Beyond the headlines: navigating the reality of a cooling market

Beyond the headlines: navigating the reality of a cooling market

There are a lot of dramatic headlines out there right now. You’ve probably seen predictions for bursting bubbles, with huge drops in sales and selling prices. I agree, it can seem a little scary, and it’s making people feel panicky about making a move. Sellers don't want to list and get less for their properties. Buyers are hesitating in case home prices drop even more. 

In all honesty, however, it’s all a lot of noise and overgeneralization. Things aren’t quite as cut-and-dried – or as dramatic – as the media is making them sound. 

I'm still helping my clients sell for amazing numbers. In certain areas, it can just take a little more time, patience and some shifts in strategy. For example, I just sold a home for clients in Woodbridge. If you look at the stats, that area has seen a pretty big drop in home prices in the last couple of months. But with a few upgrades, some great staging and a couple of adjustments to the pricing strategy, I helped my clients get a price they were thrilled with. 

That example just shows that while property values may be down in some places, it's not something we're seeing across the board. Things are a lot more nuanced than that. The market differs from neighbourhood to neighbourhood – and even street to street in some cases. Working with an agent who is a neighbourhood specialist and has their finger on the pulse is your best bet for getting the optimum price as a buyer or seller.

Right now is a fantastic time to buy.

With everything that's going on right now in the world, a lot of people have stepped back, and are waiting on the sidelines to see what happens next. Will prices go down more? They may. But they also may not. Experts are predicting that while the wild price jumps we were seeing earlier this year are behind us, prices are likely to stay flat or go up over time

So you aren't going to score a property for half of what it's worth – that won't happen in a market where there’s still a housing shortage and strong demand. But what you will see is more inventory, less competition and more reasonable prices.

If you stay in wait-and-see mode, you’re gambling. I’ve seen people do this for years, and guess what? They still haven't bought anything. Do you think they are further ahead? Absolutely not! Prices could go down, but they could also go up. Here’s what I tell all my clients: if you think long-term and plan to hold on to whatever property you buy for at least five or ten years, you'll do fine – even if prices do decline further in the short term. As I always say, it's not about timing the market, it's time IN the market that counts.

Sellers: you can still do well

Wondering if this is the right time to list your home? Before you decide to put your house on the market, think about why you want to sell. Have you bought something else already? Are you looking to downsize or relocate to another town? You can still do fine if your agent has a good strategy and your staging, photos and marketing are on point. If you don't need to sell right now, hold off.

Keep in mind that you probably won't get 20 offers or a magical price way above your home's actual value. There's more supply out there now and people aren't fighting for all the properties like they were in January and February – which was when we were  in a housing crisis with historically low inventory. But remember: while prices are lower than they were a couple of months ago, if you compare them to this time last year, they're still pretty high. Also, every neighbourhood is different and every property will appeal to different buyers. And there will always be people willing to pay a premium to get into a great place that’s in an area or building they want. 

Ultimately, try to avoid getting caught up in the noise!

Looking at real estate news will give you an overall picture, but GTA averages aren’t all that meaningful to your individual situation. Some areas are dropping while others have kept increasing – there's just too much diversity across the city to generalize. An agent will be able to tell you what's happening in your particular pocket and set you up with a strategy that will work for you. 

Everyone is just talking negatively right now. If you’re selling, stand strong with your sale and don't take low offers. Work with a seasoned expert who really understands your market and the buyers who would be interested in your specific home – and will fight extra hard for you. Make sure you’re all on the same page before you start, and you truly understand what’s going on so your expectations are managed.

And stop reading the headlines! Read between the lines.

If you want to talk about the best time to buy or sell, get in touch! I'm always happy to help. 

About Sean Miller

Sean is the #1 Top Producing Real Estate Agent of 2021 at Inc. Brokerage, with the drive and expertise to guide you through one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make. Whether you're a first-time buyer, a seasoned seller, are new to the Toronto market or are looking for a great investment, he makes the experience as stress-free as possible, quickly assessing your needs and offering a full range of options that fit with your lifestyle and budget.

Navigating the GTA market is his specialty, and stellar customer service and deep market expertise are his calling cards. He is always ready to go the distance to help clients make the right choice, at the right time and the right price.

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