BIDDING WAR! Live, and In Progress…

What is the definition of a “bidding war?”

How does it start?  What series of events has to take place for a bidding war to break out?

As I write this at 8:30PM on Tuesday evening, a bidding war is taking place.

Let me tell you how it started, and how I expect it to finish…

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Here is the series of events leading up to tonight’s bidding war at 144 Barker Avenue near Woodbine/O’Connor:

Monday @ 1:00PM My client, Drew, whom with I’ve been working for the past couple months, emails me a few houses that he found on www.mls.ca and asks me to make appointments for Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday @ 9:30AM I call Re/Max Hallmark to book the appointment for 144 Barker Avenue, and the receptionist informs me that there are already THREE registered offers on the property.  Offers are being reviewed tonight at 7PM.

I tell her to go ahead and book me an appointment for 6:00PM.

5:30PMI meet Drew at 212 Chisholm Avenue, listed at $279,900, recently reduced from $299,900.  There is nice square footage, but the house is completely chopped up.  It looks like a rooming house, or university students live here.

There are two bedrooms on the main floor, and two very dark, very dungy bedrooms in the basement.  It would take a lot of work to convert this back to a “single-family dwelling.”  We agree the house isn’t worth more than $250,000.

5:45PM – Drew and I drive up the street to 53 Wallington Avenue, priced at $249,900, we park, open the front door, and step into our time warp.

Save for the horrible paint job on the walls (overtop of wooden panelling!) and the below-average job installing cheap imitation hardwood flooring (overtop of the carpet underpadding they were too lazy to rip out!), the house is just as it was the day the Leafs won their last Stanley Cup.  The basement would make a terrific photograph for Webster’s Dictionary under the term “Dungeon.”  We agree that for $210,000, somebody could put a lot of work into this house and make it liveable.

6:00PMWe arrive at 144 Barker Avenue on very quiet street in East York with several children playing with jumping ropes outside the house.  We enter through the side door, and marvel.  Just….marvel.

Priced at $259,900, this house is unlike any bungalow we have seen while searching for the last two months.  It’s magnificent.  The layout is fantastic, with a small nook at the side hall for coats & shoes, and a hall closet directly across the entrace way.  There is a long, open-concept living/dining room, with gorgeous oak hardwood flooring that is in impeccable condition.  Two bedrooms are off to the side, both can fit queen-sized beds, both have ample cupboard space and one has hardwood flooring.

“$259,900,” Drew asks me.

“Try $280,000….$285,000,” I respond.

We make our way to the back of the house and are greeted with a very large, very open kitchen with new cabinetry, a window over the sink that looks out to the backyard, and ceramic backsplash that looks very expensive.

Off to the right, is a FULL bathroom, and by full I mean that eight people could stand in there comfortably.

“Sure beats the bathroom at 53 Wallington,” says Drew, referring to the loose floor tiles, a standing shower that resembles a cave, and mold growing on the sink.

Finally, after viewing the modest, unfinished basement mainly used for storage & laundry, we walk out on the back deck and look out over the sprawling backyard that makes you question whether this lot is really only 108-feet deep.  There is a 100-year-old maple tree providing shade, and long lush grass that just begs your children to play soccer on it.

“Um…..how about $300,000?” asks Drew, as we both stand with our jaws dropped.

This was never a $259,900 house.  Not even close.  But the listing agent played this one to perfection, and surely she will maximize its value for her anxious sellers.

6:15PM – I call Re/Max Hallmark, just for interests sake, and ask how many offers are registered on the property.

“Fifteen,” says the voice on the other end of the line.

“I’m sorry, my phone was breaking up,” I said to the young lady.  “It sounded like you said FIF-TEEN!”

“That’s right: F-I-F-T-E-E-N!”

7:00PM – Offers are being presented for 144 Barker Avenue at Re/Max Hallmark office.  I’ve now said goodbye to my client, Drew, and I’m on my way home.  I decide to call Re/Max and ask how many offers are registered now.

“Nineteen,” says the young lady.  This time, I don’t question.

Nineteen offers on a house listed at $259,900.

Simply amazing.

Here is what I think is going to happen:

  • Five very naive, very unprepared buyers are going to offer $259,900 or less, and drive the asking price up even further.  Their real estate agents should be ashamed.  I would NEVER submit an offer of asking or below if I knew there were four offers, let alone NINETEEN!
  • Ten very hopeful buyers will offer between $260,000 and $280,000.  They cross their fingers, but in the back of their minds, they know their efforts are merely an exercise in futility.  (Sadly, some of these people might think they have a chance!)
  • Three buyers will offer upwards of $290,000, all the while questioning whether or not they are even doing the right thing.
  • One buyer(s) will offer $315,621, as they were married on 6/21, June-21st, and the number is important to them so they bid on their dream home with this number worked into the offer price.

As I finish this blog post, it’s now 9:00PM on Tuesday evening, and somewhere, somebody is the new, “proud” owner of 144 Barker Avenue.

How did it pan out?

How much did they pay?

I’ll be calling Re/Max Hallmark first thing tomorrow morning to find out.  And I’ll be sure to update this blog accordingly…

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