Buying a house in Guelph isn’t easy at the moment. With the combination of low mortgage rates, a very attractive city for in-migration, and insufficient inventory to meet the demand – what we end up with is a lot of frustrated buyers.
And then, buyers start doing foolish things.
First, they overpay. Out of sheer desperation because they need a house – or perhaps because they feel the Guelph real estate market will always be like this – they say enough is enough, and they knowingly overpay. They think they’ll be okay with doing so, and likely they will be – right up until the time when they sit down with a Realtor in five years and experience a disappointing conversation about the lack of equity they’ve gained in their property. That’s what happens when you overpay on the buy….
Second, people start waiving basic conditions that are the stuff of common sense and due diligence. Home inspections, financing… waived – and often out of desperation.
And lastly, many Guelph home buyers overpay. They fall into the trap of bidding wars and get into the mindset of ‘winning,’ rather than paying a fair price for a house.
In short – when you are buying a home in a seller’s market, be careful. Work with a Guelph Realtor (preferably an Accredited Buyer’s Representative) who calms you down – not winds you up. And consider a few of the following strategies:
- Develop a Viewing Plan with your Realtor. When I work with buyers in these kind of market conditions, we make a commitment to each other. We set time aside so that we can get out to see houses the day they are on the market – ideally before the evening when everyone else will be heading out to go looking. Even if we can just scoot out for a 20 minute walk-through over a lunch hour, it gives us the chance to see the property (and act on it) before many others will.
- Lock Down your Finances. Work with your mortgage broker to ensure that you can tighten up your financing condition. (And yes – you should include a financing condition unless you are sitting on the bags of cash required for a purchase.) If your offer requires a week or longer for financing, it won’t be competitive. Two or three days? That shows a seller that your financing is secure; you are just exercising good common sense by including the condition… just in case.
- Think Twice Before Waiving a Home Inspection. If you know there is going to be a bidding war, it’s true that a home inspection condition could be the nail in your offer’s coffin. Rather than waive it, do a pre-offer inspection. This way, you have a nice, clean offer but you’ve still protected yourself. Worst case? You’ve spent some money to learn that the house has issues – and you’ve dodged a bullet.
Those are just a few strategies to consider. The most important one is this: Work with a reputable Guelph Realtor who will represent your interests and help you navigate through the maze of multiple offers and other seller’s market scenarios.