At the time of this writing the market in Sidney/Victoria is moving slightly slower than it was at this time during the year previously but it's still moving incredibly fast. Our Sidney/Victoria realtor, Suzi Jack can barely keep her inventory stocked up. Many of her listings have been selling with mind-boggling speed, often for more than the asking price.
We've seen how stressful it can be for buyers in a sellers market. When the market is moving fast the place you are viewing on a first showing may already have an accepted offer by the time you set your first foot through the entryway. Often multiple buyers are making offers on a property at once, which means the sellers get to cherry pick not only the highest offer, but their most preferred conditions around the offers.
If you're serious about buying real estate in a sellers market there are a few things to consider before making an offer, and a few things to consider when making offers.
Preparing to Buy Real Estate in a Sellers Market
Get any pre-approval for financing in order before you do anything else. Make sure there is no need for an offer to be subject to financing. In a buyers market sellers will accept an offer subject to financing, where multiple offers are coming in a buyer without this condition will be preferable to a seller.
Create a Plan with Your Realtor
Determine with your realtor what your maximum price is. How flexible you are about move-in dates. Your realtor should know the current conditions well including how much many of the offers have been above the asking prices. You need an experienced realtor who can knowledgeably work fast when you're ready to make an offer, there's no time for extra fiddling around with paperwork and questions when a property you want is being flooded with multiple offers.
Making Offers on Real Estate in a Sellers Market
Put Your Best Offer First
If the seller is receiving multiple offers on a listing, the probability of it being sold for more than the asking price is higher, a low-ball offer is a waste of everyone's time in a sellers market. Sellers with multiple offers will select the highest offers for consideration, there is unlikely to be any back-and-forth haggling with lower offers like there often can be during buyers markets. Decide quickly what the most you'd be willing to pay for the property is, and offer that.
Go Light on Conditions
When a seller has multiple offers to choose from, the other factor that can weigh in better for one offer over others is how seller-friendly the conditions are. Better yet, don't put any conditions on the purchase unless you're willing to put up a very high offer.
Flexible or Delayed Possession Date
If you make it easier for the seller in any way possible, your offer will hold more sway. Consider offering a flexible, even a delayed possession date to give the seller more time to prepare for their departure from the property.
If a property has remained unsold for some time in a sellers market there may be concerning reasons why. While it may be tempting to snag it, particularly if you've endured numerous failed offers already, there could be real problems or a significant market-value discrepancy that just isn't in your best interests in the longer term. Ask your realtor to look into what the delay is about and consider the potential problems or issues with some caution.
Markets change, sometimes they work in favour of buyers, sometimes they work in favour of sellers. There are good reasons to buy in either market, but there are different approaches to buying property between the two. An experienced realtor is an especially useful ally to work with when you're buying property in a seller's market where time and sales move so fast. To buy property in a sellers market, you may need to plan and strategize accordingly!