Success Comes with Local Expertise in Kitchener-Waterloo's Housing Market

If you have been considering a move or buying real estate in Kitchener, Waterloo and the surrounding townships, you know inventory is tight, and competition is fierce. That could be the understatement of 2020, and 2021 shows no signs of this changing. Now more than ever, a local Realtor's assistance is a must if buyers are looking to be successful in the Waterloo Region.
My business was fuelled by Buyer clients in 2020, and there wasn't a single transaction I helped facilitate a successful offer that did not involve competition. Some clients were lucky and only ended up competing in a three or five offer situation. Still, many offers were negotiated in competition with ten plus buyers trying to purchase the property. This scenario isn't changing. Just last month, I was involved in three offer presentations against twenty plus offers! Until inventory significantly improves, this is our new reality.
Truthfully, you may feel comfortable having a family member or close friend who is a Realtor try and navigate the Kitchener-Waterloo housing market with you. Still, there are a few challenges you face right off the bat. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my out-of-town Realtor have great relationships with Kitchener and Waterloo Realtors?
  • Does my Realtor have the knowledge to size up recent sales in specific neigbourhoods to help me be truly competitive?
  • Can my out-of-town Realtor tell me what listings will move in a 'bully offer' or preemptive scenario versus waiting for a scheduled offer date?
  • Do I throw a lot of money out of exasperation at a listing, or am I getting sound advice on where to pay the premium? 
The first question may seem insignificant to you, but it does matter. Local Realtors like dealing with fellow local Realtors. Money talks, but there are usually identical offers a Seller must decide to accept in a multiple offer situation. Having sold real estate for the past nine years in Kitchener, Waterloo and the surrounding townships, I have built a good rapport with fellow Realtors across many brokerages. This past year, there have been times that this has helped my client be successful in a close competitive situation.
Unfortunately, some listings are grossly underpriced and it takes local real estate knowledge to pinpoint what the actual sale price will be. These false listing prices often drive insane competition, and this is where you find yourself in a ten plus offer situation. Experience helps me figure out whether you will set a neighbourhood price precedent or whether you should even bother viewing a listing based on your budget. Shopping for a home that is priced artificially low can be morally defeating. A local experienced Buyer Realtor should be able to guide you through the pricing games.
Bully offers or preemptive offers are the new norms. Even listings that state the Sellers' direction of an offer review date can change on a dime. If you can kickstart an offer process before the review date, it better be a healthy one and done tactfully. With all due respect, I have seen out-of-town Realtors attempt this feat with epic failure. Bringing a bully offer that would have been strong in 2015 won't cut it in 2021 and could backfire if a Seller decides to wait for the offer date and sees your name on one of the offers in a competitive situation. 
Finally, my prediction is inventory is going to remain tight in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the townships in 2021. The buyer pool for homes between $400,000 - $1,000,000 is crowded, and it's unlikely you will be able to avoid competition. This truth means you will likely be paying a healthy premium when you are successful in a multiple offer situation. Regardless of whether it is your forever home, investment property, or a first-time purchase, I would hate to see you buy something for the sake of buying. The reality is out-of-town Realtors have a more challenging time giving you advice on where to pay the premium while still making a good real estate purchase. This past year, I have counselled many buyers out of making a desperate offer on an 'okay home' because I knew that there could be a loss on the initial purchase if they had to sell within five years. Of course, you don't want to twiddle your thumbs while watching prices rise and essentially price yourself out of the market. Still, smart local real estate advice is essential when a buyer premium is a new reality in the Waterloo Region.
It may sound cliché, but it never gets old calling my buyer clients to congratulate them on being the successful offer. If you are ready to buy in Kitchener-Waterloo, put my local experience to work. I would value the opportunity to discuss the local housing market and figure out a plan to help you settle in Waterloo Region. I can be reached by email ( or by phone (519-572-6595).

Not intended to solicit clients already under contract.