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How to Compete in Multiple Offers

Have you been searching for your dream home for months, maybe even a year or two or three? Maybe you’ve lost out on a bidding war in which multiple buyers all vied for that exact same piece of the rock. Are you starting to feel a little desperate or doomed?

Don’t even go there.

Multiple offers are pretty much a side effect of a hot seller’s market. But that doesn’t have to mean the seller has Oz-like power and might. As a buyer you can employ certain tactics and strategies that will make you stronger and more competitive. Let’s look at how you can stand out from the crowd:

Clean offers – those with fewer conditions – are best. A clean offer with pre-approved financing, especially in a multiple offer situation, shows the seller that you are serious.  Conditional sales and offers that hinge on financing aren’t acceptable when there are other offers on the table.

Sell your house first.  You don’t want to include selling your house as a condition as this will serve to weaken your offer by making your bid more complicated and less desirable.

Don’t wait for an open house. If a house interests you based on its online photos, make an appointment to see it before the weekend open house. That way your offer can be entertained before the open-house feeding frenzy.

Use a trusted local broker.  The more well-known and respected your agent is, the better odds they have at enticing listing agents. In a bidding war situation, the offer presented by the known broker will be more attractive to the listing agent and increase your odds especially if the two offers are close.

Get a home inspection – quick. The idea here is to signal to the seller that you are prepared to act quickly. Having to wait ten days for a home inspection that might prompt the buyer to drop a deal, isn’t very appealing for the seller so get this done ASAP.

Be flexible. Believe it or not, but this attribute can make or break a deal. If a seller has already purchased and you meet their closing date that could net you the house over a higher competing offer. Also, to stand out from other offers, don’t ask for the moon when it comes to extras such as window coverings and appliances. Simply ask for what is offered in the listing. Also on this point, try not to nit-pick on minor repairs and instead offer to purchase the property as is.

Pull out the big guns.  Offering a large deposit shows the seller you’re serious. Put down as much as you can afford. No need to worry as it goes toward the balance owing on the property or, if the deal falls through, you get it back.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Toronto Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.