4 12, 2019

Buying & Selling During the Winter in Toronto

Leslieville, Toronto street with snow on lawns and roof tops. A woman walks along the sidewalk towards a row of parked cars.

When spring arrives in Toronto, so too do the for-sale signs on front lawns.

That’s the Toronto real estate market for you. Despite the fact that as Canadians we should feel comfortable doing just about anything in the dead of winter, there’s something about home sales in the snow that seem to turn off buyers and sellers. However, you’re actually being a little short-sighted if you believe this.

Spring is great if you want to fight with more competition, but if you want to be a little more seller savvy, the winter is the time to hit those buyers when inventories are low. As a buyer, you’ll also face less competition and avoid those nasty, tiresome bidding wars that can interfere with getting your dream home. Here are some advantages to the Toronto housing market in the dead of winter whether you are buying or selling.

The Inventory

Seller:  We’re leading with this because the winter months will definitely see a reduction in the number of homes available for sale in Toronto. As a seller, this is awesome news because for the buyers out there suddenly even a ho-hum home starts to look pretty good. You’ll be less worried about presenting your home to keep up with the Jones down the street and reap the benefits of having the best house in the area. This could get you a better price thanks to the laws of supply and demand, but really only if you’re in a highly desirable area. Otherwise, you might get some low-ball offers since there will be fewer buyers and those putting in an offer know it.

Buyer: Home buyers will be faced with the very challenge we mention above. You will have fewer homes to choose from which means you might not find exactly what you want. However, it’s never a good time to ensure you will find the exact house you want. This tends to be a pretty tall order. As well, you might find some sellers are looking for more money if they’re not desperate to sell but instead are taking advantage of the inventory angle. Of course, you can also be in the driver’s seat if they aren’t getting as many offers as they hoped.

No Bidding Wars

Seller: While in the summer there are plenty of buyers chomping at the bit to buy your home, you’ll not likely see that in the winter. That means you could miss out on a bidding war that can really bump up your price. However, again if you are in a highly desirable area the shortage of inventory in Toronto real estate at this time of year could still work in your favour if you happen to attract desperate buyers who are having trouble finding something in the winter.

Buyer: While there are fewer homes on the market, there are also fewer buyers. This reduces your competition and helps you avoid the dreaded bidding war scenario and exorbitant home prices. As one of the few willing to brave the cold and consider buying a home when the rest of the city has visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, you will be a sought-after commodity in a frigid and unwelcoming environment.

Leverage the Season

Seller: The holidays trigger strong emotions that can work in your favour when selling in the winter. You can get your home all spiffed up in your holiday finery and pull on some heartstrings to get a sale. At the same time, this could backfire on you in a city as diverse as Toronto. You might narrow down your buyer appeal when people of other cultures visit your home.

Buyer: The season might not affect you much one way or the other. You should, however, be cautious if you do visit a home decked out for the holidays, and you celebrate Christmas because it could persuade you to make a decision that is more emotional than logical. And remember, what better way to hide imperfections than Christmas décor?

Winter Readiness

Seller: You can turn up the fire or jack up the heat, so buyers see your home is cozy and winter-ready. However, you also want to avoid people noticing things like how long your driveway is and how much snow shoveling that will entail. Avoid massive snow piles on your property and keep things looking as low maintenance as possible. This includes knocking the icicles off the eavestroughs to keep people focused on the positives of the home.

Buyers: There’s much to be said about learning first-hand whether or not the heat in the home works. You can also get a look at the fireplace to see if it is fully functional. Take note of how much winter maintenance is required on the property when heavy snowfalls hit.

Motivated

Sellers: Because of low inventory and the time of year, you might find more buyers are motivated to put in an offer. They will be having trouble finding homes to view, so yours will become far more appealing. As well, people looking at homes in the dead of winter tend to be more serious. While a bored person might think it would be fun to go “window shopping” for a house in the summer, most will not put on their coat and boots to schlep around viewing homes they don’t intend to buy in the winter.

Buyers: Sellers who put their homes on the market tend to be more motivated to sell. They need to make a move for some reason or other and you can take advantage of that motivation, often with terms in your favour, not to mention a lower offer.

Seasonal Bonuses

Sellers: Many buyers might be happy to make a more generous offer or put down more cash upfront because they are expecting some cash in way of bonuses or even an income tax return.

Buyers: First-time buyers can be primed to take advantage of incoming windfalls like Christmas bonuses or income tax returns to put down more when you buy in the winter. By the time summer rolls around you know that money will be spent.

Overall, there is much to be said about buying or selling a home in the winter housing market. Other than sellers having to worry about wet boots trudging through their homes. Buyers having to do the trudging, it could be the very best time for a real estate transaction. Winter in Toronto – buying and selling.

 

Have questions? Contact Us.

21 02, 2019

3 Packing Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve chosen your moving company and booked the movers, but there’s one thing that still needs to be done before the big day: packing up your belongings. Before you get too excited and begin stuffing your boxes with all your stuff, make sure that you’re setting yourself up for a smooth and efficient move. Mindless packing can end up taking a lot of otherwise unnecessary time and energy to fix—a combination that could cost you, as you’re most likely paying for the movers by the hour. “Sometimes people will complain and not tip the guys because it took so long,” says Cezar Iordan, owner of Moovers Chicago, “They don’t realize that it took so long because of the simple mistakes they made.”

