Competing Offers and what you need to know to win!

Competing Offers:  What You Need to Know for a Winning Outcome

Competing offers occur in every market, but none more frequent than in a seller’s market.  If you are buying or selling the following should help.

Competing offers dictate a shorter and faster time-line.  Time and Information are of the essence.

What you should know if you are a Buyer:

In most instances, price is the final decision maker. Despite of a well drafted offer, another competing offer may come at a higher price and money talks.  However, a well prepared offer, if similar in price and terms, can put you in the driver’s seat.

  • Know when offers are being presented and where.
  • Know how many offers you are potentially competing against. 
  • Keep a short irrevocable – If your Realtor is presenting offers at 8:00 p.m. give the seller until 9:00 or 9:30 p.m. to accept.  This way they have little chance of negotiating another offer while yours is in play.
  • Be on immediate standby with your Realtor in case a change is required to the offer.  (Best to be outside, while your offer is being presented by your Realtor).
  • During the offer presentation, have your Realtor tell the seller a little bit about you ( a hand written letter on why you like the house is also a nice touch).
  • Get a signed statement from the listing Realtor and the seller identifying the # of offers being presented.
  • If you are pre-qualified obtain the lender’s approval in writing.  This can promote and help seller confidence in selecting the final offer.
  • Understand that terms and conditions are always a factor in selling a home.  The fewer conditions in an offer, the more favourable your offer.
  • Have your Realtor ask about the Seller’s ideal closing date and make sure you give it to them.
  • Get a copy of the SPIS/survey/etc., from the seller before presention of your offer (this adds buyer’s confidence and also reduces wording in the offer).
  • Minimize inclusions and stay with what is offered, i.e., resist the urge to ask for more inclusions than what is offered on the listening agreement.
  • Consider investing in a pre-building inspection so this condition is not in your offer; or if you must have it, pre-book a building inspection and during your offer presentation let the seller know you have a inspector on stand-by and can do it on a specific date..
  • REMEMBER, market value is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay and what a seller is willing to accept.
  • Avoid dealing in round numbers.  Add $100 or any other number to the price.  This way if two offers are almost identical, it may tilt a decision in your favour.
  • Give as large a deposit as possible: $5,000, $7,500 even $10,000.  This shows you are commitment and  have financial resources to complete the transaction.  
  • Include the deposit cheque with the offer or clearly state that a certified deposit cheque will be presented upon acceptance of the offer.
  • Offer numbers that you will say, ‘I wouldn't pay a penny more’.  This way if you do loose the property you won’t say, ‘I would have paid that’.


If you are the Seller:

  • Share with everyone the same information that you have already agreed to in writing (your Realtor will coach you).
  • Know that the buyer's agent may request presenting the offer on their buyer's behalf (ask your Realtor what you should say or not say).
  • Take the time to discuss all the offers with your Realtor and ask for positive and negative points of each offer.
  • Get as many details as possible about the buyer from the Realtor bringing you the offer (i.e., is the buyer pre-qualified?  Do they have a house to sell?)

Of course, if you are buying or selling and working with me Peter Sardelis, I will make sure you have enough information to make good, sound decisions.

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Peter Sardelis

Peter Sardelis

CENTURY 21 Explorer Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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