For people buying and selling their homes in the autumn, they will experience a different market than the conditions we saw back in the spring and summer. The fall market is often cooler, slower, and less demanding, but this year it’s also home to the highest interest rates we have seen since pre-pandemic. Here’s how today’s market affects you as a buyer or a seller.

The fall market in Barrie

The fall season is generally one of the slower times for real estate. People tend to buy homes in the spring and summer, before kids have to go back to school, there are no major holiday plans to juggle, and the weather is more likely to cooperate with moving plans. Barrie is no exception to this pattern. The market has been experiencing an even more significant cooldown than usual thanks to inflation and rate hikes.

According to Zolo, the average sold price across all property types in Barrie sits at around $734K. This is a 6.2 per cent yearly decrease as well as a 1.3 per cent monthly decrease, meaning prices are on a definite downward trend. In the last 28 days, 190 homes have sold of 727 new listings, with an average of 29 days on the market. All of this shows demand is not as high as it used to be, and inventory doesn’t have enough buyers. We’re in the territory of a buyer’s market in Barrie, so what does this mean for buying and selling a home?

If you’re buying… 

Know your negotiating power

Buyers in today’s market are at a bit more of an advantage than sellers. If you’re buying, you will be one of a smaller group of people than sellers are likely to encounter in the spring and summer months. This means sellers have fewer options, and you will have more power as the buyer. Be aware of your situation and what kind of advantage you may have in this market so you can use it to secure the property you want. You have a greater ability to negotiate prices, conditions, and timelines because sellers will be more motivated to sell their home in a market with fewer offers. Don’t automatically make an offer that benefits the seller the most. Chat with your real estate agent to determine a smart offer, based on other buyers and sellers in the market.

Look around

With fewer competitors in the market, you have more time to breathe and explore different properties. At the height of the pandemic-driven market, buyers were sometimes making offers on any property they could, often without conditions and without proper thought, because the market was moving too fast. Now, you have the luxury to think more about your wants and needs in a property, and explore potential neighbourhoods and homes. Don’t feel like you have to put an offer in on the first home you see that fits your budget. Avoid buyer’s remorse and make sure you truly want to live in the property you end up purchasing.

Consider how rates will impact you

Housing prices are decreasing and lower demand puts buyers in a decent position. However, don’t forget to take interest rates into account. High inflation has caused the Bank of Canada to repeatedly raise interest rates in the hopes of curbing consumer spending and lowering inflation. This means borrowing is more expensive for buyers, and they will pay higher interest rates on their mortgage than they would have one year ago. Think about if your budget can support higher monthly payments, even with the benefit of a lower housing price. Also consider how inflation impacts your budget for everyday spending, and whether a recession could put your ability to make mortgage payments at risk.

If you’re selling… 

Make any necessary updates

Between buying and selling a home, sellers tend to have the more difficult task in the fall season. It’s essential to make your home stand out from the others in a way that will entice buyers and make them more likely to put an offer in. One of the best ways to do this is to present the best possible version of your home. That might mean making some updates. We get so used to the style of our homes, we may not notice when they’re aging and fading around us. However, unless you’ve recently renovated, more often than not your home could use some sprucing up. Updating the kitchen and bathrooms to have fresh countertops, appliances, and perhaps flooring goes a long way. Repainting your front door or garage door will brighten your home from the outside. Landscaping and driveway paving will bump up curb appeal. Make your home as attractive as possible!

Use a real estate agent

Don’t make the mistake of attempting to sell your home without an agent. While you might think it will save you money, it will more likely cost you money when you can’t get the sale you need. Agents are experts in the market and can help you find an appropriate listing price that is most likely to bring in buyers. They will help you arrange staging if necessary, photographing, and getting your listing live online. Agents are excellent at marketing properties and attracting the right buyers, so do not underestimate their abilities.

Don’t delay

Finally, don’t delay your sale. This may be true for both  buying and selling, but especially with selling. October and November are fine enough months to list your property, but you don’t want to delay and end up with a home on the market in January or February. The weather becomes awful, homes look bleak against the sky, and people simply aren’t in the mood for touring homes. Plus, December is a hectic month with holiday plans. People rarely have home buying on their radar at that point. If you’re thinking about selling, you need to kick off your plans now to ensure you can still attract buyers.

Buying and selling in the fall both have their pros and cons. A lot of it comes down to your own timing and how you work with real estate professionals. Take advantage of your agent, and get in touch with a broker! We can chat about your buying power, the best mortgage products, and staying on budget. 

If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with me!