8 Secrets to Avoid Losing Your Dream Home in a Hot Market in Edmonton

Sooooooo you've finally decided to buy a home. Interest rates are just starting to come down, rental rates have skyrocketed, and housing is still affordable here in Edmonton, Alberta, so it makes sense.  The problem is, while you were making up your mind, so did all the other fence sitters who jumped into the housing market too. Did we mention Alberta is also the #1 province in Canada to move to in 2023/24? Now suddenly you may be facing some competition for the best properties. What to do? Just because there are other buyers in the market doesn't mean you can't come away with your dream house. But to be a successful buyer in today's real estate market, you're going to need help.

Your first best move is to know a few inside tricks. As experienced real estate professionals, we have many more than eight ways to increase your chances of landing a prize property despite heavy competition. But the following 8 tested tips will increase your market savviness and sharpen your competitive position. Then you'll be ready to act quickly the moment you see that perfect house.

Step 1: Get Pre-Approved

To be pre-approved for a mortgage loan is your first step. You will go through what amounts to a mini-application process (paperwork, credit check, etc.) prior to shopping for a house. Pre-approval is more effective than pre-qualification, which only gives you a rough idea of the amount a lender will lend you—assuming no hang-ups in the credit and income checking process. When you are pre-approved, it's like carrying around a suitcase full of money. In the eyes of the seller, pre-approval makes you a very desirable buyer if you can back it up with a bank letter attached to your offer. That's a real advantage over another buyer whose financing is uncertain.

Step 2: Beat the Competition to the Newest Listings

Once you know your specific price range, your real estate agent can regularly do a computerized market sweep for new listings. You should receive a hot list of attractive properties as they come on the market. This will give you a head start on other buyers because you will get the listings before they are advertised. Timing can be a vital part of your home buying experience.

Step 3: Do Your Research

Make yourself a “value expert” by investigating local properties to get an idea of price points, listing-to-sale-price ratios, hottest areas, and best places for a bargain. Once you know what your money will buy, your real estate agent can add up-to-the-minute knowledge of what comparable properties sell for in specific neighbourhoods and what impact specific features have on price. Working with a good agent will guarantee you the best price and terms.

Step 4: Have your Agent Present the Offer in Person

Nobody wants their offer to blend in with all the rest. Selling is very emotional so use that to your advantage by creating a personal touch by sharing your story of who you and your family, why you love their home and include a photo. You would be surprised with what a personal letter can do to increase your odds in the “war room.”

Step 5: Prove you Mean Business

An excellent way of showing the seller you are serious about buying the house and financially viable is to increase your good faith deposit with your offer. This deposit could be as much as 5% of the bid price and surely will attract the seller's attention.

Step 6: Stay Cool

When deciding on your dream home, timing is everything. Not only in terms of writing and submitting an offer but also being flexible with possession and your contingency conditions. Pro tip: leave the possession date open for the seller to fill in. Possession dates can kill deals.

Step 7: Keep It Simple and Clean

You want to make sure that your contract isn't sloppy or cluttered with contingencies such as repairs and conditions. Keep contingencies to a minimum at all costs.

Step 8: Don't be a Lone Wolf

What you need most in today's market is experienced professional guidance. As your neighbourhood real estate specialists, we can help you get pre-approved, find a prize property, and negotiate the best deal on your next home no matter how heated the competition. Call us today. We'll help you be a cool customer.

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