Under Asking: “Don’t rush—wait to buy the right property.” Three agents explain why they went down in price

Under Asking: “Don’t rush—wait to buy the right property.” Three agents explain why they went down in price

Their properties include a Rosedale detached, a Roncesvalles red-brick and a three-storey townhouse in Leslieville

The real estate market remains in doldrums as buyers wait for interest rates to drop later this year.

As buyers wait for the Bank of Canada to finally lower its sky-high interest rates later this year, Toronto’s real estate market remains in the doldrums. The average sale price for a GTA home in January is down year-over-year, and many listings are sitting on the market for months. That means there are deals to be had by those willing to outlast the high-interest landscape. Here, three agents representing three different properties explain why they settled for less.

Related: “Buyers are calling the shots these days.” Three realtors on why they sold at a discount

Rosedale: Glen Road

This two-storey detached in Rosedale is within walking distance of Evergreen Brick Works.

The place: A two-storey box within walking distance of Evergreen Brick Works
Listing price: $2,528,000
Sold for: 
Date sold: January 18, 2024
Bedrooms: 3+1
Bathrooms: 4
Size: 2,500 square feet
Real estate agent: Merad Safaian

“Before I came on board, the owners tried listing this home three times with three different agents, without any success. To boost the value of the property, we added a parking pad in the front yard and upgraded the interior lighting. While my clients had previously listed around the $3-million mark, I listed lower, at just over $2.5 million, to generate buzz.”

The owners added a parking pad out front to boost the home's selling value.

“With this new price, we didn’t get many showings, but we did quickly get two serious offers at about $2.2 million. A bidding war then pushed the price up, and we accepted an offer of $2,438,000—which was $90,000 below our listing price but close enough to my clients’ target for them to be happy.”

The ended selling $90,000 below listing price.

“Inventory is low right now, and many of the houses on the market are in poorer condition. There are discounts out there, but I think buyers shouldn’t rush. Instead, wait to buy the right property—and to hold on to it.”

“Because inventory is low right now, some listings are selling below the asking price," says realtor Merad Safaian.

Roncesvalles: Macdonell Avenue

This property sits on a deep lot, with plenty of space to add a laneway suite.

The place: A two-and-a-half-storey semi in the heart of Roncesvalles
Listing price: $1,750,000
Sold for: 
Date sold: January 25, 2024
Bedrooms: 6+1
Bathrooms: 2
Size: 2,230 square feet
Real estate agent: Monte Burris

“This listing is a big semi in a deep lot, with plenty of space to add a laneway home. That’s why we knew it would get lots of attention. When I looked at comparable homes, I figured $1.75 million was reasonable market value, and my clients were happy with that. We listed at that price, fully expecting to receive lowball offers given the slow market.”

Given the market, the owners were expecting low-ball offers.

“We got a flood of showing requests as soon as we went live. Within two days, we received an offer way below asking. My clients weren’t interested, so the buyers countered with an offer only $25,000 below the list price—with no conditions and a closing date of my clients’ choosing. That sealed it.”

The sellers eventually settled for $5,000 below asking.

“We were lucky that this deal closed so fast, but bargains can still be found in properties left over from the inactivity of the fall and winter seasons. Many of them don’t have offer dates and have fallen through the cracks, so intrepid buyers should be able to snap them up.”

Many properties listed in the fall and winter have fallen through the cracks, leading to deals.

Leslieville: Rushbrooke Avenue

This $1.2-million townhouse comes with a private terrace.

The place: A three-storey freehold townhouse with a private terrace
Listing price: $1,228,000
Sold for: 
Date sold: January 26, 2024
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3
Size: 2,000 square feet
Real estate agents: Meray Mansour and Mary Jo Vradis

“Market conditions are changing on a week-by-week basis, so it’s important to price a home accurately,” says realtor Meray Mansour. “Buyers aren’t willing to compete in bidding wars these days. Using a nearby detached home that just sold for $1.6 million as our benchmark, we figured the sweet spot for our townhouse was a little over $1.2 million—especially since it didn’t have any parking.”

Realtors say that buyers are no longer willing to compete in bidding wars.

“Over 11 days, about 60 people walked through the home. A couple showed some strong interest early on, but they didn’t make a move. And then, in late January, we got two offers below asking. One buyer was willing to improve their bid, and we sold at $18,000 under the list price.”

Sixty people visited this home over 11 days.

“A lot of house hunters are trying to make lowball offers, but they need to do their research first. If a property is listed at or close to market value, then an under-asking bid is just wasting everybody’s time. Buyers shouldn’t get distracted by the prospect of winning a deal. You’re likely going to come out on top bidding at the list price.”

Ultimately, the home sold for $18,000 under asking.

Are you an agent who recently sold for under asking? Send your story to [email protected]