Wanting to buy residential real estate in the Fraser Valley – in fact anywhere in the Lower Mainland – is challenging. Especially right now, confirmed one local broker.
The market is seeing a shortage of homes for sale. Combine with the low mortgage rates and massive demand, the consequence is many houses up for sale are generating multiple offers, explained Deanna Horn, realtor and associate broker with Royal LePage Wolstencroft in Langley.
“This is causing multiple offers frequently being presented on all property types; prices rising and is very stressful for buyers and sellers,” she said.
Now, more than ever, she suggests people lean on a realtor to guide them through the process –and it is a process, Horn insisted.
For instance, viewings are by appointment for specific time periods because of COVID, and because of so many buyers wanting a look, she shared.
With the multiple offer situation still relatively new to this region, the offers are all typically presented to the seller at a pre-determined time, therefore, offers must usually be in the agents hands a few hours ahead.
Frequently offers are emailed to the listing agent, and then the listing agent reviews them with the owners, sifting through based on concerns of price, deposits, closing dates, terms, conditions, and subjects.
Sometimes, Horn said, one offer is instantly accepted. Ocassionally, they’re all rejected.
But more often now, the list is narrowed down to the ones with the best terms, prices, etc. and those players are invited to Round 2, where negotiations heat up.
Wondering what to offer?
“Always put your best foot forward. Most often you do not get a chance to increase the price or change terms,” Horn said.
The price and the terms are what sellers are considering. The possession date, number and types of conditions and subjects are important when sellers consider the price. If the seller needs to sell in order to buy then dates are very important.
The types of subjects are also of paramount importance.
As an example, an offer with a subject to the buyer selling a property is usually never successful, she said.
And, if the subjects are with long dates and there are too many subjects, a seller frequently refuses that type of offer. But that said, sometimes a seller will accept a lower offer price when the dates and terms are what they are looking for.
“If there are several offers, you will usually find that a few are subject free and a few are not. Make sure you are confident before you present a ‘subject free’ offer.
Horn also advised that it’s “very risky” to buy without confirmation of financing, getting the property inspected, and having done all your due diligence such as reviewing strata documentation, etc.
“If you do not have all your ducks in order, then don’t offer without subjects,” she said.
Often, the ones that are subject free will get a second shot in round two. That’s often where prospective buyers are encouraged to sweeten the pot – that could be money or subject changes.
Those who get through to this round of negotiation are usually the ones offering with the best terms, although there might still be some back and forth on price.
“The selling realtor will call the back the buying realtor and say something along the lines of ‘I am sending your offer back if you want to make any changes’.” That is realtor speak, Horn explained, for “do you want to give us more money?”
This is the time to change price, fix dates, or even clean up the contract even more before a new deadline. But Horn advises against dawdling, especially at this stage.
“You can be the winner,” she said. “You can succeed in making a purchase in a multiple offer situation if you do your homework, follow the advice and experience of your realtor, and stay calm.”
“Hopefully you are the victor!”
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