You’ve Found “The Home.” Now What?

The long, tiring search is over and you’ve kissed a lot of frogs. You've finally found your dream home and want to make an offer on the property. How do you know how much to offer and if you’re getting the most value for your money in this Brandon MB market?

The offer phase of purchasing a home isn’t always straightforward and you need to at least know the market on homes in that area so you can determine if you’ll be getting the fair market value for that home. Ask your real estate agent to go through neighborhood  comparable actives and solds with you.  This report should be helpful with the offer process.

Lowballing is a common term in the world of real estate. It means that you’re offering to buy the house for a number that’s far below the market value. You run the risk of insulting the seller and losing the home for good.

But, if you don’t know the fair market value of the home you could overpay by thousands of dollars. To zero in on the market value of the home you’ve chosen, you should know if you’re in a seller’s or buyer’s market.

A buyer’s market means that there are plenty of homes for sale, but a shortage of buyers. This gives you more power to bid lower than the asking price and to even ask the seller to pay for some or all of the closing costs. In a buyer’s market, you’ll find the seller more willing to negotiate.

If you’re in a seller’s market, there is a shortage of homes for sale and you’re likely to have several potential buyers making offers at the same time. A seller’s market is a little tougher to negotiate in because you may need to compete with other buyers.

It’s sometimes devastating to a potential home buyer when their good-faith offer is rejected – especially without a counter offer. This could happen when the seller receives many offers and your offer was much less than the others. Or, the seller may back off of your offer to see if he can eventually get a better one.

All may not be lost, even if your offer has been rejected by the seller. The seller may not have accepted any offer on the home and you may still have time to negotiate by moving rapidly with a higher offer. This may result in a bidding war that your real estate agent will need to help you with.

A buyer’s agent is extremely helpful if you’re a first-time home buyer. He or she will be familiar with the local market and be able to negotiate the best deal on your behalf. You’ll learn a lot during this process, which may be helpful to you when you decide to sell.

If you’re working in a seller’s market and there’s a real shortage of homes in the area, you may still be able to get your dream home. Find a home you really love in an area you’re interested in and write a letter to the homeowner.

It’s a true leap of faith to try this method, but it’s worked for thousands of buyers and it just might work for you. Even if you receive a “not interested” reply, at least you’ll know you tried.

Never rush to make an offer in any market until you’re sure the home is right for you. Unless you do the proper research on the home, you may be rushing in to a situation that you’ll later regret.

Whether you live in Brandon MB, Virden MB or you're searching for acreages in these surrounding areas, the search can be strenuous and time consuming.  You can call on me to be your trusted go to REALTOR®, with insight on all new listings and recent home sales, within our local real estate market.

3 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Second Home in Canada

After buying your first home and enjoying all it has to offer, you may be considering purchasing a second home at some point. For instance, you may want to have your own weekend getaway to relax and unwind far away from the hustle and bustle of the city without worrying about finding available accommodation and securing a reservation. You may also want to have a summer home that you can access whenever you want, allowing you to enjoy a change of scenery at a moment’s notice.

Owning a second home is an excellent investment to make, whether you intend to use it or rent it out. However, there’s a lot of research that goes into finding the right property to call your own for the second time, especially in determining your financing options. Luckily, buying a house will be made easier by working with the best real estate agent and following our guide.

Here’s what you should consider when buying a second property:

1) Property Type

Whether you plan on buying a summer home or a place to rent out, you’ll need to determine the type of property that works best for its intended purpose. For instance, if you are purchasing it for income purposes, you’ll want to look for homes in a business district, like an apartment or a townhouse. To make the most bang for your buck, you’ll need to find a highly sought-after location.

It’s important to note that you may change your mind about the property and decide to convert it into a retirement home. It’s best to choose a location you wouldn’t mind living in, even if you intend to rent it out. This rule of thumb also applies to properties bought for seasonal purposes, whether it’s a quaint cottage you can spend your summers and winters in or hope to rent out to vacationers.

2) Insurance Costs

Another critical factor to consider when purchasing a second property is the insurance costs that come with it. Most homeowners forget about this and end up with even more expenses than they had expected, as insurance bills are unavoidable. Once you’ve laid your eyes on a property, it’s best to start asking for insurance costs to determine if it’s within your budget.

Your property’s location and purpose influence how much your insurance will cost. For example, if you buy a house by a body of water like a lake, you’ll have to pay for flooding insurance. If you rent the property out to tenants or vacationers, you’ll also have to pay for more insurance to protect yourself from instances in which they get injured while on your property.

3) Maintenance and Upkeep

Lastly, you must also account for maintenance and upkeep costs. If you’re buying the property as a seasonal escape for your family, you’ll still have to pay for utilities every month, even when you aren’t using them. You’ll also have to consider repair work that may result from months of disuse, like damaged pipes.

Meanwhile, if you’ll be renting it out, you’ll have a much easier time with the utility costs because you can integrate those into the rent cost. It is crucial to decide on renting your property for the long term or only a few days, weeks, or months, allowing you to estimate how much you’ll have to pay for utilities.


Purchasing a second home in Canada comes with a world of benefits. However, it is unwise to buy one willy-nilly without considering all the details and expenses that go with it. By accounting for these three factors and working with a real estate agent, buying a house will be much easier than expected.

Chris Low is a real estate agent buying and selling residential, commercial, and farm real estate in Manitoba. Whether you’re selling or buying a house or you’d like to know how much your home is worth, I’m the one to call. Contact me today to find out more about how I can help you meet your real estate goals!

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