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East Vancouver Real Estate Bidding Wars

Posted on February 15, 2015

Recently I was a guest on CBC Vancouver’s nightly news. We discussed the growing trend of bidding wars for real estate in East Vancouver. We also shared a few tips so you can avoid being caught in these kinds of situations when you’re shopping for real estate.

Interview Transcript

Gary Serra is a realtor and you know a lot about the situation professionally also personally because you’ve been on the house hunting end of it. What the heck is going on here?  You know I thought prices were already sky high just in terms of the asking prices but there are bidding wars on top of all this?
Their are, yeah. I mean I have bid on five houses before I got the house that I have now and I’m in the business. Definitely very challenging because it’s so competitive in that market.

What’s driving that, what’s the driving force behind that?
I think it’s mainly pricing that is driving and definitely low-interest-rate that are now even more historic lows than they were before so thats just racking up even further the demand and for me definitely my experience was that I had to be really proactive about it and be prepared for each property that I wrote on and just go in very strong.

Because in your case when you are bidding on different homes you were just getting out bid.
Yeah, in some cases it was about price but also about coming in with an offer with terms like conditions like what they said to finance or inspection or what have you and in most cases now with the house that’s really well priced and it’s a good house people are coming in expecting something free so they’re doing home inspections prior to writing this spending the money on that, they’re making sure that their financials are all in place where the mortgage broker has them fully pre-approved and they’re ready to go. So people are coming really strong.

When you talk about inspections and that makes me think about how the costs must really add up for the buyers not just in terms of the price they end up paying for the home but handling all these home inspections on all the different places that they’re actually interested in purchasing.
My personal experience was that I did two home inspection before I got the house I had. I had to spend on each one and each one is around seven hundred dollars so that definitely an investment of money. I mean I’ve had past clients go through three or four inspections done before they got a house. So sometimes it can really add up to a couple thousand dollars easily.

OK so your Realtor, you know the business, what’s your advice for people who are getting either locked into or are intimidated by these bidding wars?
My advice would be to work with an agent that knows that market really well and knows the pocket neighbourhoods really well. When you are ready to go, make sure that you have all your ducks in a row so make sure that your financing is all lined up and ready to go and there’s no questions about that. Be on the pulse of what’s out there so making sure that your agent has searches set up and the minute something comes on the market whatever you have in your calendar cancel to go see it. If there’s a preview or a sneak peek make sure you’re there, and if you can get in to see the house and then for example to a home inspection before you write an offer. For example, very often they’ll have a schedule of offers which will be looked at on such and such a date at such and such a time, but if you know that’s the situation make sure that you have everything prepared before you actually have an offer presented so that you can come in as strong as possible. Then have your agent show you all the comparables in terms of pricing other similar houses and then come in with your very best strongest offer.