Buying a home is a stressful, emotional and often expensive process, facts which are true whether it's your first condo or your next home! The state of the housing market itself can add to this stress and, for those looking to buy real estate, the stress is only made worse when they encounter a “sellers' market”. While on a global level recessionary trends have created vast fluctuations in the housing markets of the world, some locations remain hot property and sellers have the edge over those looking to buy a home. Vancouver real estate is on of those markets that continues to remain buoyant and one in which sellers certainly have the upper hand. This is great news for many, unless you are searching for Vancouver real estate! In this post we'll cover the top tips to navigating your way through these troubling waters.
Call the Professionals
Vancouver real estate statistics suggest that the ratio of properties sold to those listed is around 30%, which beats the definition of a sellers' market by a full 10%. So, when it comes to the first tip for buyers searching for homes in Vancouver, the rule is find a top Realtor! While we all love hours spent taking virtual tours and viewing attractive shots of homes we could never afford, your Realtor will be able to rapidly short-list appropriate and affordable properties for you to view. Realtors have access to listings several days in advance of the general public and, perhaps more importantly, can assess the real value of homes and condos listed. In a sellers' market this is where they become truly indispensable to the buyer.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Being clear on your budget is always good – whatever the state of the housing market. It can, however, be especially important in a sellers' market. A pre-approval will help here and will also reduce the stress of your home search. It should also reduce the time spent viewing properties, removing those that you simply can't afford, however much you'd like to! Discuss your bidding strategy and budget with your Realtor, again, real estate agents are best placed to advise you when and if to make an offer and when to simply walk away.
Be prepared to take your time and to take a few losses too – in a hot property market you'll certainly find yourself out-bidden on more than one occasion. This really can add to the stress and frustration of the home buying process but if you're prepared to face this fact the process can be less painful. As mentioned above, listening carefully to professional advice will also reduce the stress and save some wasted time. On this point it is also crucial to spread your viewing net as widely as possible. The more properties you view the more choice you will have and, importantly, the more familiar you will become with the market – getting a better overview of which properties sell within hours and which may linger long enough to make your dream achievable.
From Dream to Reality
There is no getting round the fact that home buying in Vancouver's hot property market can be stressful, time consuming and occasionally disappointing. However, with the best Realtor and a certain amount of patience, finding your dream Vancouver home will become a reality.