Step By Step


5 minute read

March 19, 2010

Nope!  Not the television show with Suzanne Sommers…

I’d like to give you a view inside the process of selling a condominium in multiple offers.

Here is the step by step account of Thursday, March 18th as I reviewed offers for a $269,000 condo…


9:15AM – I arrive at the office with three messages waiting for me already; undoubtedly from other agents who are preparing offers.

9:30AM – I roll up the rim on my Tim Horton’s coffee only to find “Please Try Again.”  This makes sixteen consecutive losers now since the promotion started.  SIXTEEN!  This is beyond coincidence.  It’s a conspiracy.  The guy at reception upstairs is 4/14 so far.

9:48AM – I receive a call from an agent who says he’ll be bringing an offer tonight.  He pokes and prods for some information, but I don’t give him any.

10:27AM – I still have not had an offer registered yet.  I can’t believe it.  I’m not doubting myself or the property, just the process.  Sometimes agents register first thing in the morning (like I do), and sometimes they wait until the last minute.

10:45AM – I receive my first registered offer.  You gotta start somewhere…

11:20AM – Another agent calls me and asks, “How many offers so far?”  I tell him just one, but I also tell him to expect several.  Don’t get gleamy-eyed at the prospect of coming to the table with only one competing offer.

12:22PM – Still one registered offer.  What the hell?

12:54PM – A west-end agent calls me to ask if we’re taking offers tonight.  Really?  REALLY?  It’s on the listing!  It’s like asking the guy driving the TTC streetcar if he works for the TTC.  Wait, that’s a poor, timely example…

1:14PM – An agent I have yet to actually speak with this week (rare when you’re in multiples – to not hear from the agent all week) registers an offer.  I guess he doesn’t believe in the value of the “cooperating broker.”  That makes two offers.

1:59PM – If you had asked me how many offers I expected just before 2PM, I’d have said “More than two!”  I’d have been wrong.

2:30PM – I need a break.  I need to clear my head.  I’m heading to the gym…..think I’ll pump the guns today.  Nothing like big-arms on a Thursday.  Do you have your tickets yet?  Yes, tickets!  To what, you ask?




4:12PM – I drink my protein shake as I cruse down to Sobey’s to get an awful, yet healthy, sandwich from their “Prepared Fresh” section.  My phone rings as I’m in line to pay for my sandwich, and now I’m officially “That Guy” who doesn’t acknowledge the human beings around him – just those on his phone.  It’s the same agent I’ve been talking to every day for a week, and he gave me his update – he’s ready to proceed!

4:30PM – The office phone rings incessantly with agents asking, “How many offers are registered for 39 Jarvis Street, #206?”  I feel bad for the girls upstairs, having to deal with this all day, but at least they’re not calling me now!

4:42PM – An agent comes in person to register his offer.  That’s a new one!  Well, he’s actually just here early.  Really early.  That makes three offers now, or at least it should.  The kid at reception says, “That’s actually four.”  Great, thanks.  I mean, why tell me, right?  I’m just the damn agent… 

4:55PM – I receive an offer by fax.  It looks very good.  The price is great, and it is unconditional.  I have weigh all options with my client, and I would take an unconditional offer over an offer that is conditional on financing and status certificate if it meant $1,000 – $2,000.   That makes five offers now.

5:10PM – Ten minutes after the “grace period” for registering offers, I receive a phone call from an agent who asks if it’s too late to bring an offer.  Um, no.  Of course it’s not too late!  Bring it anytime!  She says she’ll call me back, but she never does.  I even call her later to ask what’s going on, but her phone goes straight to voicemail.

5:42PM – I go to get another Tim’s.  Do I need another one?  Really?  I’m so high on natural adrenaline that a full coffee right now could help me slam dunk a basketball…

5:50PM – My client arrives with her mother in tow.  Mom is there for moral support.  I usher them into the conference room and explain the rules.  The most important rule: poker face!  If the offer in front of you is good, bad, or neither – just make sure you don’t react!

I’ve told every single agent: “One shot deal, highest offer takes it.  Bring your best – there will be no send-backs or second chances.”

I firmly believe that this is the best way to conduct business.

I’m not a fan of sending everybody back for more money; not because I don’t want to get more money for my seller, but because I think there are better ways to do it.  When you tell everybody, “Bring your best – one shot deal,” I find that one offer usually blows away the rest.

