Spring is not quite here, but the Toronto real estate market has woken from its winter slumber already. Weeks of relative quiet have been replaced with sellers and their agents furiously preparing to get their houses on the market. The “spring market” is go-time for everybody in the business of real estate, including all those looking to buy or sell. If you’re looking to sell your home and want to mobilize quickly, here are some tips to help ensure you’ll come out on top:
The best way to be prepared to hit the ground running, especially when you’ve just purchased a home and realize you’ll need to sell ASAP, is to hire a team that takes care of the cleaning, staging, and photography. Dealing with home preparation can add weeks to your potential listing date. Homes that are professionally staged sell for more and teams that have in-house staging departments can mobilize before you’d even have a quote from a typical staging company. Scheduling cleaners, home staging and photography is something your agent should be taking care of for you, but if they have an in-house team taking care of it you can expect to avoid any unnecessary delays. I can’t think of anything more annoying than waiting an extra few weeks to list because someone else wasn’t ready. If you’re ready to pull the trigger, hire a team who’ll be right there with you.
Marie Kondo Your Home
Tidying up has never sparked joy for me, so I can sympathize with putting it off, but if you’re seriously thinking about listing your home in the coming weeks and months, now is the time to be cleaning out the basement. Pre-listing work can catch potential sellers off guard. Walk through your house with a critical eye, as though it were the open house of your next home. What doesn’t belong? Pre-list work can be described as anything that needs to be done to get your home ready to be photographed and listed for sale. Odd jobs such as replacing a light fixture, emptying overflowing closets, and getting rid of unwanted items from your ‘catch-all’ room or basement are typically the kinds of things involved. Take a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and get purging. You’ll be steps ahead of the game and amazed about how much better you feel about your upcoming move.
Plan Ahead and Break it up
Like so many things in life, planning just makes things easier. You’ll be far better off if you have a work-back schedule from your earliest possible listing date. Make a list, break it up into manageable pieces, and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of friends and family. Beer and pizza go a long way so call in a few favours and remind people of all the good karma they’ll be curating. A wise agent once told me that you can choose between cheap, fast, and good, but you can only choose two. If it’s cheap and fast, it won’t be good. If it’s good and fast, it won’t be cheap. This applies to odd jobs you might need to hire out for like painting, repairs, moving, storage, and removal. Planning ahead can save you money in addition to saving you stress. Always consider how much your time is worth too. In normal circumstances, you might never dream of employing people to move and store your possessions, but when you have a to-do list that makes you anxious, it might just be worth every penny.
Have Your Paperwork in Order
Whether it’s your first rodeo or you consider yourself an old pro, review your paperwork and make sure you have everything you’ll need for when you’re finally ready to go. Over-communicating with your agent is one good way to make sure you stay on top of things. Having an agent who is a superb communicator is an even better way. You’ll want to work with someone who’ll walk you through every step and help get you ready for steps you didn’t see coming. You’ll be navigating through one of, if not the biggest transaction of your life. Be prepared to ask questions, and work with someone who will ask you questions you never even thought of.
The days and weeks leading up to someone selling their home can be stressful, but a lot can be done to avoid unnecessary stress. Hiring an agent with all the resources you need to sell your home for the most money is the first step in the right direction. After that, planning, purging, and dotting every I and crossing every T should take you across the finish line without so much as breaking a sweat. The best time to sell is always when the market is hot. Keep your cool and plan ahead.
Writer: Kiel Storms. To read more about him, click here.