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Sell with success: How to evaluate multiple offers on your house

Whether you’ve lived in your home for the last 30 years or routinely buy and sell, it is our job as real estate professionals to ensure you receive the best price for your home with the least amount of stress. 

Communication is key: that means communication with you–and with potential buyers. 

Timely, knowledgeable follow up can make all the difference when a buyer is deciding whether or not to make an offer, and what their offer will look like. 

We believe in keeping you well informed throughout the process so that you feel confident when evaluating offers for your home. 

Here are some useful things to know about the general terms you can expect to see when reviewing an offer:

Purchase Price

It is important to price your home accurately.

The key selling features of your home, your goals with the sale, and factors in the market can influence pricing strategies to ensure we achieve the best possible outcome for you. 

Delaying Offers

Building off our pricing strategy, we may decide to delay offers. This can help to ensure we aren’t missing out on offers from potential buyers because they didn’t have a chance to see the property in person. 

Generally, if we decide to delay offers, we set a date and time that we are accepting offers five to six days after the listing goes live. That way, anyone with a showing scheduled in that time period knows that they will get an opportunity to view the property before it gets sold to someone who viewed it before them.

Bully Offers

A “bully offer” is an offer intentionally submitted before the scheduled offer review date, it is generally over asking price and/or unconditional, in hopes of persuading the seller to accept the offer before the review date. 

A Realtor is required to promptly present any offer that comes in, even if it is before the offer review date, unless the client states in writing that they will not look at any offers until the scheduled time.

When receiving a bully offer, the seller can, of course, choose not to accept the offer; in addition to the price, factors such as the number of showings, feedback on the property, and market conditions will impact this decision. 

Deposit 

The deposit serves as a show of good faith that the buyer intends to complete on the deal. The deposit is not required until the buyer has completed their due diligence period and has agreed to remove subjects to proceed with the sale; afterwhich, if the buyer backs out of the deal before the completion date, they would forfeit their deposit. 

The deposit amount is held in the buying agent’s brokerage in trust until the completion date, and it forms part of the total purchase price of the sale. 

Completion/Possession Dates

The completion date is when the money transfers to you and the property’s legal title is transferred to the buyer. The possession date is when the buyer gets the keys to the property. The buyer can not take possession of the property until the property’s title is registered in their name and the money is confirmed to have been transferred to the seller. 

Generally, the completion date and possession date are on the same day, with possession occurring in the evening after administrative hours; however, in some cases the preference may be to have the completion date occur the day before the possession date so that the buyer can have access to the home in the morning on the possession date. 

Subjects 

The BC Government has announced plans to develop the introduction of a cooling off period, calling it the Homebuyer Protection Period, or “Right to Rescission”, which would automatically grant buyers a predetermined rescission period for accepted offers. Learn more about this here

As in the blog post linked above, the Victoria Real Estate Board has five standard subjects, labeled in Addendum Two of the offer as follow: 

Financing 

Pre-approval on a mortgage is not guaranteed, the lender requires documentation of the specific property for purchase before granting the final approval on a mortgage loan. If an appraisal is a requirement of the lender, we will need to approve a time for an appraiser to walk through the home.

Insurance 

The buyer wants to ensure no serious insurance claims on the property would cause their insurance premiums to be higher than they are willing to pay.

Title Search 

A title can come with certain “charges” on the property. Some common examples are right of ways, easements, and restrictive covenants. A buyer will want to review these charges to ensure they will not interfere with their use of the property. Most often, a right of way or easement allows for services such as Hydro and Telus to run wiring and plumbing to the home.

Any “financial charges” such as tax deferment or mortgages will be cleared on the completion date.

Inspection 

Having a qualified inspector assess the state of the property will help ensure the buyers are taking ownership of the property with a clear understanding of the maintenance or repairs required.

Strata Document Review 

When purchasing a condo, a buyer will request strata documents to ensure they have a clear understanding of planned upcoming costs and how the strata council is managing the building.

It is standard to have a lawyer or strata document review company go through meeting minutes and the depreciation report to provide a summary of how the building is aging and what strata holders can expect.

Closing on an Accepted Offer 

Once the buyer has conducted their due diligence with satisfaction, they will remove their conditions and we will receive their deposit to hold in trust. After that, the deal is now “pending” and we wait until the completion date. 

As you can see, there are more factors to consider than simply the price when evaluating an offer to purchase.

A general example is when considering “subject to financing”, this is a common and reasonable subject for a buyer to include in an offer to purchase; however, it would be important to confirm with the buyer’s agent that their client has been pre-approved to minimize any risk of the sale not completing because the buyer could not obtain financing. 

We will go over the details of each offer and communicate effectively with the buyers’ agents to ensure you feel confident accepting an offer for your property that leads to a successful sale with as little stress as possible. 

We’re here to help

Want all this information in one place? We have designed our Seller’s Guide to provide an overview of what to expect when selling your home, as well as the steps and strategies we take to achieve the best possible results for you. 

Rest assured–we’ve got all this covered for you.

Contact us for a free home valuation, to answer any questions, or simply for a friendly chat to help you gain clarity on your next steps.

We’d love the opportunity to work for you.

Thank you for being here,

Alex Hughes* and Ricki-Lee Jewell, Victoria, BC Real Estate Agents

*Personal Real Estate Corporation

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