If you’ve been keeping an eye on real estate news lately, you’ve probably heard that this spring is shaping up to be a busy season for homebuyers. It already feels like basically everyone is buying or selling these days — and that’s sort of true. Last month, GTA home sales were up 61% compared to January, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.
Is now the right time for you to buy or sell, too? Here are 4 tips that can help you decide
Tip #1: Track the value of your current home (if you have one!)
When you’re thinking about buying a home, the first step is to get your finances in order.
If you already have a property that you’re planning to sell to fund the purchase of a new home, knowing the value of your existing place is an essential step in defining your buying budget. But home values in Toronto change fast, so it can be hard to keep up.
Wish you could find out what your home is worth ASAP? Now you can with Properly’s Instant Estimate — a quick, free, and accurate home value calculator. You can use it to keep track of your property’s value and make more informed buying and selling decisions. (When you know what your home’s worth, you can choose to hold off on selling till it’s appreciated a little more, for instance).
Tip #2: Track the value of your dream home
If you’re a first-time home buyer, a home value calculator is a must-have tool for you, too! You can use it to find the estimated value of any GTA home and get a better sense of what the places you’re interested in are actually worth (vs. what they’re listed or selling for).
If you use Properly’s Home Search tool, you can see the estimated sale price of all active listings in the GTA, which will help you decide whether or not you can afford to make a competitive offer on ones that catch your eye.
Tip #3: Work with an experienced agent
Real estate is complicated, even for people who’ve bought or sold before. There are so many moving parts and — unless you want to dedicate all your free time to learning the ins and outs of the industry — having an expert on your side is crucial.
Do your research to find a real estate agent with specific experience in the area you’re buying or selling. They should be a skilled negotiator, generous with their guidance, and have data to back up their advice.
And if you realize that your current agent isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to find a new one — and don’t feel bad about it! Remember, you’re making what’s very likely the biggest purchase of your life, and you deserve an agent you can trust.
Tip #4: Keep tabs on sold records
Sometimes sellers will price their properties low on purpose — it’s a strategy they use to attract more offers. So forget about a home’s list price. The more important question is, “how much did it actually sell for?”
Tracking recently sold properties with similar features to the kind of home you’re looking to buy can help you figure out how much you’ll need to spend to land your dream place.
Searching for a condo with a lake view? This 2-bed, 2-bath apartment (which recently sold for $1,200,000 just three days after being listed) would be a great place to use as a price comparison.
Meanwhile, this massive, fully renovated detached home in Midtown (complete with a wet bar and wine cellar) sold for $3,100,000 after a single day on the market.