Under Asking: “There are still deals to be had, but the market is heating up fast.” Three agents explain why they sold at a discount

Under Asking: “There are still deals to be had, but the market is heating up fast.” Three agents explain why they sold at a discount

Their properties include a four-bed semi in Brookhaven, a modern townhouse by Downsview Park and a sleek condo overlooking West Queen West

Since February 2022, rolling waves of interest hikes have cut the rate of Toronto home sales by almost half. While it’s a stretch to call $1 million a bargain for anything, the result has been a lot of condos, townhouses and detached homes going for under asking. Here, three different agents selling three very different homes explain why they agreed to sell at a discount. They also offer market predictions (hint: it’s already bouncing back) and theories about what it all means for home buyers this spring.

Related: “Buyers definitely have the upper hand in today’s market.” Three agents on why they sold at a discount

Brookhaven: Millennium Drive

The place: A detached with two parking spaces, a finished basement and a large backyard
Listing price: $1,075,000
Sold for:
Date sold: February 17, 2022
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Size: 1,500 square feet
Agent: Kim Wolfshout

“We originally listed this place for $1,125,000 just before the holidays and had only two showings after two weeks. The sellers considered re-listing it in the spring, hoping that buyer interest would increase by then, but ultimately, we decided to keep it on the market and adjust its price to $1,075,000.”

“By the middle of January, we saw much more traffic—showings multiplied and we received two solid offers. The place generated a bidding war between two buyers who were each trying to get it under the listing price. We were able to negotiate one of the offers up to $1 million, and the sellers were happy with that.”

“The increased appetite we saw over those mid-January weeks signalled the start of a market shift. It makes sense: people are willing to pay more for a house now that they feel like interest rates are stabilizing. Offer presentations and bids are starting to get more frequent and intense. But it’s still a good time to be a buyer. This market allows them to be selective, include conditions in the offers and get deals on houses.”

Downsview: William Duncan Road

The place: A corner townhouse with three storeys and plenty of balcony space
Listing price: $1,175,000
Sold for:
Date sold: February 20, 2023
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3
Size: 2,500 square feet
Agent: Maria Bifolchi

“We listed this property in the middle of January and saw little enthusiasm at first—maybe one showing per week. We also held open houses on the weekends, and those at least attracted a few curious buyers. After a few weeks, we thought about dropping the price but decided against it, predicting that interest rates would soon stabilize and buyer confidence would return.”

“It turns out that we were right. As February drew to a close, the turnout improved to three or four showings per day, and our open houses became more popular. Around day 35 on the market, we received three offers at once. We went with the $1,100,000 bid. It was not the most lucrative of the three, but it came with the fastest closing date, which was more important to my client than the money.”

“In the end, it’s not that we were forced to sell for under asking—it was more about timing. The market is picking up: last July, I sold a similar townhome on the same street in a stronger market with more upgrades and features for $1,245,000, so we’re not that far off.”

Beaconsfield Village: Dovercourt Road

The place: A condo overlooking West Queen West
Listing price: $849,000
Sold for:
Date sold: January 27, 2022
Bedrooms: 1+1
Bathrooms: 1
Size: 800 square feet
Agent: Alex Brott, Brott & Co

“We priced this unit high for a 1+1 because it’s in a prime location, has a dedicated office and offers a nice south-facing view. We thought buyers might pay extra for those features. Then, a similar unit nearby hit the market for about $100,000 less, and just like that, people did not want to pay $849,000. It goes to show how much comparable properties can affect your selling goals.

“This unit was on the market for just nine days—a buyer placed a conditional offer on day six, and we ended up accepting it. We could have waited for the spring to see if we could get more money, but our seller wanted to move and was happy with the result. Had we waited, we probably could have sold for more.

“If you’re looking to buy, I think there are deals to be had, but this market is heating up at a faster rate than people realize. I have another place for sale now that garnered 40 showings in 36 hours. We might be in for a fast spring.”

Are you an agent who recently sold for under asking? Send your story to realestate@torontolife.com