6:00PM – I present the first offer which had been faxed in by an agent who went to public school with my sister!  Small world!  His offer is great, and it’s unconditional.  I work my way through the entire offer, painfully, as the second time around we just have to look at the salient points.

6:15PM – An agent, who brought his clients with him, comes down to the conference room to present.  He gives us a story about his clients (first time buyers), and presents his offer.  His offer is low.

6:22PM – We’re moving right along here, and the next agent brings his buyer into the presentation with him!  This agent looks fantastic – pocket square and everything.  These guys mean business, and I’m sure the client owns several properties around the city as I immediately size him up as an investor.  Their offer is slightly lower than the highest.

6:33PM – An agent calls me to say that she is pulling her offer off the table.  I am stunned.  What could have possibly transpired that would lead to this surprise turn of events?  Did the buyers get cold feet?  Did they change their minds?  I don’t know.  If I had to guess, I’d say that they were misinformed and mislead, and thought that maybe they could get the condo for the listing price of $269,000.  When they found out that there were multiple offers, they walked.  It’s too bad.  But they have to get in touch with our market…

6:42PM – The last agent comes in to present, except he has a few surprises.  First, he doesn’t allow me to read through the offer with my clients.  You always bring two copies, and give one to the agent, and one to the clients.  You then sit there with a smile and wait.  But this agent just breezed through the offer until I finally said, “May I please see it?”  His offer was the lowest, and it had been crossed out twice where the previous offer price was even lower!

7:00PM – Did this really only take an hour?  I’m stunned.  I just spent the last twenty-some-odd minutes going back over the offers with my clients, but there’s not much to say – take the highest offer, which is unconditional.

One hour, four offers, one sale.

Easy, peasy, chicken-squeazy.

I can’t believe I just said that…

7:12PM – My client’s husband arrives, and he can’t believe the price that we got for the condo!  He smiled and laughed at the same time – like he was trying to physically pop his eyes out.  His handshake was very firm, and he seemed delighted at the result.

7:18PM – I give my client the business card for the manager/owner at Politica Ristorante on Strachan Ave near King and tell them to go out and have a great night, on me.  I love that restaurant.

7:29PM – I fax the completed offer to the “winning” cooperating agent and add “It was a pleasure doing business with you.”

7:45PM – I hop in the shower here in the basement at Bosley Real Estate (yes, there is a shower….please, no jokes about this being a dirty business), and wash away a long day.

8:00PM – Put the finishing touches on this blog post, and get ready for a six-hour drive to Mont Tremblant.

I’ve worked 77 straight days in 2010.

My manager told me that I must take a vacation, which is ironically what happened at the beginning of Beverly Hills Cop with Eddie Murphy.

I wonder if this trip will end up spawning two sequels as well…

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. Dave

    at 7:27 am

    Aww…come on!…don’t leave us all excited like this without finishing us off!!
    How much over the $269k did it go for?

  2. JG

    at 9:09 am

    That is what i am dying to know!!!!

    My money is on – $295,500.

  3. Aguduser

    at 10:51 am

    Yeah, how much? 🙂

  4. Destructicus

    at 11:50 am

    If it’s “The Price is Right” I’m going to be that jerk who bids $295501.

    Sorry JG

  5. David Fleming

    at 3:02 pm

    Greetings from Tremblant!

    The ski conditions are awful…

    I can’t give out the sale price until the deal has closed, by law, but I can tell you that ALL your guesses are too low!

    ‘Destructicus’ was the closest, but still not that close…

  6. JG

    at 6:10 pm

    @ Destructicus – lol – thats the bet that always wins!!!

    My second stab at this would have been $305,000.

    At first i just couldnt fathom it would have went that high!

  7. George

    at 8:03 pm

    Pretty good time to be an agent, amazing time to be a seller, and awful time to be a buyer.

    I wonder when that situation will reverse: Fall of 2010, not until 2011, or maybe Toronto condo prices will just continue to close the gap on the higher prices per square foot of other world class cities.

  8. earth mother

    at 1:13 pm

    Another entertaining glimpse into your life…. can we get an up-date on Tremblant too?

  9. Aguduser

    at 12:38 pm

    The market is changing now – less multiple offers. More listings. The market will peak in May, and then slows down.

  10. Aguduser

    at 9:26 am


    Has this deal been closed? Could you give out the price now?

  11. David Fleming

    at 10:42 am

    Ooops, sorry!

    It sold for $303,500.

  12. Camila

    at 7:35 pm

    David, you are such a star!
    Keep going.

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