Real Estate

How can I be sure there are other offers?

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  • Oct 27th, 2017 12:49 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2015
2989 posts
2017 upvotes
Toronto, ON

How can I be sure there are other offers?

I just put my offer for a house. My realtor told me they had no other offers, so I kinda went with a low number not long before they review the offers. Right before sending the numbers, my realtor called and he said they have 2 more offers, so I should bump up my number.

So how do I know it's legit or the buyer/seller agents just came up with that? Is there a way to check it? I can ask my agent to check, but obviously he'd say they have legit offers and he's checked it. So I never really asked him, coz I know the answer already. I am assuming there's no way for me to check, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
37 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2004
1516 posts
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With every listing, there is a contact number attached, usually of the brokerage that has listed the property. Call them and ask whether there are any offers on the said property.

If the description says they're going to be reviewing offers on a said date/time then it does tend to happen that they'll get offers right before the deadline, especially if they are not taking any pre-emptive offers.
Realtor @ Royal LePage Ignite Realty
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Apr 5, 2009
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+1

It's very common for people to place offers in close to end of day. Best to call brokerage and ask how many offered registered. There's a chance that all the offers were lowball offers as well... learned my lesson with this as I backed out of a multiple offer situation when I was buying and the property ended up selling a lot cheaper than I thought it would(still under asking)... regretted that decision
Clueless Fox wrote: With every listing, there is a contact number attached, usually of the brokerage that has listed the property. Call them and ask whether there are any offers on the said property.

If the description says they're going to be reviewing offers on a said date/time then it does tend to happen that they'll get offers right before the deadline, especially if they are not taking any pre-emptive offers.
Deal Guru
Feb 22, 2011
10760 posts
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Toronto
You don't have to change your offer, you can bid what you think is a fair price and if you win great, if not then keep looking.
Deal Expert
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Apr 21, 2004
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Someone experienced responded to my inquiry that there is a registry with the offers. But others on rfd were quick to point out the some offers registered can still be bogus.

It is a more balanced market now so less of these shenanigans but you never know...
Jr. Member
Nov 5, 2005
104 posts
19 upvotes
Put In a price that you will be happy if you get the place but don't feel bad If you don't get it. In other words just put a number you think the place is worth. I usually don't like bidding remotely. Most of the times it's in person at the house or brokerage place, at least more effort to do a bogus offer and you can judge from the people going in and out.

Where's this place?
Newbie
Oct 24, 2017
2 posts
5 upvotes
Great question. Same thing happened to me; seller's agent announced that there was another offer and asked me to improve my bid. I doubted that there was another offer but had no way to verify. My lawyer friend subsequently told me that it is not uncommon (in Vancouver, at least) to include a term in the offer expressly stating that the offer is made based on representations from the agent that there are other offers. Including that term won't help you verify that there are other offers, but it may make the agent wary about making further representations in an effort to get you to bid against yourself if there are in fact no other offers (often agents will tell you about other offers by phone to avoid a paper trail and therefore any proof that they made the representation). It will also give you a way to get out of the contract if you learn that there was no other offer and you bid too high on the assumption that there was. Hope that helps!
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Sep 8, 2007
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Way Out of GTA
rjg4235 wrote: You don't have to change your offer, you can bid what you think is a fair price and if you win great, if not then keep looking.
Exactly. When I see “so I kinda went with a low number”. Sounds like it was a lowball on the basis that there were no other offers. But even if he was the only bidder at a lowball price there’s no guarantee the seller would bother selling it there if there’s no gun to their head.

So OP:
So either assume they have legit offers on the table, then assume you will need to offer fair market, no more no less. In a balanced market that’s all you should need.

If you assume they actually don’t either have other offers or that they are lower than yours...just stay put at your price and tell them to sign it back where they feel they want to be. That’s the way it was done before the whole bidding war process started.

Bidding at a price above FMW in a balanced market simply because other bidders doesn’t make much sense.
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Sep 8, 2007
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Also in a balanced market, it is to the peril of the seller to fake that’s there’s other bidders. They may scare away their only bidder and we are entering a slower period seasonally.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 6, 2006
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Even if there's a contact for the listing, won't it's of their best interest to always say yeah there're other offers if you ask?

