How Many Offers?


6 minute read

October 7, 2011

“Offer day” can be one of the most stressful times in the course of a buyer or seller’s real estate journey.

Here is a minute-by-minute account of offer day for an awesome downtown Toronto loft…

I have different approaches on “offer day” for my buyers and sellers.

With buyers, I tell them, “Offers are at 7PM so I’m not going to call you until just before six.  You know that most agents wait until the last minute to register their offers, so I don’t want to get your hopes up with hourly updates.”

I do this because there is nothing more frustrating than being a buyer, and knowing there are ZERO offers on a property all day, and then finding out that there are EIGHT by the time offers are reviewed.  I used to update my buyers at 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, etc, but it became too frustrating, and caused too much anxiety.

With sellers, I tell them, “I”ll email you when an offer is registered.”

It’s that simple.  I might email them eight times, each time an offer is registered, or I might not email them at all.  I’ve tried the same approach as with buyers – telling them “Just show up at my office at 6:30PM and we’ll chat,” but that never worked.  Everybody wants to be kept in the loop, not matter how much stress they cause themselves.

Sellers tell me, “It’s like Christmas!”  But I remember Christmas, and it went a lot smoother in my family.  We’d come down in the morning, see the bounty of individually wrapped gifts all at once, and then when the sun came up (since we usually went down around 5AM…), we would take turns opening a gift one at a time.

On offer day, you’re told, “There’s one offer on your property.”  Then you sit and wait.  Then hours later you’re told, “There is a second offer on your property.”  Then you wait some more.

I suppose if on Christmas morning, you came downstairs, saw NOTHING, and then presents were revealed one at a time, then yes – it would be just like Christmas…

On Thursday evening, I reviewed offers on a loft I have priced at $299,900.  Here is an account of the day’s events…

9:10AM – I arrive at my desk “first thing in the morning.”  This is earlier than I’m usually in the office, and I’m surprised the sun is even up this early…

9:30AM – My coffee has been sitting for twenty minutes.  It’s ready to drink.  I can’t stand piping-hot coffee…

9:50AM – An agent calls me to ask about the parking situation.  She says her client likely won’t make an offer on the property unless we can give them something in writing that says they can lease a space in the building, 100%.   It’s my job to get this to them, lickitty-split!

10:05AM – The first offer is registered.  That’s earlier than I expected!  I email my client: “One offer registered,” and that’s all that needs to be said.

10:15AM – An agent calls to tell me that if there are no offers registered, his client will buy the property for the list price.  He asks me to kindly keep him in the loop, and says he’s preparing an offer.  I, of course, tell him to send the offer, register, and see what happens.  I’d love a “dummy” offer.  He declines.

11:00AM – Another agent calls to ask for a copy of the Status Certificate.  I tell him that I emailed it to him last night, and he says, “No, you sent me the summary and the financials.  I need EVERYTHING.”  In this case, “everything” consists of another 250 pages, in about eight packages.  It takes me an hour to separate them, scan them, label them, and email them to his client’s lawyer.  I sure hope this pans out…

12:00PM – I don’t feel well.  I can’t quite put my finger on it – it’s not a headache, it’s not dizziness, and it’s not that queasy-feeling.  But I feel awful.  I tell Jen & Krista, “There’s something wrong with me,” and Richard fires back, “Boy, we’ve been telling you that for years!”  They have a laugh at my expense.  I need my A-game for tonight so I go into the break-room in the back and lay down on the couch, even though I’ll likely crease my shirt and pants…

12:30PM – I’m having a dream about unloading a dishwasher.  It’s very labour intensive.  Bowls, plates, cuttlery…..why are my dreams so much work?  This is not relaxing at all.

1:00PM – My office administrator comes in for her lunch breaks and kicks me out.  She said I could stay if I wanted to, but she refuses to miss her soap opera.

1:05PM – I have six missed calls.  None are about the property!

1:15PM – A second offer is registered.  Well, it’s not actually registered.  It’s emailed and faxed to my office, for a poor price, six hours before offers are being presented.  The cooperating agent didn’t ask if there are any competing offers, or how many.  I ask if he can kindly register the offer with my front desk, and he does.

2:00PM – My list of “potenial offerees” has dwindled as the day has progressed.  There were six agents who had “second showings” on the property and five agents who showed it once but said their clients were interested.  That’s eleven potential offers, but four of the agents have said, unequivocally, that they’re going to pass.  How many offers can we get from the seven interested parties?

