How to Navigate a Competitive Market

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent When You're Ready to Buy |

We’ve all seen the headlines:

“Home sold $502,000 over asking!”

“House received more than 20 offers.”

“Buyers frustrated with home search.”

There’s no denying we’ve seen unprecedented activity in housing markets across Canada. Home sales have been setting records across the board since last summer, yet we began 2021 with the lowest level of supply on record—below 100,000 listings. Supply inched up in March 2021, but demand also remained high.

Meanwhile, lockdown restrictions and stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to keep most Canadians at home. This renewed focus on the importance of home, coupled with tight market conditions have been a recipe for unheard of competition, leaving many buyers feeling anxious or frustrated.

We are seeing multiple viewings and offers within hours or days, houses selling over list price and buyers coming from all over the country and the world.

As a trusted advisor, our knowledge and expertise in real estate is a buyers’ secret weapon to navigating a challenging market.

Well informed, prepared clients have the power in a competitive market! I feel it is our job as Pilon Group Agents to do our very best to ensure our clients are confident, knowledgeable and within scope—in advance.

When managing client expectations: tip-toeing, being afraid or avoiding telling a client what ‘reality in realty’ might really be or to hesitate to inform them of alternatives to their thought processes is not the best tactic for anyone. I use my value proposition to create a culture of mutual respect, trust and confidence in ourselves for our clients before we potentially have to compete.

It’s important to have hypothetical, yet realistic, conversations with clients ahead of time. What are they willing to accept? What are they willing to lose? Hash out what they can and can’t remove from the contract based upon their current situation before you start your search.

Conversations with a well-seasoned investor or contractor will be different than those you have with a first-time home buyer.

“It’s a tough market for buyers right now but if they know what to expect during the process it makes it a little less stressful,” says Jason Pilon

We can all agree, managing expectations is crucial.

  • Encourage buyers to adopt a practical, rational mindset. If they get attached to homes too quickly and then continue to lose bids, they risk emotional exhaustion.
  • On a similar note, don’t let them get hung up on missed opportunities. The right home is out there, and you will help them find it.
  • Reassure clients. You know the process, make sure you explain it to them every step of the way.

How do you make an offer stand out?

There is no one-size fits all solution in real estate. Every offer is situational.

“An estate sale or long-time family home will potentially have more emotional attachment where a family value proposition may trump time or money, but in my experience money or the for-certain condition-free deal will generally win over emotions,” says Ariella McNaught.

Although it’s not unheard of- one couple in Ottawa was able to finally seal the deal on a home after a two-year search thanks to a sweet personal touch.

After losing multiple bidding wars, they secured a home ($50,000 over the list price) with the help of a handwritten letter from their seven-year-old daughter who wanted a place to plant a veggie garden.

I think the letter did pull on the sellers’ heartstrings because they had multiple offers and I don’t think ours was the highest.

A couple in Toronto also sold their home to buyers who included a letter and photograph.

The letter said, ‘We want this to be our forever home.’ Leaving the house to them made me feel really good.’

That home had 19 offers and sold $545,000 over asking. Although we must take into consideration this tactic doesn’t always work.

Removing waiver of conditions such as home inspection or financing—in some cases these may be a positive in terms of the offer, but be warned, in other cases may cause more headaches in the end. Understanding how to navigate this type of offer is critical. A pre-offer inspection allows buyers to make an educated offer but could mean they lose money if their offer is rejected.

While always a good idea, it’s even more important in the current market to ensure your clients are pre-qualified with a lender. Having your proverbial ducks in a row will make it easier to write an offer when your clients find a house they love.

“Having your agent speak with the listing agent, ask great questions, prodding for information and then be an active listener for any cues about what is potentially important to these sellers,” says Tara Descoteaux.

During the line of questioning you may learn there’s an ideal possession date for the sellers, or you could uncover a pre-inspection has already been completed. The information can be used to your advantage when drafting an offer. Removing barriers and “asks” could also make your offer more appealing.

While “money talks” the best offer isn’t necessarily the highest one.

Keep a pulse on market conditions

Regardless of which side you’re representing during a transaction, it’s crucial you are on top of what is going on in your market. How much inventory is there? What’s happening with price trends?

  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) is the most advanced and accurate tool to gauge a neighborhood’s home price levels and trends. The MLS® HPI includes more than 65 local markets and represents more than 80% of real estate activity across Canada. Talk to your local board about getting access.
  • The CREA Stats Centre is a one-stop shop for MLS® System statistics, the national news release, aggregate data from the national, provincial and board level, plus more detailed statistics broken down by local areas and property types. It allows members to easily access a plethora of information.
  • complies and analyzes numerous factors affecting the real estate market including regional demographics, employment trends, consumer confidence and interest rate changes.

We strongly believe it’s important to keep clients and potential clients informed.

While there’s no secret formula to winning a bid, this old adage remains true: knowledge is power.

Speak with a Pilon Group Agent today to see how we can help you find the perfect home & keep you up to date on market activity!



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