Anyway, with the much slower market now (perhaps not really slow... just normal?!), just bid what you think it's worth and can afford. Back in March/April would be difficult when everything probably got a boat load of offers.
Jr. Member
Dec 15, 2013
183 posts
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TORONTO
This makes me wonder why there isn't more transparency in this industry. Is there any reason why they cannot show me a list of all the offers if I request it? I don't need to see who made the offers - I just want to know what the offers are...
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davidwsw wrote: This makes me wonder why there isn't more transparency in this industry. Is there any reason why they cannot show me a list of all the offers if I request it? I don't need to see who made the offers - I just want to know what the offers are...
There is now a Form 801 that buyers and their agents complete when submitting an offer. This is written proof of the offers submitted.
Kevin Somnauth, CFA
Principal Broker - First Toronto Mortgage - MA (Ontario #13176, BC #X301007)
Real Estate Salesperson - Century 21 Innovative
Jr. Member
Dec 15, 2013
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TORONTO
CdnRealEstateGuy wrote: There is now a Form 801 that buyers and their agents complete when submitting an offer. This is written proof of the offers submitted.
What would then be the procedure for getting the list of offers? Do I go through my lawyer, my agent or can I get it myself?
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davidwsw wrote: What would then be the procedure for getting the list of offers? Do I go through my lawyer, my agent or can I get it myself?
You can't. The Form 801 isn't mandatory, but most brokerages collect them. However, if you launch an investigation about a phantom offer with RECO, they may look at this as proof.
Kevin Somnauth, CFA
Principal Broker - First Toronto Mortgage - MA (Ontario #13176, BC #X301007)
Real Estate Salesperson - Century 21 Innovative
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Nov 22, 2009
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davidwsw wrote: What would then be the procedure for getting the list of offers? Do I go through my lawyer, my agent or can I get it myself?
I believe you just need to trust the system and your guts, and put in an offer you think the place is worth. If they ask you to offer more, and you think it's bogus, back out immediately. This happened to me where the seller wanted me to go up another $50k the night before signing the contract even though they accepted it initially because of a new offer. I told my agent to tell them that I am no longer interested, and they called me up the next day willing to sell me the place for my original offer. I declined due to a bad taste in my mouth, and a month later I found out that they've sold their place for less than my original offer.

Lesson is, you can be a little greedy, but don't go overboard. Had they just ask for a few more thousand, I may have accepted it.
Member
Feb 8, 2010
499 posts
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This is a classic conflict of interest for realtor.
- your realtor wants you to pay more. So he/she can have a deal, get paid.
- you want to buy the property at reasonable low price.

You are on your own buddy. Do your own research on nearby sold properties and use comparative method to arrive at a price you believe is right.

Realtor can provide all the facts you need.
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Apr 21, 2004
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CdnRealEstateGuy wrote: There is now a Form 801 that buyers and their agents complete when submitting an offer. This is written proof of the offers submitted.
The thing is, there can be fake offers with no intention of closing. Everything about the offer can be legit (real people) but it still won't go through since the seller is free to accept any offer, no matter how ridiculous the price or buyer's conditions are.

I think I read about how much different it is in Australia but didn't bookmark the link where there can be penalties if the closing prices veer to far way from something (or maybe I just completely forgot the details) but here's one comparing Australia and Canada:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/here-s- ... -1.3826727
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
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billy_z wrote: This is a classic conflict of interest for realtor.
- your realtor wants you to pay more. So he/she can have a deal, get paid.
- you want to buy the property at reasonable low price.

You are on your own buddy. Do your own research on nearby sold properties and use comparative method to arrive at a price you believe is right.

Realtor can provide all the facts you need.
I think realtors should get paid depending on which side they are on. If they are the buy side, they get paid based on how much money they saved while the selling realtor gets paid based on how much more the property will be sold. Just need to figure out the formula for the buy side.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
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Thornhill
The thing is, every country always thinks someone else's system is better.

Auctions are the easiest way to manipulate prices, lie, cheat and defraud the general public right under their noses as they watch it all unfold live.

The biggest issue with the phantom offers here where one is going so far as to manufacture fake offers means that even if there's no listing Realtor involved the buyer has run into a fraudster buyer because the fraud cannot be conducted to that extent without the seller's participation.

https://www.lawyersconveyancing.com.au/ ... tions-faq/
alanbrenton wrote: The thing is, there can be fake offers with no intention of closing. Everything about the offer can be legit (real people) but it still won't go through since the seller is free to accept any offer, no matter how ridiculous the price or buyer's conditions are.

I think I read about how much different it is in Australia but didn't bookmark the link where there can be penalties if the closing prices veer to far way from something (or maybe I just completely forgot the details) but here's one comparing Australia and Canada:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/here-s- ... -1.3826727
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Apr 21, 2004
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licenced wrote: The biggest issue with the phantom offers here where one is going so far as to manufacture fake offers means that even if there's no listing Realtor involved the buyer has run into a fraudster buyer because the fraud cannot be conducted to that extent without the seller's participation.
I'm losing my cognitive faculty. Can you explain what you mean by that and if you could provide an example where there is no listing agent, that will be even better?

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