When you're looking for someone to help you sort through all of the available Toronto condos on the market and choose the one that is right for you, you will find that there are those that call themselves real estate agents or realtors and those that are listed as being real estate brokers. You will want to find the person who is best going to be able to work with you and might not know exactly what these terms mean and who will be best. We can help you define these different professionals and can point you towards the right guide to your next home.
One of the things that people commonly associate with living in a modern condo is a sort of glamorous life. You are usually going to be living in a downtown location and are steps away from all of the entertainment and nightlife options that you could want. Condos also come with amenities and there are several that you would not see in a standard home. If you're looking for a life that includes some luxury then you might want to look at living in one of the downtown condo complexes that are being created for just this purpose.
Do you think Real Estate agents charge a too much money?
10 years ago agents would have been able to justify a 5% or 6% commission, but not today.
Over 80% of buyers are finding properties and agents from the internet. So now all the agent has to do is input your listing into the local MLS system and the buyers will find it automatically.
Do you know how long it takes to input a listing in the MLS system?
Half an hour to maximum one hour! After that EVERY agent in the Area will know about it and ANY buyer ANYWHERE in the world will know about it.
Do you know how much a traditional agent wants to charge you for that one hour of work?
Anywhere from 2 percent for himself (the listing agent) and 2.5 for the agent bringing in the buyer (the buyer’s agent). The commission usually totals 4.5% to 5%. Do you think 2% is a lot of money for 1 hour’s of work?
If you own a $300,000 house that equals $6,000 just for his end. That does not include $7,500 paid to the buyer’s agent.
How long did it take you to build up the equity in your home?
And the agent wants to just come and take it away for a few hours of work.
There is a better way, find yourself an agent in your area that will give to a fixed low price rate for listing, say 1%, you can then save yourself the other amount for yourself, if he sells your property he will still make the selling agents commission but you won’t pay the large amount for 1 hours work.
Here’s a few tips from my condos downtown Toronto specialist Franco Dinatale, on when to sell your home.
Deciding When To Sell
People decide to sell for a wide variety of reasons. It could be a work- related move, expansion to make space for new arrivals, or less need for space due to a reduction in the number of family members living at home. Some people just fancy a change every once in a while and others decide to cash in when they think they’ve ridden price rises as far as they can.
Before you start, think about what is involved in the whole process, how long it is likely to take, any external time or financial pressures that you may have and any other constraints that there may be, such as buying a new home to move into.
If time is a critical factor in your sale, then you could be in for a stressful time, so make sure you give yourself as much of it as possible. Not everything that can go wrong necessarily will, but cutting time deadlines fine will only add to the pressure and stress of what is already a far from hassle free experience.
Don’t rely on the sale going through incredibly quickly. Even if you do find a buyer quickly, there are all sorts of other reasons why delays can hold up the sale. You rarely have much influence over when a buyer will come along or how long your property will be on the market.
One other important thing to do is to check with your lender that you are not going to be hit with all sorts of redemption penalties when you redeem your mortgage. As the costs of selling and buying mount up, you don’t want to be hit with a bill for what can amount to thousands of dollars. If you do have to move but there are redemption penalties, try to consider other alternatives such as renting, at least until the redemption period is over.
When To Sell
For vendors, certain times of year are definitely more favourable than others.
March to July tends to be the busiest time in the property market, though late summer and early autumn can also be busy in some places.
High summer tends to be a bit slower. This is due to people being on holiday or coping with the kids being at home. People are often unwilling or not able to view, exchange, co-ordinate and complete the necessary activities with the many distractions that summer has to offer.
Apart from the traditional seasonal ebbs and flows of the market, conditions can be become ripe for a vendor at any time, so always try to keep and an eye or an ear on the market. It may sound obvious, but try to sell when demand is high, as prices will be pushed up – something that clearly benefits you.
If, like most people, you are trying to co-ordinate buying and selling a home, it is best to put your home up for sale before you seriously start looking for a new home to live in. Until you find a buyer for your own home, you cannot tell with any certainty what price you are going to achieve (and therefore how much you are going to have available for a purchase) or how long it will be before you are in a position to go through with a purchase. Of course, if money is less of an object, or you’re not against the idea of bridging finance, then this becomes much less of an issue.
When Not To Sell
The worst time to sell is when there are fewest buyers in the market. If interest rates are temporarily raised to calm the market, you may find that buyers are in short supply. If both your next door neighbours put identical houses up for sale at the same time, it may be a bad idea for you to do the same. So once again, try to follow the markets and read the signs. Following the news on this site should keep you in the picture.
In terms of the four seasons, autumn generally sees the housing market slow down. The reason for this is that winter tends not to be such a popular time for buyers, with the Christmas period a time when few people like to be moving . Most buyers tend to prefer to wait until the new year.
Having said that, some properties have certain characteristics that are best seen at certain time of year. The sun may set beautifully giving rise to a fantastic view from one of the rooms for only a few months of the year or you may have a fantastic view during the winter months, which is obscured by greenery during the summer.
At the end of the day, much depends on your property. If it is in a sought after location, you should have no problem selling at a reasonable asking price regardless of the time of year or market conditions. Then again, if there are strong reasons that may put buyers off from acquiring your property, these are likely to be valid objections regardless of whether demand has gone through the roof in the market as a whole. But it does no harm to play the percentages and do everything possible to gain as much advantage for yourself as possible.
Franco Dinatale has been selling Toronto condos and lofts for many years and can advise you on the best time to sell and what to do to make sure you get the best price in the quickest time.
For those of you who want to do it yourself and can’t afford a home staging firm, here’s a few tips from my Toronto waterfront condos specialist Franco Dinatale
It’s always a good idea to spruce up the exterior and interior of your home before listing it for sale. But that doesn’t mean you have to undertake major and/or expensive project.
Just a little effort will greatly increase the perceived value of your home. After all, if you wanted to undertake a large-scale project, you probably wouldn’t be selling!
Here are some simple steps you can take to increase the perceived value of your home and make a great first impression.
- Keep lawns cut
- Trim hedges and shrubs
- Weed and edge gardens
- Clear driveway and clean up oil spills
- Clean out garage
- Power wash
- Touch up paint
- Plant colorful, inexpensive flowers – in pots if necessary
At The Front Door
- Clean porch and foyer
- Ensure door bell works
- Repair any broken screens
- Fresh paint or varnish front door
- Repair door locks and key access
Create a Buying Mood
- Make sure your home smells fresh and clean
- Turn on lights
- Turn on air conditioner/heater
- Open the drapes
- Light the fireplace
- Clear halls and stairs of clutter
- Store surplus furniture
- Clear kitchen counter and stove top
- Clear closets of unnecessary clothing and “stuff”
- Remove empty boxes and containers
- Put away personal photos so buyers can envision the house as theirs
- Repair leaking taps and toilets
- Clean furnace and filters
- Tighten door knobs and latches
- Repair cracked plaster
- Apply fresh coat of pain or touch up where necessary
- Clean and repair windows
- Repair seals around tubs and basins
- Replace defective light bulbs
- Oil squeaking doors
- Repair squeaking floor boards
- Clean and freshen bathrooms
- Clean fridge and stove (in and out)
- Clean around heating vents
- Clean washer and dryer
- Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds
- Eliminate pet odors and stains
Franco Dinatale has been selling Toronto Lakeshore condos for many years and can advise you on the best time to sell and what to do to make sure you get the best price in the quickest time.