Whether you are a buyer, a seller, a refinancer, or simply a curious individual, you’re not alone in wondering how a shifting Ottawa real estate market will affect you.
Every single one of my buyers and sellers have asked me the same question.
We’ll start from a buyer’s point of view – it’s been purely a seller’s market so as a buyer, you are probably wondering if it’s your turn to be in the driver’s seat. Then we’ll look at how sellers have to work a little bit harder as the market balances out.
Ottawa home buyers are asking:
Q: Should we wait until the market shifts more and prices drop?
A: You can wait a bit and you may have more choice (a less frenzied market means there may be more inventory), but in the last 100 years there was only one year where prices dropped at all, and that was by about 1%… and then they went straight back up. And the year did not look at all like this one.
This week I was in two multiple offer situations with clients. I also saw a colleague’s clients buy a home with one offer on it (which the seller still negotiated up).
What’s new now is that there are homes that are not selling on offer day, and these may be opportunities for patient buyers.
It’s important for buyers to understand that we are still firmly in a seller’s market, though the shift toward a balanced market has started.
Ottawa home sellers are asking:
Q: Can I still sell my home in this market? Will I get the price I am looking for?
A: Yes and yes (if your expectations are in line with the market). But you may have to be patient. You may not receive multiple offers – or any offers on offer day. We are now preparing clients for what happens if offer day/time passes with no offers.
The house will still sell, it just takes patience, hustle from your agent, and potentially time.
Over the last two years sellers and buyers have gotten used to the strategy of pricing low (usually mid-week), allowing buyers to view the house for about 6 days over a weekend, and then taking offers at a set date and time. This strategy is designed to attract multiple offers and drive the price up.
While for the most part we are still employing this strategy, we are also preparing contingency plans for a seller who receives a single offer, or even no offers at all on offer day.
What happens if I only receive one offer on offer day and it’s lower than I had hoped?
In a shifting market, we are seeing this happen more frequently. If you have priced your home aggressively low, you likely won’t want to even accept an asking price offer.
A good Realtor will go back to the offering buyer’s agent and counter at a higher price. In most cases, you can settle on a market price that suits both the buyer and the seller.
If you cannot come to an agreement with the one buyer who has offered on your home, you are in the same situation as someone who has not received any offers. And this is when your agent goes to work for you.
Before I get into what your agent ought to be doing at this point, let’s explore why you may not have received a good offer or multiple offers:
- Not enough buyers have seen your home due to ineffective marketing or pricing
- Your home attracted a significant number of buyers but there is an objection (that distracting orange wall, or peeling exterior paint) that keeps coming up in the showing agent’s feedback.
- Your home attracted a significant number of buyers, but they expected that the home would sell for more than they wanted to pay and therefore they didn’t even bother to make an offer.
Your agent is responsible for dealing with #1 and together you and your agent can workon #2. They will likely have a plan to drop the price, do some additional marketing and attract more buyers, and help you find ways to mitigate buyer objections.
Now let’s talk about #3:
You had a decent number of showings on your home but had no good offers. What do we do now?
Your agent will get on the phone, text, email with every agent who went through the home or inquired about it. They will let them know that you didn’t receive any offers, and will tell them what you truly want for the home. Most of the time, this garners an offer (or two) from someone waiting in the wings. You as the seller hold tight for about 24 hours while your agent works their network.
Still no offer after 24 hours? Now it’s time to cancel your listing and relist at a the price you actually want. Yes, it’s counterintuitive that you reprice higher on a house that doesn’t sell, but it’s common and it works. You will no longer have that multiple offer potential to sell for well above asking but you will still sell at market value. It will just take a little more patience and a little more time.
Remember – neither the seller nor the agent get to decide the ultimate selling price. The market will tell us what the home is worth once we set the right conditions for the home to sell.
Got questions about selling or buying in a shifting market? Please send me an email at Liisa@LiisaVexler.com. I’m here to help.
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)