#GTAHomeHunt is a weekly series from the Star that gets into the details of real estate listings in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Have a tip? Email us at email@example.com
Price: $ 824,000
X-factor: This two bedroom, one bathroom home has a great sized lot, is near the Junction neighbourhood and has a fairly decent commute time with access to subway stations and the downtown core.
The place has its own basement which can be turned into another bedroom. There is also potential for a tear down considering how detached homes have skyrocketed in price — selling for an average of $ 600,000 in 2016 and now, for more than $ 900,000 in this neighbourhood.
If you’re a first-time buyer, you might be wondering, is this a good deal? We brought in our expert, real estate agent Othneil Litchmore, to gain a better understanding of why this property costs what it does.
Why is it priced this way: This detached home at 27 Seneca Ave. is fit for a small family and boasts a 20-by-112 foot lot.
So, priced at under a million in Toronto, why hasn’t it sold yet? According to Litchmore: Buyers’ confusion.
This detached home has been on the market since early July and is struggling to sell because of the constant change in price. Originally, the property was slated at $ 779,000. The listing price was then raised to $ 875,000 and has since been brought down to $ 825,000.
“It’s priced this way mainly because they don’t know what they’re doing,” said Litchmore. “It’s someone trying to sell their own house and they’re not too sure.”
It’s important to note that this place is a “for sale by owner” home which means the person selling the place doesn’t have a real estate agent and is doing all the work individually. This is an option for some sellers who wish to save money by not paying a real estate agent commission to list their property.
So, as the owner comes up with listing prices on their own, Litchmore believes they likely thought they’d be getting a bidding war on the initial asking price, but that it probably didn’t happen. Starting low to gauge interest is also a tactic normally used when trying to sell a home in an attempt to drive up the price.
“In this case, people didn’t turn out. This seller has decided to wait on the market and wait for the right person to show up,” said Litchmore.
Also, the advertising could use some work.
“They didn’t take the most flattering pictures to attract buyers. The pictures are impacting the sale of the house,” said Litchmore. “They cut the lawn and took the pictures right after.”
Litchmore adds that the for sale by owners market has its pros and cons. Some real estate agents usually like dealing with other experienced agents when buying homes but it also may be seen as an opportunity by others to get a nice deal with a less skilled negotiator.
“When you’re trying to sell a house yourself be careful because it could be sitting there for a while,” said Litchmore. “Somebody that’s trying sell their house themselves, they’re cutting corners on everything because they’re trying to save money.”
Litchmore sees this place selling around the ballpark of $ 790,000 close to where it initially started. Back in 2006, it sold for a mere $ 252,000.
One house in the area, at 42 Avon Ave, has a larger lot size and just sold for $ 770,000. This home will likely sell at a higher price range because it looks newer.
Tips to finding places like this: If you’re looking for a detatched home, it isn’t all bad working a sale with an owner, Litchmore said. Often, an effective real estate agent will be able to negotiate a better deal in this scenario if you can remain patient.
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