Tips for the House Hunting Season

To make the house-hunt a little less stressful, consider the following tips:

1. Determine what you want upfront, and stick to that criteria.

What are your non-negotiables? What location do you desire? What educational opportunities are important? What do you want your daily commute to be? And what price are you willing to pay? The first step to avoid house hunting drama is to really sit back and think about what is most important to you. This will narrow down your scope so you are not looking at hundreds of homes, just the ones that fit in your criteria. … Looking in an area that’s not going to provide the home type that you want is going to cause frustration.

2. Get preapproved for a mortgage.

Avoid delays once you do find a home by getting your loan preapproved. If there is any issue, it is identified early on in the process and not the moment that you’re trying to submit a contract on the property. Also, you’ll know your numbers and how much to expect on a monthly payment to make sure you are house-shopping within your price range.

3. Communicate.

Share with your real estate agent the biggest stressors and fears you have in the home-buying process. The more open the client is with their REALTOR, the less drama is going to present itself in the transaction. You have to trust your agent and relate to them as a confidant, as an ally.

4. Don’t linger too long.

Procrastination causes drama. For home buyers on a deadline, it is recommended to begin four to six months ahead of time to start learning more about the market. Plus, with mortgage rates forecasted to move higher this year, buyers who wait too long may find what they can afford lessen. Have the right expectations, or else you’re setting yourself up for frustration.

A common mistake for those looking to sell their homes in the New Year is to wait until "the market heats up".

There are some good reasons to get ahead of the curve when it comes to listing your home for sale. Despite the tendency to wait until the Spring market, consider these reasons to list early in the year...

Firstly, because most people wait until Spring to list their homes, the inventory is lighter during the first few months of the New Year. This means that there is less competition for the properties that are on the market. Less competition means that the Seller has more control over the negotiated price, terms, and conditions. Trends have indicated that prices tend to climb when demand outpaces supply. Being on the supply side as demand grows means that you will have a more favourable result versus a period of time when housing inventory is overstocked, and a buyer has more choice. It is better to be in a position of strength when looking to maximize your Real Estate Investment through a sale.

Secondly, the Buyers that are out looking for a property over the holiday season, or during the winter months are generally serious Buyers, not speculators. These are the Buyers who are ready, willing, and able to buy now. Many of the Buyers during this market period are those that "have-to-buy" as soon as they can. With good financial incentives and low interest rates, the active Buyers in the market presently are primed to negotiate a purchase on the existing inventory.

Thirdly, because most REALTORS do experience lower inventory levels at the start of the year, they have more time to invest in the marketing and servicing of their current listings. This means more attention to your specific needs, and a higher level of concentration on your product. The strength of working with experienced agents in a top Real Estate franchise really shines during those times when the market is not overheated and the agent can maximize on the use of the tools at their disposal. For example, RE/MAX has a wonderful service that provides listings information in the language of the reader's choice via In the "hot market" periods, a tool like this can get lost in the frenzy.

The advice we would give you, is if you are planning on selling this year, don't wait til's in your best interest to list now to maximize on your market position.

Jan 4 2017