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Selling Your Toronto Condo Without a Realtor

Posted by presale on April 21, 2018
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Selling your Toronto condo and thinking of going it alone? Be careful

Last week, while going through the listings of homes for sale in Toronto for a client, I happened upon an interesting listing. It caught my eye because of its low price and then I noticed that it was being sold by owner, also known as FSBO (for sale by owner) for short.

What really caught my eye, however, was that this home has been listed for almost a year. Looking at the listing it was obvious why the home wasn’t selling. Let’s see if we can help you avoid some of the mistakes this homeowner is making.

Marketing a Toronto Home

Where are the photos? Most homebuyers won’t even look at a listing online if it lacks photos and this particular listing had four photos. That’s right – only four photos – and the quality was so bad that it was hard to make out exactly what they were trying to accomplish with the pictures.

The exterior photo of the building was taken from too far away and it was blurry. The second photo was of a long, narrow room with no furniture. Living room? Family room? Who knows.

The next photo, of the very unattractive kitchen, lacked proper lighting and the final photo was of a pool table. Yup, you read that right. A pool table.

I’m not poking fun at the homeowner, because I’m not exactly an ace photographer either. This is why we use a professional photographer for our listings. It really isn’t that expensive and the photos truly do bring in buyers.

Continuing my stroll through the MLS listings I came across another home – the second-lowest priced condo on the Toronto market. Although it is priced only $15,000 higher than the first home I mentioned, it stands head and shoulders above this one. The photographs are clear, the listing description is compelling and the home is staged.

So, rule number one is to hire a pro and include the maximum number of photos that the MLS will allow.

Rule number two? If your home has empty rooms, stage it. Yes, this can be pricey, but it’s worth it, not only so that the home shines in the photos but so that it’s attractive when buyers visit.

If you can’t or won’t do these things, then price the home accordingly. Otherwise, it will end up like the aforementioned home – sitting on the market for more than one year, in a fiery hot real estate market.

Consider your competition

I get why a homeowner wants to sell a home without the assistance of an agent. What I don’t get, however, is that these homeowners will be competing against other homes for sale that ARE being marketed professionally. So, not only does your home have competition, but you, as a marketer, do too.

Marketing is just one of the challenges the for-sale-by-owner faces, but it’s a biggie. Do it right, however, and you’ll bring in potential buyers.


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