In Toronto’s real estate market the words ‘bidding war’ have become all too familiar. We have moved past the idea that they will go away and now I am asked, “how can we win this bidding war?”
I’ve pulled together some tips I use with my buyers to close a sale and a few tricks that I’ve learned over the years that have won over my sellers. Make sure you are following me on Instagram or Facebook so that we can chat more about this as the spring market gets into full swing.
Win a Bidding War: A Realtor With Relationships
Working with a realtor who has relationships with other realtors in the area is a huge benefit. In a scenario where there are a dozen offers, the selling agent must present them all to their clients. The homeowners will often ask their agent for advice and if your realtor has had a conversation about your air-tight and trustworthy offer, it could be a matter of your offer coming out on top. Be the offer that isn’t going to go south. If your realtor has a prior relationship with and built up trust with the selling agent, everyone involved wins!
Win a Bidding War: Bring a Cheque
On offer night, bring a deposit cheque with you. Yes, it costs money to have the bank print a cheque. Think of it as an investment in winning the home of your dreams. I have been in situations when my client’s offer is in the seller’s top three, and my ability to tell the selling agent that I can drop off a cheque within the hour won them the home. If you don’t have a cheque, which is a sign to the seller that you are serious, the deal could fall apart.
Win a Bidding War: Write a Letter or Make a Short Video
What’s your story? Why do you want this house? How will it change your and your family’s life? Write a letter or make a short video (I’m not talking about a production company-style video here, just simply record yourself on your phone) and tell the sellers what you love about the home and how it could change your life. Pull on the heart strings, make the most memorable offer in the bidding war and set yourself apart from the others. It works!
Win a Bidding War: Fight for What You Want
Don’t be afraid to get your elbows out and push to the front of the line – figuratively, not literally. We aren’t going to actually fight, but we can be competitive. If you find a home that you really want, reach for it. Get ready to battle with others who also want it. This means be realistic about how much you can afford, be prepared to go in without conditions (more on that next) and get ready for a little back-and-forth when your first offer is signed back. Ask yourself: how badly do you want this home?
Win a Bidding War: Get Comfortable With No Conditions
This one may seem risky, but there are ways to get comfortable with putting together an offer without conditions. Be honest with your realtor and tell them what scares you. Is it the state of the home? In most cases in Toronto, the seller will have a home inspection done and share the report. If timing permits, your realtor can have another one done for about $500, and with that investment in your peace of mind, you could be more comfortable (or not) making an offer without that condition. If you know the home inside and out, and you feel confident, you are in a good position to put in a strong offer and win.
Win a Bidding War: Figure Out Your Finances
Another condition you need to be comfortable waiving is financing. Figure out your finances before putting in an offer. Talk to a professional broker and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Get everything in writing. Knowing how high you can go will give you leverage when you’re in a bidding war and offers are being signed back. Be strategic and be bold within your means.
Win a Bidding War: Get to Know the Neighbourhood
When you engage a realtor who knows the neighbourhood, you’re already ahead of the game. Compare what the selling price is to others homes on the street and nearby. Your realtor should have information about recent selling prices – and how many offers came in for the property. All of this information will help when you sit down to write an offer and if you strike it just right – don’t low ball and don’t overbid – you could be a winner!
So, think you can win? Have any more strategies to win a bidding war? Send me a note.
If you’re wondering about the best time to buy, I wrote a recent blog post about Buyer’s and Seller’s Markets, check it out here.
If you’re interested in learning more about me, how I treat my clients differently than most, and how I can help you in your home buying journey, check out my introductory blog post here.