If you’ve been following Winnipeg’s real estate market at all these past few months, you’ve noticed a high percentage of homes are selling over the asking price. You may be wondering, how are there so many buyers that are willing to pay more than what the owners have asked for!? The simple answer: The law of supply and demand.
What is the law of supply and demand? It is a simple economic theory where when demand exceeds supply, prices will rise, and vice versa. How this applies to the real estate market is when there is a surplus of buyers who are looking in a specific neighborhood and there is shortage of homes for sale in that specific neighborhood, the prices of homes will rise due to demand. Resulting in, yes, you’ve guessed right, every buyer’s worst nightmare: the bidding war.
If you are thinking of buying a home in the near future there are some things you can do to prepare yourself in the event that you may encounter a multiple offer scenario.
First Off, Get Pre-Approved.
Being confident in how much you can afford when competing gives you a huge advantage. This will allow you to feel comfortable with the number you put down on that offer… even if it may be $40,000.00 over asking! Secondly, the time necessary for the lender to approve your mortgage will be cut down drastically, allowing you to put a much shorter time to fulfill your financing condition, making your offer a lot stronger. It is not uncommon to see offers written with 24 hour financing conditions or even no financing condition at all! If you want to compete with those offers, having a dialogue with your lender as well as the pre-approval will give you the tools necessary to do so.
(It is very important that if you decided to write an unconditional offer you ask your mortgage specialist/broker and your realtor all the risks involved in doing so). A pre-approval means the lender has already done approximately 70% of the work, but still has a few key pieces that they require to get the final approval.
Know Your Market.
This is where you need to listen to your realtor. Find someone who is familiar with the areas you are looking in. See how many homes in that area have gone over list and by how much. This will give you somewhat of an idea to what you may experience when it comes time to put in an offer. Although every situation is different, being educated in what trends are happening in your neighborhood will help you prepare and will hopefully reduce some of the stress involved with these multiple offer scenarios. An educated buyer is the best kind of buyer!
Know the Market Value of the Home.
Market value is defined as “the price an educated buyer is willing to pay for a specific property”. In a “hot market” properties may be listed lower than market value to attract more buyers. Your agent should be doing a ‘Comparative Market Analysis’ on the property to determine market value so you can make an educated offer. This is not to say properties don’t go above market value, there are many factors that go into what something is worth to someone. It may be that it is next door to their best friend or maybe they just NEED it. It is hard to know what a specific property will sell for, you need to determine not only market value, but what the home is worth to YOU.
Have a Plan.
Bidding wars are stressful, no doubt about it. Talk with your agent about all likely scenarios and what you would be willing to negotiate on. Knowing your numbers before they present offers helps to keep emotions out of it. Keep in mind, in Manitoba your agent does not know what the other offers are and what situations may be associated with them. For all we know, the offer you are competing against could be the owner’s sister. Plans change, but having the discussions beforehand will help ease your emotions at that time.
Write a Letter to the Seller.
Some may say this is a little tacky, but from experience, these have been known to sway sellers in different directions. Read more about the power of a personal letter in #AgentLogan’s previous blog. Let them know what you love about their home, who you are and what you value. Connecting with the home owner may just help get you in the front running to negotiations, its worth a try!
Do a Pre-Inspection of the Property.
The less conditions on an offer, the stronger it is when competing. Putting a condition subject to a home inspection can result in your offer going to the bottom of the pile. This is not to say we shouldn’t do one! Usually, there is enough time before the offers date that you can schedule a pre-inspection of the property, allowing you to write an offer without the home inspection condition but still being confident in the purchase you are making. The only downside to this is if you still don’t get the property you’ve paid for the home inspection!
The last piece of advice I will give you is be patient. It is not uncommon to write 4-6 offers before finally getting the house you’ve always wanted. This a marathon, not a sprint. I have experienced MANY multiple offer scenarios in my career as a real estate agent, they are all different and they are all unpredictable. Having the tools necessary in advance and the right guidance is key to navigating these crazy things called bidding wars.
Phone: (204) 781-1767