The Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM, hosted by REW.ca editor Joannah Connolly, offers information and advice on the Lower Mainland real estate market every week, drawing on the expertise of an industry guest.
In this two-part article from our weekly series on five key takeaways from the show, the March 11 edition’s guest, Adam Scalena, an East Vancouver REALTOR® with Century 21, had so many tips to share that we split them into advice for sellers and for buyers in this spring market.
To listen to the full interview, click here – and for the audio clips on each of the buyer tips below, use the slider to scroll to the minute-mark cited.
1. “Have a set criteria and identify your must-haves.” This includes factors like home size requirements, exactly where you want to live, school catchment areas, WalkScore and proximity to restaurants and amenities. Scalena says this is a better approach than just showing up at open houses, thinking that you’ll know what you want when you see it. “Really understand what you’re after,” he adds. “Be prepared and be critical about your needs.” (Clips starts 31 mins 33 secs)
2. It’s essential to get a good team in place, says Scalena. “We’ve heard it before, but it’s really true. Get a good mortgage broker, a REALTOR® who you’ve qualified, and make sure your mortgage broker and agent can communicate so everyone is on the same page and documents are in place, so that if you do need to act, you can act quickly.” Part of that process, he says, is ensuring that your mortgage broker gets you pre-approved for a mortgage, so that you’re ready to go. (Clips starts 32 mins 40 secs)
3. “Spend time on the ground – you’ve got to be in the game.” This means pounding the pavement and getting out there to view multiple properties, either at open houses or in private viewings, explains Scalena. “Photos lie. Videos lie. You have to actually view the property. There’s a feeling that you get when you’re in the property, you can see the outlook, you can see the wear and tear.” He recommends arranging tours of private viewings of four to six properties, in addition to going to open houses. (Clip starts 33 mins 51 secs)
4. Don’t get discouraged, even in a competitive spring market. “It’s an emotional process, and a lot of people get buyer fatigue after missing out on multiple offers, or not getting a home for the price they want,” says Scalena. “Make sure you’re pulling back and still making rational decisions… Don’t overshoot just because you’re frustrated and throw in a price that doesn’t make sense just because you want the process to be over.” (Clip starts 34 mins 55 secs)
5. If you’re looking for a deal, you can capitalize on a poorly planned listing. “It took me a while to love a listing with no photos, but it can be an opportunity. It doesn’t always mean that the listing is a dog – maybe it was just poor planning or the photos weren’t ready yet,” says Scalena. “A lot of people clicking through listings, if there’s no photos, they don’t investigate further. So if you’re one of the people who does investigate, I’ve seen a lot of good deals happen out of those circumstances.” He adds that cluttered or dirty homes will often put off people from making an offer, so if you can look past that, often it just needs a quick fix or a good clean, and you could get the home for a much lower price than if it had been presented well. Bad timing of listings being launched too close to the open house, or technical glitches meaning that listings are not appearing where they should be, can also create opportunities for savvy buyers, notes Scalena. (Clip starts 36 mins 44 secs)
The Real Estate Therapist show airs on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM on Saturdays 9-10am, and streams on roundhouseradio.com. Previous shows are available to listen on demand at cirh.streamon.fm. Listeners can ask the Real Estate Therapist for advice or information via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via text on 983983 or via Twitter @EstateTherapist