The Toronto fall real estate market – something hot on everyone’s mind as we get into the hight of the selling season. What will happen? Will it be a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? What will happen to prices?
These are questions we often get at this time of year, so we wanted to weigh in with our thoughts. Now, no one has a crystal ball so things can change at any time. But with over 10 years of experience in the market, $150 Million in transactions and our financial background, we tend to think we have a pretty solid grasp on what could happen.
Real Estate and Interest Rates
Many reports have consistently stated that interest rates are scheduled to go down in the first quarter of 2020. Many reports also state that rates will go down once again in late 2020. It’s important to note these two predictions and treat them as separate events as they will both impact the market.
Fixed interest rates are already down from previous years, and that trend is predicted to continue. You can find this information in multiple places and through trusted reporting resources.
What is the impact on lending? Some lenders are currently offering fixed rates that are lower than current variable rates. But buyer beware – we suggest working with an experienced mortgage broker to help you decipher between the two options, and also read and examine the fine print. Sometimes, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But this reemphasizes our number one step in buying real estate – get pre-approved first and educate yourself on the different types of mortgages.
Interest Rates & Fall Real Estate Buyers
We’re already seeing the trend of buyer confidence increasing, even now in the summer months. Buyers are looking to make a move in Toronto real estate – renters are looking to buy their first condo, couples are looking at up-sizing from condos to houses, and first-time investors are looking to step into the market via pre-construction condos. We’re seeing this first-hand among our clients, and hearing about this trend from fellow brokers.
With the news of interest rates being lowered, this will only stimulate buyer confidence further. Now some will see this as increased buying power and that may be the case for most. But we still warn buyers about managing costs, so they don’t get themselves into a bad position when it comes to their finances and expenses.
We warn buyers to look at their monthly costs and base their buying power around that, then their pre-approval. Just because you are approved for a $1.5 Million-dollar mortgage doesn’t mean that’s what you can afford.
If you’re able to match your monthly expenses to your increased pre-approval, then you should have confidence in taking advantage of your newly found spending power. But always, always look at your monthly costs. Look at your savings. Talk with a mortgage broker and financial planner. Talk to your realtor and make an informed decision.
Impact on Real Estate
We believe the Toronto market will see an increase in the number of buyers this fall season. Buyers who are prepared to take advantage of their increase in spending power and lower interest rates will be tempted into the market.
We also predict an increase in the number of listings hitting the market once the summer season comes to a close. Families will be returning from vacations; kids are back to school and young professionals are back into their traditional daily routine. People will be focused on what’s next, rather than what cottage are we visiting on the weekend.
Earlier in this blog post we mentioned the two-phased lowering of rates, and this is where that fact comes into play. Since the predictions point to a drop in rates, buyers will not feel pressure to make a move quickly. They know they can wait until the spring market if they don’t find exactly what they’re looking for. Buyers will have time on their side.
Sellers will feel the pressure to present the best possible condo or house if they plan to list. Sellers will see a lot of foot traffic and showings, but likely won’t see very many multiple offer situations.
What’s the best way to prepare your home for sale in the fall? Here are our best tips.
Tips for Preparing Your Home for Sale in the Fall
Clean Up the Yard
Rake leaves and debris in your lawn. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home. Cutaway summer vines and cut down dead flowers.
Create Autumn Curb Appeal
The most popular autumn flowers are chrysanthemums (or mums), and they bloom for a long time. Marigolds are another idea for fall. Both mums and marigolds are available in yellow, which is a fantastic, bright color. Plant them in pots. Place pots on the steps and along the sidewalk. Accent with pumpkins or other types of squash.
Dress the Windows
Rain and wind from over the summer months can make your windows dusty and streaked by autumn. You might not notice smudges, but buyers will, if only on a subconscious level. Your windows need to sparkle to sell a home. You’ll need to wash my windows inside and out every autumn. Remove screens and spray them down.
Check the HVAC
You want the air inside your home to smell fresh. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? Check the HVAC system before you need to turn on the heater. Besides, the buyer will ask a home inspector to look at your HVAC. If you discover problems with your furnace, it’s better to fix them before your home goes on the market.
Turn on the Lights Everywhere
Above all, bring in the light. When days get shorter, the sun sets lower in the horizon and casts wider shadows. Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, push back the drapes on every window. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten darker rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture.
If you’re able to present your house or condo to buyers who are ready to pounce and are priced strategically, you’ll sell.
Buyers agents will need to work harder than ever to find that perfect house or condo for their buyers. It’s not about spending days and days looking at potential homes – work with a realtor who knows how to show you what you want, and get the deal done in the best possible way for you, the buyer.
Pressure will also be on listing realtors to market your listing in the most strategic way to attract those buyers who are ready, or convince those who are ready but not rushed. Timing, pricing and marketing all need to be well thought-out and planned. Work with a realtor who has experience in this type of market – a financial background, market analytics and a strong social media and marketing campaign.
If you can put the right equation together, regardless if you’re a buyer or seller, you’ll realize the success that can be had in Toronto’s fall real estate market.