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How to Improve your Chances in a Multiple Offer Situation


Whether buying your first home or your last, navigating a strong seller’s market like the current one can be challenging.

More often than not, you will be in a situation where you have to wait until a specific offer date to submit your offer, only to find out that you’re up against 10 or even 20 other people for the same home.

Losing out on a home – the one you can’t stop thinking about – can be heartbreaking and over time it can even be discouraging if it happens several times.

How do you get what you want? To be fully prepared to put your best foot forward on offer day, there are a few key considerations I suggest – and it’s not always about money.

Not surprisingly, removing conditions in your offer will put you at the top of the pile, but here are a few other tips to get you closer to a win.

  1. Get Pre-Approved. Talk with a trusted Mortgage Specialist. Being confident in what you can and are willing to spend on a home goes a long way when submitting an offer. Getting all the paperwork in order can be a bit of a process, so this should be your absolute first step before your house hunt even begins. It’s also important to allow your Mortgage Specialist to communicate openly with your Realtor® to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to knowing the numbers. If you get a letter of approval from your Mortgage Specialist, you can submit it with an offer to give a seller confidence in your ability to close the deal.
  2. Start your house hunt with a local, experienced Realtor®. Relationships matter and having a local Realtor® who knows the city, neighbourhoods, and other local agents can make a huge difference in having your offer considered.
  3. Split the inspection. You found a house and you’re ready to submit an offer. Every buyer wants to feel comfortable about a home and often an inspection puts concerns and unknowns to rest. Unfortunately, putting a Home Inspection clause in an offer will likely make you lose out on the house. There is a way around this and just takes a bit of planning. Some inspectors offer what is called a 2-part inspection – designed for going into a multiple offer situation. The first part of the inspection will be done BEFORE the offer date. It’s a mini-inspection where your inspector explores key structural components, mechanicals, electrical, etc. This should give you peace of mind (or prepare you) if there are any major issues to be aware of. The second part of the inspection can be finished IF you are successful in the purchase. This method allows you to split up the payment so you aren’t fronting the full fee when you may not even get the house.
  4. Find out the seller’s situation. Ensure that your Realtor® is communicating with the listing agent to find out what type of position the sellers are in. Find out their ideal closing date and try your best to accommodate that. Do not ask for extra chattels that they are not offering.
  5. Bully offers. These hurt. Before you’ve even had a chance to consider a home, another buyer has stepped up with an offer before offer day. Even though the seller stated they were waiting until that date, they sometimes change their mind. It’s wise to pre-register your offer before offer day so that your Realtor® is kept abreast of changes to the offer date, how many offers are being registered, and any other changes.
  6. Increase your deposit amount. A seller will commonly request anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 for a deposit. Consider bumping that number up if you can and offer more than they want. This shows how serious you are, as well as good faith that you intend to close on the deal. This deposit will be due within 24 hours of an accepted offer. Even better, you can submit your deposit WITH your offer in the form of a certified cheque.
  7. Write a letter. Tasteful? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely. Write a short letter to include with your offer telling the sellers about yourself and why you love their home. Put in pictures of your pets and your happy family. This is an emotional process for people. A seller will usually want to know that you are going to love and take care of the home as much as they did.
  8. Put your BEST offer forward the first time. Depending on the region, agents may handle multiple offer situations quite differently. Most times, we have seen just how important it is to bring your strongest offer in at the start, since there is often no chance to improve your price. Submit an offer that you will have no regrets about if you are not successful.

While there are other factors that come into play in every situation, by keeping these considerations in mind, you will be well-placed to make an attractive offer that will be highly competitive and put you in the strongest possible position to get the home of your dreams.

If you’re ready to start your house hunt or have more questions, get in touch with me today.

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