It’s no secret that Cambridge, and the rest of Ontario, is experiencing a hot housing market right now.

This means that there is more and more competition between buyers for properties in every price range which drives up house prices. It’s definitely to a seller’s advantage when listing their home in a hot market, but as for a potential buyer, how can you find a deal and avoid overpaying for the home you want? It’s not easy but there are a few key ways to identify deals in a hot market so you can have more options.

  1. Run ads or distribute flyers. While it’s easy to look for homes online, these homes are seen by many interested realtors and home buyers. A different way to approach this is through direct marketing. This means that you either place your own ad or send out direct mail or postcards to homeowners who might not be ready to sell until they’ve been presented with an offer. Maybe you and your Realtor can even pick a neighbourhood & knock on doors together...I’ve had this pay off before!
  2. Make an Unconditional Offer. Many sellers will elect for the unconditional offer over others because cash buyers are seen as more serious since they have no conditions to purchase the home. If you’ve done the proper preparation before going out to look at homes, your financing should already be secure. If you’re ready to make an offer, book a 2nd showing before the sellers begin reviewing offers. You can treat your second showing as a, short version, of a home inspection to rule out any major defects. There’s no doubt in my mind that if you are in a bidding war, at least one of the offers may be unconditional…And they will likely win the competition! 
  3. Look into Vacant Properties or Fixer Uppers. Especially if you’re looking into investing into a property or if you’re willing to put in a little extra work into the home, fixer uppers are a great way to purchase a home in a hot market. They often have issues or creditors who want to get rid of the property quickly, which is ideal for a home buyer.
  4. Get in touch with local builders. This will allow you to find properties where owners didn’t have enough money to finish the job. This can be an excellent opportunity for you to purchase the home and finish the work that needs to be done.
  5. Only look at homes that have been on the market for longer than a month. These homes have often been listed at more than they are worth, or have unique problems, and haven’t gotten any bids on them. After a month or so, the home owner will often be more willing to negotiate with you, whether or not they have officially dropped the price. This is a good time to speak to the seller and make them an offer before they drop the price publicly. To some extent, I have made a living off of buying homes that nobody else wanted. I find this to be one of the best ways to invest your money. You can fix the problems that others weren’t willing to overlook and there can be huge benefits from doing so. 
Posted by Greg Dewar on
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