Home-shopping season is just getting underway, and many people who’ve sat on the sidelines recently, and are finally ready to enter a market might see its quite different from what they’re expecting. Here are a few tips to help buyers get the best results in the competitive market.

Tips for buyers

1. Make yourself as attractive to sellers as possible.

Come to the table pre-approved for a mortgage and be able to put down a decent size deposit to show you are serious. Pre-Approvals are free and fast – guaranteeing you the interest rate and confidence in what you can spend. Be prepared to close quickly — 30 days if possible as opposed to 60. Consider waiving certain contingencies. Write a heart-tugging letter as to what this home means to you — it works!

2. Choose the right real estate agent.

1. Its FREE for Buyers to use an agent 2. Times have changed. Due to inventory shortages across the country (down nearly 17 percent from last year) the tables have turned, and buyers are no longer in control like they were a few years ago. Not only is it hard to find a good home for sale, once you do, expect to be competing with lots of other buyers. Choosing the right agent is more crucial than ever in this type of environment. You need to find someone who is skilled at negotiations and knows how to handle competitive offer situations.

Tip: Let me know if you need a real-estate agent! Read online reviews of the agents, focusing on reviews of their negotiation skills.

3. Get creative.

Search for homes that aren’t on the market but might actually be for sale — if the right offer came along. You’ve heard of agents soliciting homeowners asking if they’d be willing to sell? It works. With the market also so tight nit, and agent driven there may be listings that don’t even make it onto the market at all. Who knows, your future home may not even be put on MLS.

*portions taken from Forbes.com, edited for Canadian specific content by Stefan Cherwoniak

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