The media likes to focus on the craziest of crazy bidding wars: “One-bedroom condo gets 20 offers!!” “This house went for $754,000 over asking!”
While those situations do happen, they aren’t the norm – that’s why they made the news! In February 2022, the average home sold for 114% of the asking price…that’s a LOT of bidding wars. But it doesn’t mean that EVERY home gets multiple offers.
Let’s Back Up a Minute…
In a hot real estate market, Sellers who are trying to maximize their sale price will often attempt to draw in multiple Buyers at the same time, in the hopes that the competition will drive up the price of their home and it’ll sell for more than what they think it’s worth. A common way to do this is to underprice a home and set an offer date, usually 6-8 days from the listing date. The hope is that more people will have a chance to see it and fall in love, and they’ll all throw bags of money at the Sellers.
BUT…it doesn’t always work.
Sometimes, offer night arrives and there are NO OFFERS.
So what do you do?
First, the good news:
- You never have to accept an offer you aren’t satisfied with. Never.
- Just because you listed your home at $999K (even though you and your agent think it’s worth $1.2 million), there’s nothing preventing you from re-listing your home for sale at a higher price that you’re willing to accept.
- Don’t worry that agents will wonder why you listed your home for $1.2 when it didn’t sell at 999K and think you’re crazy – they’ll be able to see that you had an offer date and will know that 999K is not a price you were ever willing to accept. This happens all the time. (Note: If you repeatedly change your pricing strategy and remain on the market for months, your listing history might hurt you, but a price increase after a failed offer night is something agents and their Buyers understand.)
Why? Why me?
If you didn’t get any offers on offer night, you’ll need to examine what happened.
- Was it something out of your control that messed with your plan?A week of terrible weather ? Your next door neighbour listing their superior home at the same time as you? Your tenant refusing to let potential Buyers see the property?
- Did you have the wrong pricing strategy or valuation? Was your property staged and ready to show or could you have done more? Were the photos and marketing copy enticing? Was the property well marketed beyond the MLS? Was it easy for potential Buyers to book showings?
- How many showings did you have? What was the feedback? Was anybody planning on bringing an offer and then backed out? If yes, why?
- What happened to the other homes like yours that were for sale at the same time as you? Did they sell on their offer nights or experience the same disappointment as you?
Depending on WHY you didn’t get offers on offer night, you have a few options:
- Increase your price. Sure, some Buyers may be weirded out by seeing a price INCREASE vs a DECREASE, but it happens.
- Terminate your listing on the MLS and re-list it at a price you’re wiling to accept. Look at offers anytime. This has the advantage of helping you appear like a ‘new’ listing, but active and motivated buyers won’t reallky be fooled.
- Keep your home on the market at the lower price and set another bidding war date. This strategy only really works when the reason you didn’t get offers is related to something like bad weather and affected all the nearby Sellers in the same way.
- Reconsider your strategy and take your home off the market while you make adjustments. You may need to paint or stage your home; you may need to have a heart-to-heart talk with your REALTOR about how they marketed your home or you may need to start over with a new REALTOR.
The right strategy for moving on after a failed bidding war with no offers will be unique to you and your situation, but a great agent will help you prepare for this BEFORE offer night – and help you get through the emotional roller coaster.
But remember: You aren’t alone – this happens more than you’d imagine. And you aren’t stuck and have options.