For years, we have seen the Canadian real estate market soar to unfathomable heights and never did we think it would show signs of cooling…until now.
The recent rate hikes have almost stalled the market because buyers are taking a pause, deciding to sit out of the market to see how much further prices drop before making a move. Now that the Bank of Canada has raised its policy rate to 3.25%, it is no wonder that people’s affordability has gone down, bringing prices and sales activity with it.
A cooling market can be difficult to navigate, especially when we have become so accustomed to seeing a flurry of activity, back-to-back showings, multiple offers and sales in as little as a few hours to a week, tops! So now when we see a single showing during the course of a week, we quickly lose hope. This is why, as sellers, it is imperative to listen to the advice of your realtor. This is not the time to cut corners; if the property needs to be staged, then stage it. If it needs to be decluttered or spruced up a little, make sure you address all of that because buyers finally have time on their side. They have the ability for once to be super selective and not be in any rush. Price your homes correctly and not based on comps from the peak of the market. You will be doing yourself a disservice by pricing ineffectively and having your property go stale.
While it is good to sit back and watch the show, do not become passive. This is a window of opportunity to go in when others are deciding to sit out. This means, for the first time in a long time, you have the opportunity to negotiate price and terms. You can include conditions for a home inspection, for a status certificate in a condominium purchase, conditions that you had to forego and waive in the past. When listings sit on the market a little longer, sellers usually have a greater willingness to reduce price. Take advantage of this situation because for a very long time, the shoe was on the other foot and it was the sellers who were calling all the shots.
As we move towards a more balanced market, sellers are not only listening, sellers are negotiating.
Photo: Shannon Willis
Rizwan Malik is a qualified fount of knowledge regarding the Canadian real estate market. Rizwan keeps his finger on the pulse of today’s evolving markets. He breaks down its continuing complexities into easy-to-understand terms for all home buyers.