Help! I Can't Buy a House in Toronto

By: Ziggy Piszczek

Help! I Can't Buy a House in Toronto

Tags: How to buy a house in a multiple offer scenario

You have the money ready. A deposit cheque made payable to the “New Real Estate Office Inc., Brokerage” that you are making an offer on this week. You have put a price of over and above the asking price and think that’s pretty damn good. You have initialed and signed everywhere, and now you need the seller’s signature to make your dream house officially yours, but you are not the only one making an offer. In fact, there are 10+ parties thinking the exact same thing, and another 10+ offers that are just testing the market. In total over 20 offers, and your chances of buying have been greatly diminished.

Help! I can’t buy a house in Toronto!!!

Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, including Mississauga, are currently in a Seller’s market. This means the seller holds the power of negotiation in an agreement of purchase and sale. Many sellers in 2017 are electing to lower the market value of their home in an attractive manner to introduce multiple buyers, and holding the presentation of all offers until 1 week after listing. Thus creating a market frenzy around their property, and having buyer’s engage each other into a mortgage debt battle. The winner, is the one who gets the biggest mortgage.

It doesn’t always have to end in a Big Macho Man showdown of who is more open to debt. Using your agent’s market research knowledge, negotiation tactics, offer preparation skills, timing of your offer presentation, charisma, and the list goes on, is how to successfully purchase a property at market value. Afterall, this is why you have selected this agent to represent you, and this is why he is getting paid.

I am a real estate agent who opened my own office in Mississauga in 2013: Team Ziggy located at 160 Dundas Street East, Mississauga, ON. I have won the President’s Gold award with Royal LePage for 3 consecutive years in 2014, 2015 and 2016, representing the top 6% of all real estate agents across Canada. I have developed a winning strategy for Buying and Selling in today’s marketplace without breaking the bank. My growing team of agents and support staff, are helping each buyer one by one succeed in getting their dream home.

A successful real estate agent representing you and your best interests on the single largest purchase you will do in your life time is the key to success. Here is a behind the scenes check list of what separates success and failure in today’s real estate market with my Strategy:

1. Market research – Normally a CMA (comparative market analysis) is completed on every home that will be purchased or sold. That is, if your agent is fully competent in understanding the market. If your agent is guessing the outcome of the final price, you should fire him/her immediately. Hearing buyers and agents say, they think $xxx,xxx is a good number for this property is ridiculous. This is actually a commonly overheard occurrence when discussing a property’s final sold price with other agents. At Team Ziggy, we show you a customized approach to All properties that have sold in that community, and present a modern day CMA for the property. It is very important to show the true market value of a home.
Example: Various factors affect a property such as its physical condition, its location and total number of offers being collected. Is it a fixer upper, move in ready, or a builder’s lot? This will all gauge which direction a sale can go.

2. Negotiation talks – Agent to agent conversations can be considered as their own language. There are hidden messages in every word and sentence spoken. How these words are said, and especially in what tone is what differentiates a great agent from a good agent. Listening skills are just as important and speaking skills. Conforming to ethics is of upmost priority. Maintaining a high standard of integrity under the code of conduct by OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association, is how Team Ziggy represents their clients at the negotiation table. Strong negotiation skills play a vital role, especially when there are 20+ offers on the table. Understanding where you may potentially stand is where you can make decisions moving forward.

3. Careful removing conditions – Failing to protect a buyer/seller with clauses in a contract. – A buyer agreeing to remove finance and inspection as conditions to the agreement of a purchase and sale of a property must fully understand the importance of this. You may think you are improving your chances with the seller, but at the same time you may be leading yourself into unforeseen future failure. Having an experienced agent back you up with supplementary clauses such as adding more name(s) to title after the agreement has been accepted for the purpose that your financing may require it, is necessary to help you and the seller to close. This is especially important if you are a first time home buyer, and especially if the seller is afraid to alter the terms of an agreement after a firm sale.

Another such example is a seller reviewing a top price offer that has potentially surpassed a bank appraisal amount. This now creates conflict that your financing (which you have now removed as a condition) will only cover a ceiling amount, and your buyer must be prepared to add the difference from his/her own pocket. Having this area of concern covered for a buyer and seller is very important for a future closing to occur. Not only can this save you in the future but it also makes your offer stand out in a crowd of 20+ other offers. You are now directing the seller’s attention to professionalism, and actually closing this multiple offer scenario. The seller may be more inclined to go with your offer because of your agent’s experience and specific conditions protecting a closing included in your firm offer.
Example: I have seen an agent write their clients firm (no conditions) offer for a condo townhouse on a free hold agreement of purchase and sale. This instantly makes the offer useless because it is on invalid paperwork. No matter what the price or what’s inside the offer it is a grave error in front of a seller’s eyes at presentation time.