Red brick wall with a stack of moving boxes on a hand cart being pulled.

So what are these mistakes? Here, Iordan reveals the three most-common packing blunders he sees, as well as the quick fixes to make your moving day as painless as possible.

Packing Books in Large Boxes

Why it’s a problem: We understand—you want to keep your beloved book collection in just one or two boxes. But Iordan says that this strategy slows the process down as huge, heavy boxes are incredibly difficult for movers to lift and carry—not even their trusty moving straps make it easier.

What’s more, Iordan says people often don’t tape these hefty boxes properly—they’ll usually put only one line of tape on the bottom of the box. “They have 100-pound boxes they want us to move and have them in perfect shape when they’re dropped off,” he says. “When you have a huge, large box full of books, the bottom of it will collapse and everything will fall out.”

The fix: Pack books in small boxes and reinforce with multiple strips of tape. While you may have more boxes, it’s easier for the movers, who can carry several smaller boxes with their moving straps.

Not Labeling Your Boxes Clearly or Correctly

Why it’s a problem: Reusing those old boxes from your last move? That’s fine, but make sure that any and all labels from previous moves be removed or covered—multiple labels make it difficult to know exactly in which room it should be placed. “Imagine you’re holding the box and asking a client where they want the box to go, but they don’t know what’s inside so they have to open it up and see what’s inside,” he says. “It will drag the duration of the move out.”

The fix: Cover or cross out all previous labels and put one very clear label on the side of the box, not the top. “Since we use dollies or straps, we carry four or five boxes at a time which makes it impossible to see the top of every box,” Iordan says.

Not Packing Your Fragile Items Properly

Why it’s a problem: “People will put all of their fragile items in a box without any kind of bubble wrap, paper, or peanuts, and expect the items to be in perfect condition after the move,” Ioran says. “That’s just impossible.” The good news? Many professional moving companies (like Moovers) will refuse to move the precious cargo until it’s properly wrapped (but this adds a lot of time onto the actual move).

The fix: Wrap your fragile items with care while packing. “Always, always, always wrap anything made of glass in bubble wrap to ensure that nothing gets damaged,” he says. You’ll thank yourself for putting in the extra time when moving day comes, and the movers will thank you, too.

 

source: apartment therapy

23 06, 2014

REAL ESTATE 101 – WHAT IS A BULLY OFFER?

You’ve probably heard the term “bully offer” (aka pre-emptive Offer) before but may not know what it means. Basically, the listing agent will list a property on MLS and then have a set offers date. There are usually two reasons for having a set offers date. 1) The property has been intentionally listed below market value in an attempt to generate competition on offers night. 2) The seller and/or listing agent want to make sure that the property gains sufficient exposure to the market before considering offers. Your buyer’s agent should be able to establish the intention of holding off on offers by speaking with the listing agent and researching comparable sales.

SCENARIO
So… now the property is on the market with a set date for offers. Let’s make the assumption here that the property is significantly under priced. Let’s say that today is Friday and offers are being reviewed on Monday. Let’s also assume there are public open houses on both Saturday and Sunday where a lot of potential buyers will view the property. While the majority of buyers will wait until Monday to make an offer as specified by the listing agent, there is always a possibility of a buyer submitting a “bully offer” before Monday. It will likely be substantially higher than the list price and will not likely contain any conditions. The goal here is to scoop up the property before too many people see it and to make an offer that is tempting enough that the seller will not want to risk letting it go and waiting until Monday with hopes of a better offer. Note that even with the set offers date, a seller is still able to consider a “bully offer” although they are not obligated to.

TIPS FOR A SELLER IN THIS SCENARIO
If you are going to consider a “bully offer”, make sure that your agent advises all parties who have viewed the property of this “bully offer” in order to try to generate competition with the bully offer. A good realtor will know to do this as it’s in the seller’s best interest. Unfortunately a “not so good” realtor will fail to do this and often the seller will be the victim because a buyer who was waiting until Monday may have had a better offer but didn’t even know the bully offer existed.

TIPS FOR THE BUYER IN THIS SCENARIO
First and foremost, if you view a property that you plan to make an offer on but you are waiting until offers night, make sure your agent asks the listing agent specifically to let them know if any bully offers come in. As well, if it’s a Friday and offers date is Monday, make sure you get a bank draft on the Friday as a back up in case a bully offer comes in over the weekend.

When making the “bully offer”, make sure that your offer is strong (5,000 over asking usually won’t do the trick) and if possible don’t include any conditions in the offer. A short irrevocable date is also a good strategy to allow the listing agent less time to drum up competition.

So there you go! That’s a “bully offer” in a nutshell. Remember that every scenario is different and as such, the strategy and process will change accordingly. If you have any other questions on this topic, feel free to give us a call at 416.465.7850.

Do you have a real estate question that you would like us to write about? Email it to us at info@rosswebpro.com.

Ford Thurston
Sales Representative

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