Change is a given, some say.
There have definitely been some changes in real estate over the past couple of years, it’s fair to say, including some pretty substantial headlines that we’ve seen recently.
Whenever there are changes in the market, it seems that everyone, instantly, has an opinion. It’s all over the news and every outlet in town has its own take on the situation.
“Many of the news outlets like to create drama and say the sky is falling when it just isn’t,” says REALTOR® Christine Lovatt.
“The people who know exactly what is happening in your market—and every market is different—would be REALTORS® who work there full-time, every day, with a large group of professionals who share information about that market.”
Lovatt and her group of fellow agents meet once a week to do just that. They talk about listings, showings, numbers of sales and pricing strategies for that week.
Though they may be well-intentioned, your neighbours may give you bad advice. “When you are getting ready to list or have already listed, please do not listen to your neighbours,” says Lovatt. “One recently told my client that a well-known Toronto agent said the housing market is crashing and they could only list their house for a very low amount. That just was not the case in this particular market.”
Her advice in a situation like this? Instead, listen to the opinions of your trusted agent.
If you don’t have one, find one through the recommendations of people you trust.
If you have a REALTOR® who is very knowledgeable and works hard at their business, they will keep you informed of the status of your investment regularly throughout the year. Lovatt sends out bi-weekly reports to her clients, including past clients, to keep them informed about what is happening in the market. While they may not be moving or have any immediate plans to do so, they do own real estate and people are always interested in the value of their homes!
She does believe that people should always be watching the market, whether or not they plan to buy or sell in the immediate future. That’s because your home is (usually) your largest investment and just like with stocks, its value can change. Keeping abreast of any changes in the market means you’ll be much more aware of what’s going on when the time does eventually come for you to start thinking about buying or selling.
Because you’re already keeping on top of changes in the market as they happen—and you’re working with an agent that you trust—whenever that agent tells you that now is the time to list, you can rest assured that it will be for good reason. There may be low inventory, so take their advice and do whatever it takes to get your home ready quickly!
“I have had people, especially this year, take too long and unfortunately they missed the best market. Not that it changed so dramatically, but it is now taking longer to sell and at a slightly lower price,” she says. “Of course, if you are also buying, it doesn’t really matter. You will not pay as much either.”