The real estate market in Guelph has been turbulent over the past few months. And it’s times like this that it’s more important than ever to use a Guelph realtor.

In a video we produced for Guelph Today this week, we outlined a few key insights that have started to hit the market. One of those was a noticeable decline in GTA buyers to Guelph, which we thought was important to highlight.

Less GTA presence, more showings by your Guelph realtor

For many years, the 416, 647 and 437 area code were a massive presence in Guelph real estate. In fact, when Ryan published an article in 2020 regarding a “GTA invasion” into Guelph, it received a fair bit of public backlash. Twitter and his email had comments like “I demand you remove this article” or “invasion is too aggressive, change the title”.

Now just 24 months later, the well of GTA buyers seems to have dried up. It’s impossible to know what percentage of buyers in Guelph were from the GTA. However, we anticipate that at the peak it was 8 out of every 10 showings based on GTA realtor business cards left at homes.

Today, 80% of the business cards are from a Guelph realtor and there is a noticable lack of GTA realtors. Why is this important to know?

In a situation where there are few homes to sell (lack of supply) and many buyers to buy them (increased demand), real estate prices increase. But if you increase the supply and lessen the demand, prices drop. Without the GTA buyers, there is not enough demand and prices are declining.

Part of the challenge with many GTA buyers who were not using a Guelph real estate agent is that they don’t know the basics of our market. Here are a few examples:

Neighbourhood knowledge

A Guelph realtor knows the local neighbourhoods well. As an example, when a buyer who lives in Barrie wants to move to Guelph, they may use their Barrie realtor. That Realtor may never have been to Guelph before and we see it all the time.

What ends up happening is that the out of town Realtor uses basic information to try and help their clients but is unaware of the nuances that a Guelph realtor knows. Things like pockets of neighbourhoods that may be better than others.

Transit routes and timing, school catchment boundaries, neighbourhood developments. Where’s the nearest Beer Store? Where’s the Guelph Costco (hint: its in West Guelph). All of these are things that could impact your life as a new homeowner in Guelph.

Access to data

Real estate data from the GTA is generally split into two areas. Those who sell real estate in the Toronto area utilize the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) data. In Guelph (and most other locations in Ontario), they use Itso. These are two different real estate boards and most realtors are members of one or the other but not both.

Beth and Ryan are part of both the local board and TREB. However, this is an additional cost that most realtors don’t want to take on.

Here’s where the problems arise: let’s say you live in Guelph and are selling your home. You don’t know a Guelph realtor, so you call up your cousin in Woodbridge. They’re a Realtor and you ask them to list the home. They list it, but only in their local board (TREB) because that’s where they’re a member.

The problem?

Guelph realtors don’t see it in their system because the agent did not list it locally. They only list the house in TREB and therefore local agents will never come across the listing in Guelph! This means less traffic to the house, which ultimately leads to a lower price.

As a Guelph realtor helping a buyer, it’s a bonus to find a listing only listed in TREB! Sometimes it’s a huge advantage because it has limited exposure. You know there is going to be less traffic and it is a competitive edge. The person who loses in this scenario is the seller who has limited exposure.

The other major issue we’ve noticed is that out of board realtors don’t have comparables access. So, they are trying to put an offer in for a townhouse on behalf of their buyer client, but have no idea what area townhouses have been selling for!

On many occasions, out of town realtors have asked US to give them comparable information. We’re pretty sure their buyer clients wouldn’t be impressed to hear that!

Limited services

If you’re an out of town realtor and list a Guelph home for sale, chances are it’s not really a top priority. Especially the further you are away from Guelph. You’d have to drive to Guelph to stage it, arrange photos, set up an account and install a sign and more. The result?

These things just don’t get done.

Time and time again, we’ve seen listings from out of town where there is no sign on the lawn at all. They take photos with an iPhone and there are only 3 photos. The house may look nice, but it doesn’t have that “staged glitz” like their own local listings may have.

Local Guelph realtor relationships

This is important, because time and time again we hear that it doesn’t matter. It does matter. Here’s why.

Let’s say you’re selling a home in Guelph with a Guelph realtor. That real estate agent has likely been around for a while and has local relationships. In a hot market like we’ve just seen, buyers would continually bid up housing prices.

A realtors role is to ensure that the buyer is qualified to buy the house that they are putting an offer on. The Guelph realtor wants to ensure key elements beyond the offer. This includes: does the buyer have a solid job, where they’re getting the real estate deposit from, do they have a house to sell. Because, the sale price is irrelevant if the buyer cannot close on the deal.

A local realtor has relationships with other realtors. An out of town realtor with out of town buyers is effectively a stranger. To be clear: we have nothing against (and love working with) out of town agents. But we’re talking a lot of money on the line. You want to ensure that you protect your seller client as best you can. This means extra due diligence.

That out of town realtor has to work extra hard. They need to prove that not only can their buyer afford the house, but that they will close without issue. Sometimes, for a seller it’s worth it to take a little less money on a buyer who they are confident will complete the transaction.

If you’re looking for a Guelph realtor, call the Beth and Ryan Team from Home Group Realty! We’d be happy to guide you in the right direction depending on your needs and wants.