Rate holds are keeping Buyers happy while they search for a new home but they're due to expire in the coming weeks.  There will be a push from Buyers to buy & complete in the next 6 weeks or so but what comes next??


Some Sellers have already experienced some surprises when instead of multiple offers, they have received just 1.  If they'd already bought, like most Sellers today, that means they'd be forced to work with that offer.


Buyers who are more conservative or risk averse are beginning to take a wait & see approach between increasing interest rates & world events that do have an impact on us all in some way.


I'm expecting changes ahead but how long they take to show up we don't know.  Prices always go up a lot faster than they come down.

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Yes, even in a Sellers' market, it's possible not to sell at anything close to list price or to sell quickly. Here are the top 5 mistakes that some Sellers are making:

  1. Incorrect pricing-the market sets the price NOT the Seller so listing too high will turn Buyers off, not on.  There is an art & a strategy to pricing to get the best possible result.
  2. Failing to market the property effectively-is it easy for Buyers to view, has sufficient time been set aside to get all interested parties in, is the description accurate & focusing on key features for Buyers, etc?
  3. Not staging the property-if a property is vacant, staging will make a big difference to speed of sale & sale price.  Staging makes a home look larger & shows Buyers how a space can be used. I've even used partial staging, editing & adding to existing furniture.  Professional stagers know how to stage for the target market.
  4. Hiring the wrong agent-hiring a professional & experienced agent will eliminate a lot of potential problems. The property should be ready the day it's listed complete with all necessary documentation.  I've experienced too many listings where strata docs aren't available, the agent doesn't know the area or the type of property &...don't hire your brotherinlaw who just got his licence Surprised, at least not without another experienced agent.
  5. Not aligning on goals-have an honest discussion with everyone involved in the listing, from the agent to partners about availability for showings, timing of offers, list price, needs & timing for next property, & more.  Your agent has a fiduciary duty to you so all conversations are confidential & goals must be clear to all parties.

On a recent scan of sales over the last month, some took over a year & discounts were up to 30% from list price.  Not necessary!

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This is a question many of us have.  How can there be so little available when so many are looking for homes??


In a recent Redfin report, we discovered that people are simply choosing not to sell.  They compared 2021 to 2012 & found that 31% more owners are just staying put.  In addition 33% of homes are owned by those who are 65+, up from 28% in 2012.  I look around my neighbourhood & I have to agree.


Looking ahead, what are the trends?  People are living longer & often healthier lives & are able to stay in their homes.  Increases in interest rates could mean staying put is more appealing.  I find that many of my neighbours are creatures of habit & want to stay close to where they currently live, so if there aren't any good options, it's easier not to move at all.


In other words these low listing levels could be here to stay for a while.  What can you do about it?  Like so many other things, not all areas are the same.  Younger people tend to more more frequently for instance, as their needs change.  An experienced & professional realtor can show you areas where you might have a better chance of finding a home so don't give up before checking out your options.

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Win/win renovations are the ones that bring value to the owner while living in their home & also add value if & when they decide to sell.

When I'm working with Buyers now I hear them talk about homes being "move in ready".  Since CoVid, costs for building & renovations have skyrocketed, & in combination with long lead times or unavailability of everything from appliances to construction materials, Buyers would prefer to not deal with those problems.

When I say "move in ready", Buyers aren't being overly demanding either.  They want functional & worry free, & feel they can make cosmetic changes over time if necessary.  They'll even tackle more signicant alterations at a later date.

The key areas for Buyers are kitchens, bathrooms, & often storage.  With other parts of the home, it's often mostly cosmetic, ie paint, wallpaper, or carpet which are easy fixes.

I posted some photos on my IG page @karinsmithrealtor if you're looking for some inspiration

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Just this week I heard an American housing expert say that the most important thing to Buyers is the monthly mortgage payment, not the cost of the home in response to a questions about rising interest rates.

It got me thinking.  It's a tricky question as the 2 are definitely related so I ran a questionnaire in my IG stories & 2/3 of respondents agreed.

I agree too & here's why based on my experience.  When interest rates are low, Buyers realize that they're able to pay more (important in our multiple offer real estate world) without a big impact to their mortgage payment.  They are focused on that monthly figure more than the big one-the cost of the home.

When interest rates begin to rise, Buyers once again look to what that rising cost will do to their monthly payment, Because so many Buyers are stretched to their limit, expecially in large urban centres, that increase in payment could take Buyers out of the running.

So, yes, the major cost of a home is important but it's all about the regular mortgage payments for Buyers.

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