Anyone practicing real estate in Vancouver is no stranger to multiple offers, sometimes also called bidding wars or competing offers.
Although we think that the highest price will get accepted, there are other ways to appease the sellers.
Here are a few strategies that I’ve used to get my buyers an edge over the other offers in a competitive market:
1. Tweak the price. Try an amount slightly higher than the common price breaks we are used to. For example, instead of $875,000, try writing $876,900. If the seller will simply take the highest offer without giving anyone a counter, your price just may help inch your offer ahead of the rest.
Attend the showing. Although it may be a land-value home where a buyer is satisfied with doing a drive-by, try to attend the showings if possible. Usually, the listing agent will have all first showings at the same time. If your buyer is with you, it will show the buyer how much interest there is in the property and may trigger his or her competitive nature. Also, if your buyer cannot make it, it’s a solid opportunity to build a rapport with the listing agent.
2. Consider terms, not just price. The highest price will usually do the trick, but it is not always the deciding factor. Find out from the listing agent where the sellers are moving to and what their timeline is. Terms with flexible closing, rent-back options and the ability to adjust completion dates can help your offer stand out. The favorable terms can help give your buyer an opportunity to improve the price because the sellers prefer your terms.
3. Present the offer personally. When possible, try to present your offer personally to the seller. Dress sharp and be professional. Sellers can sometimes easily be impressed with an agent’s effort. Your presence can help distinguish your offer from the ones that were emailed in. If offers are similar, you may have a better opportunity if you can build a rapport both with the listing agent and seller. Remember, aside from having the most competitive offer, do everything you can to get the right of first refusal.
4. Show proof of the deposit. If submitting a cash offer, a copy of the deposit check sent with the offer can assist in showing financial strength of a buyer. Also, the listing agent can ensure that, if your offer is accepted, everything is in place and there isn’t a 24-hour period of uncertainty waiting for the deposit. (Please ensure you meet your brokerage’s policy of handling funds and advise your buyer accordingly.)
5. Create efficient communication. Usually, the listing agent can be overwhelmed with inquiries, arranging showings and emailing property documents. Be proactive in the communication process and ensure you keep yourself updated instead of relying on the listing agent to update you. Things can change fast, and although the listing agent will do his or her part to notify all inquiries, do not assume it.
6. Be available. When you know that the offers are being presented, notify your client so that he or she can be available. Agents will call to let you know if your offer is being considered and will need you to communicate with your buyer accordingly.
The more you know, the more you can help meet expectations. These strategies have helped me to get an edge over the competition. What are some that you have used successfully?
Shali Tark is a real estate agent at Macdonald Realty Westmar.