Deep in the pandemic when suburban home prices were booming, the Toronto condo market was relatively underperforming.
With a return to office work, travel, and immigration now on the horizon, downtown residential sales are strongly rebounding. Spring sales (Q2) were an impressive 5.5 times higher than during the late winter, according to condo analytics site Urbanation.
We spoke with Toronto real estate expert Dorian Rodrigues of PSR Brokerage to learn how Toronto home sellers—downtown or suburban—can enter this market on a strong footing.
Rodrigues was training in real estate even before he graduated from university, and is still one of Toronto’s youngest luxury brokers. While his passion for helping clients was evident throughout our interview, it’s his contemporary and tech-savvy approach that is particularly valuable in this evolving Toronto market.
EM: Some people are seeing continued high prices and thinking of selling their home, but worried the process will take too long and they’ll miss the boat on this hot market. What would you say to them?
Dorian Rodrigues: Right now we’re starting to see sellers really motivated to get their home on the market, especially because they’re seeing that real estate is beginning to open up. Now with many people double-vaccinated, agents can host open houses and broker previews once again.
There’s no such thing as missing the boat, because if you’re selling a home when the market is high, and you’re also buying a home in the same high market, it usually evens out. I recommend getting the process going early. Allow us to bring our stagers, contractors, and marketers through, and we’ll get you top dollar whether it’s now or in a month from now.
EM: The whole process of selling a home can take a while. How long before putting their home on the marker should a seller get in touch with a real estate agent?
Dorian Rodrigues: Three weeks to a month. I take a different approach than many others. Some agents will view a place and tell the seller it’s amazing—nothing but compliments. But then after giving showings to potential buyers, they come back with a list of objections that need to be fixed.
My approach is to be brutally honest. I can say their house is spectacular, however it needs specific things changed or fixed, and a stager to come through and freshen up the look. I’m clear about what needs to happen to give best results. That process takes about two weeks, and then marketing takes a week-and-a-half. If you give me three weeks of leeway, I’ll make your home extremely presentable and ready to sell.
EM: That’s a great and honest approach to take. So if you were speaking with a first time home seller, what are three things you’d recommend they do before plunging into the market?
Dorian Rodrigues: First, interview at least three agents. That’s extremely important. I understand most people have friends and family in the industry, but you want to hire a real professional that does this day-in and day-out.
Secondly, get a professional stager in there; one that knows how to make it showable to the masses, and not just a specific market with similar tastes as you.
And the tip I find most valuable: get a contractor to walk through before listing it. See what small fixes you can make to add value. Even just a new sink backsplash or a fresh coat of paint can give new life and bring more return, because people walk in and say, “okay, this is turnkey and ready to live in.”
EM: I noticed you’re extremely active online, and you seem to understand the social media landscape better than most agents. How does that help your clients?
Dorian Rodrigues: When you see me online, I’m very authentic. That’s really who I am, so people know who they’re working with. And if we get along well together, we’re going to have a successful journey together.
This also helps my clients because I’m very well connected with the Toronto broker community through social media, and personally. So my listings get a lot of eyes—typically 5,000 or more qualified viewers to any property I post.
EM: You’ve worked with PSR Brokerage since you began your career. What qualities attracted you to PSR?
Dorian Rodrigues: PSR is a very innovative brokerage. Since I was young when I started, they gave me the support and guidance I really needed. The people are great and the collaborative atmosphere is excellent.
This article is opinion and not a substitute for professional advice. Disclaimer