Homes for sale in Barrie
House hunting can be an extremely exciting adventure, but in this hot market, it’s not without it’s stresses. Barrie and the surrounding areas have been experiencing historical highs for price appreciation, with Barrie hitting a year-over-year increase of 30.9% from January 2016 to January 2017 (as per Barrie & District Association of Realtors®). While this is good news for sellers, it poses some unique challenges for buyers, not previously seen in this area.
Buyers, in this climate, have their work cut out for them, particularly when looking for homes for sale in Barrie, but all is not lost. With a little know how, some early leg work and a trusted advisor on your side, successful home ownership is within your grasp.
How to be an Educated Buyer
The age old cliche, ‘knowledge is power’, holds true in real estate. Not only is knowledge power, but in most cases, knowledge is more money in your pocket as well. While navigating this frenzied market, buyers need to arm themselves with as much information as possible to avoid making costly mistakes that may affect them down the road. Before beginning your search for homes for sale in Barrie, tackle these steps to ensure you are an educated buyer :
Know the market – Many buyers watch new listings pop up on realtor.ca and feel conﬁdent that they understand the market. What they aren’t aware of is that list price and sale price are not synonymous, and in today’s market, often times they aren’t even close. Many properties are being marketed $50,000-$100,000 below market value in efforts to draw massive interest, which will ultimately turn into a bidding war. While we do think buyers should be watching what is listed and for what price, what is most important is what properties are being sold for. Once you have honed in on your wants and needs for a property (location, price point, square footage, etc), have your real estate agent show you comparable properties that have recently sold and what they sold for. By understanding what streets, features or characteristics garnered a higher sale price, you’ll be able to determine what your budget can realistically purchase.
Trust the experts – The current market is a tough one to navigate at the best of times, but tackling it alone might leave you behind the crowd. Experienced real estate agents live and breathe real estate. They should be your go-to resource when contemplating a price point for a winning offer or for arming yourself with real estate information.
Own where you are – Sometimes the most challenging part of purchasing a home is owning where you are. By that, we mean realizing that while a three car garage would be amazing, your budget might not be able to accommodate that. Many buyers come armed with a pinterest-worthy wish list that is not reﬂective of what they can afford. Homes for sale in Barrie, while still much more reasonably priced than Toronto, are becoming more expensive. Once you’ve taken steps to know the market and understand pricing, make sure you take the same investigative approach to your ﬁnances to determine what you are comfortable spending, leaving room for a contingency fund should you need one.
Dealing with Bidding Wars
Within the last year, we’ve watched the market have the odd property priced for a bidding war to seeing most properties within the $300,000-$500,000 price point and beyond withholding offers until a set date and time for the sole purpose of garnering multiple offers. For buyers, it can be extremely frustrating to continually fall in love with a house only to be outbid by another buyer. While educating yourself on the market in preparation for making an offer is essential, it’s only the ﬁrst step. Figuring out how to make your offer the most attractive one is the next.
When seller’s are reviewing multiple offers, there are three things that they usually consider – the offer price, the conditions included in the offer and the closing date. Depending on the needs of the seller, the order of priority can vary. As a buyer, the way to make your offer more attractive is to to provide the highest price, with the least conditions and with a closing preferred by the seller. Sometimes though, that is easier said than done. We’re not gamblers by nature, and we don’t encourage our buyers to be either. By taking some pre-emptive steps, buyers can avoid putting themselves in a precarious position, yet still provide the seller with what they are looking for.
We recommend that clients have a home inspection completed prior to the offer presentation date if they want to compete. This allows a buyer to understand the ins and outs of the property before they make a ﬁnancial commitment. While it does provide an upfront cost, it also buys peace of mind and places the buyer in a position to waive the condition of a home inspection.
Similarly, we encourage buyers to have their ﬁnancing ﬁrmly in place before house hunting to give them the option to waive the ﬁnancing condition as well, should they feel comfortable doing so. Many buyers have a preliminary conversation with a lender or mortgage broker and get a rough amount that they should be able to afford, but this is risky. Lenders need to have all the information that they will ultimately require when processing your mortgage, up front. This includes items like bank statements, job letters and pay stubs, notice of assessments, outstanding loans, etc. We work with some great mortgage brokers that would love to answer all your mortgage and ﬁnancing related questions, so reach out before you start looking for homes for sale in Barrie.
Have the Right Team on Your Side
Real estate agents are a dime a dozen, but ﬁnding a good one is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The market can be a confusing one and you want a team or agent that will help make sense of it and communicate frequently and honestly through the process. We’re a bit biased, but we believe we’re the team for you and we’d love to tell you how we approach real estate. Take a chance, meet our team and learn how we can help you in your search. We want to earn your business and we are committed to providing your with an outstanding real estate experience!