Buying the Home Everybody Wants

Buying the Home Everybody Wants


When you’re shopping for a home, you may become interested in a property for sale that someone else is also considering. In fact, there may be several other buyers entertaining the idea of making an offer. In such a competitive situation, what should you do if you really love that home and desperately want to submit the winning offer?

Obviously, you’ll need to move quickly and make some fast decisions.

Start by making certain the property fits within your price range. The last thing you want is to have an offer accepted only to find out the home is beyond your budget. That’s why we strongly recommend arranging financing before you go home shopping. This way, you have a very good idea of what you can afford to spend. If you would like any mortgage broker recommendations, let us know!

Keep your schedule as open and flexible as possible and book a showing as soon as you can. This will allow you to be one of the first people in and give you more time to get your ducks in a row before offer day. 

Next, you want to make an offer that is so enticing to the sellers that they’ll put your offer at the top of the pile, if not close to it. So, what makes an offer enticing?

Obviously, price is a big factor. You want to go in at a price that’s attractive to the sellers, without overpaying. Imagine finding out later that the nearest offer to yours was $15,000 less. Ouch! 

Chances are your offer price will need to be at or above asking. Find out what similar homes in the area recently sold for — what real estate agents call “comparables” — and use those as a guide. Your REALTOR® will be able to do this research for you in the MLS (Multiple Listing System)  and give you a good idea as to what offer the sellers may consider. 



Another thing you can do to make your offer more attractive is to raise the deposit amount. This will indicate to the seller that you are a serious buyer and are prepared financially to purchase. In Ottawa, a pretty standard deposit is anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the location and factors regarding the home itself. 

It’s also important that your offer contains few, if any, issues that may be concerning to the sellers. The ideal offer will feature:


  • No conditions. Work with your lender for pre-approval and, if you would like to do an inspection, try to book in before the offer date. This way you will be more confident in your decision and able to put forward a solid offer.


  • A closing date that’s convenient for the seller. If there is not a specific closing date stated in the listing, have your Realtor contact the listing Realtor and ask. 


  • A deposit amount that shows you’re a serious buyer. As stated above, deposit amounts range from a standard $10,000 to $30,000 and more, so from approximately 2% of the purchase price and up. The larger the deposit, the more serious you will look as a buyer. 


  • Acceptance of any of the sellers’s “exclusions”. For example, they may want to take the fridge and stove with them. 


  • Evidence you can get financing. Many lenders offer a “Mortgage Preapproval Certificate”. 


One last thing that you can include in your offer is a Buyer Love Letter. Sometimes the highest offer is not the one accepted as some sellers are more concerned with who will live in their beloved home over what the final sale price is. A “Love Letter” is a great way to introduce yourselves to the sellers and express why you would be the perfect fit for their home. Email Nick for the example of the letter that he wrote that won his own home against a higher bid!

Keep in mind that this will not be the case with all listings. For example, an investor selling off his duplex probably doesn't care as much as someone who has lived in the home for a long time and raised their family there. However, it rarely ever hurts to include a letter. Just remember that on the other side of every transaction is a human who might want to know who they're working with.

Although a “no conditions” offer is the most attractive, you may have to have a condition for something like a status certificate for a condominium purchase, which by law has to be reviewed by your lawyer in Ontario. Avoid adding other conditions, such as “subject to financing approval” or “subject to the sale of buyer’s existing property”. 

If you want to increase the likelihood that you’ll find — and, more importantly, purchase — your next dream home, call today! We are always happy to answer any questions you have about purchasing or selling your home!


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