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Tag Archives: increase your offer

Real estate bidding wars: It’s every man for himself

Melissa Leong – Financial Post

Home buyers of all ages are finding themselves facing multiple offer situations across the country and not just in the hot markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

“It’s becoming more of a reality,” says Belinda Lelli, a Toronto realtor with Royal LePage. “There’s just nothing out there. There is zero supply and 100% demand.”

Comment: And supply just keeps dropping… there is nothing new coming out. And all the while, the pool of buyers grows ever larger.

And as the spring market heats up — the Canadian Real Estate Association and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada released reports this week predicting growing sales and prices nationally — the forecast is for the tight supply to continue.

“In Toronto and Vancouver, we’re starting to see bidding wars that we haven’t seen in two or three years,” says Ross McCredie, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

Comment: What? Toronto has had bidding wars for 7 years now… we had them 2 years ago, 3 years ago. This is not new. It might be getting worse, but heck, the problem now is even finding something to bid on!

“That is shocking a lot of people; despite all of the headlines about our over-inflated real estate market, we continue to see a lot of demand.”

Comment: Because the headlines are wrong.

With the increased competition, Ms. Lelli says people could face a number of rounds of bidding which means you may have a few chances to increase your original offer. But with BMO research saying that one in three Canadians are willing to enter into a bidding war and a third of first-time home buyers will break their budgets for the right home, people need to be careful not to get too emotional.

Comment: Not like they have much choice these days. In Toronto, some 60-70% of houses are selling in bidding wars.

Toronto bidding war
We spoke to Canadians about their experiences with bidding wars:

Who: Aliza Amlani, a 36-year-old editor, and her husband Kurt Wilson, a 35-year-old operations director, looked at about 100 houses for over a year in search of a three-bedroom home to start a family.

Where: Central Toronto

What: The market was extremely competitive. “People were coming into open houses with their inspectors and you knew there was going to be a bully offer on the place – where people will go in with a higher offer,” she says. “Everything was going for at least $100,000 over what it was listed for. We thought we had a good budget but it was not working out.”

They found a beautiful three-bedroom home on the outskirts of their desired neighbourhood.

How it all went down:  “Everything in that area was hovering in the $500,000 range and some would go into a bidding war and it would hit $600,000,” she says.

They offered $520,000, bidding $30,000 over asking with a condition of an inspection.

“[The real estate agent] called me and she said there were two other bids. We discussed it and said we’ll try for $530,000.  At the end of the day, she called me and said, ‘You got the place,'” she says.

“That same day, I called an inspector to go in and have a look at the place. The inspector went in and what they unfortunately found was in the ceiling area; they had plastered it over but there was a ton of termite damage.”

They backed out of the deal.

“That taught me that no matter the bidding war, it’s good to get the inspection because you’re already putting out more than your budget;  add [anything] to that and you’re getting into dangerous unknown money territory.”

* * * * *

Who: Marco Ouji, a 34-year-old communications consultant, was looking for a two-bedroom home in a pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood within 10 minutes from a subway.

Where: Central Toronto.

What: He listed his house for $379,000 and sold it for $450,000. This began the race to purchase a new home. He got involved in two bidding wars. The first was for a fixer upper listed at $495,000.

How it all went down: “My first offer was $555,000. It was declined. My agent told me that [there’s another buyer] and it’s considerably higher,” he says. “I bumped it up by another $20,000. I really wanted this house. It was over my budget. I didn’t realize at the time but I realized later on.

“There’s this fear that you need to get that property. I just thought, ‘My window is going to go… Prices of homes have gone up so much. I really want to live in Toronto and I want to own a home in Toronto.'”

Mr. Ouji’s new offer was declined and he walked away. The property sold for $675,000.

He later bought a home for $485,000 — $15,000 under asking.

“You have to be realistic. You have to be able to have something you can afford, not something you won.”

Comment: Well said!

Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.