I wrote earlier that the Toronto real estate market typically slows down through the summer. If part of your thinking, as you enjoyed those lazy, hazy July and August weekends, included buying or selling a home, your thoughts should be turning to actions around Labour Day.

BUYING? IT PAYS TO PREPARE.

The Fall is a predictably busy time for the real estate market in Toronto. That means rising competition for the home of your dreams. As always though, the best place to start your search is with a clear picture of your spending power. My advice is it get in to see your mortgage broker or lending institution sooner, rather than later. Then you can set the parameters to start your search.

SELLING? IT PAYS TO PREPARE HERE TOO!

Again, with increased competition comes a bigger need to show your place at its best. The late summer is a great time to assess what your home needs to show well. Get an honest overview of what needs to be done, from the basic repairs to the staging, then schedule the work to be done before school starts.

BUYING? LEARN ABOUT THE MARKET.

There are not a lot of things you’ll buy in your life where the price wasn’t pre-set. Real estate is unusual that way. When you buy a house, the real value becomes whatever you and the seller agree to. That’s why I try to get my buying clients to know as much about the current market as they can take in. Understanding what the whole market is doing is a great context for understanding the potential value of a house you might want to buy.

SELLING? KNOW THE BUSINESS.

The transition from a slower market to a more competitive one is also marked by a shift in asking and selling prices. In the fall, it’s always interesting to see the increase in listings, and the surge in active buyers. If you’re selling, it’s important to account for this shift in your asking price. It’s where what sold for how much last week may be less important than what’s likely to happen next week. When the doldrums of summer turn into heated bidding wars, it pays to act strategically.

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