8 Ways to Win a Real Estate Bidding War

Bidding War – How to Win


bidding war


The real estate market has finally taken a breather after many months of frenetic activity and relentless price increases.  Buyers are able to breathe easier, as one of the hardest realities of the recent market – the bidding war – is taking a break. But will the real estate market come roaring back? Many people in the industry are predicting that it will. The supply of available housing stock remains as tight as it ever was. Will we get back to the bad old days when every listing had multiple offers and a bidding war?

Now may be a good time to review the techniques and strategies of how to win a bidding war in an aggressive real estate market. Here are 8 pointers on how to be in the winner’s circle at the end of the evening:

(1) Include the bank draft for your good faith deposit with the offer
Sellers always worry that a buyer could be over extending themselves in a bidding war. The worst case scenario is when a buyer feels remorse the next day, before they have their bank draft deposit in hand. What if they decide to back out? This creates a nightmare scenario for the Seller, who may have turned away a dozen other offers, and is now faced with a Buyer who wants out. Legal implications aside, having the certified cheque or bank draft with your offer shows that if they select your bid, there won’t be a problem with buyer’s remorse in the morning. If your bid is not the winning one, you can return the bank draft cash to your account, with no extra fee or wait hold time from the bank.

(2) Have your mortgage provider do an appraisal before the  making the offer
When a bank offers mortgage funds for any property, they will always have a professional appraisal done as part of their due diligence. Typically the buyer pays for this, and the appraisal is done after the sale. Occasionally, when a bidding war gets carried away, the eventual selling price is higher than the appraisal says the house is worth. At this point, the buyer has a problem – they will need to increase their downpayment to get the mortgage funds, and to stay within the bank’s allowed parameters.

By paying for a bank appraisal before the offer date, you the Buyer then have a ability to show a nervous Seller that you have enough cash for this eventuality. By knowing the appraisal value upfront, you can make it clear that you have the extra money needed, that is extra money that won’t be in the mortgage loan.

(3) Include a personalized note about yourself in the offer 

Try and personalize your offer. Write a note and include a photo to give an idea who you are and who is moving into the home. Tell them something about yourself. Many Sellers have lived in the same house for years, and they care about their neighbours, and about their neighbourhood. When you show them a bit of who you are, you essentially humanize your offer, and this can sometimes make the difference in which offer the Seller selects.

(4) Your offer must not have ANY conditions

In a hyper-kinetic real estate market, the old way of doing offers is dead. What used to be normal practice – including conditions on financing, house inspection, lawyer’s approval, status certificate and so on, is no longer acceptable. When you are in a bidding war, there can be no conditions attached to your offer. It is also no longer possible to offer a price to be paid on the condition that the owner undertakes some bit of care or maintenance. If you need an inspection, arrange that beforehand.

sold over asking

(5) If you make a bully offer, it had better be substantial

One of the most extreme tactics in a bidding war is the bully offer.  It works like this: When the house comes on the market, there is usually a date specified in the MLS listing, when offers are welcome, a date which is usually several days in the future. The bully offer ignores this date, and is submitted in the hopes that the seller will be so impressed that they will take it, rather than waiting for the offer date and the submission of other bids. It stands to reason that any bully offer must be extremely strong, in order to convince a seller to ignore any future bids.

(6)Prepare yourself mentally and learn as much as you can

At the risk of stating the obvious participating in a bidding war can be very stressful for a buyer (and indeed for a seller). Maintaining a calm, balanced state is essential to winning a bidding war. Make sure your real estate agent is experienced in bidding situations, and learn as much as you can from them. Be philosophical – sometimes you may win, other times it’s just a “practice run”. Try to keep anger and frustration in check, because those emotions will never give you the winner’s edge.

(7) Know your limits

You may find yourself up against another buyer who is reckless, and willing to pay any price to get the house or condo. Be prepared to walk away if you are bidding against someone like that. Set a limit of what you are prepared to pay, and respect the limit!

(8) Remember the Big Picture

Real estate prices go up, and they sometimes go down (although historically, they have been in a solid upwards trend for decades).  The house that you paid big bucks for today may go down a little in value at some point, and you don’t want to ever have to sell your house at a loss. So keep everything in perspective. Remember that even in a flat market, you will need to live in the property for a couple of years at least, to cover the expenses incurred when buying and selling.

