In real estate, the spring market is just like shopping during the holiday season.
It’s busy (that's an understatement), you need to be patient (there will be line-ups – or in real estate we call that multiple offers) and you have to be focused on getting what you want before it’s gone.
For the most part, by March, the spring market is off and running. Smart investors have taken advantage of the first few months of the year, sellers have spent the last few months preparing to list their home and buyers have been researching preferred neighbourhoods and creating must-have lists.
When the spring market begins, it is a whirlwind of activity and it can be one of the most beneficial times to buy and to sell, if you surround yourself with the right people who can help you make the most informed decisions.
Investing in Toronto Real Estate
The best time to get the most bang for your buck as an investor in Toronto real estate is during the lull – not in the spring market. I always advise my clients to shop around in December, January or August.
During the off season, you can get a property that might be undervalued and it will pay dividends as an investment.
If you’re thinking of investing, use this time to watch the market. Watch where properties are going fast, pinpoint your ideal neighbourhoods and you will get a good sense of what makes a good investment.
For investors, the spring market is also a good time to examine whether we are in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. A buyer’s market is ideal for investors because there is more inventory.
Simply put, this means homes in all styles and neighbourhoods that would be priced high in a seller’s market could be undervalued in a buyer’s market. A property investment purchase in this case puts an investor in a great position to make a profit as the property appreciates.
Selling in Toronto’s spring market
If you’re ready to sell in the spring market, this is the best time! It’s like the holiday season for shoppers!
Your goal should be to engage your experts early. Chat with your realtor and do a walk through your house so you can make a list of big projects, small projects and a timeline of de-cluttering and storing items that shouldn’t be in your home while showings are occurring.
To avoid getting overwhelmed with the process of selling, I usually advise to give yourself 3-6 months to prepare. The timing will depend on what you need to do to spruce up your home for sale. Give yourself time so that if you need to replace your roof, update or repair your HVAC system or install new windows, you have time to engage the tradespeople you need.
If all you need to do is freshen up with a coat of paint, that is a relatively quick job but you need time to organize, de-clutter and remove items from your home in preparation for painting and eventually showing potential buyers the space.
Buying in Toronto’s spring market
If you’re ready to buy a new home in Toronto’s spring market, the first thing you have to do is get pre-approved for a mortgage.
So, don’t go house-hunting first – even online! I don’t want you to fall in love with a dream home you can’t afford or get discouraged. Buying a new home is a big purchase and before you start looking you need to know how big you can dream. Having a budget in mind when you’re looking is the most important tool you can own before buying a home.
The best way to navigate Toronto’s spring market successfully is to first understand what you can afford. This will help you narrow down by housing type and often by neighbourhood and then it’s my job to help you find the home that best suits your lifestyle.
Pro tip: you can speak to someone at your bank, but you might get a better rate through someone like your realtor, who has relationships with mortgage brokers and an ear to the ground on where to go to get the best rate.
A pre-approved rate will last 3 months and in my experience, if you’re ready to buy, you will buy within three months of actively looking.
How do I know that?
In the spring market, there are many different styles of homes to choose from all across the GTA. So there’s lots of choice, in many different locations and at varying price points. If you know what type of home you want, detached, semi-detached, townhome or condominium suite, then that’s a great start.
You also need to decide your preferred location and make a list of must-haves, which includes things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need.
Also consider if you would like to have a backyard, a garage, a finished basement? What about your commute to work – how long are you willing to drive, bike or walk – or will you need space for a home office?
When you’re ready to start looking, viewing homes in a spring market can be fun and it can also be a rollercoaster ride! Get ready to get excited and move fast!
When you are ready to make an offer on a home, chances are that you will be competing against others just like you.
This is where trusting your realtor to provide you with the most up-to-date details about the house and the area, so you can make an informed decision when the time comes, is paramount.
Working with someone who can guide you through this exhilarating time is integral to making the most of the spring market.
If you’re interested in learning more about me, how I treat my clients differently than most, and how I can help you in your home buying journey, check out my introductory blog post here.
I’m always up for a virtual coffee chat! Call me anytime at 647-801-2233 or send me an email here and let’s connect soon!