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.

Home Inspection Checklist - A Guide for Property Buyers

Buying a house is exciting, but it can be time-consuming and stressful. You also have to concern yourself with property inspection, allowing you to notice issues that are easily overlooked. This way, you can avoid costly repairs and save money in the long run.

To help you have an easier time thoroughly inspecting the property you are planning to buy, use this article as your home inspection checklist.

- Uneven or Bouncy Floors

Older homes that have settled over time have uneven floors. However, they may even be safer than newer houses where the foundation has not yet had a chance to shift. However, be wary of newly constructed properties with uneven or bouncy floors.

To check how uneven the floors are, always bring marbles to an open house, placing them and observing if they move around different rooms. The marble test is important because it can help you save money on costly repairs.

For instance, deflections may be costly because it involves ripping out the current floor, correcting the support columns, and looking for a floor that matches the original one. Foundation work might also be required if the floors are very uneven.

- Exterior Tilts and Cracks

The interiors of your desired property may look and feel aesthetically pleasing and durable, but pay attention to the exteriors. Check for tilts and cracks by bringing a leveller, preferably with a laser pointer.

You can also consider getting a structural engineer to inspect. If there are cracks, they should not be more than 1/4 inch wide. Many sellers will try to mud over and paint them, so keep your eyes peeled for a surface or paint mismatch. 

- Odours

Room fresheners, potpourri, or scented candles can make you feel at home but beware of them during a property inspection. They can mask a foul odour emanating somewhere in the house and its surroundings. Find out if the sellers are attempting to conceal a nasty smell coming from mould, a leaky pipe, sewage, and the like. 

- Noise Level

Don’t get too excited if you hear some of your favourite tunes during a property inspection. The seller may be trying to mask the noise outside by playing loud music in every room. To determine the noise level yourself, ask the seller to turn off all speakers, fans, and air conditioners. You may also have to ask the neighbours if they are noisy at night. 

- Ownership History

Check homeownership turnover online. If your potential new home has a high turnover, consider it as a red flag because there may be some serious problems with that house. You can tell if a property has a high turnover if it has an average ownership length of three years or less per owner. 


Conducting a home inspection before buying helps you make a more informed decision about your house purchase. Although this process is optional, it’s best to have the property you are eyeing inspected thoroughly. After all, a home costs a lot, so you have to make sure that it is worthwhile.

If you need help completing your property inspection, feel free to hire me. I am Chris Low, an experienced real estate agent, and I can help you buy and sell residential, commercial, or farm real estate in Brandon and Virden. Contact me to have a less time-consuming and more convenient home buying experience!

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