It’s the time of year where buyers and sellers begin to make plans for a spring market move. You call your Realtor. You scour for MLS listings that meet your criteria.

If you’re thinking about buying, you’re likely starting to determine your desired neighbourhood, maybe even browsing some open houses.

And if you’re planning to sell, it’s time to make sure your home is in good repair. Start de-cluttering, considering what your future house will look like before yours hits the market.

No matter what side of the coin you’re on, here’s what you should consider before moving this spring.

Timing the market

Let’s be honest, the market can’t be timed because you don’t know what the future holds. You can only control so much. Variables such as weather and similar homes on the market at the same time are key. Obviously, overall market inventory play a major role in how fast or slow a house will sell and at what price.

Guelph tends to have more homes on the market as the weather improves in Spring. Historically, both buyers and sellers want to have transactions completed in late spring and early summer. Over 30% of homes sold annually in Guelph were done in the months of March, April and May. During this time, buyers will have more choice and sellers will have more buyers to purchase their homes.

How do you prepare with your Realtor?

In today’s market, about 8 out of 10 homes are selling at or below the original asking price in Guelph. As a buyer, how are you supposed to know what to offer once you find a house you love?

And as a seller, is your home going to get multiple offers or have those days passed? In 2018, the average home was on the market for just under 25 days in Guelph, but some neighbourhoods sold faster than others.

Gone are the days of simply researching a few recent comparable sales and basing decisions on the findings. Savvy buyers and sellers should ask their Realtor® for relevant neighbourhood sales trends. This way, you’ll ensure they’re making an informed decision on their investment.

With most offers today containing buying conditions such as financing, inspection, planning is key. The less complicated your offer is the more attractive it will be to a seller.

Getting pre-approved on your finances, selling your home before buying, or doing a pre-inspection before an offer are all common options. Each situation is different so it’s prudent to look for advice from your Realtor.

If you’re buying, it’s important to ask your Realtor to provide comparables to the home you’re considering. However, equally important is to know how that specific neighbourhood is trending. Why?

Perhaps you’re buying into a hot area where houses are being aggressively pursued. Having this information beforehand arms you with the necessary data to negotiate more effectively.

Considering selling?

Your Realtor can tailor a marketing plan that caters to the specific buyers for your home. This makes your property stand out against other homes on the market.

Knowing how your neighbourhood is trending is important to maximize your potential sale price. For example, homes in the downtown core sold over asking on average in 2018. However, homes in Victoria North sold for 97% of asking.

This could imply that pricing at the higher end of comparables is more likely to return a premium downtown over Victoria North.

Regardless of your real estate goals, it’s always beneficial to become informed on the current market. These insights could literally mean thousands of dollars more in your pocket!

Beth and Ryan Waller are Sales Representatives with Home Group Realty. For more info, contact them!

Source: GDAR, 2016-2018, City of Guelph only, excluding defined neighbourhoods with 10 sales or less in 2018.