Holding Off on Offers (and Why Buyers Hate It)

Holding Off on Offers, and Why Home Buyers Hate ItYou love that house? Well, you can’t buy it. At least not yet. The sellers are holding off on offers. It’s just what everyone looking to buy a home in Guelph wants to hear. (NOT!) 

Well, the days of multiple-offer scenarios being a “Toronto Thing” (so far as Guelph buyers may have considered,) are long gone. In fact, a significant amount of homes for sale in Guelph are put on the market with the sellers’ instructions not to review any offers until a pre-determined date.

On the selling side, there are plenty of reasons to hold off on offers, not all of which are sneaky or are used as a means to try to drive competition. Some hold off on reviewing offers to coordinate around busy work or travel schedules, and it’s primarily a matter of logistics. But, speaking in general terms, the tactic usually is meant to generate interest and create competition. Sounds great if you’re selling, right? Not so much if you’re a Guelph home buyer. In fact, it can be a pretty bitter pill to swallow.

If you work with an experienced buyer’s agent, she’ll be able to counsel you on the myriad of strategies upon which you can rely, in order to not only stay sane during the buying process, but actually buy a house at fair market value.

For starters, I often tell my buyer clients to get in the right mindset. Especially in certain price ranges, things are competitive. There is very little point going into the home buying process with an “I refuse to compete” mindset. After all, you could be “competing” against an appallingly-bad offer and not even know it. So I tell people to think less about the fact that there may be a competition and to focus instead on what actually matters: Making a smart purchase. Yes, you can “compete” and still buy a great Guelph home at fair market value. Believe it!

I like competition and I have a good track record in “bidding wars” (an expression, honestly, I abhor.) But I don’t help people overpay for property. I need to sleep at night, and if I’m not advocating for my clients’ financial best interests than what am I doing in this business? So, instead of just drafting offers that have inflated a purchase price beyond fair market value, I draw upon other negotiating strategies. Some are conditions-based. Some are monetarily-based. Others are more on the “warm and fuzzy” side of things. And, yes, I’ve “won” with clients who offered less money and weren’t prepared to waive common-sense buying conditions. It isn’t always just about the almighty dollar.

On the flip side, when I’m working with my Guelph home seller clients, we talk about this strategy and how it can work – but also how it can backfire. In the last quarter, for example, I have seen no shortage of homes come up on the market with an order to hold off on offers, only to receive none. So, yes, there is push-back from Guelph buyers. Can you blame them? It can be a smart strategy for sellers, but it doesn’t always pay off.

Food for thought. Thanks for reading.


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