Winning at Multiple Offers

July is traditionally a slow month for real estate sales on the North Shore but this past July was the exception. In West Vancouver, July was the strongest month of the year to date with very robust sales in North Vancouver as well.  With strong markets come multiple offers and we saw several North Shore detached homes selling at well over asking. Sometimes buyers can get caught up in the bidding so how do you win in these situations without over paying ?

Have your financing in place prior to writing the offer. In a multiple situation your offer will likely get little consideration if you include a “subject to finance” clause that won’t be removed for several days. Sellers don’t want to wait and most of your competition will not include this subject.

Write a strong offer. Most North Shore properties in competition sell for asking price or above (sometimes well above).  Confer with your agent, decide what your maximum price is and write it.

Do a pre-inspection.  Ask the vendors if it’s possible to have the house inspected prior to writing. Many vendors will accommodate such a request as it confirms you to be a serious buyer. If you can’t have the house inspected, try to arrange for your inspector to come through during the open house. A professional inspector will be able to identify many issues to aid you in your offering price. A clean bill of health from a home inspector allows you to eliminate  the “subject to inspection” clause.  Of course, if you intend to re-build the house there’s likely no need for an inspection.

Determine the terms that work best for the vendors.  Your agent should speak with the listing agent to determine the vendors preferred terms. For example, if the vendors have already purchased another home, they would likely be more receptive to a shorter closing period. Alternatively, if the vendors have not purchased they would likely be more interested in a longer closing.  They may even be interested in renting the home back from you for a short period of time. Buyers may even consider offering a free month’s rent as further incentive.

It’s normally best for buyers to avoid multiple offer scenarios. If, however, you find yourself in such as situation, and you’re determined to win the property, write a strong, “clean” offer with few or no subjects and as much consideration as possible to the vendors.