Buying in a sellers’ market can be a challenge, but it’s manageable if you know what to expect, know what you want and are prepared to act quickly.
With more than 30 years of experience helping buyers and sellers in Ottawa, I’ve developed strategies to navigate challenging markets like the current one. Here are some things to remember:
Consider buying in the Spring:
As a buyer, you want to be looking when there is lots of inventory, which tends to be at its peak from April to July, even when inventory has been low in other months, as was the case this past year. Inventory picked up, and that’s a good time to buy.
Get Pre-qualified by your Lender:
In a low-inventory market, it’s crucial to be pre-qualified for a mortgage so that your financing is arranged, and you know exactly what your budget is.
Know your Must-Haves and Get to Know the Market:
As part of the buying process, I will educate you about the Ottawa market and what you can expect with your budget. We will show you recent selling prices in different neighbourhoods.
Have a clear idea of the features that are on your must-have list and which features would be nice but aren’t crucial. If there is nothing in your preferred area, would you be open to another neighbourhood? If so, which ones?
It’s important to have that in your mind. In a market with low inventory, you need to be prepared to act quickly when something that fits all or most of your needs comes along.
Look at listings, and if you’re considering different neighbourhoods that you aren’t already familiar with, spend some time there to get a feel for the area.
Be Prepared to be Flexible:
Sometimes first-time buyers have unrealistic expectations about what they will be able to buy within their budget.
Try to be flexible. If you are insistent on one neighbourhood where most properties are above your price range, you will have to look at something smaller in the area or perhaps consider a nearby neighbourhood with similar qualities but lower prices.
Some clients have purchased a house with a finished basement apartment to help pay their expenses. The rental income can help pay mortgage and other costs.
Ottawa’s Condo Market is softer than the Residential Market:
If you’re looking for a condominium unit, as many first-time buyers and older downsizers are, the good news is that in recent months, at least, the condo market in Ottawa is softer than the residential market, with more product available.
We could even be on the cusp of having an over-supply of condo units, which could work well for buyers.
There are a number of condo buildings that are nearly ready for the buyers who bought two years ago to move in, but at the same time the buildings are only 60 or 70% sold, so we will see a number of units being put on the market.
If you’re considering buying or selling, feel free to get in touch. I am happy to tell you more about the current market and what you can expect. On my website, www.nancybenson.com, you can read about me, view my listings and read testimonials from clients.