Torontonians have a habit that I’m sure they share with other cities that share our seasonal patterns. We look at the Calendar, see that it’s September and call it autumn, then we act like the continued summer is some kind of a bonus or treat. In truth, just as you can sometimes get away with calling a “B+” an “A-” early fall is really late summer.

For the Toronto real estate market, this particular seasonal change has a double advantage.

First, the city shares a sense of re-engagement, as school starts and the disruptions of the holiday season come to an end. Second, there’s also a common sense of getting more good weather that we expected. It’s the flip side of the irritation we get when winter seems to go on for too long.

SO HOW DO YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE?

1. BE PREPARED

Most of what makes the market heat up in the early fall has more to do with getting back to school and back to work than anything else. Everyone is suddenly available again, so the processes of listing, showing and selling just naturally scale up. The thing to remember is that with more activity comes a greater need to be competitive. That’s why I recommend being very detail oriented, and dedicating yourself to the selling process.

2. BE SEASONAL

Buyers are judging your home on its potential relation to their lives. Anything you can do to help them see the benefits is helpful, and subtleties go a long way. The difference between having the garden looked after (rather than showing the signs of a long, hot summer) and one that’s prepped for the fall, can make a real difference. So can certain details in staging – like having fall flowers on display.

3. RAKE

Autumn is called “fall” for a reason. As the colours on your trees change, remember to keep your lawn clear of leaves, debris and any evidence of raking. The reds and yellows look great on the trees, but not on the ground.

4. CONDO CONSIDERATIONS

Speaking of changing colours, part of any condo’s appeal is the view. With so many units looking out over the city canopy, fall colours can create undeniable impact. For condo sellers, that can mean little more than waiting. It pays to know that the trees are usually at their height of beauty in Toronto some time around the 3rd week in October.

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