'How's the Market These Days?'
I get asked that a lot. Whether it's coming from my cousin's new boyfriend, an old lady across the table at the Farmers' Market, or my parents at family dinner when the conversation has drifted to politics and they don't want my brother and I to fight like toddlers. It seems every time there's awkward silence or someone just wants to make converstation - that is the question that fills the void.
Now I can respond - 'Don't you read my blog?'
So here's the first installment of How's the Market These Days:
Lately the media has managed to praise Calgary's real estate market while predicting utter doom for the rest of the country. Since you read my blog last week about how Real Estate Markets Are Like The Weather, you understand why there is some truth to this.
I took Economics of Supply and Demand in university for one week before I dropped the class because I couldn't stand the professor. But it doesn't take more than a week to understand supply and demand.
Two factors created a swirling storm in Calgary's real estate last month:
1. Right now there are almost a thousand less houses on the market than there were at this time last year. Lower supply of houses have caused prices to increase close to where they were in the infamous 'boom' days of 2007. This favours sellers.
2. Low interest rates mean that buyers can afford higher mortgages then they could a year ago. Also, rates will most likely be higher a year from now, so now is a good time to buy. This puts more power in the sellers hands.
Less supply + more demand = a sellers' market. If you're thinking about selling - now is the time!
Some sellers have caught wind of this and become greedy, pricing their house way too high. A properly priced home is still the best marketing strategy you can ever have, but more on that in next week's blog.
If you're looking to buy, don't get scared. You can still find the right house for you. Here's how:
Do your homework before you come to class. Every house I have written an offer on in the last three months has gone into competition with other offers. EVERY HOUSE!
Before you set foot in a house you need to be an educated buyer and you need to be ready to buy. You can't shop. If you see a house and you love it, you need to write an offer right away. Your financing needs to be ready. But because you're an avid reader of my blog, you already know that it's imperative to know how much you are pre-approved for. You need to know how much you're willing to spend and what is a fair price. Be prepared to pay close to the list price and make the sale as simple as possible. If you ask the seller to replace the rusty mail box, they might just walk away because they believe a simpler offer is coming from someone else.
That doesn't mean you should just snap up the first house you see. Make sure it's the right home for you. Most buyers get 'one more house syndrome'. There's one more house they'd like to see before they decide. Well, these days that house you loved will probably sell before you set foot in the next one.
As always, call or email me if you have any questions or just need a little advice.
And remember, I'm never too busy for any of your referrals.