Do You Think You Can't Win With An Offer Date? Think Again!

When seller’s agents set an offer date, it forces all buyers to submit offers on the same day. This takes away your competitive edge, which is the seller’s intent. 

Although you might think an offer date means you can’t win because it impacts your chances of getting the property for a fair price, before you get discouraged, it’s important to understand offer dates and how the right real estate team can make an offer date work for you. 

Here is some important information to note about offer dates.

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Here is some important information to note about offer dates.

Offer Dates are COMMON: Take Listing Prices with a Grain of Salt

As we said, the offer date is a selling strategy. What we didn’t mention is that 95% of properties that we see in Toronto have offer dates and are slightly, or in some cases, drastically underpriced to create increased interest in the property. This usually leads to a selling price that is higher than the list price but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s miles away from the fair market value. 

We advise clients to take listed prices with a grain of salt, knowing the offer date will push that price higher. As knowledgeable real estate agents we understand the top price you’ll have to pay on the offer date and ensure we only show you homes that fall within your budget, so you’re not discouraged by constantly being outbid.  

Read more about buying a home in Toronto with these posts next:

Bully Offers: The Offer Date Work Around

There is one offer date work around buyer’s agents can try if the seller is willing to take the bait. Although listing agents have to inform other buyer’s agents they’ve received an offer, it is legal to put in a pre-emptive offer before the offer date. 

Also known as a “bully offer,” the idea is to get in a hard to resist offer as soon as possible to remove all thoughts that a high-stake competition will get the seller a better price. All they see is dollar signs, so they accept the offer, and the offer date melts away like a snowball in July. Preparing bully offers that kill takes the seller off guard and has them scrambling to accept.  

We like this approach:

  • Getting in there the day the house was listed so sellers have no idea how many people will actually view their home 
  • Using the element of surprise, striking the same day you saw the property 
  • Going big on price to blind them with dollar signs, without going over your budget or too far over the home’s value 
  • Being open to the seller’s ideal closing date 
  • Avoiding unnecessary contingencies
  • Setting a deadline that gives the sellers hours instead of days to accept to put the pressure on  

Just remember, it only makes sense to put in a bully offer when you’re okay with paying above market value, have your financing in order and are flexible with closing dates and contingencies. 

Offer Date Strategies: Making It Work

An experienced real estate team like ours uses proven strategies to give you an offer date edge:

Recognize bad pricing strategies

We previewed a 3-bedroom semi-detached home in the West End perfect for our clients. When looking at the comparable sales in detail it was obvious the listing agent had made a big mistake. The list price on the house was not low enough to generate multiple offers based on its market value. Because the seller priced the house at what it was worth, we knew the offer date would not generate the offers they expected. Our strategy? We waited patiently and when the offer date passed without offers just as we expected, we sprang into action, securing the property for our clients at the asking price the next day! Take that offer date!

See listings as close to the listing date as possible

When you’ve seen the home shortly after it was listed, you narrow down the competition for bully offers. We make sure we a) review new listings as soon as they come out and b) understand fair market value in the area so we can whip up an offer quickly, leaving other prospective buyers’ agents in the dust. 

Have financing in order

Bully offers can’t be put together super-fast without the buyer’s financing in order. We advise our clients to a) get their mortgages pre-approved and b) be prepared to offer a 10% deposit instead of the usual 5%. This strategy helps sweeten the deal, telling the seller you can afford the home and are good to go. 

Get more homebuying insights with these posts next:

Why Offer Dates Expire: It’s Not What You Think!

When a property DOESN’T sell in competition you might be asking ‘Why, what’s wrong with it?’ And we don’t blame you! After all, the real estate market has conditioned you to be suspicious! However, it often has more to do with an inexperienced listing agent than it does with the home itself. Here are a few examples:

  • The agent doesn’t use a lockbox, so someone has to be home for viewings, limiting buyers
  • The agent lists the property at market value AND sets an offer date, discouraging offers 
  • The seller hired an out-of-town Realtor who doesn’t know the Toronto market, so didn’t know how to price the home to sell

The Good News: We Can Help

Although offer dates dominate Toronto area listings, a kickass real estate team like us knows how to help you come out ahead. We will:

  • Spot the rare golden opportunities listed at market value that accept offers anytime 
  • Get you to the viewing NOW, so you can put in an offer ahead of the competition 
  • Pounce when we see rookie agent mistakes like listing at market value AND using an offer date 
  • Be prepared to put in bully offers using proven negotiating strategies when it’s the right move for you

Ready to start shopping? Call The Christine Cowern Team at 416.291.7372 or email us at with any questions or to set up a call. We’d love to work with you! 

Are you looking to get into the market now but think you can’t compete? We have plenty of tips for Toronto home buyers.

Call The Christine Cowern Team at 416.291.7372 or email us at today!

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