2018 is proving to be a on of the most challenge for buyers in our marketplace in history. In 2017 we experienced a very strong sellers market with many multiple offer situations and an 18% price jump. 2018 seems to be following a similar trend. The unfortunate part of a great market for sellers, it is extremely challenging for buyers. Buyers are faced with little inventory, lots of competition and rising prices. I can’t help but go back in my mind a remember the experience when I bought my home, with Jeff Nethercott as my Realtor. Locally, London was experiences a balanced market. I was able to see 4-5 places in a night and sleep on a decision. Gone are the days when buyers can have lots of options and a slower and less risky negotiation process.
This won’t be forever but is our now reality.
When I was looking for my first house I was naive in the buying process. Jeff would show me houses that I had picked out and inform me of the potential problems that I might experience as a home owner in the near future. As we would walk through homes he would be wonderful in making sure I didn’t get into a money pit. Jeff actually went so far as to refuse to allow me to write up an offer, as a client and a friend, on this one home. When I wanted to make an offer on a property with a falling garage that I was simply going to just “prop up” he wouldn’t allow it knowing the dangers and costs associated that I just couldn’t understand (I thought it would be an easy fix with 2x4s but having now owned my home understand that it would have come at a much greater cost and likely a rebuild that I couldn’t have afforded).
Buyers today are in a position of sacrifice and adjusted expectations, especially first time buyers. The need to view anything that “could” fit their needs and in areas they wouldn’t necessarily consider if given the option. You have heard of the stories and we have experienced them with clients, buyers paying upwards of $80,000 over asking and still have the risk of losing to the 3, 5, 10+ other offers being placed on the property. The hardest part is that when there are 3+ offers on a property that means 2+ people are still looking for a house and are disappointed.
Buying a house is not just an investment but can be a very emotional process. It is hard to watch our clients feeling defeated, anxious, sad, overwhelmed, and angry. We see these struggles and see how real they are. We lay awake knowing that lives are affected in such a terrible way and their daily lives are affected with their constant upsets. We often find ourselves being a coach, encouraging them and reminding them that the dream of home ownership is still within reach and they will find that home.
When a client gets a win and actually gets the home they made an offer on it feels like cloud nine – both for them and us! It is a truly uplifting moment we don’t take for granted and reminds us each and every time why we enjoy this profession where we help people reach their goal of home ownership. People who have lost on a house (or several) yearn for this feeling and we get that. It is hard to wait for this feeling but I feel strongly that things do happen for a reason – and for the clients who have lost on an offer and finally get a home, they will share with you that it was worth the wait and anguish.
For our buyers out there struggling in this near impossible sellers market we hope you won’t give up hope and neither should you. We recommend the following when looking at a house in a competitive market:
1. Getting financing in place with paperwork in your lenders hand to ensure no hiccups
2. Doing a pre-inspection – the cost can range $150-$300 but can be invaluable in an offer process to not include this in your offer – it is a high cost of doing business but can be the differentiator between your offer and another offer.
3. Have a higher deposit ready to go – commonly we see deposits at $1000 which just doesn’t show strength of an application – putting $5000+ can make your offer stand out and show your good faith in an offer
Along with these suggestions we ask that you don’t lose faith – the market will return to a balanced market in time. However today, the times require patience and persistence and we are here to help and will do everything we can to help you with your home purchase.
Thank you to everyone for their continued love and support ~Lindsay Reid