The latest market report from the Ottawa Real Estate Board is in (>>> OREB report). It’s telling us the truth of the market: there’s a shortage of houses for sale. Even though the average prices have gone up over the last year!
Yes – it’s a seller’s market. Yes – there is a lot of competition for the houses that do get listed.
Don’t panic if you are a buyer. There are some simple tactics/strategies that will help you succeed:
- Get pre-approved. Everyone says that they are, and 99% of the time they are all set. But in the current market, multiple offers -at prices above asking – sometimes go beyond the “appraisal value”. This can be a real issue. Make sure you have an open ongoing rapport with a great mortgage broker. They can help you in this part of the process.
- Don’t start with houses at the top of your price range. Leave yourself some room in your searches in case there is competition and you have to increase your offer.
- Be serious. Have a good down payment ready. Be prepared to waive conditions. Pay for a pre-inspection. These things tell the seller you are ready to buy.
- Be flexible. If you WANT this house, be flexible about closing dates, inclusions and exclusions. Really think about what would be deal-breakers.
- Be open-minded. Look at houses just below your price range. Maybe there is one that only needs a little cosmetic project to meet your needs. Work-from-home options are extending beyond the pandemic. Consider another neighbourhood, just a little further out, since commute times may not apply anymore, you might find the right place.
- Be bold. Be ready to pounce. Don’t freak out if you don’t see it on the market today. More listings will come tomorrow. But be prepared to move and move quickly.
- Pick an agent who has your interest at heart. Pick me (shameless marketing plug)!
Follow these steps. Get ready to jump when you see the right property. Let’s be proactive together and find that home for you!
Now, what if you are a seller? It’s “your” market. Are you ready? What do you need to do to be “ready for action”?
- Get the little “fix-it” projects done. Make sure you check with your agent about any you might have missed.
- Declutter – before pics and before the sign goes up. Even if you have a “hot property in a hot location,” buyers want to see it neat.
- Set your asking price close to the “selling price” in your neighbourhood. This will increase the number of people viewing the property online. It will increase traffic to an open house. Your agent is your best resource to determine the prices in your area.
- Be ready for short-notice showings. In this low inventory market, people will want to get in and see the place quickly.
- Pick an agent that with a good network– and not just in Ottawa.
- And don’t pick an agent because he tells you how great they are. Seriously. This is about selling your house, not about an agent selling themselves and at the same time, also maybe selling your house. How can you tell? Check the For Sale sign out in front of a property. If the agent’s name or website address is bigger than the worlds “For Sale” then you can be almost sure that agent has bigger interests than just selling your house.
Call/contact me if you are ready to sell or think you are ready but still have questions. I am more than happy to sit down with you and help you get ready to sell your home. I can provide all the market information you’ll need to make the right decision.
I’ve even got a little ‘quiz’ at this link to help you determine if you are really ready to sell your house. Check it out!