With historic low interest rates, buyers are making the jump into homeownership as it is a great time to get into the market. However in a sellers’ market, buyers find themselves in competition with other buyers to purchase a home. The seller is not obligated to negotiate or accept any of the offers. The seller has the liberty to choose the best offer to negotiate and they will accept the offer that best reflects their needs. While price is important, that will not be the only factor they consider. They will also look at things such as subject conditions, completion and possession dates.
Here are some things you can consider and help you feel more in control of the situation when going into multiple offer situations:
- Prepare thoroughly and have all your financial documentation ready: It is important that you provide your mortgage expert all the documentation the lender is going to require upfront. Especially since time will be of essence, you don’t want the added stress of getting documentation when you are in the middle of negotiations and during the subject condition period.
- Have the right real estate agent: It is critical that you work with an agent that has your best interests in mind. As a buyer it is not your job to seal the deal, it’s your agent’s responsibility, so make sure they know what your limit is and respect it. Don’t let your agent try to upsell you on the price and encourage you to go above your budget. It’s their job to research comparable in the area and advise you but you are the one that makes the final decision after all it’s your money.
- Set your boundaries: Once you set your budget, stick to it. Determine exactly how much you can go over if you end up in multiple offers. Don’t get sucked in by emotion and peer pressure because in the end it can end up costing you a lot more money.
- Consider doing a home inspection ahead of time: The buyer could consider your offer more readily, if it doesn’t include a “subject to inspection” clause.
- Be flexible: Winning a multiple-offer situation might be as easy as agreeing to the seller’s conditions such as closing dates, buying the property “as is” or even tightening the subject removal dates. This is important if the seller has already bought another property and is anxious to moving on. Agreeing to make the transaction as easy as possible could mean winning over a more generous offer. When buying a property “as is” and limiting the subject conditions – such as requesting that a missing knob or floor tile be replaced – might work in your favour too. If your agent is aware of any information about the seller’s situation and if you can be flexible in any way, take advantage of this opportunity that might help you get your offer accepted.
- Write it down: Perhaps you might want to write a quick letter to the seller explaining who you are and why you want to buy their home so much. Buying and selling a home is an emotional time for everyone, especially if the seller has lived in that home for a long time and raised their family there. Sometimes, it’s not about the highest offer but it can certainly also be about an emotional connection. Even though your offer might be lower than the others, some sellers might feel a strong connection to your story and decide that it’s not about the money but about someone who will really appreciate a great home.
- Know when it is time to walk away: Multiple offer situations can be stressful and sometimes listing agents strategically set the price of the home below market value to start a multiple offer situation. Make sure you stand firm on the top end of your budget, and don’t give in to the pressure of the situation. If the seller doesn’t accept your best offer, it’s time to move on.
Buying your home is about getting a great investment and you have to be smart about it. In the end, it’s about being comfortable on what you are paying each month and happy with the decisions you make. After all it’s about finding a home that will be a great place to start building equity and creating memories.
Source : http://www.rew.ca/news/competing-with-other-buyers-how-to-boost-your-chances-of-getting-that-home-1.2084209#sthash.YxF3iiOG.dpuf
The Vancouver condo market is hot and kitchen design is sizzling too! As condo square footage decreases, kitchen space is changing. Condo kitchens today are often more of a culinary wall in the great-room concept, with an island serving as the eating station, and extra storage and work space. With this new trend, condo kitchen renovations will most likely require wall removal, upgrades in appliances, cabinetry, and flooring, and maybe the addition of an island. To keep costs down, keep the following in mind when renovating:
- Roll up your sleeves and pitch in with the demolition. And, for that matter, you can help with rubbish, recycling and general cleanup too. This can save you upwards of three to five per cent of your overall renovation costs.
- Existing appliances can be resold or recycled. Check with BC Hydro for appliance rebate programs in your area. If not available, list them for free, and eliminate removal costs.
- Culinary walls typically feature flush-mounted appliances, adding to the seamless, opening living feel. Tap in to your certified builder or renovator’s contacts. Chances are they will get better deals on appliances, saving you money to upgrade.
- Re-use existing cabinetry. If cabinets are in good shape, door panels can be replaced or recovered.
- Cabinet space-saving systems can exponentially increase your existing usable space per square foot, eliminating the need for excessive cabinetry.
- If you are removing walls, the space will naturally lighten up. Look to under-cabinet lighting to warm up darker corners versus more expensive, recessed overhead lighting.
- If you don’t have to move the kitchen sink, don’t. It will save you plumbing costs, and potential issues with your strata/bylaws. If however, you are working with a plumber, and have access to include natural gas in your kitchen, this would be a cost-efficient time to upgrade.
- Open-concept living generally features a single floor covering. Buy in-stock flooring rather than making custom orders. This will save you on both time and money. And, make sure wall removal is complete before installing. Have your plans in place.
- Countertops often become the statement piece in open plans, with a focal point around the island. You might like to splash out here, given all of the other dollar-saving ideas.
- Finally, but most importantly, work with a professional contractor/renovator with condominium knowledge. There will be strata rules to consider, city bylaws, and limitations with common walls, supporting walls, and windows, just to name a few.
When buying older units, make sure to do your due diligence: know the bylaws, use a building inspector and most of all, be sure to use a certified builder or renovator, and get the agreement in writing.
Source : http://www.rew.ca/news/how-to-renovate-your-condo-kitchen-on-a-budget-1.2071143#sthash.nexx6JUo.dpuf
If you are concerned that your home may look dated. Read on for 7 easy renos that can increase your home’s value without breaking your bank account.
Kitchen backsplash: Modernize your kitchen with a new backsplash. A backsplash uses minimal tiles which means you may be able to splurge a bit to instantly improve the appeal of your kitchen. If you are on a tight budget, a clip-and stick-adhesive backsplash may be a good option as you can install it on your own.
Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders for a room. Consider using an environmentally-friendly paint, there are many options on the market now that are cheaper than regular paint. Selecting an accent wall is also a good way to add a burst of colour to liven up a small space without overwhelming your audience.
Enhanced bedroom lighting: Change the look and mood of the room with flattering lighting. Rather than splurging on a chandelier a beautiful semi-flush pendant light will do the trick. It will add some instant elegance and doesn’t have to be centred over the bed to get the right look.
Fireplace: Cozy up your living space with an electric fireplace. No need to go with the chunky built-in ones, consider a sleek, chimney-free electric fireplace, which can be installed by you. It can be placed against a wall or mounted on an entertainment stand. Installing one at eye level will allow for viewing from greater distances.
Laminate wood floors: There are some great laminate floors on the market that are durable and look like the real deal. Laminate is a good alternative to a worn carpet and gives the home and instant modern appeal. If you cannot afford to redo your entire home, focus on the living and dining areas.
Accent wallpaper: Drastically change the look of a space by creating an accent wall with patterned wallpaper. Wallpaper has resurfaced has an excellent way to glam up a dull room. The life span of wallpaper is around 15 years, which means it is worth the effort to install.
Paint kitchen cabinets: Refresh tired looking cabinets by sanding them down and painting them. Add some extra punch with some fancy knobs or sleek handles for an updated look.