In the world of Toronto real estate, the precautionary measures necessary to mitigate against COVID-19 has resulted in strict protocols when viewing properties offered for sale. After reviewing the online promotional material including floor plans, feature sheets, a presale inspection report plus photographs and/or a video, only the prospective buyers who will be going on title are granted access – as long as they confirm they do not believe they’ve been at risk of exposure, they agree to wear masks, sanitize their hands and agree not to touch anything including door handles and light switches. Children or other family members are prohibited from viewing to reduce the risk of exposure and buyer showings are spaced apart so that no two sets of interested parties pass each other on the property.
More often than not, the owner agrees to vacate the property for a period of time so that the potential parade of viewings can occur uninterrupted. Often the owner will rent furnished accommodations nearby for a week or so while the dwelling is listed for sale, and because this made sense in terms of safety and security in our pandemic climate, it meant we saw more and more property owners embrace the List Low Holdback Approach whereby the property is offered for sale for a sum below market value, the dwelling is available for viewing until a specific date and time when interested buyers can submit their bids in competition against other buyers in the hopes of securing the property. Furthermore, because Sellers were keen to facilitate a sale as promptly as possible, we also saw more Sellers willing to consider pre-emptive offers from Buyers, which is when they submit their offer in advance of the offer date outlined on the listing.
As the New Year unfolded, an unanticipated thaw occurred (both in the weather and in the psyche of buyers and sellers) in an already strong market attributed to The Season Of COVID-19, which brought a flurry of bully offers and bidding wars for properties of all types and in all price points. This duplicated the momentum we typically experience during the Spring real estate market which, in Toronto, typically runs from January through May (allowing for some potential interference from winter blizzards). In other words, pent-up demand for property continued to build such that prices started escalating at a substantial pace – to such an extent that it caused many to suggest the federal government intervene with policy (which it did not beyond mentioning a vacancy tax was forthcoming on property’s left unoccupied for periods longer than 6 months) while others warned we were at risk of a housing bubble (which spooked many buyers to sit on the sidelines, where many still remain today).
If there’s one other factor that ebbs and flows in the psyche of Torontonians of late, it’s the potentiality that COVID-19 fatigue might slam you at any moment. Although the announcement of the vaccine at the beginning of November 2020 prompted people to rally and buy into the belief that the pandemic would soon be over, many didn’t fully process that it would take upwards of a year to vaccinate everyone. And while the condominium market started to recover from the decline in values that had been underway since March 2020 (in some instances over 10%) it outpaced the short-lived optimism as the media reported delays in securing sufficient dosages while a third wave rolled through Ontario’s manufacturing industries and the provincial government was called out on ineffective policy and an unnecessary curfew.
Although the past year saw our traditional seasons to real estate disrupted as Canadians implemented their own response to the pandemic (like buying a country home or cottage) which has fueled both sales volume and prices, I suspect this year we may see the market go tepid when Torontonians traditionally head out of the city for the summer. This may occur for an extended period – but one mitigating factor will be people getting vaccinated and whether they remain in the city for that purpose.
When we brought this Edwardian semi-detached dwelling steps to Trinity Bellwoods Park to market for sale in the first week of April, only the most serious of Buyers were viewing properties, so it was critical we ensured our pricing strategy and marketing program were on point. We can assure you, selling real estate during a global pandemic is definitely a challenge!
Here’s how we did it.
When you enlist the services of my team in the marketing and sale of your Toronto property, in addition to custom-crafting a visually arresting online and print sales prospectus that shines the spotlight on your home, we create engaging original content that celebrates the popular local everyday amenities beloved by your community.
We find promoting the day-to-day village life that a potential new owner will enjoy once the pandemic has passed – highlighting top restaurants, nearby green spaces, recreation opportunities, and engaging cultural amenities – particularly effective in increasing the interest in the property itself. After all, any house hunter will tell you that finding a home that is ‘the one’ has as much to do with where it is as with what it is. That’s because your life extends far beyond those four walls, into the community that surrounds them.
Take, for example, Living Hip, Just A Hop From Trinity Bellwoods Park we brought to market for $1,249,000. First, leading up to the list date, we created and printed a thousand Just Listed Cards that were distributed to the neighbourhood, and utilized teaser ‘Coming Soon’ images distributed to social media to build hype surrounding the property.
Offered for sale using the List Low Holdback Strategy, we spent seven days leading up to the offer date promoting the heck out of this stylish property to its target market, rolling out several pieces of engaging urban lifestyle content which we posted on our social media feeds including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Every one of the blogs above ends with a call to action to view our Trinity Bellwoods listing, and each was promoted through our various social media platforms.
In fact, our listing on Urbaneer.com – Living Hip, Just A Hop From Trinity Bellwoods Park – received a record amount of views!
Every realtor who showed the property received a digital promotions package which included all our Amenity Content promoting the area, in addition to the Sale Prospectus. This helped convert potential Buyers into active Bidders.
Listed for $1,249,000, our Seller received eight competitive offers, and accepted a condition-free for $1,757,000 on the offer date, accompanied by a $100,000 bank draft.
Ensuring a quick and profitable sale is all about understanding the market’s layers and momentum as it relates to your own specific property segment. Whether you are buying or selling, this market requires a well-thought-out strategy derived from data, comprehension, and historical knowledge gleaned from decades of experience.
Want to learn more? These two blogs share our approach and strategy to marketing, including Social Media:
Psssst… it works!
Toronto is a city where intricate patchworks of distinct real estate weave together to form a wide variety of housing options and dynamic neighbourhood pockets with their own unique character and vibe! Not sure where you fit in? Here’s a blog you might like: Finding Your Quadrant In The City Of TorontoF. And poke through our Neighbourhood Pages featuring flavour videos, city census data on the area, amenity blogs, and past listings!!
Are you planning to sell your home – today or down the road? With my finger on the pulse of the market today, as well as a shrewd and strategic of profitably real estate ownership for the future, we are here to help!
My team and I are here to help!
With decades of experience navigating the ever-changing Toronto real estate market, a commitment to promote the sale of properties like yours with interesting and relevant information, and the ability to guide Buyers with credible insights and well-informed guidance, we are here to help without pressure or hassle.
Thanks for reading!
-The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-800
– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –
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*Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve’s University Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, products and real estate in Canada.