Winter cool-down for offer-bids?

by Olivia D'Orazio08 Oct 2014
Agents had better get used to the growing phenomenon of offer-dates, a practice an increasing number of agents hope the winter will send into hibernation.

“Leslieville, Cabbagetown; in those high-demand areas, everyone is putting their properties below market value and are setting a date for offers,” Toronto agent Shawn Fiedler tells REP. “I feel [setting an offer date] is not the greatest practice in terms of getting way more than the property is maybe worth.”

Fiedler’s sentiments are echoed by many in the real estate community who argue the practice as tantamount to inciting bidding wars on properties that don’t necessarily warranty them otherwise. The knock-on effect, they maintain, is to artificially drive up prices in a market where value rises already outstrip income growth, according to CMHC data.

But, opposing agents say the move to set an offer-date is in the best interest of the client, at the same time creating a more-level playing field for buyers.

But it may have the opposite effect.

“High demand neighbourhoods only have so many properties available,” Fiedler says, adding that he’s had clients walk away from properties that have a set offer-date.

Despite the practice frustrating agents across the country, agents on both sides of the debate agree there isn’t any obvious way to regulate offer-dates, since clients are free to list their homes whenever they like.

Still, agents are left hoping the winter season will settle down the frenzy in the market that aids and abets offer-dates.

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