We’ve been shopping for a few months and have so far been unsuccessful in our attempts to buy a home in the $700,000 range. The bidding wars are all over the place. Why do some houses get ten offers, and others get only two? – COMPETITION WEARY
DEAR WEARY: It sounds like you’ve been having a rough time. In my many years of selling homes, this is the most heavily skewed seller’s market I’ve seen. Here in Waterloo Region, inventory levels have been low since 2016, and are at an all-time low right now. It’s distinctly frustrating for buyers, who end up grouped in a highly competitive pool, all waiting on the next opportunity.
Prior to 2016, we typically saw over 1,200 listings on the K-W board at this time of year (mid-November). As I write this, there are just over 500. Many are priced aggressively to encourage multiple offers, and the resulting buyer frenzy often drives selling prices even higher.
Despite the manic nature of the marketplace, certain principles hold true: attractive prices have greater appeal and tend to bring more offers, while listings priced at (or above) market value often get less attention and fewer offers, if any.
PRO TIP: Buyers who keep tabs on new listings in their price range tend to be well educated and know what their money can buy. A listing that feels overpriced may see fewer offers and represent the “less competitive” buying opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
We’ve been receiving listings from our agent for about a month. We go on Realtor.ca from time to time, and have seen homes for sale through Purple Bricks that our agent didn’t send us. Is he trying to avoid selling these listings? – COLOUR BLIND
DEAR COLOUR: Purple Bricks is a brokerage that purchased CommFree a few years ago. It’s one of a number of “DIY” brokerages that offers a menu of services based on how much work you do yourself, but charges a fee whether you sell your home or not. These brokerages often advertise that they will put your home on “the MLS System” (or Realtor.ca).
Ontario has dozens of regional real estate boards. Some DIY brokerages serve large geographic areas and when this is the case, a listing may appear on the home board of the brokerage who posted it (and on Realtor.ca), but not on the board where the home is located. If a listing is not posted on the real estate board in its own area, it doesn’t get caught in the searches of local Realtors.
Realtors tend to hold membership with one board, or with a collection of boards in one area. When a Realtor posts a listing, it only shows up on their home board, unless they make the effort (and pay the fee) to have it posted elsewhere. I belong to the K-W board, but pay for access to the GTA, to offer a higher level of exposure.
PRO TIP: Every listing in Canada goes on Realtor.ca. It’s a great resource, but in my experience, your home needs to be listed on the board where it’s located to get the best exposure. #AskDavid #Advice