How to buy in a climate of low inventory

Are you a buyer looking for a home in today’s climate of low inventory? In addition to you being a buyer, there is an abundance of buyers chasing the very same homes that you are. In this market, you have to have a solid plan and strategize in order to have a winning chance to purchase and close the deal on the home you are bidding on.

As an experienced broker for the past 27 years in the Waterloo Region, I have some insight and tips that will give you a better chance to win that multiple offer bidding war and get you moved into your home.

1) Find a home you like? Try and get into the home for a showing as soon as it’s listed. At times you will see agent’s post “coming soon” ads on social media or their websites. If you see a coming soon ad, you can call and book a showing. You can also ask your agent to keep you informed on how many offers are registered.

2) Make sure you do your due diligence on the property and prepare! This includes getting financing in order – contacting a mortgage broker or financing company, and inspection prior to the presentation / showing date.

3) You can always revisit the property again later. Stop by during an open house and hear comments that are being made by others, including hearing what the hosting agent has to say.

4) Ensure that you ask your agent to register your intent to offer prior to the presentation date.

5) Find out what the ideal closing date for the seller is. Are they looking to close right away? Or do they need a couple weeks or months? It’s great information for you to know as a buyer prior to making a formal offer.

6) In your offer, make sure you don’t include items that are excluded or would annoy the seller. A good example is sentimental items. These kinds of items can be purchased later if the seller is willing.

7) Submit a CASH offer, you can see point #2 above.

8) You may double the deposit that is being requested on the offer, and you can submit a draft or certified cheque with the offer. By doing this, you are showing financial strength and seriousness to buy.

9) Be present at the property with your agent at the time of your presentation. Insist that your agent submits your offer in person and be there for it!

10) Ask your real estate agent to tell the seller, and the seller’s agent that you want to be present. This way if in the event that any part of your offer is not acceptable to the seller, you only need 15 minutes by way of a sign back to make a decision. The seller and seller’s agent will want to deal with those who are present. They always have their emailed offers as back up if you walk away.

You should be the one to say, “Yes, I accept the sellers changes.”, or not and not walking away disappointed. On many occasions I have heard a buyer say “I would have gone up on the price” or ” I would have accepted a date change” but they were never given the opportunity. By being there, you have that opportunity.

There is a lot you need to know when making a real estate transaction. Make sure you find an experienced real estate agent or broker. If you need any answers to your real estate questions, feel free to e-mail me or 519-624-5555. I am always happy to help!

Good luck and happy house hunting.

— Faisal