How to get your dream home in a seller’s market
We’ve all been there. Viewed a house, fallen in love with it, submitted what we think is a competitive offer, only to find we’ve been pipped at the post and lost out. Hopes dashed and heartbroken, we move on to the next property. Disappointed, but still positive. However, what if this happened to you not once, but many times, and over a prolonged period of time? How do you stay positive, and what steps can you take to secure a house purchase, in an increasingly competitive market?
This was the exact scenario for a young couple seeking their first family home here in the West Island. Maya and Noah* began their property search in the summer of 2020. They were looking for a family home, and although Dorval was their preferred location, they decided to cast their net wide, looking as far as Tremblant to the North and Vaudreuil to the West. They were also happy to renovate, but this just broadened their search even further.
At first, they tried buying without a buyer’s broker, but the search proved fruitless.“We would call up as soon as properties appeared online, but they would either already have multiple bookings, be under offer or even have sold. We couldn’t understand why. We realized we had to go through a broker if we had a chance of finding a new home," stated Maya.
So they instructed a friend to act as their real estate broker. However, the path to home ownership remained futile. For over a year and a half, the couple travelled around the region, viewing and putting offers in on everything from on-island single family homes to rural cabins. But herein lies the problem. By casting their net so wide, there was no way the real estate broker would know the local market, so there was no way of knowing how competitive the offers would be. By the end of 2021 the couple had all but given up. The joyful news that they were expecting their first child made the pressure even more real and the couple decided that they’d soon have to opt to rent if they couldn’t secure their dream home.
This was when they made two pivotal decisions: firstly, to focus solely on Dorval, and secondly, to switch to a local broker. That’s when they approached the BW Group. They found us via social media and reading multiple reviews, and met with Scott in January of this year. Maya went on to explain "From the first meeting, we knew we’d found the right broker for us. We already had a good idea of the team, from the website, so it was great to be able to put names to faces, and know exactly who we’d be dealing with. Scott was honest with us from the beginning, and really knew the area. He could name the streets and list all similar sold properties. He really listened to our needs, and came up with a great game plan.
“As well as knowing the neighbourhood, Scott also set us up on a Listings Alert Portal. This pushed a curated list of properties to us, as soon as they hit the market," stated Maya. "Using the portal, we were finally able to get ahead of the game. Scott was always quick to respond to my feedback; he didn’t just let the portal do the groundwork for him.
“We really appreciated his pro-active way of working, and he was honest about which properties we should view, and which properties were ripe for flipping. This had caught us out in the past, as there’s no way you can compete with property developers, and it’s heartbreaking to constantly lose out to over-offer bids. Using the portal, and with Scott’s guidance, we were able to get a clear picture of what was really available in our price range, and Scott quickly identified potential properties that were in our favourite area. We were now more hopeful than ever," she declared.
This hope was definitely well founded. From the first meeting on January 28th, it took just a week for the couple to find their dream home. Scott had lined up two viewings in quick succession and while the first property was immediately ruled out, the second one? Well, it was love at first sight! Because sometimes, you just know.
However, there were other interested parties. Would the couple miss out again? Well, this is where the third decision sealed the deal. They were told by the seller’s broker that the homeowner wanted to sell to a young family. Yes, a property might represent our greatest asset, but it’s more than bricks and mortar. It’s our home, and many sellers really care about who they’re selling to. In order to give their offer the best chance possible, with Scott’s guidance, Maya and Noah reached out to the seller, writing a beautiful letter that was straight from the heart. They also created a short video, introducing themselves, explaining how they had fallen in love with the home and why it was so important to their growing family. These were sent to the seller’s broker, and Scott made a point to present their story along with a strategic offer. That was it, it was all they could do. But with multiple bids going in, nerves were still high.
Well the rest, as they say, is history. Within a few days, we received the fantastic news that their offer had been accepted! Maya and Noah closed on the property in March, and have already moved in. That’s not to say it was all smooth sailing though! “There was one emergency along the way that could have derailed the process", states Maya, "But thanks to the fantastic after-care we received from the team at the BW Group, this was quickly averted.”
The moral of the story? Well, according to Maya, "Focus on one location and find a great local realtor, someone with experience, who’s honest and trustworthy, and has an amazing support team. Make sure you have things in common and above all that you like the person. After all, you’re trusting them with one of the biggest decisions of your life!" She added one final piece of advice, "Don’t be afraid to go that little bit further with your offer. Wear your heart on your sleeve, write to the seller and tell them how much their house means to you. We all want to pass our legacy on to people we like, and this is definitely the case when it’s a cherished home that’s been lived in and loved for many years.”
We’re so glad we could help Maya and Noah, and wish them the best of luck in their new home, with their ever-growing family. If you’d like help with your home search, get in touch today and let us guide you to your new dream home.
*names have been changed