The 2019 condo market is great if you are a seller, but not that great if you are trying to buy. One of the largest issues buyers are facing right now when searching for a condo in Ottawa, is a lack of supply - there are no good condos to buy (at a decent price)! Talk about a first world problem!
When supply is low, there are a bunch of ways that a great agent can help find buyers a property. We put together a list of methods that we use with our buyer’s to find that perfect un-listed/hidden/secret condo.
Working with an agent who focuses on the specific area or building.
This should go without saying, but if you are looking to get a difficult to find property (aka a condo), working with an agent who focuses on that type of property, or even in the specific building will give you a major head start. Why hire a plumber to do your electrical work? We often have sellers who are 2-3 months away from selling, or getting ready to list next week. Our job is to keep our “ear’s to the ground”!
One of the best ways I find off market condo’s is by chatting with other agents. In this market I spend more time asking other agents what they have coming up, and letting agents know what I have before a property hits the market. Even getting an extra day notice before a property is listed, gives you the buyer a huge advantage in this market. Having focused on condo’s for such a long period, I receive a high number of other agents letting me know what they have coming up.
Off Market Builder Supply
Typically builders will only list a few units in a building, even if they have a bunch of available condos, as they don’t want to overwhelm a buyer. Often builders won’t tell buyers or other agents that they are able to be purchased. Earlier this year, we had a builder that had condo with cosmetic damage and was not being shown or advertised. However since we had a great relationship with the builder, we were able to sell it to our buyer. Our buyer loved not being under pressure from other buyers trying to compete for the same unit. No bidding wars!!
Looking Outside Your Budget
While this is normally discouraged, it has provided us with options when times were tough! In this market it is common to see sellers get extremely confident with their pricing and list way over market value. A unit that should be $350,000 but is listed for $390,000 might miss your search if you set your max budget to $375,000. A few months or even weeks on the market, and they might be willing to accept a decent offer of market value.
Finding a unit that includes parking can often be a huge restriction when searching, depending on the price point. Not every seller originally purchased parking and that can really cut your options down if you MUST have one. We have seen property matches drop by half - or even more! Ask yourself if you really NEED parking? Could you rent a parking spot? I have helped many buyers who have decided it was a better option for them to rent a spot in the building for $150 per month than pay $35,000 upfront plus another $80 per month in extra condo fees. While this isn’t a solution for everyone, knowing these options that you have can make a huge difference.
While you won’t hear many agents try to convince you away from buying, sometimes renting is the smarter idea - at least temporarily. We all have those friends who have bought something since it was the only option versus waiting for the right option, and regretted it shortly after. If you don’t love it, then don’t buy it! That being said, renting in this market is almost as difficult, if not worse - but at least you’re not tied to a $400k mortgage.
Need help finding a condo? If you are not already working with another agent, we would love to help. Fill out the form below, or call/txt directly 613-286-9501.