WATCH: For local buyers in Victoria’s red hot real estate market it’s hard to compete, so what can you do to give yourself an edge? April Lawrence takes a look.
Ben Ribkoff is a first-time home buyer who had his sights set on a home in a quiet Saanich neighbourhood.
Putting in an offer with only one condition and nearly $40,000 over the asking price, Ribkoff and his wife thought it was theirs, but they were wrong.
“The agent came out and said we’ve got two higher than yours, substantially higher,” said Ribkoff’s realtor Sandy Berry.
There are more and more local buyers growing frustrated with one of the most competitive real estate markets on record.
So why even try to compete against an increasing number of offshore and Vancouver buyers?
“Particularly the first time buyer they’re looking at this market and they’re saying oh my gosh I don’t want to be living in this basement suite the rest of my life, I don’t want to be living in a condo, I don’t want to be living with my mother for the rest of my life so I better get in now cause the market is going crazy,” said University of Victoria Consumer Expert Brock Smith.
Home inspector Kerry Smith said some people are getting inspections done on properties before they even submit an offer.
Or, in a move he’s never seen before, getting an inspection after.
“People are buying a house in a multi-offer scenario, winning the bid and then phoning us to get an inspection, after they already own the house, basically to find out what they bought,” he said.
It’s a major gamble, but one more people are willing to take just to get into the market.
“We’ve flipped from being kind of a thinking, kind of logical decision to being a highly emotional decision,” said Smith.
Of course if you’re determined to buy in this seller’s market, there are a few strategies for landing a deal.
First look outside the most sought after areas of Oak Bay, Victoria’s Fairfield, Fernwood and Oaklands neighbourhoods, and Saanich’s Gordon Head.
You can also make your offer personal.
“I asked them to write a letter, basically saying what do you think about the house, how do you feel about it?” said Berry.
And Berry says focus on fixer uppers, rather than move-in ready homes.
For Ben Ribkoff, it’s about getting right back in the game.
“My attitude in life is pretty much to never give up and always go after your dream,” he said.
A dream that is becoming out of reach for more people every day.
This is part two of a four-part series on real estate CHEK News is running this week called ‘Sur-Real Estate: Victoria’s Market Madness’. Part three will air Wednesday, looking at the Victoria luxury home market.