Multiple Offers…A Love/Hate Relationship

admin | Apr. 22, 2016

You’ve seen it on the news – Toronto buyers lining up to place offers on properties that end up selling well above their listing price. Didn’t think it could happen here? Well, think again!

The Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market has always been strong, but lately I’ve seen unusually fierce competition amongst buyers who are risking it all to land their dream home.

I love multiple offers when I’m the listing agent on a property, but it’s a different story when I’m working with buyers. No agent or buyer wants to hear those dreaded words, “we have multiple offers”.

So how do you increase your odds of winning in a multiple offer situation?

  1. It’s not always about the price, but there’s no doubt that sellers can be swayed with an offer above the listing price. Be careful though… you don’t want to overpay for a property or the bank might not approve your financing depending on your mortgage amount. In addition, if the market suddenly cools down you might not be able to recoup your money if you have to sell after being in the home for only a few years.
  2. Find out what is the sellers’ preferred closing date and give it to them. I’ve seen sellers accept less money because the closing date was very important to them.
  3. I never recommend that buyers remove their financing and inspection conditions from an offer, however, this practice is becoming more common. It’s a very risky move for buyers, but sellers will jump at the chance to have their home sold immediately without waiting for a week to see if their home passes inspection and the buyers obtain their financing.
  4. Be prepared to make a quick decision. Sleeping on it overnight could cost you your dream home but, on the flip side, you could end up buying a home you might not truly love if you act too quickly. Once your offer is accepted, you’re legally committed to buy that home and you’ll be headed to court if you decide you want to back out.
  5. Don’t underestimate the power of emotion. If you have time, write a brief note to the seller explaining why their home is special to you. Many sellers have emotional connections to their home and want to know that their home will be just as loved by the new owners. If a seller has to choose between two offers that are equal, your letter could give you an advantage.
  6. Is your agent a nice person? When an agent presents an offer on your behalf, they are essentially an extension of you. I once had a seller who had to choose between two offers that were equal. They didn’t like one of the agents because he wasn’t especially friendly, so they decided to choose the other offer. The buyers would never have known that they lost the home due to their agent’s personality.

Buying a home in this competitive market can be challenging, but you can take solace in the fact that your odds of coming out on top in a multiple offer situation are still better than winning the lottery.

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