Seller will review all offers…someday

There’s a new approach to marketing a Saskatoon real estate listing which is being met with mixed reviews, and it’s having mixed results. When it works, it works big. When it fails, it couldn’t be more boring. I think it has potential but it has to be done right.

I’m talking about the practice of delaying the presentation of offers until a specified date and time. It’s been done before in raging real estate markets across North America. The practice is just recently getting some play from Saskatoon home sellers and their agents. Of course, the objective is to create a bidding war on the property.

There are two factors that I think are critical in using this strategy successfully; timing and price.

I’ll touch on timing first. I saw an attractive new listing come on the MLS® system yesterday. The comment on the listing said, “Offers presented on March 12 at 8:00 pm on seller’s request.”A week is a long time in the Saskatoon real estate market. The odds that any two buyers will ever run into each other at a showing are remote. Nobody will really get the sense that there is any excitement about the property. Those that do see it will probably be back and forth as to whether or not they even want to buy it (I know of several instances where buyers have decided to withdraw an offer they’ve written or adjusted the offer price down). Certainly, they’ll be looking at and considering anything else which comes available in the meantime. That’s okay for buyers. I’m not really sure how it’s good for the seller.

Now, take all of the people that might consider this home, and have them view it within a one or two day period. Buyers are much more likely to encounter other buyers at the property and truly get some sense as to the level of interest that this property is attracting. People tend to want things that other people want. We’re funny that way. Shorten up your time frame and watch the motivated buyers pour in.

Now, let’s get to pricing. Your asking price must be attractive enough that it’s guaranteed to generate offers. If nobody makes an offer by presentation time it sort of takes the wind out of your “sale.”Where do you go from there?“Okay. I guess we’ll review offers on the 19th.”It’s kind of like planning a big party and nobody comes. Not fun!

I’ll admit it’s very challenging to price home right now. It seems that there are substantial changes from one week to the next. You don’t have to worry about pricing the home too low. You can trust this real estate market to tell you exactly what your home is worth at offer presentation time, provided that your home is properly exposed to the market and buyers know it’s for sale. The more attractive your price is the more showings you’ll have and the more offers you’ll get. We’re seeing many offers which are $10,000, $20,000, even $30,000 over the asking price. If buyers see the value, they’ll pay a fair price and there’s an excellent chance that one or two of them will pay far more than a fair price.

It’s all about creating some excitement. It really is that simple.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. 

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra


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