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Vancouver real estate is on a huge boom these days. CBC News reports that benchmark prices for Metro Vancouver residential properties has increased 10.3 percent since 2014, putting the new benchmark price at $694,000. Sales have increased even more, soaring 28.4 percent when comparing June 2014 to June 2015. In total, 4,375 homes were closed on last month — 29.1 percent higher than the 10 year average.

All of this activity is great news for homeowners and others in the real estate business, but for buyers trying to relocate or switch from renting, navigating the frenzied atmosphere can be difficult. Here are some strategies to help you find the home you need while protecting yourself financially:

 

Don’t Get Sucked into Hype

Inventory may be moderately low, but remember that the home you have had your eyes on is not the only one you will ever find. Think about each home as one option of many rather than getting your heart set on a single property. Otherwise, you could find yourself behaving irrationally in an effort to beat out others who had their eye on it, too.

Bidding wars, seller incentives and other situations may end up leading you down a path that puts logic by the wayside. Instead, maintain perspective and keep to a budget. If your offer on a home becomes contested above your set budget, do not be afraid to walk away.

 

Keep up Your Defense

Most Vancouver markets have not yet gotten to this point, but areas in the US like Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia see so much competition for homes that buyers are trying to woo sellers with dangerously generous sales concessions. Many are waiving aspects like home inspections or appraisal contingencies, putting them at a huge risk. Should their finances fall through or they discover that the home has significant problems, they are now contractually stuck with no easy exit.

Similar to the above point, keep your wits about you and focus on your general goal while shopping, not a specific house. You have a right to services like a home inspection and an appraisal contingency that you should not waive for any place or anyone without good reason.

 

Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent

A skilled real estate agent with knowledge of the local market can often help you keep your head above water while also offering advice that makes transactions occur more smoothly. They may be able to help you find listings that have not yet attracted a frenzy of activity, or they could help you negotiate tougher with a seller who is trying to shut you out by raising their asking price or forcing you to compete with other buyers.

With your agent’s expertise at your back, you can go forth into the market more confidently and with sound professional advice to keep you from steering down the wrong path. To learn more about what a great UBC homes buyer’s agent can do for you, visit our buyer’s section.