With Ottawa in a buyers’ market, here’s what buyers and sellers should know
Whether you are looking to buy or wanting to sell, I always stress to my clients that it’s crucial to be aware of current real estate market conditions when we plan our strategy.
A key question is whether the current market happens to favour buyers or sellers.
If you are a buyer, do you have to act immediately when you see something you like, or can you be selective about what you buy and how much you will pay?
If you are a seller, the market determines whether you can expect multiple offers or whether you might have to wait a little longer than you had hoped in order to sell your home.
As I’ve been explaining to clients, this summer Ottawa is in what is called a “Buyers’ Market, as the Ottawa Real Estate Board confirmed in a press release in early June looking at sales numbers for May.
According to board numbers, there were 9,408 residential and condo properties on the Ottawa market at the end of May. That’s the highest I’ve seen in some time. The board says the residential listings are up 8.3 per cent since last year, and the condo listings are up 8.7 per cent.
This means that even in the busy summer season, when home buying is at a peak, there is an over-supply of properties for the number of people who are looking to buy.
As a Realtor with three decades of experience, I have a good understanding of how to help buyers and my seller clients approach different markets. I can help Buyers take best advantage of a “Buyers’ Market, and I also know how to help sellers to get the best price they can get in the current market and to sell their home as quickly as possible given the market conditions.
Here’s a brief rundown of what I’ve been telling my buyer clients and my seller clients about what the current buyers’ market means:
What it means for buyers: If you are looking for a home, congratulations. The market is in your favour. If you’ve been thinking of buying a home, you could not ask for a better time to enter the market.
There is some great inventory, and with sellers competing for offers, it means you can be choosy with respect to the quality of the home and the price you will pay.
In a sellers’ market, a buyer might forgive certain issues with a property. Buyers in the current market know they can be price conscious, and they want to get the best value they can. With a high property inventory, buyers have more options and more leverage when making an offer. There are many listings currently on the market whose sellers have had to lower their prices a few times when they realized they were asking an unrealistic price for the current market. If you’re a buyer, that’s great news.
I’d be happy to meet with you and give you an idea of the kinds of properties you could get at the moment in your price range. The selection has rarely been better.
What it means for Sellers: A seller never likes to hear the news that we’re in a buyers’ market. Sellers, understandably, are looking for top dollar, and some sellers think that because a similar home in their neighbourhood might have sold for a certain price a year or two ago, their own home should sell for a considerably higher price in 2015.
Unfortunately, with the large amount of inventory, I have to explain to sellers that they have to be realistic about what homes have been selling for lately.
I can show you the hard numbers, so you can see exactly what properties similar to yours have sold for in recent months, and whether the owners had to lower their original asking prices. This can give you an idea of what you can expect to sell for at the moment.
To avoid having to lower your asking price several times and to have your home on the market for longer than you want, it’s better to price the property at a price the current market will bear.
At the same time, keep in mind that even with a buyers’ market, certain neighbourhoods are still obtaining high values and are sought after by buyers. A very centrally located property is always going to be in high demand.
Along with a realistic asking price, it’s important to ensure that your property is in superb, showroom condition, because you are are competing with other sellers who have put a lot of work into making their homes sparkle.
With all of my listings, my home stager and I will work with you to de-clutter and freshen up your home. It isn’t necessarily weeks of hard work. It could just mean some fresh coats of paint to give the home a clean look. In a sellers’ market, you can sell a home that needs freshening up. In a buyers’ market, it’s important that your home is in turnkey condition. Buyers love a property that is ready to enjoy, with no major work to do.
For all my seller clients, once we have helped the property look its best, I arrange for a professional photographer to take the photos that buyers will see in our brochures and online listings.
Buyers today make their decision about which properties to visit based on photos, so it’s important that your home looks great to get buyers through your door. If you’d like some examples of how my current properties look in our online photos, you can browse the “current listings” section of my website, www.nancybenson.com. These photos will give you an idea of the clean, airy look we aim for when we prepare a home for listing.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I’d love to hear from you. With 30 years of experience as a realtor, I can help you navigate a buyers’ market in the most effective way possible.
You can reach me through my website, www.nancybenson.com, or by calling my office at 613-788-2556.