Saskatoon Housing Market Hotter Than Ever
By Tracy Kendel
There were a lot of uncertainties during 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of things into question, the housing market among them. With quarantines keeping everyone inside, how would the national market, let alone the Saskatoon housing market, be impacted?
The short answer is “not at all.” Instead of experiencing any downturn due to quarantines and other restrictions, the Saskatoon housing market is hotter than ever before. The simple fact of the matter is that there is too much demand and not enough inventory.
For couples that are separating or divorcing, the process can be even more difficult. This is your guide to the Saskatoon housing market and the importance of a separation agreement to the entire process.
There Isn’t Much Available on the Saskatoon Housing Market
Many times a search on a local real estate website turns up no results. That isn’t an error, either. Properties are being snapped up at an insane rate. Homes barely hit the market before they have multiple offers.
Not only is there a shorter time to act, but the competition is proving to be just as crazy. Homes are regularly selling well above value. It is becoming more and more common to see bidding wars on properties, escalating the sale price.
It has created panic for buyers. Sellers can sit back and relax, knowing that they will be able to move their home without doing much. Buyers are left to scramble, hoping that they can find a property they like that has not already sold.
The Saskatoon Housing Market Belongs to the Seller
One of the harsh realities that buyers face in the current market is that they have little to no leverage. Because of how hot the market is and the lack of inventory, sellers are have to do very little to move their homes.
Gone are the days where buyers could come in under asking. No more contingencies, either. Sellers in Saskatoon often find that their homes are getting multiple offers within a day of listing them. For buyers, it creates a scenario where acting quick is not just necessary; it is urgent.
Be vigilant and be aware. Most of all, be vigilant. It will take patience in a market like this to land a great home, with so many bidding wars and overpayments happening.
How To Handle the Hot Saskatoon Housing Market
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: a hot housing market can be a bit unpredictable. While it would be nice to have a template for handling such a thing, homes come and go in a flash. The best you can hope for is just to ride the wave.
That said, there are more than a few tips that can help you along the way. For one, know where you are willing to compromise. It is tough to find a home that checks all the boxes in an ideal housing market. In a climate like this, you will have to make compromises and hope that they are small ones.
Having a real estate agent- and a good one at that- can be crucial as well. They can get showings lined up quickly so that you can see a home and make an offer. Try to offer a quick closing; it could be the edge that pushes you over the top (ask your agent about this).
Getting financing in order is perhaps the most important step. If you are still messing around with financing, you may get left in the dust. Have all of your ducks in a row before you begin your house search in earnest.
Inside the Numbers of the Saskatoon Housing Market
Still not convinced? The Saskatchewan Realtors Association reported that in February of this year, Saskatoon City and the surrounding areas sold $168 million in residential properties. That is a whopping 80% increase from 2020.
Overpaying for homes also became more prevalent. It became more common to see homes going for $7,000 over the asking price. In the case of 17 homes, the difference was $12,000.
Things only look like they will go up from here. One aspect for separated or divorcing couples that can either help or hurt the process is the separation agreement.
Separation Agreements are Essential in the Current Saskatoon Housing Market
With as hot as things are, there is no time to waste. Fighting with a spouse about assets – especially if you need to sell the family home to buy a new one – can be the difference between you and your new home.
That said, it is important to know what the agreement is and what you need to have covered within the agreement. When you have questions, your lawyer should be able to assist.
What is a Separation Agreement?
The separation agreement is a contract that is legally binding between both parties at the time of separation. The agreement covers the legal rights of each party on several issues. That includes property division, child access/custody, spousal/child support, assets, and debts.
The law leaves the decision to have a separation agreement up to the couple. That said, it is strongly recommended that you have one. When things break down during a separation, those verbal agreements can be difficult to prove.
Ideally, a lawyer would draft the separation agreement. That’s not a rule; it just helps to have a professional draft it up so that both parties are covered. Improperly written agreements may not be binding nor enforceable by the courts.
Fighting for an unclear agreement in court can be both costly and quite difficult. If one spouse decides not to abide, it may not be binding if written unclearly.
What Should the Separation Agreement Cover?
The separation agreement will be your comprehensive, cover-it-all document. It can play a pivotal role in getting a home in this hot housing market, but there is far more to it than you may realize. Here is what to expect.
Pertinent info. The agreement should have legal names, addresses, etc., of everyone involved. Don’t let these simple details slip by you.
Children. If there are children involved, it will outline the details regarding them. Who they live with, who has custody, what access is like. This part also covers child support payments.
Spousal support. Spousal support may be agreed upon by the two parties. This section covers how much will be paid and when. Further, it covers the length of time that those spousal support payments will have to be made.
Division of property. Who gets the house? Will it be sold? Determining what happens to the family home, how to divide the proceeds, and more is one of the biggest arguments in a separation.
Assets. If there are pensions or retirement accounts, they need to be defined. Who gets what or what the division is of each.
Debts. It’s not all fun, games, and getting money. Debts come with the separation, with a decision on who is responsible for what.
A separation agreement can provide the peace of mind needed in finding a home. It assures that your assets remain dedicated to finding a home and won’t potentially dissipate should things turn ugly between exes.
If you are going through a separation or divorce, it can feel like things are spiralling out of control. Tempers and emotions run high. That is why having the services of a skilled mediator can be such a game-changer.
About Tracy Kendel
Tracy Kendel is the owner of Fairway Divorce Solutions – Saskatoon branch. Tracy has helped deliver closure and more optimal results to thousands across Saskatchewan. Her expertise and knowledge put her a cut above when it comes to mediation professionals.
Tracy continues to work out of both the Regina and Saskatoon offices and is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and a Qualified Mediator. If her background did not speak highly enough of what she does, her 2010 recognition as the Top Senior Negotiator in North America should. To follow that up, she received the Top Produce in Canada designation in 2017. Tracy is as accomplished a mediator as there is, helping couples navigate the potentially explosive terrain more successfully.
She has been the owner of the Saskatoon franchise for more than ten years, with the aim of providing couples with separation agreements that work for both parties.