Purchasing Property in a HOT Seller’s Market
Every few years, we find ourselves in a hot seller’s market. We saw this back in 2016 and 2017, and we’re in the same type of market now. Inventory is very low, and demand is very high. As mortgage brokers in Victoria, we’re seeing multiple offers on most properties, with some properties seeing up to 15 offers each. People are getting very aggressive, bidding far above asking price, and also making their offers unconditional.
For those that don’t know – what is an unconditional offer? Let’s explain. When purchasing a property, normally you’d make your offer subject to conditions, meaning that you won’t complete your purchase unless those conditions are met. Attaching conditions to your offer protects you, the buyer, by having the ability to back out of an accepted offer if one of those conditions can’t be met. An unconditional offer occurs when you place an offer on a property without any conditions to protect you. Once your unconditional offer is accepted, you will have no recourse to back out of your purchase.
Subject to Financing
One of the most important conditions is financing – meaning that you ensure you’ll be able to get a mortgage. This is the condition that we will focus on in the rest of this article.
What happens when you make an offer on a property without a financing condition? You’re basically informing the seller that you in no uncertain terms have the financial ability to purchase their property. If you have the full amount of savings to purchase the property and don’t need any mortgage funds to help you complete the purchase, then you don’t need a financing condition. However, most people in our market do not have the savings to purchase a property outright, so they need a mortgage, and therefore, must make their offer conditional on financing.
As mortgage brokers in Victoria, we are here to make sure that our clients can get mortgages for their property purchases. We’ve helped thousands of Victorians and others across Canada fulfill their homeownership dreams.
One of the most important jobs we have as mortgage brokers is to help our clients understand risk. When you make an unconditional offer on a property, there is a certain amount of risk that you take on when doing so. You are promising to purchase the property even though in most cases you will not have the financing already lined up. Why? Because all lenders require a full application, including the accepted contract of purchase, to fully approve a deal. So making an unconditional offer without financing in place is sort of like putting the chicken before the egg.
As mortgage brokers, we go above and beyond to help our clients understand if they can make unconditional offers or not, and what their specific risks are. We delve deep into a client’s application and look for any possible issues that might arise. Whereas most bankers and brokers don’t want to do the up-front work, we give our clients the most assurance possible before making that unconditional offer.
We collect all documentation upfront, and do as much due-diligence as we can so we can have the most confidence possible that a mortgage application will be approved. We also have in-depth conversations with all of our clients to ensure they understand all facets of their application and limitations of their financing ability. Even in cases where we tell clients not to make an unconditional offer, that client fully understands why, and what they ultimately can do.
Our Top 5 Tips for Success in a HOT Market:
Learn everything you can about the property in advance. Make sure the property is insurable. Read the property disclosure statement very carefully and investigate anything out of the ordinary as soon as possible, before you make an offer. You might also want to do a property inspection before you make an offer.
Don’t leave something as important as an unconditional real estate purchase in the hands of an inexperienced banker or broker. Make sure you work with an experienced Professional.
Know how high you can go on a purchase price. If you know other offers are being looked at, be aggressive with your offer.
In a fast moving seller’s market there is no time to hesitate. If you see a property you like, consider making an offer immediately.
Its easy to get discouraged when you miss out on a property you like, but unfortunately in a hot seller’s market you will likely be competing in multiple offer situations on every property. Know what you’re willing to negotiate on, and what is the most you’re willing to pay. Stay positive, and eventually your perseverance will pay off.