Over the last several months, rising interest rates have resulted in shifting Ontario real estate markets. What was once solidly sellers' territory has teetered, offering an opportunity for buyers to pounce with planning and precision.
But just because the province's markets have moved from a primarily sellers' stance doesn't mean that anyone looking to relocate is out of luck.
According to Raj Masrani, Broker of Record in Ontario for FairSquare Group Realty, the trick to listing a home for sale in current market conditions is simple: be pragmatic -- and be informed.
"Those who sell just need to be realistic when pricing a home," Masrani tells STOREYS. "It's easy to get caught up with what homes were selling for in the last few months, however, the market has shifted, so sellers do need to make some adjustments in their list price."
On the flip side, Masrani notes that anything a seller prepares to buy will have seen similar price adjustments. So long as the seller enters their transaction with an idea of their real estate priorities, and they understand what those corresponding list prices may look like, they needn't hold back from entering the market at this time.
Of course, sellers must also consider their location. Depending on where in Ontario a property is being listed, how much its value has shifted will vary.
"It all depends on the area -- in the GTA, you're seeing detached and semi-detached home prices declining more than those of townhomes or condos," Masrani explains, adding the ever-present real estate truth: "[It's all about] location, location, location."
Regardless of where one is listing their home, a few tips Masrani suggests for setup and staging remain consistent.
"Your home should be in tip-top shape," he says. "Think of it as opening night. Most buyers buy through emotion, so your home should be decluttered, freshly painted, minimalist."
He also notes the importance of landscaping and curb appeal, particularly at this time of year.
"The lighting of the house is important; change those lightbulbs to 100w, so it's nice and bright. The ambiance of the home -- the music, the aroma -- everything matters. And again, really investigate -- in detail -- your list price. You want to attract the most buyers in the first few days after listing."
When it comes to the other side of the seller's situation -- purchasing -- Masrani encourages not buying firm, and instead putting a conditional offer on a new home when yours hits the market. And then, once you secure a conditional offer on your own home, you'll have space to firm up your purchase. Above all, he encourages seeking support from a qualified professional.
Beyond this tangible advice, Masrani also offers some general takeaways relevant any time someone is gearing up to sell their home.
"You can never time the market. Do what's right for your circumstances, and do not panic sell, or buy. Make a well-informed decision," he says. "Make sure you do your research, and don’t get caught up with what you could have got a few months ago -- focus on the now."
This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.