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When is the Best Time to Sell Your Home?

Understanding the real estate market in 2020/21.

Is the era of COVID-19 a good time to sell your home?

You’re no doubt aware of the “Hot Real Estate Market” that has emerged during COVID-19. News stories talk about pent up demand, increasing and unprecedented prices, multiple offers, and low mortgage rates. Much of the GTA and Golden Horseshoe is experiencing a shortage of inventory, creating a sellers’ market. If selling, you will most likely realize a very good profit on your investment. You may also, in turn, be purchasing in this market.

The best time of year to sell a house.

In better times, spring is traditionally the busiest time to sell. Families hope to get settled before the kids start back to school in September. Autumn tends to be the second most active time. Competition to attract buyers is at its highest during these peak trading seasons.

Summer is too short in Ontario. Nobody wants to buy a house in July or August when they can be out enjoying the weather. Obviously. Right? And, who wants to slog through deep snow drifts to see a house in January?

Serious buyers – that’s who.

Properties are bought and sold 365 days a year. In fact, selling your home in what is considered to be “off season” can work to your advantage, as it’s not lost in a sea of daily new listings. Open house may attract actual buyers and fewer of the simply curious. Only the motivated are intent on booking a showing appointment in the middle of a winter snowstorm.

But – as we have witnessed – nothing in these times bears any resemblance to the norm.

It's important to be fully informed about market conditions.

No one needs to tell you what’s on the line. Finding the right time to sell can mean the difference of tens of thousands of dollars from the sale of your property. This balancing act is rarely a simple matter.

Research the current real estate conditions for your region and know what type of dwelling is most in demand – entry level, single detached or maybe executive townhomes. Check comparable listings in your neighbourhood to discover not only the selling price, but the number of days the property was on the market. Investigate if selling in a sellers’ market is the best choice for your circumstances.

The Real Estate market is a fickle creature. It can .. does .. and has in the past changed almost overnight.

Owners wanting to take advantage of a robust situation may flood the MLS® System, suddenly outweighing the number of buyers searching for a home. Qualified purchasers may simply give up the search in a competitive atmosphere. High prices and mortgage conditions could make the dream of home ownership unattainable for many.

And just like that .. a buyers’ market has been created.

Interest rate changes, pandemic restrictions, any number of external factors could trigger a completely different housing landscape.

Ask yourself if you're prepared to sell.

Start with the practical considerations. Does your home show at its best – or does it need renovations? Are updates expected in your area to fetch a higher selling price? At the very minimum you will need to allow time to declutter and clean, and staging may well be worth your time and expense. Don’t forget, throughout all four seasons the value of curb appeal should never be neglected or underestimated.

It’s not merely mortar and bricks. This was the house you chose to make into a HOME for your family. Emotionally, are you ready to let go and move on to another property or neighbourhood? Does the sale of your current residence represent a shift-up or a downsizing move and what are the implications for your specific scenario?

Of critical importance – is it financially sound?

Do you have sufficient equity in your home to make selling a sensible decision? Additionally, take the time to calculate the gains you hope to realize after expected transactional expenses.

  • mortgage fees and/or penalties
  • legal fees and closing costs
  • tax implications
  • renovations, staging, cleaning
  • commissions
  • moving expenses
  • expenditures associated with the purchase of another home

Mortgage, legal and tax concerns should unfailingly be discussed with the respective experts. Mortgage products are wide ranging and a mortgage company/consultant has the tools to find the most appropriate loan for your family. Lawyers who specialize in real estate will explain the adjustments and closing costs involved for the seller and buyer, and an accountant or financial planner is invaluable in determining your money matters.

Preparing your home for sale will involve at the very minimum an investment in some good cleaning products. The cost of any renovations and updates are specific to your project. If hiring an outside contractor, check with the BBB, get several quotes, and always, always, get reliable and verifiable references. Moving expenses will again depend on your unique situation.

Real estate commissions are determined at the onset – making budgeting straightforward.

Expenses for your next home will include an inspection, the possible need for repairs and remodelling, the cost of utility hook-ups, and often the purchase of new furniture.

Perhaps the question to ask is "Why should I sell?"

Reasons for selling can be as complicated or simple, and as varied and abundant, as the number of homes available on the real estate market at any given point.

  1. The family has outgrown your present home.
  2. You may find yourself needing to relocate for work.
  3. Financial and/or family dynamics have changed.
  4. Empty nesters deciding to spend less time on maintenance and yard work.
  5. It’s time to downsize and retire.

Whatever the incentive, moving a household is a great deal of physical work and often stressful.  On the other hand, it is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of your family.

“WHY should I sell?”  You alone can answer this question. “WHEN is a good time to sell?” … ANYTIME.

Top Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash
Cheryl Tym, Sales Representative, REMAX Aboutowne Realty Corp., Brokerage
Cheryl Tym
REALTOR®, RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp., Brokerage

A full time REALTOR® dedicated to providing the best possible service and outcome for clients and their families. International sales, marketing and negotiating skills were part of the daily routine while living and working overseas as Director of Operations for an international hospitality marketing firm. A graduate of Sheridan’s Interior Design Program, and recipient of the Professionalism Award, my artistry and knowledge will highlight the very best features of your property, inside and out.

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CHERYL TYM, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp., Brokerage
Independently Owned and Operated
A-309 Lakeshore Road East
Oakville, Ontario, L6J 1J3
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