Are You a Buyer in a Seller's Market?

Last night, Roger and I showed a beautiful home to some buyer clients of ours, a sweet young family who currently live 1.5 hours away and have a 3-year-old little boy.  

They had originally wanted to see it on Saturday, because of the distance and their work schedule, but the listing agent informed me that we need to view earlier than that if we want to get in as there was already an offer.  Our clients decided to make a drive, bring a snack with them and eat dinner after the showing, and thankfully we could re-arrange our schedule a bit to make this happen.  

This home was move-in ready, showed very well on MLS and even better in person.  Other than the fact that we already knew there was an offer, here's what we noticed right off the bat that made us know it was a hot property:

  • There was a full house when we arrived, so probably 2 or 3 other showings during the same time while we were there
  • There was a table full of Realtor business cards (probably 20 of them), and this was the 1st day on the market...I took some time to examine them and see who all we could be up against :)
  • While we were there, we were informed that another agent accidentally walked away with part of the lockbox and the listing agent was coming back to the house with a new lockbox...when he arrived to give it to me, he mentioned that there were then two offers

First thing this morning, I was informed that offer #3 had just come in.  I informed the listing agent that we would also have an offer, and by then another one had also been signed, so our offer was #5.  We've had a few updates since then and now we're up to 9 offers.  Roger's birthday dinner reservation has been moved from 7pm to 7:30pm, so that we can present in person at 6:45pm tonight.  It's just the way this business is, and we're committed to our clients even when it means adjusting our own personal plans.

There is no way of knowing what the other 8 offers look like, but all I can say is that if our clients don't win, it isn't because they weren't fully prepared for this market, and not because they weren't fully willing to jump in and do their absolute best (within reason) to make their offer the most appealing to the sellers.

Some things to think about when you're a Buyer competing in a Seller's market, are as follows:

  • Do you understand the market you are in?  Everyone wants to get a good deal, but there aren't always a lot of discounts to be had in this type of a market.  Are you willing to deal with this?  If so, we're ready to help you, but the road may not be super easy.  
  • If you decide that this isn't the right time for you to purchase a home, you might want to consider that if it keeps going the way that it has been, the property values are going up every month and waiting may end up costing you more in the long run.
  • Have you done your homework on the financing side?  It really helps to be able to go in without this condition.
  • If you have a house to sell, it's easier to purchase first in this market, as sellers are not usually willing to accept an offer conditional on the sale of the buyer's property.  But, in this market, you shouldn't have any problem selling if your home shows well and is priced correctly.
  • Do you have an agent who will work hard on your behalf?  Someone who will adjust their own schedule to do a last-minute showing? And someone who is not only willing to present your offer in person but do a fantastic job in getting the listing agent and sellers on board with working with your offer?

Here is an interesting article put out by the Real Estate Council of Ontario:

For Buyers:  Dealing with Competing Offers



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Julie D. Martin

Julie D. Martin

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Heritage House Ltd., Brokerage*
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