Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, entering into a highly competitive real estate market can be challenging and daunting. The less experience you have with residential real estate, the more likely you are to believe some incredibly common, yet unsubstantiated pieces of misinformation about how the whole process works and what to expect.
Selling your home is a big deal! That’s why it’s important that you do your research and work with a reputable real estate lawyer in Toronto to ensure that you’re getting the full value that you deserve.
To help you get started on the research front, we’ve debunked seven of the most common myths regarding real estate in Toronto, the GTA, and beyond.
Myth #1: Overpricing Your Home Guarantees Better Offers
Never assume that your home is the only one currently on the market that prospective buyers are looking at. Chances are that if someone is in the market to purchase a home, they’re probably weighing all of their options. Your property is just one piece of the massive puzzle.
Overpricing your home won’t give it the luxury appeal you think it will. It won’t make buyers think that your home is automatically worth more than others that are just like it on the market. Actually, this tactic has been proven to have the opposite effect. Serious buyers tend to conduct thorough market research and they’ll consider other homes in your area that are comparable to yours and listed at a lower price without even scheduling a viewing for your property.
Myth #2: The Agent Knocking on Your Door Necessarily Has a Buyer for Your House
Just when you thought that door-to-door salespeople were a relic of the past, you get that all-too familiar real estate agent ringing your doorbell trying to convince you to sell your home to their eager “buyer”. The reality may be that no such buyer actually exists. The likelihood of a random buyer happening to come across your house that’s not for sale and liking it enough to send their real estate over to make you an offer is extremely low.
What you’re really dealing with here is a scenario in which a real estate agent sees an opening in the market and wants to strike while the iron is still hot. This is fine. However, what you should always be doing before picking your agent is understanding their experience, skill level, awareness of your area, etc. Your agent should do a listing presentation, which explains to you what they plan to do to sell your property and why they would list at the price that they recommend.
You can ask each agent that wants to list your house to give you such a presentation and select the one that you feel most comfortable working with. Of course, you should also consider returning to the agent you used to buy the house if you are comfortable, and that agent is still working. In our experience going with an agent who is experienced, good at communication, and trustworthy is always the way to go.
Myth #3: The Longer the Marketing Time, the Better the Offers Will Be
The past year has seen a massive housing boom. Homes across the GTA are selling like hot cakes for exorbitant prices. But this isn’t the norm. Prior to this housing boom, the average amount of time a property listing remained active in Toronto was about 20 days.
Listings that have been on the market for longer than that tend to generate a great deal of suspicion. People start to think that there must be something wrong with the house, the neighbourhood, or even the neighbours if no one is willing to scoop it up in a short period of time. Bottom line: the longer a listing remains on the market, the less likely it is to sell for asking price—or even sell at all.
Myth #4: It Doesn’t Matter Who You Hire, the House Will Sell Itself
This is only true of certain locations and markets. The current real estate climate has a lot to do with how quickly your house sells and the types of offers you’ll get. It’s better to work with a reputable realtor who has your best interests at heart so that they can help you determine the best course of action regarding your property.
A number of factors have to come together at the right time in order for a favourable sale to occur.
- Working with a seller’s market is ideal because that increases the likelihood of selling over asking.
- The perception of the home based on preparation and marketing materials makes a huge difference.
- The number of people who view the home in a private booking or open house and place an offer also matters.
Myth #5: Receiving a Quick First Offer Means You’ve Undervalued Your Home
Several factors are at play here. Either you have a great house that’s in a highly desirable neighbourhood with stylish high-end upgrades or someone is presenting you with a lowball offer. Regardless of the situation, you should have confidence in the value of your home, but you should also keep an open mind about how it’s perceived by others.
After all, you’ve done all of the research and you know what other similar properties in your area are selling for. Don’t assume that a quick offer necessarily means you’re undervaluing your home and definitely don’t second guess yourself. Take the time to carefully review and consider the offer. Run through all of the details with a fine-toothed comb and hire a good real estate closing lawyer in Toronto before you accept or decline so that you can make the right decision.
Myth #6: You’ll Always Get a Return on Renovations
This is a common misconception amongst many homeowners that can lead to a great deal of frustration when it doesn’t necessarily turn out the way they’d hoped. Sure, you can spend a great deal of money on bathroom, kitchen, and basement renovations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get the asking amount that you think your home is worth.
Obviously, some renovations have more value than others, but sometimes the market can be insanely out of control and unpredictable.
Instead of focusing on renovations, focus on making a great first impression. Since the exterior is the first thing people see when viewing your home, you should make sure that it’s properly maintained and clean at all times if you plan on selling your home.
Myth #7: Online Valuations Are Totally Dependable
Online valuations are certainly a good starting point when trying to determine the value of your home, but they don’t quite paint an entirely accurate picture of everything your property has to offer. In addition to this, you should invite a real estate agent to view and valuate your home in person using their expertise.
At Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers, we have over 50 years of experience working in the Toronto real estate market. We’ve literally seen it all! From market crashes to sales spikes, our team of home buying lawyers have the experience and knowledge to advise clients on how to effectively list and sell their homes. Contact us today to book a consultation.