experts: real estate column Tuesday, March 05, 2002

There are no bad markets - only bad deals

Of course there is no such thing as a 'good market' or a 'bad market'. The only thing that matters is whether YOU make a good or a bad deal - whatever THE market.

By Ozzie Jurock

This article appeared in The Vancouver Sun on February 23, 2002

Of course there is no such thing as a 'good market' or a 'bad market'. The only thing that matters is whether YOU make a good or a bad deal - whatever THE market. Many lousy deals happen in a so called 'good market.' So watch it. Today, multiple offers abound. We foretold it here last year. Said one Coquitlam Realtor: "For each new listing there are twenty buyers." One of my subscribers told of a home on the Westside, listed around $600,000 - which attracted 6 offers on listing day and sold for $20,000 over list. We even hear of multiple offers now in Kelowna, some Vancouver island areas. Last year in January, we urged subscriber to our Insider newsletter to "go for the brass ring" and build a million dollar portfolio on a shoestring. Some of them did. Some of the deals we featured have attracted a 25% increase in price. Major Point: No product out there, low rates, high vacancies ... all mean one thing. Strong spring ahead. Prices will now rise.

WHAT TO DO IN A HOT MARKET

Seller:

  1. Make sure you do not undersell! In a rising market quite often, armed with yesterday's memory, what looks good to us, may also be based on yesterday's data. Re-evaluate your house by going to new comparable sales, comparable listings for sale in your area. When I hear "I sold my house in a day" ... all I hear is ... they didn't get enough for the market. This never changes: Maximum exposure to the largest number of buyers gets best price. How do you do that in a day?
  2. Get a professional Realtor ... always is top of the list. Make sure the listing is on MLS within 24 hours. No holding back of listing for a 'double-end' to the Realtor. Get it also on all local Internet sites. You want the best exposure fast.
  3. Get the best terms, fastest closing, highest down payment. The further ... away the closing date, the more important it is to get the biggest down payment.
  4. Watch out! Can you buy what you thought you could in this market? Sometimes - don't sell until you have found a place to buy (or sell subject to finding a place). Many vendors today, happy with the price they got, are unhappy with the NEW price they have to pay.
Buyer:
  1. Be pre-approved on your mortgage - in writing. Helps to write a better offer by telling the vendor that you are as good as cash now.
  2. Make sure you have a professional Realtor that works for you. (Still number 1: Take time to choose.) Word of mouth seems to be the best way to hunt for quality agents with a track record - or call my office, we'll give you some experienced professionals to chose from.
  3. Take a look at existing properties. Get an idea of value and then: Don't offer too low. You are in a different world now.
  4. Be different than other offers. (Faster close, all cash, don't ask for the kitchen sink.)
  5. If you are sure the property is hot (multiple offers), offer $2000 over asking price. And - if you and your Realtor are sure of value - when you see it come out, make an offer immediately - subject to inspection within 24 hours- beating other offers coming in.
  6. Include a personal letter with your offer why you want to buy that home.
10 signs you are in a hot market?
  1. A meat-packing plant and a mental institution represent a great listing.
  2. Personal Inspection means driving by at 50 miles an hour.
  3. Your Realtor's car phone answering machine says "Page me."
  4. The owner keeps yelling: "Show me the money!"
  5. When you cal l a Realtor his mother calls you back.
  6. Mercedes and BMW's are back in real estate office parking lots.
  7. Several bankrupt developers from the '80s are tying up land.
  8. Local building owners have gone to weekly cost-of-living increases.
  9. You go to an open house and have to take a number to wait in line.
And the No. 1 sign that you're in a hot market? At your next cocktail party you say 'hello' and everyone tells you how much money they made.

Ozzie Jurock is the publisher of Jurock's Real Estate Insider. On March 2nd, 2002 Ozzie will hold the 9th annual Landrush conference. Speakers are Bob Rennie: Condos how high will they go? John Murphy: Where to buy investment Property, Iris Talbot: All about Alberta, Drew Meredith: Whistler up or down? Ozzie Jurock: Where the deals are, foreclosures,auctions. Where? Renaissance, all day, call 604-683-3870 for tickets ($59 for two).




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