As you may know, realtors are considered essential services in Ontario because there are still people who have to find or sell homes. In Ottawa, despite the pandemic, the market is even tighter than ever, because there are fewer listings, but lots of buyers out there.
I lost out in multiple offers on Friday with first time buyers – heartbreaking, because we had the best offer but they needed a financing condition, and the seller took a lower cash offer that was unconditional (as I had warned them might happen).
Anyway, I took them to see another spot yesterday and it was love at first sight. Exactly what I want to see with buyers: where they absolutely adore a place and are willing to accept whatever shortcomings it might have because they have a visceral, emotional reaction.
Got home, called the agent, only to discover they have already received an offer and have countered back. Again, heartbreaking. Like meeting Mr. Right and finding out he’s already engaged. And once the sellers have countered a buyer’s offer, they are bound by their counter offer, so they can’t entertain a new offer from someone else. Really frustrating! I had to tell my buyers the situation, and they were super disappointed.
BUT, if sellers have countered back, it also means the buyer’s offer didn’t give them something they wanted — usually price, but could be closing date, whatever. So, I contacted the listing agent and said if the buyers counter back your seller’s counter-offer, PLEASE give us a chance to compete because my buyers really love this place. If the buyers counter back, that means the sellers are no longer bound: their counter-offer is now null and void, so they can deal with a new buyer.
So I prepared a draft offer JUST IN CASE that happened, called my buyer’s mortgage broker to see what we could do if we had a chance to compete. I wasn’t really expecting anything to happen, but having done the paperwork, I sat back and had a glass of wine (okay, a few. It was Saturday night, after all!).
At 7 PM the listing agent got hold of me, said the buyers had countered back, and the seller had only two hours to make a decision. Which meant less than two hours, because if they were going to deal with that counter, they had to complete the paperwork, and communicate their acceptance by the deadline.
I put my wine glass glass down, immediately called my buyers, we crunched numbers, had multiple discussions, and put in an offer 20 minutes before deadline.
AND THEY GOT IT!
You will never see happier buyers. They are absolutely over the moon. And this, folks, is why you need realtors!