With limited supply and increasing demand, buying in a competitive market can be scary…
But buying in a competitive market doesn’t have to be scary at all! You just have to know what to expect so you can navigate any situation. It might take some time, but your home-buying goals aren’t out of reach!
Secure financing and get pre-approved
Before you schedule any showings, the very first thing you should do is visit a bank or lender and ensure you can secure financing for a home. This step is absolutely critical, especially in a competitive buying market.
Contact your lender beforehand and set up an appointment. Find out what they’ll need from you before you attend your appointment to ensure your application goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. Your lender will be able to tell you what you can afford based on your down payment, income, credit, and other factors. Your pre-approval will be a big determining factor of where and what you can buy.
Have realistic expectations
In many buying situations that aren’t competitive, you can often negotiate upgrades/fixes into your offer. However, in a competitive market, the seller is likely going to get several bids on their home meaning that they won’t necessarily have to make changes to the home before you move in. As you’re going through the home, keep this in mind. Determine what is a “must-do” or not and budget for anything that is a non-negotiable to you – just don’t expect that the seller will front the bill.
In a competitive buying market, especially in Ottawa, you may want to adjust your budget to account for bidding wars. Whatever your budget is, expect to look at homes that are slightly less to give yourself breathing room in the event of a potential bidding war. An experienced Realtor can help you navigate this process and help you budget accordingly.
Bring an inspector to your showing
If you come across a listing that you absolutely don’t want to miss out on, it may be a good idea to bring a professional inspector with you to your showing. Why? This could eliminate the need for an inspection condition, which in a competitive market, could be the difference between your offer being picked over another one. It may cost an inspection fee up front, but it offers peace of mind for you in the event there is a bidding war.
Even if you don’t end up in a multiple-offer competitive situation, a professional could help you and your Realtor determine negotiating factors when placing an offer should there be anything concerning, rather than putting in an offer and finding out later. It’s not a necessary step, but it’s a helpful one.
Don’t wait – be prepared to place an offer
If you see a home you like, jump on it. With the fast-moving market, there is no time to sit and think about whether or not you want to place an offer, particularly in Ottawa right now where homes are only on the market for a matter of days.
Many sellers are opting to have a delay of offers on their listings so they can review all offers at once. This is increasingly common practice in a seller’s market. Your Realtor can help you construct an offer that will stand out among others
Hire an experienced Realtor
As an Ontario buyer, you don’t pay your Realtor directly – so what do you have to lose? An experienced Realtor can help you negotiate, understand the process, make educated decisions, and steer you in the right direction when buying a home.
Not only can a Realtor help you navigate a confusing, sometimes challenging market, they will also ask questions you may not have thought of to protect your best interest.
Buying a home in Ottawa right now can be challenging, but with the right help, it’s entirely within reach!
If you have questions about the process of buying a home, we’d love to answer them. Get in touch to get the ball rolling!