Our partners at our new brokerage, Property.ca, recently published a blog article on some of the worst real estate advice we’ve heard. It was geared towards the Toronto housing market but there are a lot of points here that are pertinent to buyers and sellers of Toronto lofts as well. We’ve pulled out a few for you here.
If you’re thinking of selling your Toronto loft this year or you’re a buyer starting to look at lofts for sale in Toronto, here are some “helpful” pieces of advice that you may want to think twice about taking.
Hey, why not give it a shot and throw our hat in the ring with a low offer? You never know, right? This is perhaps the worst advice a Realtor can give you. Bidding way under ask on Toronto lofts for sale that have a ton of other bidders does hurt you. And everyone else that tries to buy the next loft in that building / neighbourhood.
A bidding war is like an auction–each hand that goes up drives the final sales price up even further. But here’s the kicker: aggressive bidding wars not only increase sales prices on the property in question, they raise values within the building as a whole and potentially, across the entire area.
If you have your heart set on a particular loft building or neighbourhood, you’re shooting yourself in the foot for the next property and contributing to this trend of Toronto housing prices increasing by leaps and bounds (versus more moderate annual appreciation). In some neighbourhoods, this cycle is leading to potentially dangerous over-valuation. It’s less of a phenomenon with Toronto lofts than with houses but it does still happen. So bid wisely. You can read more tips on our partner site about how to buy in a hot real estate market.
This one’s not exactly untrue but rather not as significant a factor in the Toronto loft market as it used to be. Prices of homes for sale in Toronto do traditionally rise as the weather heats up but with the crazy surge in sale prices we saw this past winter, the gap between winter and spring sales prices is closing.
The old truths about seasonal real estate don’t hold the same weight as they used. Other factors (listings shortages, mortgage rates, etc.) are much stronger factors in determining market conditions. And so don’t obsess with trying to time the market as it’ll drive you nuts and it can really be unpredictable. The best time to buy is when you feel ready to make the move and you can afford it. The best time to sell is when there’s a shortage of comparable listings in your building and neighbourhood, regardless of the time of year.
There are times when open houses make a lot of sense but in the majority of cases, open houses are for nosy neighbours, casual weekend viewers (Toronto’s full of real estate weekend warriors who love to see what’s out there but aren’t serious about buying) and Realtors who use them to drum up new business.
It's no secret; we Realtors live or die by our sales leads. Open houses are one of the best avenues to get those leads because it gets realtors face-to-face with potential buyers who don’t yet have representation. It also allows realtors to get to know your neighbours who may be thinking about selling once they see the sales price of your loft. But how much does all of this really help you as the seller? Well, it’s debatable. Sometimes, it does help drive a frenzy of interest before offer date, other times it’s really unnecessary. A Realtor should only be advising that you to have an open house if it's in your best interest as a seller and not theirs.
If your loft shows well, is in a good building and neighbourhood and is priced right, don’t feel pressured to have an open house if you’re not comfortable with it. Some sellers aren’t and that’s ok.
Unfortunately, many are and that’s what’s perpetuated this negative view of Realtors. We firmly believe that the era of the generalist Realtor is over. While there are many good generalist Realtors out there, there are also a lot of glorified taxi drivers who just drive you from house to house and fill out paperwork.
Any Realtor can reference TREB reports (you can too, they're available publicly online), pull comps or comb through MLS listings but this base level of performance is just not good enough because there is no general “Toronto real estate market” anymore. There are markets by property type–what’s happening in the Toronto loft market is very different than what’s happening in the Toronto housing market for example–and there are markets by building, by neighbourhood, even by street.
We believe in the need for specialist Realtors so much that we’ve structured our entire business around this philosophy. Our Property.ca team focuses on buying and selling houses in Toronto and acts as the overall brokerage for our partner companies–Condos.ca whose team specializes in condos and of course our team at MrLOFT.ca. We specialize solely in authentic lofts and character properties.
Within each team there are neighbourhood experts along with in-house, proprietary real estate data and analytics so that we can deliver insights and advice tailored to your specific needs. We believe that specialist Realtors with more detailed analytics at their fingertips leads to smarter buying and selling decisions. You are unique as are your property needs. Don’t settle for a generalist.
Image © Kotin from Shutterstock.