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How to win the bidding wars: 7 strategies for a winning bid

Blog by Robert Matthews | May 29th, 2015

If you're searching for a new home, you may find yourself competing with others. Here's how I've helped my clients win the bidding wars; these strategies can help you as well.
  • Learn as much as you can about the seller's key priorities -- preferred dates, terms, etc. This helps you better tailor your offer to these important factors. Your offer should match the seller's desired completion and possession dates, for example (flexible dates are even better); and you should be fine with, say, items they want to leave or take.

  • At every point in discussions with the seller's Realtor ensure your Realtor paints you and your situation in the best light possible. Your Realtor should provide multiple reasons as to why you are the most reputable and desirable buyer. And ensure your Realtor writes a compelling story to accompany your offer submission.

  • Ensure your Realtor knows the experience level of the competing buyers' Realtors. You can bet that experienced Realtors know every trick in the book to present their clients in the best possible light. And they can often influence their clients to offer an exceptionally strong price. If you're up against a couple of other offers with seasoned Realtors, know that you'll need to go big or go home.

  • Ask your Realtor to forward you all applicable documentation (i.e., strata documents) so you can review and approve these in advance. This is one less subject condition you need to include in your offer.

  • If possible, arrange to have a home inspection before offers are presented. An offer with no home inspection clause immediately has a leg up on the competition. Home inspections delay the time until the deal is solid, and are often quite stressful for the seller. Anything to lessen seller anxiety is a good thing.

  • Understand that the other buyers and their Realtors are also trying to second guess their competition. You need to strategize about what the others are thinking, and develop your offer to be better on as many factors as possible. Although often the key factor, it’s sometimes not just about the price. For example, you could be the successful bidder if your offer, although slightly lower in price than others', is subject-free and accompanied by the deposit cheque. This can be preferable to another offer that states “deposit payable in 24 hours” or similar. The stress of waiting even one day for the deposit cheque, let alone several days for subjects to be removed, is often too much for a seller. The seller may just accept your slightly lower offer, knowing the deal is done and they can sleep soundly.

  • Get your financing partner onside before you submit your offer. Ensure they have all the information they need about the home, and can confirm that your offer doesn’t need a "subject to financing" clause. Most financing is subject to a bank appraisal but the banks won't appraise until the offer is accepted. However, in a multiple offer situation, most appraisers will consider the multiple bids as proof of market value and will appraise the home at or close enough to the offer price to be acceptable to the bank. The risk of an unacceptable appraisal is relatively low in such a situation.
Whether selling or buying, you need a seasoned professional on your side. Give me a call at 604-328-9006 to help strategize your next move.