We all know that Willowdale and many other parts of the city are very, very hot sellers’ markets, especially for larger lots with older homes on them. These lots can usually accommodate much larger houses than were built in the 1950s. Sometimes two houses can be built on one existing lot. Houses are selling in a matter of days, if they are priced right. It’s not uncommon to have many, many offers for one property. I know of one house, which attracted a whopping 30 offers. Of course, it sold well above the already competitive asking price. When houses don’t sell quickly, it is usually because the price starts out too high.

Builders and their agents are trying a new tactic. Knocking on the door of owners of older homes and telling them they have a builder ready to buy their house. Cash. Closing date is entirely up to you. Just sign here. NOW. Often the offer is not a bad price. And, they are cutting out any other competition, which is good for them, but not for you. So, what’s the problem? Well, usually these owners are older. Many of them have lived in their house for 50 or 60 years, often in the only home they have ever owned. So, none of them have ever sold.

Here’s what they don’t know. If you market your home to only one person, you will never know if the price you were paid for your house was fair market value. If fact, we know it was NOT fair market value, because the house was not on the market. Another important fact is that agent who knocked on your door is not working for you. She (or he) is working for the BUYER. You are UNREPRESENTED. I cringe when I am told, “they pressured me. We’re old and we caved in to their pressure. I hope we made the right decision.” It’s like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. It’s just too late to do anything. We will never know.

I had clients who were offered $1,900,000 for the home they had occupied for 60 years.

I explained that while this was a “reasonable” price, we would have no idea if it was the “best” price until we marketed the home properly and attracted as many offers as possible. Just a few months later, they accepted an offer after I marketed the property that was $350,000 higher than the previous offer. And, guess what, it was the same agent who had offered the lower amount. Yes, you read that right, $350,000 more.

Owners who are pressured usually feel they have to make a decision TODAY, maybe even in a few hours. The fear is that this offer will expire and they will lose out. So, what to do? Hire an agent who WILL work for you, and market your house to the widest possible audience. If that builder who wanted your house before, and was pressuring you through their agent, is offering a good price, he will come to the table with everyone else. If his offer was a good one, he will present it through YOUR agent, usually at a higher price, when in competition. Then, whether you receive one offer or 30, you will be in control of accepting the offer with the best price and the best possible terms for you. You will have peace of mind. You wouldn’t expect an auctioneer to accept the very first bid offered, so why would you do that with your biggest asset? Remember, you are only going to sell your house once.

Do it right. Hire an agent you know, like, and trust. Call anytime.

– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, REDM, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.