• Currently we are dealing with a “seller’s” market not a “buyer’s market so how do you differentiate between the two? How do you navigate the sellers market and still come out a winner? And how do you buy when the market is overheated?

    So how do you figure out if it’s a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? The easiest way is to look at unsold inventory. If the inventory on the market is between four and six months you have an even playing field between a sellers and buyers market. Less than that and it is usually a sellers market and beyond that and it is usually a buyers market.

    If you are shopping for a home currently you are probably coming up against too many bidding wars – that’s because the inventory is low and houses are selling for thousands over asking and usually in 1-2 days. So how do you navigate this current market and still come out a winner?

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    There are a few tips to keep in mind:

    1. Get Pre-approved. The spring and summer time are the busiest for mortgage brokers and lenders. The weather is nicer and it inspires people to go shopping. Keep in mind that if your broker is working with you to get a pre-approval in place, please make sure you have all the relevant paperwork at hand as lenders and brokers in most cases will not work on incomplete files. With complete files we can get you a 4-month rate hold, while you shop for your dream home. If the house does end up going into a bidding war you know the maximum you can afford to bid, therefore not putting yourself out on a limb if the house becomes too expensive for you. Also keep in mind that pre-approvals are not available for investment property purchases, so make sure you work me as I can work out a financing plan for you, that will give you an idea of what you can afford.
    1. Get a Great Real Estate Agent. In a seller’s market, you want an agent who will be pounding the pavement and the keyboard looking for properties that fit your budget. You want someone who has their eyes out for properties before they hit the MLS. Once the hit the MLS you are now officially competing with other buyers in the market. Many buyers make the common mistake of only interviewing one real estate agent before committing to that person for the biggest purchase of their lives. Something to consider asking, is how will they help you find a home in your price range and help you buy in a bidding war situation. Also don’t be afraid to ask for references of past clients. Testimonials can tell you a lot!
    1. Before you hit the road shopping, make a list of must have’s and other things you are willing to compromise, such as hardwood floors vs. laminate floors and/or laminate countertops vs. marble countertops. If you are handy or have access to people who are handy, these are changes you can make over time to your home.

    I remember when we went shopping for our first home, the house needed work and yet because we bought in a seller’s market, we overpaid by $13,000. As first-timers we knew our budget and then our absolute top number. My husband was handy so over the six years we lived there we made the changes to the home and eventually made it the way we wanted it to look and feel like. Even though we had to overbid, we still saved thousands of dollars at the time, because we did not demand the top finishes in the home.

    Finally, how do you buy when the market is overheated? My advice is that if the top three points don’t help you to be successful in the seller’s market and you are not in a super rush to buy, you might want to wait until the busy season dies down or the market switches to a buyers market or at least levels out to an even playing field.

    When will that happen and what will prices be like then? I can’t tell you that unfortunately but if you find the answer please write and let me know!

    I would love to know what your personal experience has been in this current seller’s market – please write and tell me here