And What Can I Do About It?
Like clockwork, there are fewer homes on the market every year in late December and January. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been fewer homes on the Ottawa market all year long which has been challenging for all buyers.
What does this mean for you, if you are looking to move to or within Ottawa? You may need to move for a variety of reasons. You could be relocating, getting married or separated/divorced, having babies, needing more work from home space, plus a whole host of other reasons.
Don’t worry – Finding the right home is possible! Finding the right home in a low inventory period takes persistence and creativity. There are proactive strategies to find a great home even during a low inventory lull. But it takes work.
Vicious Circle Affecting Buyers and Sellers
Remember that low inventory impacts both buyers and sellers. Even if buyers are ready and able to purchase a home (with a good down payment and good credit), they have very few homes to see.
And with few homes on the market, there is nowhere for sellers to go if they need to move at this time.
You can see how both of these groups feel the impact of low inventory, and may consider this a roadblock to moving forward with their life plans.
However, buyers (and sellers) need to stay positive and focused. You can use this quieter market period to your advantage.
Creative Strategies to Find Your Home Now
To deal with the lack of supply, I have specific strategies I use to find my clients homes, and actions I recommend buyers take as well.
- Be very clear about what you are looking for in a home: Having more clarity allows us look for off-market homes for you – these are homes that aren’t officially listed on the MLS.
- Understand that this isn’t a typical market: Your plans will still come to fruition; they may be delayed, but not forever.
When inventory is low, it’s time for me to get creative.
1) Off-market forums and groups: Posting my buyer clients’ needs and working with other top agents in the area who may have listings that are not on the market yet can be a productive way to find homes.
2) Reaching out to my homeowner contacts and clients: I reach out to contacts and past clients who have expressed interest in selling at some point. I can help them prepare their homes for sale and walk them through their own buying processes.
3) Letter writing campaign: For my buyers with a specific neighbourhood or building in mind, I use a letter writing strategy that has a history of success. It’s not just any letter; it’s one that my mentors and colleagues also use and that works to get a response. There could be eager sellers out there who just need a little encouragement to get started in the process.
4) Being proactive rather than waiting around: Sure, we could sit around and wait until something comes on the MLS, but that’s just not going to get you the very best outcome – especially now! It’s important to call other agents, reach out to contacts and past clients, post on community boards and Facebook groups, and constantly look for anyone who might have a home that meets a client’s needs.
If you are looking to move during this very low inventory time, reach out so we can put some of these strategies (and others) to work for you!
I'm Liisa and I love helping people moving to Ottawa make their home purchase and transition smooth and seamless. I also love helping sellers get the most for their Ottawa home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
613-898-1184 (call or text)