Spring market = multiple offers

The spring market is here, and in Leaside that means multiple offers. There are a number of factors that see homes here selling well over the asking price, such as historically low interest rates and an extreme lack of supply. Many people want to move up or downsize, but will not sell their homes for fear of not being able to find a new place, so the market is effectively locked. I do not see this changing anytime soon!

What’s the best time to buy and sell? Typically, buying and selling in the same market are the most balanced approach when making a move. The spring market is the best time, offering more inventory to buyers while sellers enjoy premium results.

There are very specific rules a realtor overseeing multiple offers must adhere to, ensuring the process is fair and legal during what can be a very competitive and emotional process for both sellers and the buyers.

I often hear that a lot of buyers feel that dealing directly with the listing agent will give them a competitive edge in a multiple offer, but in my opinion, this is not true.

Having your own representation with an agent you have chosen is always the best approach, ensuring you are in the strongest position when negotiating. There are different types of representation to cover all types of relationships, but selecting the right professional to represent you when buying is the way to go.

Many years ago, there was media coverage about “phantom offers,” which prompted regulatory changes that introduced a Form “801” to track each offer as it is officially registered. This form creates a paper trail of all registered offers on a property signed by the buyers who are making offers, and it also documents timelines of registration, counter offers and irrevocable times.

A great listing agent is very transparent about the process when presenting offers, ensuring all agents are operating with the same info in advance so everyone is as comfortable as possible. When listing a home, I am often asked, “will there be an opportunity to improve my offer?” I always encourage agents and their buyers to put in their best offer, even if they don’t get an opportunity to increase. An experienced listing agent will advise the buyer reps in writing what the seller’s wish list is, such as ideal closing date, a preference to firm offers, and details regarding deposits.

With multiple offers, making sure that financing is solid is so important! This applies to both buyers and sellers. When a property sells for a huge premium, the bank appraisals do not necessarily line up, so ensuring the buyer has a significant down payment or the cash to make up the difference may become important for a successful completion.

Another interesting topic is the pre-emptive or “bully” offer. When an offer date is set for presentation there may also be a note on the listing that says “Seller reserves the right to entertain a pre-emptive offer” or “Seller’s direction, no pre-emptive offers.” There is a process that must be adhered to if there is a bully in play.

How do you generate enough interest to get multiple offers? Some fundamentals: do not overprice and make sure your home shows in its best possible light to generate traffic.

Sheree Cerqua is a sales representative with RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc, Brokerage. Visit her at www.shereecerqua.com.