Canadians trying to buy a home this year faced soaring prices and a tightly supplied market; unfortunately, there’s little relief in sight entering 2022.

The Canadian Real Estate Association reported a 25 per cent annual increase in the average Canadian home price for November. Meantime, Royal LePage expects home prices will increase another 10 per cent by late next year.

It’s enough to leave aspiring homebuyers at their wits’ end.

Of course, you can always choose to not buy real estate at this time. But for those pressing on with the search in 2022, BNN Bloomberg collected some tips on how to approach the market by tapping the expertise of several of our regular real estate guests.

Steve Saretsky, Vancouver realtor, author of the “Saretsky Report”

“I’m advising clients not to chase properties. You have to try and keep your emotions out of it and set your maximum price prior to offer. What we are seeing is that a house might be worth $1.5 million based on recent sales, etc., but once 10 offers come in, and people get competitive, that house might sell for $1.7 million. This is obviously a huge overpay and often times is the result of an emotional bidder that has already lost out on several houses. 

“In summary, get all your ducks in a row, be prepared to move fast and have your trusted partners in place to help you with the due diligence. … And lastly, try to find the fixer uppers that don't draw such huge crowds. As I always say to my clients, if you have to beat 10 other people in a bidding war, chances are you are going to have to pay a stupid price.”

Nasma Ali, broker and founder, One Group, Remax Hallmark Realty

“Use your imagination. Be willing to go after what most buyers won't. Don't over rule the badly marketed homes. Make a point to go visit the ones with dark photos, no staging. If they are tenanted those are golden opportunities, because sometimes tenants won't even allow photos to be taken, and limit showings (so the) seller may feel pushed into a corner and can be desperate for anyone to bring them an offer.

“Ask your agent to send you properties that have relisted, this time with no offer day. Sometimes sellers have high expectations on price, and don't get the price they want, even in this market. When they adjust their price, their listing tends to be neglected and forgotten. Buyers are chasing after the shiny new listings every week. Agents have access to knowing which house is set for an offer day (bidding war) and which is not, and which is simply ‘offers any time’ where you can potentially negotiate with the seller, one-on-one. Get these listings at the end of every week from your agent. They need to be hand picked.”

Davelle Morrison, broker, Bosley Real Estate

“My first piece of advice to first-time homebuyers is to pack your patience. Patience is everything when it comes to buying real estate. Ask anyone over 40 and they will tell you their biggest regret is not purchasing more real estate when they were younger. They wish they would have scraped together every penny they had to purchase something in their 20s or 30s. You still have a bright future ahead if you are young and planning to buy real estate. As the saying goes, don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait.

“My second piece of advice is to throw out your champagne tastes and accept, like and embrace the properties that are available to you on your beer budget. Getting into the real estate market should be like taking the first step on the property ladder. Your first step should be something small, most likely a small condo, before you climb the rungs to a larger condo, a smaller house then a larger house if you wish.”

John Pasalis, president, Realosophy Realty

“Don't chase homes you can't afford. Most buyers spend six months bidding on homes that are listed within their budget, but they don't realize just how far above their budget the home they want is actually worth. You mitigate this risk by having an agent who can tell you a home's market value before you bid on it so that you're not chasing homes that are out of reach.

“On any given night there are several similarly priced homes in a similar area that are taking offers the same night. The nicest and prettiest homes may end up with 20 offers while the other homes that aren't as renovated and staged may get two to five. While it's human nature to always want the prettiest home, in such a tight market you may be better off bidding on the home with fewer offers because your probability of success improves from 1/20 to 1/5.”