Should You Sell Your Toronto Home in the Off-Season?


It is well-engrained into nearly everyone’s mind that you should always sell your house in the spring market whenever possible. If you miss it, then common wisdom says to wait until fall. There is some truth to this belief. Traditionally, spring has always been the busiest time for real estate, followed closely by autumn. Unfortunately, the timing doesn’t always work out. If you must sell your house in a hurry because your life has changed, waiting for the busy times isn’t always feasible. But are these really the “best” times, or can you get successful results whenever it suits your needs? It turns out, selling during the off-season can yield spectacular results, especially when you follow the steps and have a plan for success. Here are just a few reasons why.

Seasonality: A Relic From the Past

Over the last two years, everything has changed in the real estate market. Take 2021, for example. There were no “seasons” that year. Every month was as frantic as the next, with buyers scrambling to get in during the record-low interest rates. In 2022, winter was by far the busiest time of the year. By the time spring rolled around, everyone was prepared for conditions to get even busier. However, that’s when the Bank of Canada began raising the interest rates to cool the out-of-control market.

As a result, what should have been the busiest time turned out to be one of the slowest. Conditions picked up slightly in the fall, but that was likely the result of buyers and sellers adjusting to the new reality rather than the season. In fact, “seasons” seem to be a thing of the past in the real estate market.

When it comes to attracting the right buyer, appearances are everything! Luckily, there are simple ways to make your home look beautiful:

Real Estate Has Become Situational

Currently, buyers seem to respond to situations rather than seasons. It may be the buyer’s personal situation that triggers their decision. For example, someone getting divorced or moving for a new career needs a home quickly. They cannot wait for spring or fall when the market “picks up.” The situation could also be based on new government regulations and policies. 

For example, one client bought a home on Christmas Eve. The last interest rate caused the market to slow even further. But this particular client had a pre-approval locked in at the previous rate and wanted to take advantage of it before it expired. 

Another client bought in December, usually the slowest month in real estate, because he wanted to get ahead of the foreign buyer ban that kicked in on January 1. 

These specific situations may have passed, but there will always be another pressing reason a buyer needs a home immediately and will not want to wait. As a seller, you have several advantages to listing during the off-season.

Low Competition From Other Sellers

The market has changed, but old habits die hard. Many homeowners will still insist on waiting until spring or fall. By then, they’ll face more competition from other sellers, and potential buyers will have more options. Increased competition means homes take longer to sell, more back and forth with negotiation, and the final selling price tends to be lower.

Since seasonality is no longer a driving factor, why not sell now if the timing is right? Going against the crowd can benefit you in the long run. One thing is certain– the buyers are still out there. The only difference is that there are very few listings for them to choose from, which gives you more negotiating power.

Buyers Are Motivated

Many buyers also believe spring and fall are the best times to begin a home search. But someone who can casually afford to wait isn’t always serious about making a decision. When spring comes, they may spend every Sunday morning visiting open houses and asking questions without ever making a purchase.

Buyers in the off-season are different. They have a compelling reason to want a house now and are highly motivated to act. Selling now means dealing primarily with serious and qualified buyers and not wasting time with people who are just curious or want a free tour of your home.

Knowing what your buyer is looking for is one of the keys to a successful sale. These posts will help:

Know Your Advantages

Understanding the current market is paramount to success regardless of when you sell your home. In every market, there are specific neighbourhoods and even micro-neighbourhoods that are outliers. For example, the overall market may be at a near standstill, but houses will sell quickly in certain areas.

Nothing will have a greater impact on the success of your sale than setting a competitive list price that makes your home stand out. 

Many sellers give into the temptation to overprice their house, which often leads to a longer sales cycle and eventually results in a lower price. Pricing strategically can help you receive multiple offers and earn the maximum value for your home.

Your real estate agent will help you by performing a detailed CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). They will have access to all of the relevant stats in your area, like how many similar houses have sold recently and for how much. Plus, they’ll take into account the size of your home, its age, and any recent updates that may add value.

Accurate information and a competitive strategy will help you achieve excellent results regardless of the market!

Selling Before You Buy?

Existing homeowners have a unique advantage over everyone else. If you own a home, you have equity, which shields you from real estate market fluctuations. What does this mean? Imagine you bought a house in Toronto in 2018. Back then, the average price was $750,180

At the market peak, average prices reached an astounding $1,334,544. At the time of this writing, the average price has now fallen to $1,051,216. 

On paper, it may look like you lost money. However, that is not true. Your home is still worth far more than what you paid for it. If you sell now, your increased equity puts you in an excellent position to upgrade or downsize to a new home. Your house won’t sell for as much as it would have in January 2022. But if you look on the bright side, your new home will also not cost as much!

As an existing homeowner, you have the freedom to sell and buy whenever it suits your lifestyle, without worrying about where the market will go next. 

Has the time come for you to sell your home in Toronto? Our staging expertise and detailed marketing plans can help you achieve outstanding results even in the off-season. Reach out at or call 416-441-2888 to start the conversation today.