With skyrocketing sale prices, multiple competing offers and record lows in the number of properties for sale, the current Seller’s Market is not for everyone and has left many people wondering if they should just sit things out until market conditions change. There’s no doubt about it, our current market conditions are wonderful for sellers but they sure make it tough for buyers! There can be pitfalls on both sides and nobody wants to get caught short.
Here’s what you should know about navigating a Seller’s Market.
Education and market awareness are key
Hesitation can result in the loss of your dream property, so buyers need to be prepared to act quickly. Getting a mortgage pre-approval from your lender will help you to understand your budget and any issues you may face in securing a mortgage. Deal with those obstacles now so that they don’t prevent you from making a purchase when you do find the property you’ve been looking for. The goal is to get yourself in a position so that when that ‘dream property’ does become available, you’re ready and able to act right away.
Buyers also need to be familiar with market values and recent comparable sales in the area they’re considering. It helps to be educated on the area, amenities and future development. As a buyer, you need to be in the best possible position to move confidently and quickly when you find a home that speaks to you. There are definite advantages to dealing with a local realtor who lives and works in the area, knows the neighbourhood well and is aware of details such as municipal bylaws and zoning changes that non-residents could overlook.
Putting your best foot forward is more important than ever
We are currently seeing competing offers on most properties. If you’re competing, your offer is less likely to be considered by the Seller if it includes conditions. That doesn’t mean a Seller will not consider a conditional offer but they’ll still be looking for the offer that benefits them the most so if a Buyer needs to include conditions in their offer, they’ll need to make their offer worthwhile or the Seller won’t look twice at it. Buyers have to be ready to put their best foot forward in every aspect of their offer – conditions, closing date, deposit and dollar amount. Firm offers will take precedence so limit your purchasing conditions to only those that are absolutely necessary and increasing both the purchase price and deposit amount can assure the seller that you’re serious about the purchase and can help to make your offer more attractive.
Properly priced homes are in great demand
Ready to list your property and make a killing? Despite the surge in sale prices that we’ve seen recently, a seller’s market DOES NOT mean the sky’s the limit on your asking price. Property values have jumped but getting greedy and over-inflating your already higher-than-ever asking price can result in extended days on the market, eventual price reductions, or even the loss of a prospective buyer, ultimately resulting in having to sell for a lower dollar amount than a properly priced home of equal value. Just because you have a dollar amount in mind does not mean it’s a realistic number that the market can bear. Get a few market evaluations from local real estate agents to help you arrive at a reasonable list price. Trust the people who sell property for a living to give you an accurate idea of how much you can expect to get for your property. If you’re not happy with the prices you’re hearing, you’re free to choose not to sell after all.
Housing market conditions can change quickly
The housing market is not static. Conditions will change and they may change quite quickly. Sellers hoping to take advantage of current conditions should be prepared to act while the market is in their favour rather than waiting until they’ve got every job don the To-Do List done. Getting a house ready to show is definitely important but you don’t want to take so long that you miss your window of opportunity. Focus on the most important jobs first and leave the purely cosmetic ones for the bottom of your list. Buyers will likely want to change things like paint colour or flooring once they take possession anyway.
Now is not the time to get lazy or comfortable
The fact that we’re experiencing a seller’s market doesn’t guarantee your home will sell. It’s still vitally important to make sure your home shows to its best advantage in order to get it sold quickly and at the price point you want. A well-presented home will still bring you maximum dollars, so it is still necessary to continue to pay attention to detail and keep your property clean, tidy and looking sharp.