Buyers and sellers need to be much more strategic this spring market than they have been in the past several years. The spring market is here, and, despite predictions and indicators to the contrary, sales are going full-tilt, and prices are incrementally increasing. With the obvious exception of 2020, the spring market, between February and June, sets the tone for Toronto real estate prices for the rest of the year. The spring market is our Superbowl, and a marathon wrapped into one. This spring market is not as frenetic as in the past several years, and buyers and sellers must be strategic. Here’s our survival guide for both camps:


  1. Choose the right pricing strategy:  There is no one-size-fits-all listing strategy anymore. The days of underpricing every home for a bidding war are gone. Therefore, you need to know the value of your home within your specific market. Some houses do well with the underpricing for a bidding war right now. Those houses tend to be first-time homes that are worth below 1.3 million. They also usually need to have several other factors to attract multiple offers. They must be on a quiet street, close to a good school and not need much updating. A finished basement and parking will also increase the chances of getting multiple offers. Your neighbourhood also impacts the number of active buyers. For example, underpriced listings in Lesliville and the Pocket in the east end are attracting buyers to bidding wars. On the other hand, Roncesvalles isn’t getting the same number of offers on listings.

  2. However, underpricing is not the right move if your home is not a first-time home. There isn’t a surplus of buyers at higher price points right now; therefore, we are not seeing as many bidding wars. This does not mean houses at higher price points aren’t selling. They are. But, to get the price you want, you should list it close to market value and review offers anytime. Do not expect to get over your list price, and do not over-price your home so that you can negotiate. Buyers are ignoring over-priced homes in this market.

  3. Treat your home like a product: Your home is no longer yours when you sell it. Instead, treat it like any other product you may want to sell. In this spring market, it is essential to market your house. This means painting, staging and hiring an agent who is excellent at marketing. Selling your home quickly is the best way to survive this market.  If your home sits on the market, you will lose money. Therefore, make it as presentable as possible to the largest number of people.

  4. Hire the right agent: This means hiring an agent who knows your area. Market knowledge has never been more critical than it is now. This is because the market is still fickle. Buyers are coming back, but they’re easily spooked. You need an agent who has their ear to the pulse of your neighbourhood. If you bump into them at the cafe, they should be able to give you a quick elevator pitch on the state of the micro market on your street, for example.

  5. Expect Conditions: Many offers have conditions in them now. Buyers understandably want to ensure that the banks will give them a mortgage. Therefore, conditions aren’t the enemy. It also is not uncommon for sales to fall through in the conditional period. So, don’t celebrate your sale until the deal is firm.

Searching for more selling insights? You may find these blog posts helpful.


  1. Move quickly: There are more buyers out now than there were in the past few months. Therefore, if you see something you like, you should offer it quickly. Time is no longer in your favour; if you take too long to think about it, you’ll lose the home.

  2. Look for Deals: There are still many deals in this market. But you’ll need to be prepared to make some compromises. For example, while the market is returning, some properties still haven’t yet managed to attract buyers. Houses on busy streets or homes that need renovating are still easy to negotiate for. If you can live on a busy street or are handy and ready to work, buying one of these houses will save you lots of money in the long term.

  3. Budget for your monthly spending: Don’t get stuck on the price of the home. With higher interest rates, you should think more about cash flow and monthly budgets. If you have a maximum monthly budget, you’ll be careful not to over-extend yourself when offering.

  4. Use conditions: Unless you are in a bidding war with many other buyers, you should use conditions to ensure your financing is solid. Banks are tighter with cash now than they used to be.

  5. Hire the right agent: Your agent should understand the nuances of the markets you’re shopping in. If your agent isn’t familiar with the “good” and “bad” streets of a particular neighbourhood, they won’t be able to help you take advantage of a potential deal, for example.

Preparing for a home purchase? Check out these blog posts for buyer-focused advice.

For both groups, good luck! Don’t get too far down in the weeds about the market variations. Remember that the end goal is to move on to your next life stage, whatever that looks like for you. Enjoy this time.

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