If you haven’t noticed…like maybe you’ve been out of the country or off-planet for the last 6 months…the Quinte area real estate market has really heated up. Our market isn’t as hot as our neighbours to the west, but one only has to check the Quinte and District Association of Realtors statistics to learn that there has never been a better time to sell. Ever. Multiple offers and short listing periods on properly priced properties are becoming more common. Clearly, we are in a Seller’s market, which may concern you if you are in the market for a new home.
While it might seem that as a Buyer, you’re at the mercy of the Seller and his/her cunning real estate representative, now is not the time to lose your cool. In a Seller’s market it is so important to avoid making an emotional buying decision. Now if you’re of Dutch descent, like me, then every buying decision is emotional, but that’s another story. Remember what’s motivating you to purchase a new home, what your criteria are, and what your budget is.
There are very few Buyers who are able to approach a home purchase with Mr. Spock’s cool Vulcan logic. When evaluating a prospective new home your emotions play a vital role in the process along with your checklist of ‘must have’ features. The feeling that a new home and/or neighbourhood elicits is one of the primary decision making factors for most Buyers. When it comes to actually making a buying decision in a Seller’s market however, it’s vital to keep that checklist and the budget at the forefront. This is how you determine where you can afford to negotiate and how much wiggle room you have. It’s also your REALTOR®’s tool for helping you avoid spending more than you’re prepared to on your home buying transaction.
If you haven’t already done so, a call to your bank or mortgage broker is essential before starting your search for a new home. In a competitive offer situation your offer will stand out above the rest if your financing is already in place and you have a written letter of commitment from your mortgage company spelling out how much you can afford to spend on a new home. In addition to home inspection and appraisal fees, don’t forget to add legal fees and other closing costs such as land transfer tax, mortgage default insurance fees (if your down payment is less than 20%), and in some cases, HST to your budget calculations so you’re not surprised at closing time.
Think about the neighbourhood you’re planning to move to. If you can, drive around and get a feel for the area before searching for a home there. When listings are as few and far between as they are now, set a maximum distance you’re willing to look travel if your search centers around a certain school district, neighbourhood, or work location. Determine well ahead of time where you can be flexible and where you can’t.
Finally, select a REALTOR® who knows the area you’re moving to. In any real estate market, but especially in a Seller’s market, you need someone on your side who understands the emotions involved, who knows the value of the properties in the area, and who represents your interests in a competitive offer situation. I’d love to be the REALTOR® who helps you put your best foot forward when it comes to crafting an offer that captures the Seller’s attention while also meeting your objectives. Let me be your Vulcan. Contact me to learn how I can help you make your next move.
Stay tuned for my next post: Play Nice: Sellers in a Seller’s Market.
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