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Navigating a Competitive Real Estate Market CN Banner
Navigating a Competitive Real Estate Market CN Banner

June 07, 2024 | CREB

How to navigate today's competitive real estate market

Calgary’s housing market has changed immensely in the last few years. In five years, the citywide unadjusted benchmark price in Calgary increased by 38%, going from $414,800 in January of 2019 to $572,300 in January of 2024. The Royal Bank of Canada even named it the hot spot for real estate in Canada.

The homebuying process is already stressful, but in this seller’s market, it can be nerve-wracking. With inventory continually low, houses can sell before you have a chance to make an offer or you could find yourself in a multiple-offer situation. Here's some advice that will help you navigate the process.   

1. Hire a REALTOR®  

REALTORS® are qualified professionals who guide and represent you through the home buying process. Many REALTORS® may have additional certifications and designations that will help you in your search for a home. 

They are responsible for providing up-to-date knowledge and objective advice that can help you make an informed decision.  

In addition, REALTORS® have great expertise that comes from years of experience. From the initial consultation to the final closing, they will ensure a smooth, successful home purchase. 

2. Get pre-approved 

Having a pre-approved mortgage gives you a better idea of how much you can afford. Once you know your budget, looking for a home is much easier.  

A pre-approved mortgage also shows the seller that you are a serious, qualified buyer who can commit to the purchase and the closing costs. 

However, you should be aware that a mortgage pre-approval is not a guarantee you will obtain financing, as it is a tentative approval based on your basic financial information.  

It’s also important to note that at the pre-approval stage, the property is not yet known, and property type, location, or value can impact the financing available. 

3. Commit to the process  

Once you have a REALTOR® and a mortgage pre-approval, you can start looking for homes that match your search criteria and fit your wants and needs. 

At this point, being in constant communication with your REALTOR® is crucial.  They will alert you as homes meeting your criteria are listed for sale. We also recommend keeping an eye on  

If you come across a home that interests you, tell your REALTOR® as soon as you can so they can book a showing and you can be one of the first people to check it out.  

While photos are helpful, seeing the property in person allows you to determine whether you see yourself and/or your family living there and whether you’d like to pursue it with an offer or not. 

4. When it comes to offers and conditions, be flexible but informed 

A common practice in a multiple-offer market is offering more than the asking price. This is an option if it’s within your comfort level and budget. 

In addition to price, other factors like terms, conditions and possession dates contribute to a seller’s decision. 

Conditions and contingencies protect and benefit you, but if they’re not convenient for the seller, they could impede your chances of having an offer accepted. That’s why in a competitive market, buyers may opt to waive any conditions to secure the property, although this comes with a variety of risks. 

Your REALTOR® will have a conversation with you to share what the benefits and drawbacks are if you’re considering writing an unconditional offer. 

On the other hand, conditional offers allow you and your licensees to perform due diligence research on a property, such as getting a home inspection and properly reviewing all relevant information like the title or condominium documents.  

Conditional offers also allow you to secure financing for the property, typically through a mortgage.  

5. Don’t be afraid to take an extra step  

Another way to showcase your interest in a home is by providing a letter in your offer.  

A letter gives you a chance to introduce yourself to the seller and inform them about the future of their home, helping you stand out from the crowd. 

As an alternative, if there’s a home you love or a community you’d like to be part of, talking to the people who already live there and asking if they’d consider selling, as well as their asking price, can result in an unexpected, successful sale. Just because a home isn’t listed doesn’t mean the owners wouldn’t sell it at a price that’s right for them.  

6. Expect the unexpected 

Ultimately, the seller can accept any offer they want and decline those they don’t, and they’re not required to justify their decision to buyers whose offers they rejected. 

The home buying process can feel like a roller coaster of emotions, and dealing with many competing offers can be frustrating.  If you’re not interested in a “bidding war,” your REALTOR® can help customize your purchasing experience to try to avoid one. 

For this reason, we encourage you to be patient and discuss your options, wants, needs and lifestyle with your REALTOR® so they can better support you through the buying process. 

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Tagged: Calgary Real Estate

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