Purchasing Real Estate in Toronto has become so expensive, stressful and difficult that we thought we were definitely priced out of the market. Several of the homes we put offers on sold for $200,000 over asking, and even then required major renovations after purchase. The days of negotiating power on the buyer’s end are gone, and trying to find a home you can afford and get there fast enough to fight for, is extremely disheartening and can get very ugly. How do so many people put themselves through this awful process, and how can they even afford it?

After seeing 8 homes, with several offers rejected, we almost gave up… but Reece didn’t.

Reece kept looking until he found us an amazing home in an upscale Etobicoke neighbourhood. The listing went up on Wednesday at midnight, and we planned to see it on Thursday afternoon.

After about 15 minutes of looking around this beautiful home, Reece asked us what we thought. We looked at each other and my husband hesitantly said “We love it, but do we actually have a chance of getting it?” Reece told us that the selling agent isn’t accepting offers until the following Tuesday, but he also suggested that we use a strategy called a “Bully Offer”. A bully offer isn’t as bad as it sounds. It just means that we put in a pre-emptive offer, higher than the asking price, before the date that offers are being accepted. The owner either accepts or rejects the offer relatively quickly.  Submitting a bully offer has several advantages to both the buyer and the seller, especially if accepted:

  • First, it speeds up the entire process.
  • Second, it eliminates the competition and avoids bidding wars.
  • Third, it reduces the emotional rollercoaster for both the seller and the buyer.
  • Last, and most importantly, both parties are happy – the seller gets what they want for the house, and both the buyer and the seller avoid all of the stress around multiple offers and waiting times.

To our amazement, this is exactly what happened in our case. Reece’s bully offer strategy was the right strategy! It showed the seller that we were serious, we avoided the chaos of long wait times, bidding wars and most importantly, we ended up with the house of our dreams. After so many previous rejections, we couldn’t believe that we had so easily found our perfect new home.  

The bully offer isn’t meant to put anyone at a disadvantage – any realtor can put a bully offer on any property, at any time. We offered what we considered to be fair market value for the home, and the seller ended up with more money than he was asking for. Neither party wanted to rip the other off, and in the end, both parties were happy with the entire process.

Buying a home in the city is really tough, and anyone who’s been through this process can agree that it’s a miracle to find a home you love at a price you can afford. The realtor’s role in this stressful process is extremely important. In addition to being knowledgeable, a good realtor should also be strategic. If it wasn’t for Reece’s bully offer, we are sure we wouldn’t have ended up with this home. He was smart, strategic and also incredibly confident that this strategy would work. After the offer was accepted, Reece guided us through a smooth closing process. When we moved in, we were proud to have him and his family over for dinner at our beautiful dream home, which we plan to live in for many years to come.

Steven Morris* (name has been changed for confidentiality reasons)