You have been saving for a down payment for years and are finally ready to buy a house to call your own, or maybe you have grown out of your current home and are looking for something bigger. However the market is not really in your favour, as houses are selling quickly and the prices seem to be climbing by the day. Still, you plan on persevering and buying anyway, as no one knows how long the market will stay high.
While buying in a seller’s market can be stressful and quick-paced, there are steps you can take to ensure you get the right house for the right price. Being an educated and proactive house hunter will give you the leg up on your competition, so take some time to get to know what is selling and for how much. If you are looking in the Toronto area, the Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market is a good place to do some research. Keep these clever tips in mind.
- Secure Financing
Having your ducks in a row when it comes to financing is always a good idea in a market where houses are selling like hot cakes. Being pre-approved often makes the difference when a homeowner is choosing whose offer to accept. Talk to a mortgage broker or your long-time bank and find out what they are willing to approve you for. This way you know exactly where you sit budget-wise and you won’t waste your time bidding on houses you cannot afford.
- Know Your Neighbourhoods
Sometimes when the market is busy and houses are selling quickly a realtor suggests house hunting in a less established or trendy neighbourhood. I suggest looking into the areas you want and the ones you would consider then make a decision whether you want to focus on your favourite community or instead on your second choice. If you want to buy in a popular area it may be more difficult but not impossible. So decide what matters to you.
- Find the Right Agent
Finding an agent who has a pulse on the market and who knows your chosen neighbourhoods well can make a big difference. An experienced professional knows the other listing agents and may hear of a house going up for sale before anyone else. They also know when owners are asking for more than the market suggests and when a property is such a good deal you should not pass it up. Working with a good agent can get you the home you dream of.
- Research What’s Selling and For What Price
One of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make is offering a weak low-ball offer instead of leading with their best bid in order to get the homeowner’s attention. When there are multiple buyers interested in a home you need to create a relationship with the seller so they choose your offer. If you know what houses are going for you can confidently bid on a property you want to make your own.
- Know What You Want
In a seller’s market you are going to have to act quickly if you find a house you like. Spend some time creating a list of must-haves as this is key to buying a place that suits your needs. If you have not taken the time to figure out what your deal breakers are you may find yourself putting in the winning offer on a house you don’t like very much just because you are feeling pressured to buy something.
- Do Not Get Into a Bidding War
Some realtors suggest to homeowners they should list their house slightly below value in order to create a bidding situation. Though it may be tempting it typically does not benefit the potential buyer but instead works well for the person selling the property. Often the price ends up higher than other places in the same area and this is why a lower listing is not worth getting into a bidding war over. Take your time and find a fairly priced home to put in your offer.
- Always Ask for an Inspection
When house hunters are competing for too few houses realtors often tell you to waive some of the contingencies. This is because sellers often choose the offer because it makes it more convenient. However you need to be careful in this area and never waive a home inspection. We have all heard the stories of buyers being stuck with a money pit when why did not get it inspected prior to buying.