When selling property in Toronto, many homeowners think that the best time to put their home on the market is when prices are high and competition is low. In one way, it makes sense: fewer houses on the market means there is more demand for housing and a higher possibility that buyers will loosen their purse strings to buy a property that might cost more in a competitive market.

There is, however, a catch:

When there are fewer houses on the market, it generally means that buyers aren’t looking. Here’s a breakdown of the best and worst times to sell, courtesy of Susan Macarz:

BEST TIME: When it Works for You

The first rule of thumb: Choose the time that’s right for you. That could mean timing your move with the start of your teen’s school year or before your child is born. Do you have personal deadlines or goals that coincide with the sale of your house? Consult your schedule before you become a slave to the market.

WORST TIME: When You’re Not Ready

The worst thing you can do is put your house on the market when your property isn’t ready to sell or you’re not emotionally prepared to sell. Is your roof in need of serious repairs that will turn off everyone who comes for a viewing? Is your chimney falling apart or septic tank on the fritz? Rushing to sell your home by putting it on the market before it’s ready may lead to an underpriced sale that could cost you several thousands of dollars.

BEST TIME: When You Can Maximize Your Curb Appeal

There’s no question that spring and summer offer the best chance to sell your home from the outside in. Buyers are attracted to the exterior home first. The more manicured and landscaped your lawn, the more easily buyers can see themselves enjoying their summers outside. Showing your house with open windows, fresh flowers, lush grass, and a crystal-clear pool maximize your home’s appeal.

For instance, the best time to sell your home in Trinity Bellwoods is the summer. The park is lush with giant native and imported trees. The sights and sounds of friends and families sitting on picnic blankets give potential buyers a strong sense of the Toronto experience that’s offered to them.

WORST: Dead of Winter

There are several reasons houses take longer to sell in the wintertime than in other months. First of all, depending on the time of year in which you want to sell, your exterior may be completely buried in snow, giving potential buyers very little sense of what’s underneath. If any of your home’s unique selling features are outside, you will have a harder time presenting them during showings. On the other hand, places like the Distillery District—with its postcard-worthy Christmas Village—showcase Toronto winters at their best.

While motivated buyers house hunt in the winter, most people are bothered by leaving their homes to venture from viewing to viewing when the weather is freezing. One of the reasons that spring is such a popular month for buying is that people are ready and excited to look.

Ironically, the best time to buy may actually be when the market is the slowest, as prices are often set to motivate buyers.

BEST TIME: Ask Susan Macarz!

Susan Macarz has been a real estate broker for high-end Toronto properties for many years. She’s an expert in both buying and selling property in the GTA and can offer the best and most personalized advice for your future sale. Contact Susan today to get started!