How to Win a Multiple Offer – From Edmonton Real Estate

Edmonton Real Estate Market Heats Up for April 2021

Well, folks, it seems that the tables have turned. For the last few years, buyers have had a leisurely experience pursuing the catalogue of houses available and taking their time deliberating. The surplus of homes has given buyers power in negotiating and frankly has left many sellers feeling disheartened. Even in a down market, well-priced edmonton real estate moves swiftly. But we aren’t in that market anymore.

The previous year brought a notable bump in sales powered by excess discretionary income from foregone vacations and historically low-interest rates. Not to mention, the work-from-home reality has left many consumers itching for more space. This year in Edmonton, inventory is on the squeeze, particularly for single-family homes under $450,000. These homes are being scooped up by buyers with often only a few days on the market, and many are a result of multiple offers.

As a buyer in this market, you may be experiencing stress, if not panic. You may fear that prices are rising (they are) and that you may miss out on a home (you will), but as a REALTOR® that works predominantly with sellers, I am here to offer you some sage advice.

Get a REALTOR® and get on a search

Realty Unleashed van parked on residential street in Edmonton

It’s easy enough to set up alerts on REALTOR.ca to get the latest and greatest offers right to your fingertips. But, when a hot listing drops, your best bet in getting in to see it is with your own representation. While there may be some merit to a circulating theory that unrepresented buyers can swing a better deal, it usually isn’t that much of a discount. Moreover, lacking representation in a fast-paced negotiation can be detrimental. And that’s if you can get an offer in.

Whether you set up a search on REALTOR.ca or with your representation, I highly recommend that you get out to see the listing on the same day as it becomes available. By the third and sometimes even the second day, the property can be tied up with a pending offer.

Make a firm offer

Many components make up an offer. The most important are price, possession, conditions, and deposit. 

For a hot property that has just dropped, it is becoming more and more common to see offers accepted at list price and *gasp* over! So if you want it, I suggest putting your best foot forward. If you get into a multiple, you may be able to resubmit to go higher, but if the seller picks the best offer, it’s better to submit your best on the first try.

Depending on the seller, the possession could matter or not at all. It may matter to you as the buyer, and I would suggest putting forth what works for you. If you can be flexible, let the seller know that.

REALTOR writing notes on a pad of paper during a multiple offer

For most buyers, especially in this market segment, a financing condition is a must. I do not recommend omitting this condition if you are getting financing. Lenders say no to a multitude of reasons, and not being able to close on the property means you forfeit your deposit. So don’t do it! I have similar advice for inspections. Unless you are the handiest of folks, do not omit this either.

What I would implore you to leave out is a condition subject to the sale of your house. Only in particular circumstances have I advised the seller to accept this condition. It is not in the seller’s best interest, and it will always lose to an offer that doesn’t have one.

For the deposit, I encourage you to get the most significant deposit that you can muster. A considerable deposit says you are serious. It is also fully refundable if you don’t remove your conditions. Rest assured that your deposit money is held in trust and is refundable in 3 business days after the receipt of a non-waiver.

Write a letter

This is advice reserved for those in multiples, but frankly, it would be beneficial at any time. Our brokerage predominantly helps sellers (see why by checking out our listing services), and we have learned a lot from them. Now, this may seem like common sense, but sellers love their homes. A seller’s home has monetary and sentimental value, and by honouring both, you can win a multiple offer, even when yours isn’t the higher price.

Write a letter that introduces yourself and the people who live there. If the current owners have pets and you have pets, talk about your pets. They love their pets as much as you do!

Include details about the home that you love, and be specific. If the owners have built some garden boxes, talk about what you would imagine planting. If they have taken the time to update something expensive, tell them how beautiful the stamped concrete walkway is. 

The moral of the story: Assume the sellers love their home and they’ve worked hard on it. Acknowledge that.

These tips can give you a leg up on the competition, but of course, they are not a sure thing. You can live with the peace of mind that you’ve given it your best shot, and if it doesn’t happen, it’s not meant to be.