Participating in a bidding war can be exhilarating if you win, and devastating if you don’t. By preparing and using some of these pointers, you can increase the odds of coming out on top. We hope you have found these tips on how to win a bidding war useful.


with thanks for local realtor contributions


Mortgage Approval and How to Get It

neighborhood homes street


Getting a mortgage approval doesn’t have to be a scary or traumatic experience. The banks (lenders) all look for the same signals for credit worthiness, and with a bit of planning in advance,  you can ensure a smooth and easy mortgage approval, helping you to get that house of your dreams! By following this timeline plan up to a year before you want to buy a home,  you’ll be well prepared for your eventual move.

Access your credit report online at www.equifax.ca or www.transunion.ca – and make sure there are no mistakes on it.
TIP If your score is low, you can begin to fix it now – there’s enough time to make considerable improvements. Start by paying off debt such as a car lease and credit card accounts with amounts higher than $1,500, as this can help boost your credit score.

Smart buyers enter into home ownership with as little extraneous debt as possible.
TIP Focus on bringing your credit card balances to less than 50% of the maximum amount allowed. Credit cards that are at capacity hurt your score.

Home ownership comes with expenses that renting doesn’t: property tax, utilities such as water and heat, and so on. Start putting aside those amounts every month to help you prepare to take these bills on when you are a homeowner.
TIP Park the money in a no tax high-interest savings account and apply it to your closing costs later.

Banks and mortgage brokers can sometimes offer different rates. Keep your options open and take the time to do some research on both. Compare what kind of mortgage each one can secure, what their best rate is and what documentation they will need from you.
TIP There’s no such thing as being too prepared! Speak to at least two different banks and one or two mortgage brokers and compare, so you get the best rate you can.

mortgage approval

Most mortgage pre-approvals are valid for three months, but your broker (or bank) will need time to process your application. TIP Order your credit report yourself. Why? When someone else (such as your broker, who needs a copy) orders your report, that’s a query that is reported to the credit agencies, and it can impact your standing. When you pull the report yourself, there is no impact on your credit standing.

Attend open houses and start looking with a realtor,  knowing in advance exactly how much you can spend. Make sure you get a written copy of your mortgage approval (pre-approval) for your records.
TIP Remember that your pre-approval is a maximum. You may find your perfect home for less. Don’t over extend yourself as it is always better to have a buffer for emergencies.

portions of this article were originally published by Genworth Financial

Sold Data coming soon for Canadian Consumers?

city skyline

It might get easier for home buyers and sellers in the Greater Toronto Area to accurately compare recently sold data and current homes for sale after a ruling from the Competition Tribunal. The Commissioner of Competition, the federal agency tasked with advocating for the rights of Canadian consumers, won their abuse of dominance case against the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) after fighting for years to have sales data made accessible to the public.

At the heart of the Competition Bureau’s argument is that TREB, the real estate board that represents real estate agents and brokerages that work in the GTA, stifles industry competition by restricting who gets full, easy access to housing market data. In an effort to increase competition within the real estate market, the Competition Bureau argued for open, easy access to housing data—data that lives on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS), a suite of services that enables a seller to market their property to multiple buyers in the open market. Read the full article at moneysense.ca

Probate Process in Real Estate


Probate for Real Estate

Probate is one of the issues that comes up when people inherit a property. The process of probate can tie up the sale of an inherited property, and will prevent or delay any closing of any agreement to sell the home,  until this process has been completed. So what is “probate”?

Probate is a legal process triggered by the death of someone who owned property. Probate determines the validity of the last will and testament (or that there is no will) and the identity of the beneficiaries. If the person who passed away died without a will (intestate), then probate determines the identity of the heirs. Probate exists in both the U.S. and Canada, and although this article is being written from a Canadian perspective, the principles remain the same for both countries. In Canada, each province has differing rules on probate and each province has different specifications on what documentation is required as part of the probate process.

Typically when someone dies, and they have a will, there is a designated executor of the estate. The designated executor will usually hire a lawyer to facilitate guiding the estate through probate and the dispersion of assets.

Components of Probate

Probates have four main components: (1) the application process; (2) identifying and managing the assets; (3) paying off the debts of the estate, if any (4) distributing the balance to the beneficiaries.

Probates protect the interests of the estate’s beneficiaries and creditors by ensuring the orderly distribution of assets and payment of debts/expenses. Paperwork is typically filed by a lawyer, and court appearances may be required. Will probates can take 6 to 9 months or more to complete, and until the process is finished, you will be legally unable to sell the inherited house. If you accept an offer to sell an inherited property that is going through the probate process, it will not close on closing day, unless the probate has been completed.

