A seller's market prevailed in Whistler for several years but we now enjoy a more balanced market, leaning slightly to the buyers. What does this mean? It's the perfect time to buy.
Inventory has increased as well as days a property is on the market. These two indicators determine who has the advantage in negotiations. It comes down to options and today the buyer has options. On recent tours, I've been showing as many as 7 or 8 properties. This allows the buyer an opportunity to view a number of listings and define what really attracts them.
In Whistler, as in any market, there are always sellers who hope the market is still going up. They'll price for a rising market while around them, sales prices have levelled off. Have your agent sign you up for auto alerts from the Whistler Listing System. This covers all the real estate companies in Whistler. You'll receive existing and new listings, price reductions and sales so you can watch the activity.
Start off with getting a prequalified for your mortgage. There are still record low-interest rates out there. Use a local mortgage broker rather than starting with your local bank branch manager. Different banks have different sets of criteria and a mortgage broker can take your file to the lender best suited for your individual circumstances. Knowing what you can afford is crucial when you start making offers.
For success, be prepared to look at the homes with more challenging sellers. These are the properties that have been on the market for several months and the sellers think their floral drapes and sofa are just perfect. They're unwilling to listen to their Realtor and hire a stager or get rid of all the clutter. This seller will refuse to do a deep clean or "start packing".
Homes are selling these days but mostly with staging and a sharp pencil. Meanwhile the property with 200 days on the market, likely has a family very tired of showings but no offers. Working in concert with your agent, write up an offer with a list of reasons why you think there is value in your price. If the seller refuses to respond or comes back with a high counter offer, move on. Being prepared to walk away is key. Too much engagement with the seller hands the power to the seller.
Keep looking at homes and keep writing offers. You will find a seller who will bite or a seller you walked away from, may make you an offer back?!
Armed with ideas, cleaning tools and elbow grease, you will find yourself a homeowner!