Just because you’re full doesn’t mean you can’t browse the menu. And just because I’m not planning to move doesn’t mean I don’t check real estate websites regularly. As life changes — new jobs, growing families, overall changes in need — so do our priorities when it comes to the roof over our head. As a first-time homeowner, I’m an amateur when it comes to buying, and I’ve yet to wear the seller’s shoes. It all makes me wonder, how easy (or difficult) would it be to offload one home in favour of another?
“It's technically a buyers market,” says Jason Shadbolt, Realtor for ViewPoint Realty, “mainly because there are far more listings than there are buyers. But I use the word ‘technically’ because buyers feel that houses are priced too high and, as a result, are not buying. Until sellers make a price adjustment, inventory will continue to increase and sales will remain low, not making it a preferred market for either buyers or sellers.”
While the biggest driving factor behind sales is price, there are other aspects that can draw or deter a sale.
“Aside from that, people are looking for specific upgrades such as window and shingle replacement — if the roof is in need of shingles or the windows are older, it can seriously hinder the sale of a home,” Shadbolt says. “Competitive pricing and doing necessary repairs or upgrades to a home — these two factors will be what sets your home apart from others on the market.”
Knowledge is power, according to Shadbolt, who says your ability to be flexible can make or break your ability to make the best deal whether you’re buying or selling.
“It makes my job easier when a seller listens to their agent and looks at the relevant information they are given. Sellers need to realize that prices from home sales last year are not reflective of today’s home-selling prices.”
But it’s not only the seller’s job to make the sale easier. Buyers can do their own homework to make process simpler.
“It makes my job easier when a buyer gets pre-approved for a mortgage and spends some time deciding on the location they want to live in before they start their physical search,” Shadbolt says.
“The biggest challenge for buyers is that there is so much inventory. Such a saturated market breeds procrastination and can cause them to take up to six months to make a purchase that in a better market would have one. The biggest challenge for sellers is the number of listings they are competing with, as well as the likelihood of them to receiving offers $20,000 to $40,000 below asking price. Sellers also struggle with the realization that they will not sell their home for as much as they would have if they sold their home last year.”
In an ever-fluctuating market, it can’t hurt to be prepared when the right prospect comes along. Staying on top of home repairs and maintenance can make it easier to sell your current home if your dream home comes within reach.
“The best thing for buyers and sellers to do is to spend more time educating themselves about today’s market by using tools such as viewpoint.ca and finding a realtor who is well rounded in all aspects of purchase and sales,” Shadbolt suggests. “You can never ask too many questions and finding a realtor who can answer all of them will be the difference between a positive and negative experience.”
**A special thanks to Lindsey Bunin at the Chronicle Herald for the opportunity to be a part of her column.
Jason Shadbolt, BMgt
As a Realtor, Builder and previous Mortgage Specialist, if you have questions, all you have to do is ask!