Since last April, listings have been down by 13 to 25 percent and sale volume and prices are up across the board. This means that in the Greater Montreal real estate area, we are in a seller’s market with a real lack of choice for buyers. For instance, in February 2017 on the West Island, there were 769 active listings. This past February that number dropped to 511.
Times are good for sellers
The good news is that properties are selling faster. In 2016, the average selling time for a single family home on the West Island was 76 days. So far this year, average selling times have decreased to 58 days. Open houses are much busier. It’s common to see a popular home have 30-50 groups go through within two hours.
There is nothing more satisfying then receiving more than one offer when you put your house up for sale. Bidding wars are much more common so your chances of selling for a good price are much higher.
What to do if you are a buyer
Buyers are in a tight position. In this market, it is inevitable that there will be other offers on the table.
It’s important to understand an attractive offer isn’t limited to price. Conditions, such as your mortgage down payment and whether or not you include an inspection, your timelines for the conditions, and the date of signing at the notary are also significant.
When there is a lot of action on the property, it’s the legal duty of the listing broker to keep all interested parties informed of any incoming offers. But details must not to be discussed or shared with anyone. Only the listing broker and the seller are privy to what is in the offers.
Sellers can’t accept multiple offers unless there is a condition
When all the offers are in front of the seller, they decide which one they will accept. They cannot accept two in conjunction unless the second offer is conditional upon the first offer falling through. It is the job of the listing broker to notify all other buyers that another offer has been accepted. The price cannot be disclosed until the property is considered sold. After the sale, buying brokers have access to the details.
When you work with a real estate broker to buy a property, they have access to old sold listing descriptions. They have the information to help you create a winning offer.
Buyers may have to get over the fear of offering slightly higher prices
In the long run, 1 to 5 percent more than the asking price might sound like a lot but may be worth the investment, particularly when it’s amortized over 25 years. This is a personal decision.
It’s important to understand that if a property has many offers and someone is willing to pay the asking price or higher, they’ve just established a new market value. When the city reassesses its property values this could mean your taxes go up.
With so much competition in the housing market right now, it’s in your best interest to make sure a real estate broker represents you. An experienced broker knows details of past sales and has been through many multiple offer bids. They have the knowledge you need to gain that competitive edge.