Hi there, readers!
I’m Nadia Clark, one of the Urbaneer Team and I’m sharing a ‘tale from the real estate trenches’ that will make you believe in miracles – or at least have you breaking a sweat on my behalf!
Imagine this: a scorching summer heat wave, the clock ticking to another looming interest rate hike, and a penthouse in need of TLC. If you think selling real estate is all about sipping martinis and swiping pretty pictures, think again! Let me take you behind the scenes of my latest crazy adventure!
In the days following the Bank of Canada’s June 2023 interest rate increase, my Sellers and I knew they had to act fast. We saw how last year’s June and July rate hikes had killed the summer market, sending Toronto home prices spiralling. We weren’t sure what to expect this year, with two rate hikes poised to hit the summer market, so we decided it was best to get ahead of it. So, with steely resolve, my sellers and I set an audacious challenge: to sell their penthouse by July 11th, the day before the next rate hike was due to hit the market.
But wait, there’s more! The penthouse came with its own set of challenges: a vacating, work-from-home tenant who could only provide limited access to the suite. They were moving out July 4th, leaving us with a mere seven days to turn around a just-vacated furnished lease and have it sold at a favourable price. We set an (almost!) impossible date of July 5th, to post to MLS by the following afternoon. That left us with only 24 hours to move out old lease furniture, professionally deep clean the suite to sparkling, and to effectively mini-stage for a luxury sale. Talk about sweating under pressure!
Luckily, I thrive on challenges. My secret weapon was a carefully crafted listing and marketing strategy. I conducted an in-depth study for my sellers, comparing various listing strategies recently used on their street, and we analyzed the results each had achieved. From this, the choice was clear: we opted for a low list price with a set offer date, while still entertaining pre-emptive offers. It was bold, but fortune favours the brave, right?
Now, let me tell you about our “Coming Soon!” marketing blitz. With the clock ticking faster than ever, we decided to list exclusively first so we could advertise. We had no time to take fresh photos, so we re-used our previous furnished lease photography, worked some digital wizardry to “virtually remove” the old furniture, then “virtually staged” it with modern furniture. Voila! The final advertising images looked great! To spread the word, I wrote a “Coming Soon!” blog on Urbaneer.com, which we pushed out to our social networks. I mailed out glossy postcards to 2000 homes in the area, ran an ad in the prestigious Globe and Mail newspaper, and bam! The phones started ringing and I was already lining up showing appointments for the evening we’d post to MLS. Talk about creating a buzz!
Then a new hurdle crossed our path. The evening the tenant vacated, we discovered the penthouse needed some serious maintenance after their less-than-stellar housekeeping skills. Did I mention the wrap-around rooftop terrace, one of our key selling features? The sellers found it covered in weeds! They sent me their disheartening photos and asked that we make time to weed the next day (in the searing hot sun, yikes!) But I couldn’t wait – I went over that very night, spending the next two hours weeding the terrace to an immaculate state while enjoying a beautiful sunset over the Toronto skyline. (You’d NEVER see this in “Selling Sunset,” lest they break a painted nail!) When my sellers arrived the next morning, they were in for a happy surprise.
As the sun rose on July 5th, it was all systems go! Our property manager and superintendent were there, assisting with building and parking logistics. My sellers were on-site, playing a crucial role in packing up the kitchen and touching up paint throughout the suite. Our team of professional movers arrived, ready to execute my moving plan. As they did the heavy lifting, the sellers helped in directing items being moved to vehicles outside, to their underground storage room, and to designated donation and disposal spots. I also arranged for a junk removal team to whisk away the mountain of donation items waiting for them outside. By mid-morning, the place was looking noticeably different. Everything was falling into place – but we still had a long way to go.
Our professional cleaner arrived early and worked tirelessly, as she stayed out of the way of the movers. While the cleaner worked her magic, the sellers left with their car full of furniture, and I headed to the garden center to pick up a slew of potted plants and flowers for the terrace. Once the terrace was transformed (into a slice of paradise!) I set to work on mini-staging the rooms inside, while the cleaner and I danced out of each other’s way. The MLS listing was posted that afternoon and we continued to work for the next couple of hours. At last, the penthouse looked fabulous, and we were literally mopping our way out the door, just in time for the first showing appointment. It was a whirlwind of a day, but we pulled it off – mission accomplished!
Next, the real fun began. As soon as we posted to MLS, my phone started buzzing with showing appointment requests. The next day, we welcomed in realtors for a private agent open house, and we juggled back-to-back buyer showings, taking full advantage of the vacant suite to maximize it’s showing potential.
And a touch of drama! During one of the terrace showings, I accidentally stirred up a wasp nest and found myself under attack by an irate wasp, who relentlessly stung my hand several times! Ignoring the pain, I ushered the buyers inside and continued the showing without missing a beat. (Then called property management, to take care of the wasp nest!)
And then, our big break happened. While I was presenting my next showing, an exciting notification popped up – our first pre-emptive offer! And that was just the beginning. I alerted our showing agents, then two more offers quickly followed suit, triggering an early offer night, much to our sellers’ delight. Negotiations ensued over the next few hours and before the night was over, the sellers accepted an excellent offer, and the penthouse was officially sold firm. We had moved, cleaned, staged and sold in only 48 hours. Sweet victory!
In the end, it was a triumph of teamwork, strategy, and a whole lot of sweat (literally). We turned the odds in our favour, conquered the challenges, and made the impossible happen. It was a high-speed, real estate adventure and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world! And my happy, grateful clients made it even that much more rewarding.
So, the next time you think selling luxury condos is all about Instagram posting, sipping cocktails and enjoying the view, remember Strategy, Sweat & Success: An Accelerated Penthouse Sale!
Successfully selling real estate is an intentional combination of research, strategic planning, targeted marketing, effective communication, logistics, and actual hard work. It can be crazy, unpredictable, and downright exhausting – but it’s the thrill of the ride that keeps us coming back for more.
Until the next whirlwind sale,
Nadia Clark @ The Urbaneer Team
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