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February 28, 2013

2

Mastermind for February 27th Today is a Perfect Day to Buy a House

by mark mclean

walkinginasnowstormOk, there is a slight caveat to the title of this blog which is…provided there are houses to look at that comes close to matching your criteria. With the news of yet another snow storm approaching our fair city I think it is fair to say that most of us have hit the proverbial wall. Could it be that we got a little spoiled last winter? Yes, it has been a particularly tough winter and I have to believe that there is truth to the concept of statistics being “seasonally adjusted” which just means “if we account for the crummy weather, this is what sales should look like. This was the line of thinking at today’s Mastermind meeting down at Bosley Real Estate’s Queen West office.

Lets’ face facts; when the weather is lousy we feel lousy. There have been enough articles written about the condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s hard to ignore. People (this includes buyers) get depressed. It’s hard to get them motivated to trek through snow banks and freezing cold to look at homes. Same goes for Realtors who would much rather be sitting on the beach in Mexico. But alas, I smell opportunity. Less agents and less buyers means that the savvy Realtor can take advantage of this double whammy. Get those potential buyers out, even if it takes a crowbar to pry them off the car seat.

I have owned a bunch of houses in my day but the one that sticks out the most is the sweetheart of a deal I got when I bought a house on December 18th. After looking at duplexs for weeks, I finally came to the conclusion that the only way to find what I wanted was to actually renovate something. It was Mid December by then and the pickings were slim. I changed course, looked at a bunch of big old homes and finally settled on this beauty in Little Italy. It had the location and the size and the fact that it was an illegal rooming house made it nearly impossible to see it all. What did I care? I low balled it and accepted a decent sign back with a quick close. I had a good understanding for the renovation process, knew lots of people in the trades and basically jumped in head first. I realize this is way outside the comfort zone for many people but the point of the story is really about buying during the worst weather. this was the focus of our conversation.

Lots of agents across the city are struggling with the low inventory. In a monthly straw poll I conduct on market activity it is acutely clear that buyers out-number sellers by at least 5 to 1 in my office. I have to believe these results are echoed throughout the downtown core. Perhaps I should clarify, there are lots of houses on the market, just not very good houses. So doesn’t it kinda make sense to evaluate those “less than stellar” properties and provide to our buyers some opportunities for improvement? You don’t know anything about renovations or don’t have the vision? Hire someone. Ask people in your office and then work on your “convincing” skills. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, I have one other suggestion…..brush up on your negotiation skills and wait until the spring market.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 28 2013

    February certainly is cabin fever month. We bought so many of our homes in February.

    Reply
    • Feb 28 2013

      Thanks Jenny. It’s still a tight market out there. I imagine with great weather it might be even crazier.

      Reply

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