2:15PM – I call one of the agents I spoke to last night, and I get the pre-recorded, “The number you have called is not assigned.”  How is that possible?  He called me from this number last night!

2:30PM – I go to the gym even though I feel awful, and it’s a big mistake.  I get light-headed on the stairmaster and I quite after seventeen minutes.  I feel like a failure.

3:15PM – I go to Sobey’s and choose the “Chicken Caesar Wrap” for lunch today; the one with the carrots and celery.  I eat it in my car, while driving, and manage to only get a few pieces of lettuce in my crotch…

4:00PM – I call one of the agents I spoke to last night and he says he’s going out to get an offer signed.  Awesome!  That will make three, but I don’t email my client just yet.  Until it’s signed and registered with my front desk, it’s all just speculation.

4:15PM – The flurry begins.  A third offer is registered, and I email my clients.

4:16PM – No word of a lie, as I’m clicking “send” on the email, a fourth offer is registered.

4:30PM – The agent who was running out to get the offer signed at 4PM has now officially registered.  That makes FIVE offers.  It’s more than I expected, more than I had hoped for, and more than my clients ever thought possible.

4:40PM – My client emails me a photo of a pair of sunglasses and says, “Somebody left these behind at my condo during a showing.”  He asks what we should do with the glasses.  Should we send out a few emails and try and find out who they belong to?  I ask him, “What make are they?  Prada?  Armani?  Gucci?”  He writes back, “AJ Morgan.”  Hmmm…..that’s too bad.

5:00PM – I get a showing request for the property for tomorrow from 6:30PM – 7:30PM.  I call the agent and tell him that offers are tonight and if he wants to have a look at the unit, he should get in there asap!  He says, “Well, how come you’re so sure you’re going to sell the property?  Can’t I just go tomorrow night?”  I tell him that we have five registered offers, and he says, “Oh.  (pause).  Well……even if you sell it, can I still show it?  My client really wants to see it.  I didn’t know it was on the market until he emailed it to me today.”  Good Lord.  Sorry to sound like an ass, but I can’t believe this is my competition…

5:15PM – An offer is faxed to my office, with no cover page.  I wonder if this was one of the five that has registered?

5:55PM – An agent calls to stake his claim to the mysterious faxed offer.  He officially registers, and that makes six offers.  I email my client.  He says, “Huzzaaah!”

6:15PM – Another agent sends me a text message and says, “I just got an offer signed.  Can you register for me?  Is this good enough?”  I tell my front desk, and they register the seventh and final offer.  I’m shocked.  I counted seven possible agents who might offer at the start of the day and we ended up with seven offers in total.  Amazing.

6:25PM – I still feel like crap, so I go for a walk up the block.  Who do I see across the street?  My client and his fiancée.  What a cute couple!  She’s smiling and waving, brimming with positivity as usual, and he’s blocking out the sun with his lean 6’3″ frame.  Nice trench coat!  We walk to Tim Horton’s and they get me a green tea.

6:35PM – I call back the agent who submitted the offer by fax and email at 1PM and tell him that there are six competing offers.  He says he’ll go back to his client and re-submit by 8PM.  I don’t send people back for “round two” or any of that nonsense, but if somebody offers during the middle of the day and they don’t know how many offers there are, I let them know.

6:55PM – I email all seven agents and let them know there are seven total offers.  They have a few minutes to get their house in order before presentation.

7:00PM – The process begins.

All told, we received seven offers on the property, and it took until 8:05PM to review them.

We had four agents present in person, and three agents present by fax.

The property, listed at $299,900, sold for $340,000.

My clients LOVED the listing agent and her story about her buyer, so they were quite pleased that he ended up with the condo.

Can we say that everybody won in the end?


9:35PM – I ate not one, but two foot-long subs from Subway.  I bought the second one thinking, “I’ll just have a few nibbles and then put the rest in the fridge.”  Who was I kidding?  I feel gross.  Time to polish off this blog…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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  1. JG

    at 10:49 am

    interesting play by play – thanks.

    love this part though;
    “I can’t believe this is my competition…”

  2. J-Lasch.

    at 11:04 am

    nice work Pipes!

  3. dunky

    at 11:42 am

    Weren’t you the listing agent in this story?

    “My clients LOVED the listing agent…”

  4. Krupo

    at 10:59 pm

    Is a buyer’s agent also called a listing agent? Or some other term?

  5. nitin

    at 6:44 am

    great work

  6. nitin

    at 7:12 am


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