4. Being flexible with your closing date – certain buyers absolutely Have To be moving into a property in 30 days, others in 90 days. Why not leave this area blank, simply filling in the year 2017? Leaving this area blank for sellers shows you are open to working with them. Again, creating a liking to your offer. If you have another closing date you are trying to match, there are many options of a bridge mortgage that can assist in this matter. Example: Initial the blank space for this _____ day of _____ (month), 2017. Let the seller know you are flexible.

5. Bully Offer – not many buyers know this, but just because a seller is holding all offers back until a future date, usually a week in advance. It does not mean that a seller is open to a “Bully Offer” or in real estate words: “Seller may be open to a pre-emptive offer.” A great buyer agent will try to get their client’s offer into the hands of the seller. Why not try to eliminate other competition while striking early? Sometimes the seller does not want a ton of strangers walking around their house. Sometimes the seller is uncomfortable leaving their house for showings stretching an entire week, and would rather deal with selling sooner. Having your agent think outside the box and striking early is what separates a victory scenario and being one offer of 25 on acceptance night.

6. Deposit Cheque – If you do not have a certified cheque, or bank draft ready you can almost kiss your chances of buying a house goodbye. Coming to the negotiation table with a personal cheque will make the seller think you are not serious about their property. Getting a bank stamped certified cheque is not only free at most institutions, but it sends a clear message to the seller that you are here, fully prepared and mean business.

7. Dressed for success. Let’s face it, first impressions make a difference. A confident, clean cut agent dressed in a sharp suit with a smile on their face will command a room’s attention and captivate their audience. If your agent looks like they just threw on some clothes, while rushing over to meet with you to quickly sign and present your offer to the seller does not show much professionalism. What does that say about your representation, and the few minutes you have of presenting your offer to the seller? One look at an agent will tell you if they have the attitude ready for success.

8. Doing your homework – don’t expect there to be many rounds of negotiation. There isn’t always a second chance to improve your offer. If you are crossing your fingers hoping to move up in your offer with $5,000 intervals you may not even get the chance to do so. Research the value of the property, and include the maximum price you would offer on this property, without regretting to offer $1 higher if you don’t get it.

The days of a seller rolling the dice on a buyer with the highest price are coming to an end. There have been one too many cases of buyer’s regret the day after a multiple offer night, and the promise of a cheque being delivered within 24hours not upheld. A property is only marked SOLD after a cheque has been has been collected by the listing brokerage and a receipt issued. This is what a real estate contract actually says, an exchange of goods (money in this case) for a future promise note.

More often in these 2017 days, I have seen a seller select an offer that correctly matches all criteria of a sold firm property. No longer are sellers only impressed with the biggest price on an offer. Having all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted is the primary step towards getting your offer in the top offers section.

Secondly, you need a market price offer on the home you are attempting to purchase. Do not be fooled by the attractive, under priced property value which may have brought you there to begin with. The true market value of this property may be hundreds of thousands over its initial asking price. Sit closely with your agent and review the actual market price of the property through a detailed CMA – Comparative Market Analysis.

Thirdly, make sure your certified cheque is in hand made payable to the appropriate brokerage. Ask your agent if he/she has any unique, thinking outside the box, strategies of approaching this scenario. Perhaps their experience ca`n prove to out smart all other 20+ parties that are counting down to offer presentation night.

Finally, a quick look on the inside of your agent’s car will tell you if they are organized or deeply lost in this multiple offer business. How are they dressed, and how do they carry themselves around you? Do they have chicken scratch writing, barely legible, and nervous when answering simple questions? Odds are they will be even more nervous in front of a seller and seller’s agent. Selecting an agent that works part time, or one with little to no experience will lower your odds of home purchase. Selecting a confident, community based, full time agent representing your best interests will greatly assist you in getting the home you desire. Being patient, calm and collected will help you achieve your goal.

Buyers need education more than anything in this real estate market. It all starts with an ethical and knowledgeable agent who is representing them and their best interests. Please contact Team Ziggy for all of your questions on how to tackle the market this year. Team Ziggy deals with the buy, sell, lease of all residential and commercial types of property. They are centrally located in Mississauga at 160 Dundas Street East. Call or email for a consultation appointment today, 416-303- 8555,

What have your experiences or challenges been in buying or selling real estate?

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