How to Win a Bidding War When Buying a Home in Surrey

Uncategorised | September 10, 2020 | written by Corbin Chivers

The Canadian housing market is hot right now as mortgage prices continue to see record lows. Mortgage lenders are showing fixed rates as low as 1.69% and variable rates close to 2%. With decreased rates comes more demand than supply. With the crazy demand, we are seeing in the market as a whole and especially in the local Surrey area what are the best strategies to bid for your new home. 

Curious if you should buy or sell your home first here are a few great tips to get you on the right track. 

Bidding strategically on the home of your dreams is important. Many sellers are pricing their homes low hoping to create a bidding war and getting them a better price for their home. While it’s important to remember houses are priced lower, most realtors that know the Surrey area well will advise you to come in at your comfortable level of pricing. If you truly want the home and know there may be other offers it is better to price slightly higher then lose the dream home you have set your sights on. 

Here are a few other strategies to help you bid on a home in the Surrey area that may have more than one bid. 


  • Offer above asking price 


When the market has high demand and low supply there will be multiple offers as we are seeing in the Surrey housing market. Even a few thousand which will not change your monthly mortgage too much could set you apart from other bids. 


  • Offer cash


If you have the ability, offering a cash deal could put you at the top of the list even if you don’t have the highest bid. A cash offer has less red tape for the seller and makes you look more enticing as they don’t have to wait to make sure your mortgage goes through and they have less paperwork involved. 

  • Use an escalation clause

An escalation clause is a clause that says you as the buyer will agree to outbid any other offer by a certain percentage or amount up to a capped price. This is a great strategy that often puts you ahead of all other offers and is not commonly used in the local market. 


  • Make it personal


You are purchasing a home and many times the family selling their home had many great memories in that home. Writing a personal note and introducing your family can help you stand out from the other offers without a personal touch. While not all sellers have a sentimental attachment to their homes many enjoy seeing how a family will live in the home. 


  • Wave contingency


A contingency clause gives the buyer and the seller the right to back out of the transaction under certain circumstances that are set out in the offer and negotiated by the buyer and seller. Common contingencies include home inspection, financing, cost of repairs, appraisal costs, financing, buyer’s home sale, home insurance, and title ownership. Each contingency clause covers the buyer in different ways. It’s a good way to win a bid to remove a clause your side may not need or care about. 


  • Wave inspection


The purpose of a home inspection is to determine the conditions of the home and outline if any repairs are needed on the home. There is often a contingency on top of that that covers the cost of repairs if they are above a certain amount. It can be beneficial to waive the inspection if you are making changes to the home or are purchasing a new build. Your realtor will advise you if this option is for you. You can learn more about home inspections here


  • Shorten the inspection time frame


An inspection can take time especially if you have not talked to an inspector or have a scheduled visit set up. A good bidding strategy is to have an inspector ready to go and shorten inspection time for the seller as that will speed up the sale of the home and get them to their new home sooner. 


The most important part is to talk to your realtor and make sure you are comfortable with the bidding strategy you have chosen. Removing financing contingency is great when you know you have your pre-approval and there is very little chance you will lose funding while removing inspection is great when the home is new or when you know you will be making large renovations to the home. The strategy should match the situation of you as the purchaser and of the home, you are purchasing. Take your time to decide before bidding on a home what your comfort levels are with your realtor and make sure your realtor is well aware of the local market.

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