How to Prepare to Buy in a Sellers Market

Real Estate markets have been crazy in 2017 and early 2018 has shown that it is still clearly a SELLERS market in most of Ontario, and definitely here in Muskoka.  Here's a few tips to be ready for your purchase if you are a BUYER this year.

  • WATCH THE MARKET ---this may seem obvious to you who already have bookmarked in your browser, but it's the best way for a consumer to see the listings within 24 hours of them coming on the market. Avoid using other sites that won't be complete, including many realtor's sites that don't remove the listings. If a property is sold, it will be removed fairly quickly from If it is conditionally sold, but not sold firm, it will remain there until sold FIRM.
  • HAVE A DEPOSIT READY --you will need a deposit amount readily available when you have an offer accepted. A higher deposit is more respected by a Seller, showing you are serious, can afford the property, and is not refundable once the deal has gone firm. The deposit amount is held in trust (usually by the listing brokerage), and is credited towards the purchase price.
  • HAVE YOUR FINANCING READY -- you might be surprised that many people have not really had more than a conversation with their bank or mortgage broker -- that's NOT the same thing as a pre-approval or approval! Financing is directly related to your credit-worthiness, income, existing assets, and the value of the property you are buying. Note: if you are considering acreage (over 10 acres) or vacant land, you may not be able to get typical financing for your purchase. Consider meeting with a good mortgage broker to KNOW what you can afford, and what options are available to you! Once you find the right property, knowing your financing situation well will help with potentially reducing or eliminating related financing conditions. At a minimum you will want to be able to quickly get approval when you provide the property MLS info to the broker or banker.
  • WORK WITH A GOOD REALTOR -- many people are surprised that they don't get a quick response from the listing agent when they wish to see a property for sale. That agent (and possibly their team) are already dealing with other potential buyers, their own Seller client. They do want to sell the property, but dealing with a one-off potential buyer is not necessarily top priority for them. Find an agent you like, that you can trust to be your BUYING AGENT, showing you properties, giving you market info, and helping you write your offers, negotiating for your interests.