We have all heard location, location, location, and Vancouver certainly has it covered in that department. But how important is timing the real estate market for buyers and sellers?
The fact is there is no crystal ball when it comes to timing the real estate market. However, is there anything home buyers or sellers can do to have an advantage?
SynergyMortgage.ca asked our Real Estate Insiders, Marni and Shannon to shed some light on Timing The Real Estate Market…
SynergyMortgage.ca: Is timing the market important?
Marni and Shannon: Vancouver is a beautiful and unique city, and certainly the question of location has already been answered. As we were both born here, you may say that we are somewhat biased. However, Vancouver is consistently voted the best city to live in year after year.
There is an old saying, “buy low, sell high”, and in an ideal world this statement would ring true. However, buying and selling real estate is personal, since it depends on an individual’s circumstances. We often see clients sell in a “seller’s market”, and rent until the market shifts. In most cases it doesn’t work, and they struggle to get back into the market. So if you are buying and selling, we usually suggest doing it in the same market.
SynergyMortgage.ca: Is winter a good time to buy or sell, or is it better to wait for spring?
Marni and Shannon: Winter months offer great opportunities for both buyers and sellers.
There are fewer homes on the market for sellers to compete with, so therefore their homes get a first and second look. Many serious buyers resolve to buy a home in the new year, which makes them energized and determined. As a buyer, you may also want to take advantage of sellers who are waiting for the “spring market”. Get a jump on them and move ahead in a marketplace where inventory is lighter.
Buyers will find less competition from other purchasers through the months of January and February. This is because the weather is usually dark and wet, which may not allow you to see the property in its best light. As a buyer, you attain a more real perspective, and aren’t distracted by flowers blooming and birds chirping. While inventory may be lower, buyers are able to focus more on their specific needs. We often see price reductions over the holidays, and shopping off season may give you negotiating power since fewer buyers are viewing homes and sellers are motivated.
SynergyMortgage.ca: Is there a good time to make an offer?
Marni and Shannon: When you find the right house!
SynergyMortgage.ca: Is there a recommended day of the week to list your house?
Marni and Shannon: Listing a home takes time and planning. Aside from the necessary paperwork to be filled out, an agent has to arrange for photos and floor plans, as well as implement a marketing plan and more. To launch a property properly and successfully, we usually need a 7 – 10 day head start on the planned launch date. This gives us the time to do what we need to do, and gives the sellers time to make any small repairs, do some de-cluttering, etc. We typically try to arrange for new property listings to come out on the MLS on a Thursday so that agents can plan their weekend tours. The property will be visible to the public on the Friday, allowing them to decide which open houses they want to view. By the time the open house rolls around on the Saturday or Sunday, the property is showing as being on the market for only 2 – 3 days, which creates some urgency for the buyers.
SynergyMortgage.ca: When is it time to stop renting and buy a home?
Marni and Shannon: Some people are content with renting since they don’t have to worry about maintenance of the property. However, neither do the landlords most of the time!
Here are a few indicators that may mean you are ready to pay your own mortgage and not someone else’s:
• When it makes sense financially
• You have found a neighborhood that you want to live in long term
• Mortgage rates are rising
• Real estate isn’t getting any cheaper
• When you need more space and stability
• Your family is expanding
• When your rental property isn’t the cheaper option
The bottom line is try not to obsess over timing the real estate market and anticipating its cycles. If you are selling and buying your next home in the same city in the same real estate market, timing doesn’t come into play, since your gains will offset your losses and vice versa. As for the best time to buy, that would be when you have found your perfect home and can financially afford it.
Interview Blog with Marni and Shannon