In today’s real estate market, it can be tough to be a buyer. Especially in Southern Ontario right now, where it is a HOT market for Sellers. We are in a SELLERS’ market, which means that there are more buyers than homes to buy. The main reasons for this Sellers’ market are a lack of inventory, as described above and low interest rates.
As a buyer, the best way to WIN is to be a Savvy Buyer and be as prepared as you can be so that when the time comes, you are able to come #HomeSwetHome to a home you love (and can afford).
My Buyers are always as prepared as they can be, and this is one of the reasons that they are happy homeowners 😊 Here are my Top 5 Tips so that you, too, can become a happy homeowner in your first, or next, #HomeSweetHome.
- GET PRE-APPROVED – I cannot stress this enough. A home is an investment and part of purchasing one, for the majority of people, will be getting a mortgage through a lender. It is KEY that you connect with an awesome, diligent and patient mortgage specialist who can answer your questions and get you pre-approved based on your income, debts and credit score. Knowing how much house you can afford is the best first step you can take.
- CONNECT WITH AN AWESOME REAL ESTATE AGENT – Hopefully, after reading this, you will be connecting with me 😊 But regardless of who you choose, ensure that they are knowledgeable, patient and sit down with you face to face (or, in Covid Times, Screen to Screen) to go through a Buyer Consultation to find out what you, and your partner if you are buying your home together with someone, really want. We will go through questions about lifestyle, layout, number of bedrooms and uses, bathrooms, location, fireplace type, backyard needs etc. The key is to paint a clear picture of what matters most to you (and then to get as close to it within your price range as we can lol)
- GET SET UP FOR AN MLS SEARCH – Once we have an accurate price range and we know what you WANT, it’s time to set up an automatic search. Technology is awesome – why not benefit from it? The MLS search will send you an email the instant a home matching our criteria for you is listed. This gives you a chance to see it and make a decision on it before it’s too late. It also creates a portal for you to save listings that you like and go back to see them while they are still for sale. It saves my clients hours and hours of online searches or driving around looking at For Sale signs.
- LOOK PAST COSMETICS/SMALL ISSUES – Some homes look like they are ready to be featured in a lifestyle magazine. They are ready to be lived in yesterday and there is no work at all to be done. Those homes will likely ALSO have a line up of buyers waiting to get in and purchase them at a premium. It that’s the house, let’s go for it and try my time-tested techniques for multiple-offer situations. Getting involved in bidding wars can be exhausting and frustrating though. And often, it’s not the first time buyer who is able to win those wars. An alternate strategy is to look at homes that are nice, and have most of what you want, but also have something a little LESS desirable. For example, my awesome first time buyer clients, who had lost in three separate bidding wars to outlandish purchase prices, finally saw a brick bungalow that they liked. There were three issues with the home that resulted in its sitting on the market a little longer than most of the other homes in the area. Firstly, the entire interior of the house was painted mint green. Everywhere. Except for the master bedroom, which was lavender. Secondly, the roof was in pretty bad shape at the front of the house (curb appeal matters). And lastly, there were notes in the listing about the photos being from the year before with a note about clutter. Oh boy. We went to see the home and, but for those three issues that put off most buyers, my clients loved the house. We were able to negotiate, a rarity in a Sellers’ market, and even had a couple of conditions in our offer. My clients are so excited about their new home – and are already picking out paint colours and roofing companies.
- GET AN INSPECTION – AS A CONDITION OR BEFOREHAND – in the example above, I was able to negotiate an inspection as a condition of the agreement, which is rare in a Sellers’ market or in any competitive situation. In a scenario where my clients know they love a house and we know there will likely be competition, we have an inspector come for a pre-offer inspection. There are two main kinds of these pre-offer inspections.
- The Seller/Seller’s Agent is fine with you booking a 3 hour inspection – in this case, you book the three hours with an inspector and they will go through the entire house, top to bottom and give you a full report so that you can comfortably offer on one of the biggest investments of your life,;
- The Seller/Seller’s Agent cannot accommodate a longer showing/appointment – many of the inspectors I work with provide a 1 hour walk through inspection and cover the main points of the house. Some will provide a report to go with this and some will not. The key is to understand the home you are buying and ensure that there is nothing major you are missing.
There is a lot of debate about inspections among buyers (and their families). While it’s not a guarantee that nothing will go wrong, having an inspection on a home that you are purchasing will help you identify any issues and also help you understand the home. The home inspectors I refer to my clients are focused on education and on professionalism and go above and beyond to ensure that my buyer clients feel comfortable and understand more about the home by the end.
Those are my Top 5 Tips for Savvy Buyers. As a real estate professional in London and Guelph for the past eight years, I have learned many more – and I am always happy to strategize with my amazing clients to give them the best experience possible. I am Krystal Lee Moore, Your #HomeSweetHome 519 REALTOR® in London and Guelph, Ontario, and I am here to serve.
Committed to making a difference in the lives of those around me.
I am YOUR #HomeSweetHome 519 REALTOR® Krystal Lee Moore 🙂
Krystal Lee Moore, Real Estate Broker
Royal Lepage Royal City Realty, Brokerage
Independently Owned and Operated
Why choose Krystal?
My passion is helping people and giving back to the community and consistently go above and beyond to make my clients feel important, valued and appreciated!
I have over 20 years’ experience in Sales and Customer Service.
I am motivated, dedicated and have a solid background in law.
Want to know Moore?