Market Reality Check: Fact or Fiction
Cutting Through The Noise
exploring some common misconceptions
We’ve been hearing a lot of conflicting opinions regarding the current state of the real estate market across the Greater Toronto Area. As a result, we thought it would be prudent to cut through some of the noise and separate fact from fiction.
Fiction: the market is in a bubble and home prices will crash 25-50%.
Fact: the idea that the market is in a bubble has been a news headline for years. According to news outlets and some fringe economists, the bubble should have popped multiple times over by now.
The reality is the GTA real estate market is incredibly robust. Even during the recession the market only moderated itself for a couple of years, before roaring back to life. In 2017 when the federal government tried to hamper the market with new mortgage rules, we only saw a mild retraction – following by a surge in price a year later. We’re currently in the middle of a global pandemic and home values have been skyrocketing.
In short, whether you live in Milton, Oakville, Mississauga, or another area within the GTA, the basic economic principle of supply and demand will dictate the market conditions. As it currently stands, buyer demand far outweighs supply and this will drive values upward.
Some people have cited a cycling news story about a CMHC analysis regarding a “W” shaped economic recovery. This was simply a scenario analysis and was not a prediction for the Canadian housing market.
Fiction: I should wait to sell my house because home prices will continue to rise.
Fact: Although home values may indeed continue to rise, it’s never a guarantee. Remember the saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Meaning, if you’re thinking of selling, now is a good time because we know the state of the market. If you wait, you can never say for sure where the market will be. In 2016/2017 when the market was similar to today’s condition, a lot of would-be sellers tried to time the market. They waited in anticipation of the market continuing to rise. However, the federal government intervened with new mortgage rules and the market pulled back very quickly.
Fiction: When purchasing a home, I can have a condition on the sale of my house.
Fact: No, if you’re buying a home in the GTA and try to incorporate a condition on the sale of your current property, the seller will generally not entertain it. This type of condition is typically only possible in a buyer’s market (supply outweighs demand). In a strong seller’s market, a homeowner will simply find an alternate buyer and discard your offer.
Fiction: I don’t need pre-approval due to my income and low-interest rates.
Fact: You need to be pre-approved if you are obtaining a mortgage. Not doing so could put you at significant financial risk. Also, having pre-approval will speed up the final mortgage approval process if you have a financing condition in your offer.
“Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”
Fiction: In this market, I can sell my own house.
Fact: It’s true, some people can sell their own house, but most can’t. At least not effectively. Would you finish your basement or file your business taxes? Sure, you could do these things if you wanted, but chances are they wouldn’t be done to the highest level of professionalism. Hiring a reputable agent to sell or buy a home is in your best interest. Most private sellers sell their house for less money, even after considering the savings in commissions. Also, most private sellers still want their house marketed on the MLS. To do so, you’ll need to offer a cooperating commission to agents, which is typically 2.5% + HST of the sale price.
Fiction: If I go direct to the listing agent I will save money on the purchase.
Fact: We hear this one a lot. The simple answer is no, you won’t save money as a buyer by going direct to the listing agent. When working with sellers, we often will state that we will reduce our overall commission if we should also bring in the buyer. However, any savings in commission is not reflected in the purchase price. These savings go directly to the seller, not the buyer.
Fiction: Many agents are offering cash-back to buyers.
Fact: This is false. Reputable agents don’t offer cash-back to buyers. Agents who offer cash-back tend to be discount agents, part-timers, and/or have an air of desperation. This is particularly true in a sellers’ market. Perhaps in a buyer’s market you may find this to be more prevalent, but the GTA hasn’t been in a buyer’s market for years. Remember, as a buyer, you don’t pay commissions to your agent, we are paid by the seller.
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Fiction: Buyers will purchase anything these days, therefore, staging is not important.
Fact: Staging is very important, even in a sellers’ market. Properties that show well attract more buyers. A property that attracts more buyers increase the likelihood of obtaining more offers. A property that obtains more offers will generally sell for a higher price point.
Fiction: As a buyer, I can still win in multiple offers with conditions built into my offer.
Fact: Although in some cases you can still win with conditions when competing with other buyers, it’s becoming increasingly rare. As a result, it’s recommended you satisfy your position to the best of your ability in order to present the cleanest offer possible. We help our buyers employ certain strategies to increase their chances of winning the deal. Read more here.
Fiction: I should skip the home inspection process when competing with other buyers.
Fact: Technically you can skip the home inspection process. It is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended you do not skip it. Even when competing with buyers on a property we can still satisfy the inspection process. For properties delaying offer presentation dates, we can have the inspection completed before the offer date if you prefer not to have the condition in the offer. Learn how.
Fiction: Real estate agents will say anything to make a sale.
Fact: A reputable real estate agent is your friend who is helping to find the right home for you. If you do not like something, they can easily modify your search. Their top priority is customer service and they thrive off their reputation in the community. It is also against the law for agents not to work in your best interest.
Want to know your home? With HomeVALUE you will receive an estimate of the current value of your home and access to weekly sold data within your neighbourhood. An informed seller always has an advantage!
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