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It’s been three months! Why won’t my house sell? Add to ...

Question: We’re selling our house. Or perhaps I should say TRYING to sell our house - it’s been on the market for over three months! We've had some interest but no firm offers. We put a lot of money into renovations and we want to get that money back, but there seems to be a lack of buyers in our price range - $1.5-million+ in our Bloor West neighbourhood. What are we doing wrong?

Answer: It’s tempting to believe that a house in a hot Toronto neighbourhood will sell within a week, especially if it’s YOUR house. But the average time on market for properties in Toronto this year has actually been 25 days. And the reality is that homes in the $1-million+ bracket tend to be on the market much longer.

The obvious reason is there just aren’t nearly as many buyers in your price range, especially compared to the high-demand $300,000 to $600,000 range. This segment has made up about 56 per cent of sales in the GTA so far this year. Homes in the $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 range? Only 4 per cent of sales.

That’s the easy answer – but there may be more complex matters at work in your case.

You mentioned that you’ve put a lot of money into renovations. Is it possible you may have “over-renovated”?

Believe it or not, you really can have too much of a good thing. While less common in your price range, going overboard with renovations that exceed the norm of similar homes in the area can be a real problem. If you’ve undertaken truly radical, unique or personalized renovations, it can make your home a lot harder to sell.

If you’ve read my articles previously, you know the emphasis I put on properly pricing your home. We tend to put more value on our own homes because we know the money and effort we’ve put into improvements and upkeep, and sometimes even more importantly the memories we’ve built in our own homes. Memories have infinite value - but only to you.

Hopefully you can take a step back and get sound advice about how well your home has been priced. How does it compare with similar homes in your neighbourhood? How long did it take for them to sell? These are just a couple questions that will help uncover whether you’ve put the right price on your home.

It isn’t time to push the panic button yet in your case. You mentioned that you are getting some interest, which is a good thing. If showing requests of your home start to decline over the next month, you may want to revisit your strategy.

In the meantime, remember: In a hot neighbourhood like yours and an always-active real estate marketplace like Toronto, the right buyer is likely to come along.

Ricky Chadha is a broker with Royal LePage Estate Realty in Toronto, and specializes in applying social media and other digital tools to the business of real estate. You can find Ricky on Twitter @your416 or at his website RickyChadha.com.

Submit your questions to realestateexpert@globeandmail.com. Our Real Estate Expert will answer select questions, which could appear on The Globe and Mail website. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

The content provided in The Globe and Mail’s Ask a Real Estate Expert is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional real estate advice.

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