneer we create urgency and buzz using top notch professional photography, compelling promotional copy, and glossy printed materials including floor plans. We recommend you hire a realtor who executes a consistent direct mail campaign (we deliver over 25,000 flyers promoting our listings each month), a comprehensive social media presence (we post three to five original content blogs – like this one – on housing, culture and design in Toronto on either LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ each week with a consistent Twitter rotation), and cultivates a relationship with the media (we're consistently featured in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life and BlogTO). Finally, inquire how long the realtor you're considering has been in the industry, so you can better ascertain how extensive their network of contacts and track record of success.
Show It Off
Once you've engaged a realtor who has demonstrated the value they can bring to ensure a successful quick sale, and they've counseled and steered you on what your property requires to look its best, it’s time to present your place to the market! There are differing strategies we employ to get as many Buyers as possibly over the threshold, which vary according to the dynamics of the market in that moment in time, your specific type of property and its micro-location. Once we've tailored a sales program that complements your own level of comfort, we implement it systematically so we can effectively convert as many Buyers from having an 'expression of interest' into 'a commitment to purchase'. When time is of the essence, we set a clear showing schedule when Buyers can view your property, while keeping a close record on the showings that are booked, who is booking them, and subsequently engaging them for feedback. An experienced realtor familiar with your neighbourhood should be able to indicate the number of showings you should be getting, and the best process to generate more than one bid.
Having been selling in the original City of Toronto for over two decades, we have working relationships with the city's other top producers. As part of this top tier of realtors who collectively sell the majority of listings, you may be surprised to learn we frequently counsel and support each other. After all, our Buyers and Sellers may come and go, but true success in real estate requires having credibility, consistency and a sterling relationship with other realtors who can place their trust in you to know your client is bona-fide. Choose your realtor carefully, for this is one of the most invaluable benefits of selecting a Top Producing realtor with a consistent sales history in your neighbourhood.
Want to learn more about Steve and the urbaneer team? Here's why Steve – with a multi-disciplinary education and a graduate degree in housing – is consistently one of the Top Ten realtors at Bosley Real Estate Ltd. Read more about what makes us distinctive!
Are you wanting to sell your property quickly while achieving top dollar? With solid strategies built on experience, tactical planning, market trends and a superior skillset, please know we are here to help!
~ Steven and the urbaneer team
earn you trust, then your business
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000
Like what you've read? Consider signing up in the box below to receive our FREE monthly e-newsletter on housing, culture and design including our love for unique urban homes and other Toronto real estate!
Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve's Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, product and real estate in Canada!