Probate homes can be listed and sold, however,  provided that there is a clause included in the offer, that the sale is conditional of the successful completion of the probate process. Otherwise, if there is no such clause, or if the sellers fail to disclose that there is a probate in process, if there are delays in closing, there can be ramifications wherein the buyer seeks compensation.

There are ways that owners of real property can avoid the probate process before they die, saving their heirs a great deal of trouble. One such strategy is the Living Trust. A living trust is a  technique in which a trust is created while the owner is still living, and the real property is transferred into the name of the trust without giving up the possession or control of the property. When the person passes away, the home can be distributed directly to the beneficiaries named in the trust. Using this strategy, probate court is avoided.

There are other strategies to avoid the cost and time of the probate process, but these are legal matters, and anyone interested should check with an experienced real estate lawyer or accountant, for further advice.

Luxury Homes

Miami luxury homes
Miami luxury homes

Take the worry out of your option of a builder or architect to develop your brand-new desire home. Various valued and also talented structure designers have gained an enviable track record in building deluxe architect designed residences in Australia. They utilize the solutions of a multitude of specialist developers consisting of interior design, landscape design, hair stylists, modern technology designers as well as specialist service providers to make your deluxe brand-new residence flawlessly matched to your dream area and your specific way of living.

Their eye for information and also ‘can do’ attitude make certain an excellent quality product, makings them happy winners of several master building contractors Australia honor for quality. The masters home builders honors are testimony to their higher requirements. The acclaimed high-end new residence constructions offered by these building business have actually arrived around the globe over for their one-of-a-kind appeal as well as attention to detail.

An excellent building contractor always care for the details and assurance’s you an enjoyable experience in order to give your high-end created house its unique character that can add value to your new residence building as well as enhances your way of life. A real custom-made luxury designer developed house needs to deliver the feature you require along with the appearance you love and be flawlessly suited to your dream place. Certainly, the building contractors in Australia utilize all of their experience and knowledge to direct you via the maze of style alternatives as well as make your personal iconic site. Each and every high-end developed homes is put through the most extensive quality assurance to guarantee your residence is effortlessly constructed.

Architects for Luxury Homes

Six benefits of dealing with an architect who specializes in luxury homes:

1. Customize to your taste: luxury homes can be designed to suite your own personalized wants and needs. Add your personal touch to floor plans, fixtures, and a wealth of amenities both interior and exterior to the house

2.High quality: As these residences are developed with fantastic aesthetic charm and also are paid unique focus on rear and also side altitudes, you can find them appealing from all angles.

3.Solution: You could also have an option to select a deluxe architect developed house strategy based upon your certain criteria.

4. Assistance: The staff of architects and also developers offers technological assistance and building info based upon the residence strategy you have decided on.5.

Ease: The acquiring procedure is quickly and easy.

6. Worth: Every residence plans are developed to last, with ageless details as well as many custom-style amenities cause higher sale and also resale values.

Mississauga luxury homes

Toronto September 2013 Real Estate Market

September Shows Strong Sales and Rising Prices

The Toronto real estate market reported 7,411 residential sales processed through the Toronto MLS system in September 2013, representing a 30 per cent increase compared to 5,687 transactions reported in September 2012. So far this year, total resale residential sales in the Greater Toronto Area amounted to 68,907 properties sold during the first nine months of 2013 – a slight drop of  one per cent compared to the same period in 2012.
“It’s great news that households have found that the costs of home ownership, including mortgage payments, remain affordable. This is why the third quarter was characterized by renewed growth in home sales in the GTA. We expect to see real estate market sales up for the remainder of 2013, as the pent-up demand that resulted from stricter mortgage lending guidelines continues to be satisfied,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.
In the Greater Toronto Area, the real estate market showed an average selling price in the month of September of $533,797 – up by 6.5 per cent year-over-year. Through the first three quarters of 2013, the average selling price was $520,118 – up by over 4 per cent when compared to the first nine months of 2012.

Real Estate Market Trend

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark for September was up by four per cent year-over-year. The annual rate of growth for the composite benchmark has been accelerating since the spring of 2013.
“The price growth story in September continued to be about strong demand for low-rise home types, coupled with a short supply of listings. Even with slower price growth and month-to-month volatility in the condo apartment market, overall annual price growth has been well above the rate of inflation this year. We expect that this scenario of continued growth and price appreciation will continue to play out in the local Toronto real estate market throughout the remainder of 2013, and we forecast that trend to continue into the next year.