Truly Valuable Edmonton Condo Real Estate Advice

If there’s one truth to the Edmonton condo market, it’s that it really can be subject to the whims of the Alberta economy at large. However, there’s a big difference between the games that our province’s boom-or-bust economy might play with Edmonton real estate, and the value of your condo (or prospective condo) from an objective standpoint – and that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss today. These are pretty heady topics to take on all by ourselves, though, so we’ve brought in Jakie Ng, YEG Condo Specialist from the RE/MAX River City GetJakie Realtor Group to weigh in with some expert advice on identifying your condo’s value, navigating market trends, and knowing everything you need to know to make the right decision when buying or selling a condo in the City of Champions.

The Value of Understanding Value

The first thing Ng impressed upon us during our chat with him is the importance of understanding the value of a condo, as opposed to its listed selling price. Regardless of where the economy might be at, gaining a solid understanding of the actual value of a property will help put that piece of real estate into perspective within the larger landscape of the Edmonton market. There are a couple of steps you can take to understand the true value of the condo you’re looking at.

First, Ng advised us, take a look at what else is selling (or, what’s recently sold) in the area. Get an idea of what other buyers were looking at – and, more importantly, what they paid for those properties – within the past six to 12 months. This will give you a good understanding of where your condo sits within the grand scheme of things and should give you an idea of the value within the scope of the Edmonton real estate market.

Next, you can do a bit of a deep-dive into the value of your current condo obsession by doing your best James Bond and going undercover to find out what the seller’s situation is – and by “doing your best James Bond,” we really just mean asking your realtor to ask their realtor. If the relationship between your two agents isn’t quite up for that level of open communication, there are other ways you can suss out these details: namely, by looking at the title of the home, looking at the history of the listing, and doing a bit of homework to find out how many times the price of the listing has been reduced. All these details can start to come together to tell the story of the true value of the condo you’ve got your eye on, potentially saving you thousands of dollars when you do go ahead and make that final offer.

Buyers, Sellers, and You

The other key pieces of the value puzzle, Ng informed us, are buyers and sellers, and the trends each of these groups exact on the market.

Buyers have really changed recently in that more and more, they’re stopping and taking their time in order to make an educated purchasing decision. Rather than simply signing on the dotted line because they need a place to put down roots, buyers are now renting, waiting, and biding their time to purchase in order to take advantage of the market. In fact, many buyers have already been searching for weeks in order get ahead of the spring/summer market, simply relying on longtail possession dates to run out the clock on whatever lease they’re currently beholden to. Buyers don’t just come and go from the market willy-nilly anymore. Now, they enter the fray only when they see value, which puts them in a position of advantage over sellers – they’re not in any sort of rush to buy and have no problem walking away.

It’s worth noting, however, that today’s buyers are tomorrow’s sellers – and that’s where the idea of value comes into play once again. As Ng made clear to us, if buyers are consistently pushing to drive down the cost of units within a building, the long-term result will be the overall value of the condo corporation dropping as well, making it difficult for buyers to recoup their investment when they decide to sell years down the line. Buyers, beware: you might be after a lower selling price today, but be careful what you wish for!

Sellers, on the other hand, are becoming as competitive as possible in their attempts to capitalize on the value of their property. The last half-decade of downturn has hurt those who are now selling – many of whom might now find themselves struggling not to lose money on their property investment. We’re settling into a new norm, but even still, property values are definitely not what they were prior to the 2014 downturn. Ng’s recommendation? Buyer activity will pick back up again, so if you can wait, wait – but if you need to sell now, be reasonable about your selling price, and be ready to bite the bullet a little bit in order to close the deal at the end of the day.

Be Mindful. Be Aware. Be Smart.

As helpful as the above advice is, it really only scratches the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the different facets and details that contribute to an Edmonton condominium’s overall value. Details like level of luxury, now-defunct age restrictions, short term rentals, cannabis usage, and more all play into the value of your condo corporation and condo unit – but we’ve only got space to cover so much in any given blog!

Want to learn more? Reach out to Jakie Ng and the experts at the GetJakie Realtor Group. Visit Ng’s website or find him on Instagram at @condoyeg to learn more about your condo’s value. For our part, we’d like to extend a hearty thank-you to Jakie Ng for taking the time to chat with us about the Edmonton condo market. In parting with us, Ng made it clear that a good real estate agent will be there to help you sort out these questions of value, and provide educated opinions to help you make the right purchasing decision – for today, and for the long-term – which is exactly the commitment that Condo YEG makes to each and every client.

Beyond that, if you’re looking for any other sort of condo-specific advice, be sure to give us a call at Catalyst Condo Management today – we’ll be happy to help you find the answers you’re after!