Real Estate Talk:
Fall market preparation
How to prepare for when the wheels start turning again
By Joseph Marovitch
August 24, 2023
There are certain months of the year when the real estate market wheels move quickly. Of these months, some are busier than others. People always buy or sell through the year due to circumstances, such as relocation due to a job, changed finances, downsizing due to kids moving out, and upsizing due to babies being on the way. Then, there are speculators/investors buying with cash when rates are high or buying on credit when rates are low.
… summer is the best time to show a property when homes show best with sunshine and greenery… preparing a property to sell and showing before the Fall is the only way to get a running start.
However, the average buyer purchases after or before holidays. Mid-January to March will find the market active. This is the time after Christmas and New Year’s when people return to work, review their assets, and purchase a property in mid-winter with a spring moving date.
May, June, and July are another bump in activity when spring is in the air and people come out of their homes and visit open houses, check the market, buy a property, and arrange a summer move which is easier and less expensive than a mid-winter move. However, once the construction holiday commences between July and August, the market slows down.
Then there is September and October, which, in this broker’s opinion, appears to be the busiest. Buyers and sellers have had the whole summer to lounge by the pool and talk with their friends and family around the BBQ about moving after the holidays. They have been checking real estate in the local papers, driven by a few for-sale signs, maybe attended a few open houses, and intend to put plans into action when September comes.
The issue for sellers is summer is the best time to show a property when homes show best with sunshine and greenery. So, even though the market is quieter in August, preparing a property to sell and showing before the Fall is the only way to get a running start. Keys to prepping are cut grass, cared-for gardens, cosmetic repairs to fences, balconies, and windows, and a little paint here and there if needed. Finally, a “for sale sign” in front of what looks like a dollhouse. This will be the photo the broker uses for the listing on Centris during the Fall.
‘If you are not sure how to prepare your home, ask your broker, who may have experience in home décor or can refer an interior decorator. Professionals know what is best and most neutral to appeal to all tastes.’
Fall is colourful and windy, with cold currents in the air. Knowing the Fall conditions helps in preparing for it. If Fall is cooler then prepping the house to be as warm and inviting as possible is a good idea. Any property for sale should be kept tidy for showings and open houses.
To prepare for the Fall, simply arrange the furniture to make the room appear bright and spacious. Place a few blankets on the couch. If you are going to create any aromas in the house, make sure it is baked bread, cookies (not peanut butter cookies), or coffee, not fish or cigarette smoke. Turn on the electric or gas fireplace. The seller wants the house to both wow the buyer and have the buyer feel as if they are already home.
If you are not sure how to prepare your home, ask your broker, who may have experience in home décor or can refer an interior decorator. Professionals know what is best and most neutral to appeal to all tastes. We tend to arrange our lives according to our individual tastes, however, buyers all have different tastes, so it is best to remain tasteful yet neutral.
Should you have questions or comments, please refer to the comments section at the bottom of the page. Also, to view past articles, click here.
Next article: The purchase process in 2023
State of the market
Bank of Canada rate today: 5%
Canada inflation today: 3.3%
As rates continue to rise, midrange-priced homes, $300K to $650K, can lose value. Therefore, even though rates reduce the buyer’s buying power, real estate is still moving in the direction of a buyer’s market since prices decrease due to lower demand. Buyers who must find a property can acquire a better price on a home in which the seller must sell, and there are strategies to reduce interest rate risk.
‘… even though rates reduce the buyer’s buying power, real estate is still moving in the direction of a buyer’s market since prices decrease due to lower demand.’
Buyers can put down more cash or take a two-year mortgage term instead of a five-year term with an amortization of 30 years instead of 25 years. At some point, when inflation decreases and interest rates fall, buyers can refinance at a lower rate. In the meantime, buyers are benefiting from the properties’ rising value.
Alternatively, properties in the higher price ranges, $750 to $2 million-plus, appear to continue rising despite interest rates. This is due to low inventory and buyers with deeper pockets who can bypass interest rates with all cash purchases. These buyers can also refinance at a later date when interest rates are more favourable if need be.
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Joseph Marovitch has worked in the service industry for over 30 years. His first career was working with families from Westmount and surrounding areas, hosting children between the ages of 6 to 16 as the owner and director of Camp Maromac, a sports and arts sleep-away summer camp established in 1968. Joseph applies the same strengths of caring for the families, such as reliability, integrity, honesty, and a deep sense of protecting the interests of those he is responsible for, to his present real estate broker career. Should you have questions please feel free to contact Joseph Marovitch at 514 825-8771, or email@example.com