Why You Should Always Use Staging

In booming real estate markets like the GTA, setting up your home for a successful sale all comes down to planning. From choosing the best season to list your home, to ensuring all your major repair work has been completed, every seller seeks to optimize their home to ensure a smooth sales process. Although staging can temporarily disrupt your daily routine, its proven benefits far outweigh the negatives, especially if you want to want to sell your home quickly. Here’s why you should always use staging.

Stand Out From The Crowd

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In a competitive market like Toronto’s, filled with fantastic properties, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge, especially if you’re selling a popular style of home such as a condo. Staging can help set your property apart by showing off it’s unique possibilities to potential buyers, and inviting them to imagine the lifestyle they could have there. When it comes to listing your property online, listings with photos that showcase the properties will always book more showings and tend to make a greater impact in buyers’ memories. Don’t forget, your staged photos are the first look most interested buyers will have of your home. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.

Sell Your Home Faster

Listings that book more showings, tend to sell faster. A professionally staged home shows off all of its best features, can help hide any shortcomings, and help potential buyers connect more easily with the space. Although these benefits may seem trivial, they go a long way when it comes to creating the emotional connection with a property many buyers seek before putting in an offer and putting any of their anxieties at ease. Staging optimizes your home for potential buyers and gives you a leg up on the competition by making your home as attractive and functional as possible.  

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Snag a Premium Price

With real estate prices as high as they are, buyers and sellers want to get the most bang for their buck. For buyers, this means they need to justify the price they’re paying for the property, while sellers will want to garner the highest offer possible. Staging your home enhances its appeal, making it more enticing to buyers and increases the chances they’ll be willing to pay top dollar. Because staged homes also tend to sell more quickly than others, they’re less likely to receive low-ball offers as interested buyers recognize the true value of the property, and don’t want to gamble their chance to secure their dream home.

Today, it’s believed that staged homes can generate an ROI ranging from 5%-20%. Not bad for only a few days of disruption! Although a few years ago staging was a relatively new concept, in today’s modern market, buyers expect a pleasant shopping experience and have a higher set of aesthetic criteria as a result of social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. Hence, all sellers should seriously consider staging if they want to stay competitive in today’s real estate market and sell their home successfully.

 

The Proof is in the Pudding

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I recently sold my condo in North York with Will. He was incredibly easy to work with and did an outstanding job. He made sure I understood what was happening at each stage of the process and was sure to carefully go through the offers so I understood them. His recommendations for painting, staging, and lawyers were all great, and my condo sold incredibly quickly at the price we hoped for. Thanks again Will!
— Tyler M.

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Market Watch - March 2019

TORONTO, ONTARIO, April 3, 2019 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,187 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2019. This result was inline with 7,188 sales reported in March 2018. For the first quarter of 2019, sales were down by one per cent compared to Q1 2018.

While March and Q1 sales remained relatively flat compared to last year, new listings have declined more so than sales. March new listings were down by 5.1 per cent year-over-year and Q1 new listings were down by 1.5 per cent.

“The OSFI stress test continues to impact home buyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage. TREB is still arguing that the stress test provisions and mortgage lending guidelines generally, including allowable amortization periods for insured mortgages, should be reviewed. The supply of listings in the GTA also remains a problem. Bringing a greater diversity of ownership and rental housing online, including ‘missing middle’ home types, should be a priority of all levels of government. TREB is happy to be taking part in the City of Toronto’s consultations for the Housing TO – 2020-2030 Action Plan, and will certainly be raising the supply issue during these discussions,” said Mr. Bhaura.

“While the City of Toronto’s recently announced Housing TO – 2020-2030 Action Plan is exciting and commendable and TREB looks forward to contributing solutions as a Member of the External Advisory Committee, the recently proposed increase to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on higher priced properties is problematic. As the recent City budget process showed, the MLTT is not a sustainable revenue source from which to fund municipal programs. On top of this, additional MLTT on higher priced homes could have a trickle-down effect on the supply of homes throughout the housing price continuum,” said TREB CEO John Di Michele.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 2.6 per cent year-over-year in March, while the average price for March sales was up by a lesser annual rate of 0.5 per cent to $788,335. The average selling price for Q1 2019 was up by 1.1 per cent year-over-year.

“Market conditions have remained tight enough to support a moderate pace of price growth. Despite sales being markedly lower than the record levels of 2016 and early 2017, the supply of listings has also receded. This means that in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, we continue to see competition between buyers for available listings, which provides a level of support for home prices,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

What is a Status Certificate?

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If you know anyone who has purchased a condo or if you have done so, then you have heard the term Status Certificate. It’s just as it sounds: a document that covers the current status of the condo and the condominium corporation. It is time sensitive and usually has an expiration date of 30 days from the date that it is ordered.

The status certificate is prepared either by the condo corporation or the property management company if there is one.

A status certificate consists of important information about the individual condominium unit for which it is being requested. The certificate also indicates whether the current unit owner is in default of paying the monthly common expenses, if there is an increase in the monthly expense and also the amount in the condo’s reserve fund.

There are certain things that the Condominium Act requires to be covered in the status certificate, they are:

  • current reserve fund amount

  • special assessments that may have been imposed by the condominium board

  • the names and addresses of directors and officers of the corporation

  • information regarding common expenses for the unit

  • Property management contract

  • insurance

  • minutes of the last general meeting

  • copies of the condominium declaration, by-laws and rules

  • a current budget for the condominium corporation

The Status Certificate will also reveal if there are any current or past lawsuits against the condo corp. Typically, buyers of a resale condo in Toronto will submit an offer with a condition to have their lawyer review the Status Certificate. Once received, your lawyer will typically have 48 to 72 hours to look over the documents and come to a decision. This is negotiable as well.

How do I get a Status Certificate?

Anyone can order a Status Certificate of any condo in the GTA. A buyer or their representative can visit portals like www.condocafe.com and request a certificate. A written request and $100 fee is required to have the status certificate emailed to them. This fee was determined by the Condo Act.

Why is a Status Certificate Important?

The status certificate is like the home inspection of the condo market. It will tell you how healthy your purchase is. If the reserve fund is low and there is any major damage to be done, that cost is the owner's responsibility.  The corporation will either raise monthly expense to offset the cost or charge a special assessment fee. So knowing how much is in the reserve fund is very important. You also want to know all the bylaws and rules of the building. For instance, the status certificate will tell a potential owner if pets or smoking is allowed.

If you are thinking about buying a condo in Toronto, it is important to talk to your realtor about how and when you can have your lawyer review the status certificate.

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