OTTAWA MARKET FLIPS
Well… it’s been a great run for sellers. Over two years of unbelievable value increases, properties sold in a few days with no conditions and many multiple offers! Low mortgage rates, a lack of inventory plus a pandemic that gave buyers the need for more and better housing all combined to drive the market to new heights.
It was great for agents like us too, IF you were the listing agent. Sales were happening fast. Put a home on the market in the morning and by the afternoon ten showings were booked for that or the next day. It became so busy that many of us had to hold off offers in order to deal with all the activity and to create that “buzz”. Then is was just a matter of waiting for the offers and helping our sellers through the agreements and pick the best one for them.
It was not so much fun for our buyers. Viewing homes on short notice because if they didn’t, it would gone before they would even got a look. Making offers on multiple homes only to loose to other offers time and time again. And of course, offering well above the asking price just to have a shot at getting a home. It was frustrating and disheartening for all concerned.
How things have changed in a relatively short period of time! With higher interest rates, high cost of living and the pandemic mostly controlled, the real estate market has made a huge turn. Although not a total buyer’s market (it’s more balanced now), the days of “must put my offer in now” and offers well over asking price are for the most part gone. There is still a shortage of some types and styles of properties and we do see the occasional sale above asking price but these have become rare.
What is happening in the market today is that the value of a home has dropped considerably from what it was just a few months ago and the buyers are well aware of this. Now we are back to the way real estate was for many, many years. Set a realistic asking price, wait until the right buyer comes along and be prepared to negotiate. And, don’t expect firm offers. Financing and inspection conditions are the most common and we are seeing most offers with these and other conditions on a regular basis.
In summary, we are back to a more “normal” market. Sellers must go back to preparing their home properly for sale. Clean, repair and stage. Price appropriately and don’t panic if you have not sold in ten days. Thirty to sixty days was not unusual just a few short years ago. Stay informed on the market and adjust your expectations as it changes. We or your agent should be updating you on a regular basis.
For buyers, don’t get to cocky! Yes, the pendulum is swinging back the other way but there is still a shortage of good inventory. If you find a home that meets your needs, make the offer. You may not have to bid against other buyers and you may feel confident in putting in a conditional offer but don’t sit around a wait too long.
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