Bully offers in a bad market?


Dear David,

It seems like every day brings more bad news about interest rates and real estate in general. As someone who is trying to buy a house, this leaves me with two questions: (i) why am I facing multiple offers if the market is so bad, and (ii) if my agent knows I’m competing, shouldn’t they advise me to submit a bully offer? – UNSURE

DEAR UNSURE: My wife comes from a journalism background where the motto is “if it bleeds, it leads”. Bad news gets attention, and in real estate it tends to have a ripple effect.

Today’s crop of buyers and sellers have pretty much come to terms with current interest rates, but the non-stop media chatter about Bank of Canada rate hikes is spooking others who have yet to enter the market. I often shake my head and think that if the federal government wants to raise rates, they should do it and move on (like ripping off a band-aid) rather than just talking about it constantly.

Generalized real estate news can be misleading, since market trends are so regional. Despite what you hear about Ontario or Canada, Waterloo Region operates in its own little bubble and tends not to suffer long from the peaks and troughs of the market at large. As I write this, we’re seeing multiple offers return to most sectors of our local market, and prices in the last five months have been bouncing back steadily from the lows in 2022. The current volume of properties sold is less than it used to be year-over-year, but I expect sales volumes to return as the news gets more positive. The needs of our buyers and sellers haven’t changed, they’ve just put moving plans on the back burner for now.

As local buyers gear up to face multiple offers again, the question of whether to submit a bully offer is worth considering. The answer depends on whether you’re buying or selling. As a buyer, you ideally want to submit your offer as early as possible. The chances of negotiating successfully are better with fewer buyers at the table, and every day a listing spends on the market gives more buyers a chance to get involved. If you’re selling, strategy or circumstance may prevent you from considering a bully offer. Some sellers arrange to expose their home to the market for a certain period before considering any offer, while others head to the cottage to avoid the hassle of showings and unplug for awhile.

PRO TIP: Communication is key in any successful transaction. Your agent should be able to interpret the market and connect with the listing agent to see if a bully offer will be entertained. I encourage agents to pick up the phone and help figure out how to get both parties to the finish line. Selling the property is everyone’s goal, and I find opportunities can be uncovered no matter which side you’re on. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.