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07/11 - Buying

Strategies for Buyers in a Changing Market

5 Considerations Before Making Your Next Big Move:

You’ve caught the news headlines, observed the plethora of For Sale signs and glanced through your House Sigma app.

You’re wondering what’s going on? Is the market crashing? Is this the bubble finally bursting? Are you watching what moves your friends & family are making?

Perhaps you’re considering the “wait and see” bandwagon?

I mean, no one wants to be the last person to purchase at the height of the market, right?

So, if the market is shifting (and it undoubtedly is), what are some things you should or could consider when it comes to purchasing a property in a changing landscape.

Below, I have outlined Five Strategies to consider before making your next big real estate move:

1/ Sell Before You Buy:

Suppose you’re working to move up the property ladder and require the proceeds from your home or condo to acquire your next residence. In that case, we strongly encourage you to sell before you purchase.

In former years, we would have recommended the opposite strategy because the acquisition side was tough – lack of inventory, bidding wars and a bully offer around every corner.

However, in this changing climate, it’s imperative that you sell first.

There is no guarantee your property will garner any attention or offers at all, for that matter. And if you do manage to sell, you may have to consider letting go of your property at a lesser price.

How will your net proceeds impact your bottom line, your buying power?

Doing this heavy-lifting upfront is wise to look after your long-term best financial interests. And? If you do manage to sell at a fair price, you will likely be able to purchase while the market is in a bit of a slump. You can make up those “lost dollars” on the buy-side! With the right mindset and reasonable expectations, you may become stronger and better than ever!

2/ You’re a First-Time Home-Buyer:

If you’re renting or living in your parent’s basement, this is your moment to shine. Dust off your pre-approval and get out there and start hunting down opportunities. And we’re being serious. You will kick yourself for not jumping in now. When the market rebounds (which it will) – it will come back with a vengeance.

So, take advantage of the shifting market – it’s luxurious for first-timers. There is inventory at every price point, opportunities to negotiate, real deal time to do your due diligence and the chance to be the smartest one in your friend’s circle.

If you don’t know where you stand with your finances, call a reputable mortgage broker (we can connect you if you don’t have one) and get to work on your mortgage pre-approval. Once you know what you can afford, you may be pleasantly surprised by the opportunities out there! This is your moment, and it’s not going to linger forever.

3/ You’re a Real Estate Investor:

If you’re liquid and you want to expand your real estate portfolio? Get after it.

We would keep your eyes peeled for vacant studios and small one-bedroom condos in locations close to transit, amenities and further gentrification.

The reason being? The cost to acquire is obviously lower than a larger suite, and your market rents are very agreeable. The numbers are looking good out there from an investment, cash-flow lens. Some condos we have been renting out for Landlords & Tenants alike are seeing 15-20 offers.

a) choose your own Tenant.
b) set your own Rent.
c) and, watch the market fly in the not-so-distant future.

The old Warren Buffet quote goes, “only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

4/ Because It’s Cheap Doesn’t Mean It’s Good:

Yes, this is a great time to be a buyer, but that doesn’t mean that making short-sited moves is wise just because the property is priced to “sell” or considered a “bargain .”

All of the real-estate fundamentals apply.

The list goes on: location, condition, transit, school ratings, development, outdoor space, natural light, upside potential, rentability, and potential laneway housing, to name a few.

If you’re interested in reading more insider “tips & tricks” for buying an excellent condominium or freehold property, we’ve got ideas for you!

5/ The Value of Five-Star Real Estate Brokers:

Okay, you’ve heard us say it before, but we’ll say it again.

Why should you settle for anything less when the stakes are this high?

With over 65,000 real estate agents registered with the Toronto Board, you can imagine the wide variety of know-how! The breadth of knowledge and experience is broad. Exceptionally broad.

In a changing market, experience matters more than ever before.

Agents need a heavy-duty, ready-to-go toolkit including exceptional pricing skills, offer strategies, and a surfeit of great contacts before, during & after your purchase.

Consequently, I wouldn’t depend on your local real-estate Instagram Influencer to see you through these rockier times. No offence to the social networkers out there, but a highly filtered photograph & the hashtag #lovemyjob will not help you sell or acquire a condo in King West right now.

We at Fox Marin have noticed that we need to be more creative problem solvers and receptive to unique scenarios.

It’s our job to bridge the gap between the listing, the sale and the closing. And, sometimes, we’re pulling tricks to make the magic happen.

Do your research when acquiring a property for sale in a changing market.

Work with a reputable team with knowledge, versatility, a proven track record and local connection to agents, brokers & buyers in your neck of the woods. It’s amazing how much working with a co-operating agent that we know and trust has seen us through to the finish line.

If you’re interested in learning more about the role of a quality agent in the sale process, check out our Blog Post about this very topic HERE.

Additional Thoughts & Considerations:

It’s almost impossible to perfectly time the market. But, I can tell you, this “Toronto Real Estate Lite” will not linger around forever.

And when the market returns to its regularly scheduled programming, it will come back with a vengeance and shoot right back up with no warning bells.

So, for anyone who can make a real-deal move a reality? This is your time; this is your moment.

Would you be open to agreeing that the “continued quest for perfection is simply a continued form of procrastination?”

So, forget FOMO and be a trailblazer instead.

If you’re still not convinced, here is a little incentive:

  • There are 45 cancelled condo projects in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • The cost of construction, development and land acquisition continues to shoot up.
  • 3.5 million people will call Toronto home by 2030, which is a 30% increase compared to today. Everyone will need a place to live.
  • Canadian banks have some of the tightest lending rules in the world – you need to meet the stress test for mortgage approval.
  • Fundamentally, Toronto is a growing international city attracting both domestic & multinational companies, talent and tech. We’re just getting started.

So, maybe it’s just me – but it’s a no-brainer to consider stretching yourself and taking a leap of faith. I have no doubt that in 5 years, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for making a move when everyone else was hiding out. Gosh, don’t we all love being the most competent person in the room? No one wants to be in the shoulda, woulda and coulda category.

If you’re interested in brainstorming about your ideas, worries, or real-estate aspirations both now and in the future, let’s be sure to connect. Given the conditions in the marketplace, sometimes it is wise to go against the grain, and we would love to tell you why!

Of course, if you have additional questions, feedback or comments about this list or anything Toronto Real Estate, feel free to reach out. Contact Us (We’re Nice)!

This article was co-written by Kori Marin & Ralph Fox.

This article was written by Kori Marin, Managing partner here at Fox Marin Associates. For high-energy real estate aficionado Kori Marin, a well-lived life is achieved by maintaining an “all-in” attitude that realizes every last ounce of one’s full potential. This mindset has driven successful results in every aspect of her life – from her corporate sales and account management experience to her international travels, to her years of fitness training and leadership – and is the hallmark of the exceptional work that she does on behalf of her clients in the residential real estate sector in downtown Toronto.

Ralph Fox is the Broker of Record and Managing Partner at Fox Marin Associates. Ralph is a Torontonian native who recognized from an early age that the most successful people in life apply long-term thinking to their investments, relationships, and life goals. It’s this philosophy, along with his lifelong entrepreneurial drive and exceptional business instincts, that help to establish Ralph as a top agent in the real estate market in downtown Toronto.