In a tough seller’s market, homebuyers need to stand out from the crowd.
What’s your plan?
Send the seller a personal letter? Entice them with treats?
For Garth Donhauser with RE/MAX Kelowna, money is the strongest motivator. It’s also the area where buyers most often make mistakes. Here are his top three tips for first-time buyers and re-buyers returning to the market:
1. A down payment is not enough
“First-time buyers assume they have enough for a down payment, but they forget to check their credit,” says Donhauser, PREC. Bad credit can carry over from big purchases like a car or a vacation, but it can also accumulate through something as simple as an unpaid phone bill.
“We’ve seen deals collapse where people thought they had their ducks in a row but then they go to get a mortgage and find out their credit’s bad.”
People re-buying after selling the family home may think their experience gives them an advantage, but the rules have changed a lot in recent years. “People forget about re-qualifying for another mortgage,” says Donhauser. Canada’s new stress test and tighter mortgage laws may affect re-buyers in ways they don’t expect.
“Talk to your banker, or better yet a mortgage broker.”
2. Check early, check often
So how should you go about your house hunt? Should you explore the market first? Make a list of dream neighbourhoods? When should you talk to a mortgage broker?
“It’s the very first thing you should do,” says Donhauser, “Then check back periodically as you continue your home search.”
Until you’ve looked at your budget, you won’t know how much house you can afford.
3. Make yourself the easy choice
“When the market’s tough like this, the seller is definitely going to favour someone with their ducks in a row,” says Donhauser.
Think of it this way: if you had to choose between a buyer with financing in-hand and a buyer whose offer is subject to the sale of another property, who would you choose?
“I had one client recently who lost three deals because the financing fell through,” says Donhauser, “You see it on their faces. People get disheartened.”
Save yourself the heartbreak and reach out to a professional. If you’re looking for a home in the Okanagan, get in touch with Garth Donhauser, an independent member broker with RE/MAX Kelowna. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)212-2838.