Selling in a Normalized Market - Sutton — Canadian Real Estate Listings & Agents |

Selling in a Normalized Market

22 February 2019

Selling in a Normalized Market 

For nearly a decade, real estate markets across Canada sizzled with high demand and price increases that outpaced wage growth. Recently, markets have begun to normalize due to a variety of factors: higher interest rates, tougher lending regulations, foreign buyer restrictions in some communities, volatile stock markets and job uncertainty due to changes in international trade agreements.

As markets normalize, more effort may be required to sell quickly and for an optimal price.

Make the First 10 Seconds Count

First impressions matter. In the few seconds it takes for buyers to approach and enter your home, they have already formed an opinion. If you own a house, tidy the yard, and in the warmer months, add colour with annual flowers and keep the grass and shrubbery trimmed. If you have the space, flank the front door with tasteful, potted plants. Refinish the doorway, steps and porch.

Whether you own a house, apartment or townhome, opening the front door is a key moment of anticipation. Test it out for yourself. Does the foyer make a good impression? Do you detect unpleasant household odours? Does it require better lighting? Are there too many shoes and coats crammed into the closet?

Sparkling Clean

The difference between a dirty home and clean one is hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Invest the time and effort to make your home sparkle. Hire help if needed to tackle these spring-cleaning tasks: wash windows to maximize the light, steam clean and vacuum carpets, wash floors, dust shelves and remove dirt from every nook and cranny.

Bring the Outdoors Indoors

Fresh flowers are a beautiful, luxurious touch that sends a welcoming message. Instead of small bouquets in various rooms, invest in one grand bouquet in high visibility location such as an entryway table. Place a bowl of colourful apples and oranges on a kitchen countertop and set places for two at the dining room table using your best china, stemware and cutlery. A set table seems more inviting than an empty one.

Special Features

Every home has a selling feature. It may be rich, wood floors, a spacious master bedroom or a large backyard. Think about what makes your home special and play it up. That may mean polishing your wood floors, modernizing the décor in the master bedroom, or landscaping the backyard. Typically, it requires only a weekend and a few hundred dollars to turn a nice feature into one that truly impresses potential buyers.


Think of your home as a blank slate for other people’s homeownership dreams. Your furniture and belongings should add to a positive impression without overwhelming the senses. Declutter to create a sense of space, light and openness. Hide away the knickknacks, books, magazines, clothing, toiletries, etc. If you have items you have not used in years, considering giving them to relatives, charity, or the recycle depot rather than carrying them forward to your next property. Treasures that you wish to keep can be temporarily stored in a closet, garage or rented storage unit.


A scuffed up old armchair and a wall lined with family photos feel homey for you, but they can make it more difficult for potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Aim to create the minimalist serenity of an attractive hotel suite. The fewer personal items you have on display during showings, the better. 


When potential buyers view your home, they are viewing it with a critical eye, so they are likely to notice even minor maintenance items. Cracked floor tiles, chipped door frames, nail holes in the drywall from old artwork, a crooked cabinet door… these can create the impression of a home in disrepair. If a buyer is still interested, they may demand a price reduction, which occasionally exceeds the actual cost of the repair. It is far better to make necessary fixes before listing your home.

Price Wisely

Complete the list above before you meet with a REALTOR® to discuss your listing. When your home is at its full potential, your sales associate will be able to suggest an optimal list price for your property.

The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos identify professional services rendered by REALTOR® members of CREA to effect the purchase, sale and lease of real estate as part of a cooperative selling system. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.