Advice for House and Condo Sellers in Toronto and Durham Region

The Weir Team works with numerous homeowners who are selling their house or condo all throughout Toronto and Durham Region. As GTA real estate agents who take pride in their work, we always ensure our listings look gorgeous from top to bottom. Although there are some sellers who want to do everything themselves, or think that the only thing that matters is the price, we have the experience of being able to coach real estate sellers in Toronto, Pickering, Ajax and beyond what to do and what not to do when selling your home. No matter what though, preparing your home to go on MLS is usually much more work than most homeowners realize.

After many years working in real estate, The Weir Team sees many of the same things that sellers could have done (or not done) that could have gotten them much better offers and multiple offers. Especially greater Toronto area real estate sellers who work with so-called ‘discount-realtors’ who barely lift a finger to prepare the house for sale. We see it far too often.

And more importantly, we work with so many real estate buyers in Toronto and all across the GTA who all tell us what they like or don’t like about any of the properties we show them. It’s amazing how many things are so simple, yet so many real estate sellers don’t understand why buyers are not interested in purchasing their home or even offering close to asking price.

Selling a house or condo in Leslieville, Riverdale, Riverside, East York, Scarborough and Durham Region involves all sorts of things that The Weir Team have become experts at. The same strategies can apply to selling an automobile, diamond ring and beauty products. It’s all about positioning and aspiration. Although there are certain differences between real estate sellers downtown and real estate sellers in Pickering and Ajax (I’ll save that for another blog), all buyers are pretty much all thinking the same way.

Here are a couple of things that sellers should always keep in mind:

-Should the seller be at home for real estate showings? Absolutely not. Never. Only in the rarest of instances does a seller have the skill to be able to sell their own home. The biggest mistake that home sellers make is that they think people want to buy the seller’s house. Wrong. The buyer wants to buy what they envision as THEIR home not your home. To see the homeowner waiting outside while the buyer is touring the house, or to have the seller hovering or even nearby usually makes the buyer very uncomfortable and ruins the aspirational potential that many home buyers need.

-Should all lights be on or off when selling my home? Put it this way, are display cases dark when you enter a store? Interior lights should ALL be on at all times when real estate showings are occurring. Walking into a dark house is never inviting. Houses that have all lights on are welcoming and imply that the buyer is expected and invited to feel comfortable. It also shows pride of ownership and that there is nothing to hide. Don’t worry about spending a few more dollars for electricity. It could mean the difference of $10,000 on the offer.

Also, the temperature should be comfortable, maybe even a tad too warm when the temperature is below zero. When you’re selling your house or condo in Toronto and Durham Region during the cooler months, cold houses and especially cold floors are rarely attractive. Remember, it’s almost like you want the house to give someone a hug as soon as they enter. I’ve walked into so many houses that are dark and cold that were actually very good houses, but my real estate buyers lost interest as soon as they felt the cold and saw the darkness.

If you’re selling your house or condo, for your own sake, leave the lights on.

One other note about lighting: Cold white energy efficient lighting that looks like fluorescent lighting can also spoil the look and feel of a home and sometimes make an otherwise nice space look cheap. Try to find warm incandescent or halogen light bulbs, at least just for the short time that potential buyers will be touring the house. Hopefully most energy efficient light bulbs will be improving the quality of light they emit soon.

Cleanliness and staging are two other very important areas for home sellers that I will write about separately. But quickly here are a few recommendations about appearance:

-toilets should be fully cleaned with toilet lids DOWN
-ovens and fridges should be spotless
-faucets and handles should be gleaming
-dish rags and dish towels should be put away, no matter how colourful (and NEVER in kitchen photos; they tend to ruin the shot with them raggedly dangling over the stove handle)
-windows should be washed, inside and out

Remember your home should be a showcase if you intend to get multiple offers and spur a bidding war. You’d be surprised how often a dirty bath tub or a smeared faucet can ruin the magic for a potential buyer.

Luckily The Weir Team has a full team of experienced real estate professionals to take care of all details for you. Or, if you prefer, the right advice if you want to do everything yourself to make sure your house shines.

The offer and number of offers you get depends on it.

Written by Scott Hanton, Real Estate Broker for The Weir Team

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