Multiple Offers…..on a Lease?

Condos | August 2, 2007

You can’t pick up a paper or watch the news these days without hearing about multiple offers and bidding wars in the  Toronto real estate market.

But the media coverage is always about the sale of Toronto real estate.

How about a lease?

Would it be insane to find a story about multiple offers on a property to lease?


Last week I wrote a post about the bidding war at 144 Barker Avenue, which saw 19 bidders line up for the chance to pay over 131% of the asking price.

While this is pretty extreme, it’s not unheard of, and not at all uncommon in our red-hot Toronto market.

But I encountered an even stranger situation last week involving another hot property.

Only this property was for lease.

My client was looking for a Yorkville condominium to lease while she got her bearings in the big new city of Toronto.

We sought out the very new, very popular building at 18 Yorkville, which sees 1-bedroom units with parking lease for around $1,600/month, but for weeks there were no new units to hit the market.

Finally, something came along at 40 Scollard Street for $1,450 per month, and at that price we gritted our teeth and crossed our fingers as we opened the door and hoped for the best.

The result?  A magnificent, open-concept, renovated-kitchen, north-facing unit overlooking the greenspace for a seemingly unbelievable price!

40 Scollard Street may be a little older, and may be on the west side of Bay Street, but it is still Yorkville, and with an indoor squash court and spacious exercise facility, it’s still a fantastic location.

Unit #1105 was asking $1,450 per month and included parking and ALL utilities.  The living area was open concept with beautiful white carpet and a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counters, and new cabinetry.  The bedroom was a decent size, and had built-in shelves for the current tenants’ 20-some-odd Armani suits.  Yes, 20…

At $1,450 per month, this sounded too good to be true!

It was.

I told my client we needed to hustle over to my office and submit a full-priced offer ASAP.  We drafted up an offer, faxed it to the listing agent’s office along with my client’s credit check, employment letter, rental application, and references (I find it best to be proactive and give the landlord everything in advance), and we waited to hear back.

The listing agent called me, and informed me of “another offer.”

I hate hearing those words.  “There is another offer on the property.”  “There are two registered offers at the moment.”

But I’m used to hearing this about a property for sale!

We re-drafted our offer for $1,500 per month, now offering MORE than the listing price, and faxed it back over.

The listing agent called me back, again, and told me: “The vendors will be reviewing all offers on Monday evening at 6:00PM.”

It was Saturday afternoon.

I felt sick to my stomach, and I didn’t know how to tell my client that we were involved in an absolutely ridiculous situation.  The fact is, this unit is worth $1,550 or even $1,600 per month, if the vendors were to list at that price.  But nobody want’s to be bullied or dummied into paying $150 more than the listing price for a lease.  Nobody wants to jump through hoops, and play reindeer games in order to get a property.  A bad experience at the onset will diminish the joy that comes with living there.

On Monday morning, the listing agent called me to say that there were now FOUR registered offers on the property, and that he was expecting his own offer as well.  I thought back to the Saturday past, when I was explaining to him how great my client was and that her credit score was through the roof, she made a great income, and that she was a model tenant.  I recalled how he told me that his vendors “aren’t greedy people, they just want the right tenant for the property, and peace of mind.”

Can I swear on my blog?  Can I?  Because that statement was complete B.S.!  (Okay, I’ll keep it clean…)

If they weren’t greedy, they wouldn’t “review offers at 6:00PM on Monday.”  That is what vendors of houses do!  That is what bidding wars are like!


I called my client on Monday to tell her the situation, and she ran away faster than Lindsay Lohan from a sobriety test.  And good for her too! (my client, not Lindsay Lohan…)

The place ended up leasing for a mere $1,600 per month.

Of course, I didn’t know this until EIGHT DAYS after they looked at offers, because the listing agent and his brokerage took that long to update the listing on MLS.  Gotta love those Re/Max Relatron people!  They sure are honest, hardworking individuals who give real estate a great name!

Yes, I just said that…

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