If you’re shopping in the Toronto condo and loft market, scrolling the daily real estate listings becomes second nature. Wake up, now what? Check the listings. Lunch break at work, check the listings. Email notification from your real estate agent? Check the listings. LISTINGS ARE LIFE. The new ones immediately catch your eye and ignite a flicker of excitement at the prospect of achieving dream-home ownership. On the flip side, the condos and lofts that keep re-appearing in your feed that have been sitting on the market seem to blend into the background. Particularly in a hot market, a condo or loft that isn’t selling can attract negative attention. Here are a few common reasons why a condo or loft is not selling.
Some Good News
As a condo or loft owner and seller, your objective is twofold: to sell your condo or loft as quickly as possible, and for the highest possible price. The beauty of owning real estate (whether as a principal residence or for investment purposes) is that historically, it has yielded solid returns to Torontonians who are in it for the long haul. The proceeds can be used to upsize to a bigger home, retire, travel, invest, or fund life’s next big milestone.
The number of prospective buyers in Toronto has increased, which should be music to those who have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the right time to sell their unit. The RE/MAX 2020 Housing Market Outlook Report found that 51% of Canadians are considering buying a property in the next five years. This number is up from 36% the previous year.
The report also reveals that inventory will likely tighten in a number of major housing markets across Canada – and when the number of homes for sale falls and demand continues to rise, you end up with seller’s market conditions. For sellers who don’t seem to be having any luck, this begs the question, are homes selling in this market? Why is my condo or loft not selling? Why is my condo or loft not showing? My condo or loft isn’t selling, should I lower the price? Before you jump to any conclusions, here are some common reasons your condo or loft is not selling.
Reasons Your Condo or Loft is Not Selling
1. Wrong List Price
To you, your condo or loft may be priceless. After all, you have an emotional attachment to the place you call “home.” However, to a buyer, that is not the case. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what the unit owner, or even the listing agent, thinks a condo or loft is worth. The only thing that matters is what the buyer is willing to pay for it.
The right listing price will likely be a combination of a few factors, such as the market conditions, the unit’s condition and the seller’s circumstances. You need to connect with a top real estate agent who can give you the hard numbers – the comparables. Your real estate agent will pull recent sales of comparable condos or lofts in the same building. Then, based on the condition of the unit and how desperate you are to sell, your agent will recommend a listing price.
The list price is the first impression buyers will have of your unit. When a buyer decides to start shopping for a new unit, step one is creating a budget. With this number in hand, step two is to browse online listings, within that price range. Success can come down to a few dollars over or below that specific threshold. This is why it’s important to be realistic when it comes to pricing the unit.
While overpricing a unit is a concern, so too is underpricing it. Buyers may wrongly assume that a unit priced well below market value has something wrong with it, or that the seller is hoping for a bidding war – both turn-offs for buyers.
2. Bad Listing Photos
Believe it or not, bad listing photos can be a reason that your unit is not selling.
Enter the real estate photographer and this adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. Your real estate agent will arrange for listing photos that will show your unit in the best possible light.
On the flip side, don’t be a catfish. Nothing is worse than falling in love with the listing photos and taking the time to attend a showing, only to discover that it isn’t as presented.
Good and honest listing photos are a critical part of your selling strategy.
3. Didn’t Stage the Unit
While it’s important to showcase your listing in a realistic way, it never hurts to do a little primping before putting listing your unit. Some buyers have trouble seeing past what a unit is and visualizing what it could be. Staging a unit can help highlight its best features, minimize the worst, and give prospective buyers some inspiration as to how they can use the space.
Remember that as a seller, you’re not only selling the unit but you’re also selling the idea of “home”. This is why putting an empty unit on the market can be a big mistake. An empty unit may leave the impression that it is smaller than it actually is, or that it’s uncared for.
4. Unfavourable Market Conditions
When it comes to selling your unit, there are many things within your control. Others are a wild card, as far as the seller is concerned. Factors such as a growing or declining population, economic conditions, interest rates, demand and supply can all be reasons why a unit is not selling.
What you can control, however, is when you choose to sell your condo or loft. An experienced real estate agent can help you time the market. Casey has the market experience to speak to what is happening in the real estate landscape, and to predict what may happen down the road.
While you can’t control things like the job and real estate markets, these are still important factors to consider when deciding if now is a good time to sell. Determine when your unit is most appealing to buyers. The return of spring tends to rouse buyers out of hibernation. Similarly, keep your ear to the ground for other circumstances that may affect home-buying trends, such as an upcoming employment boom or new developments in your area that may increase demand.
Sometimes it can be tough to pinpoint the exact reason a condo or loft isn’t selling. At other times, it’s painfully clear. Consult Casey Ragan for important insight on what you’re doing (or not doing) that may help or hinder the sale.
If you want to buy or sell a Toronto condo or loft, contact Casey Ragan at 416-486-5588 or by email at email@example.com
“Toronto’s Condo Authority”