While multiple offers have been common in the detached house market for several years, this is the first spring market where they are happening on just about every condo offer!

Don't think real agents like this type of market. They hate it more than buyers! First they often have to prepare three or four offers on different properties, get involved in bidding and counters, then lose the sale! With little decent product to show, buyers get discouraged and they think about leaving the market.

What we need is better communication between buyers and their agents. First when a hot new property comes on the market, buyers must be prepared to jump on it. If a property comes on the market and you like it, don't start with an offer $10,000 below list price. The seller is expecting full list, so he will either ignore your offer or counter it a full price! As a buyer, you want to close the sale fast - before the seller gets any other offers. So go at full list price or only a couple of thousand less. Make sure you have your financing and eliminate the financing clause. Give a big deposit to show you are a player.

As a buyer, don't get hung up on past sale prices in this market. They mean nothing. Look at the new property coming on the market and compare its list price to others offered for sale at this time. You need to look at value in comparing what your choices are today - not what you could have bought last year!

Finally, when you find a new property that you like - either go in with a strong offer or sit on the sidelines. If you think the property is over priced, it will still be on the market in 30 days and then you can start the slower negotiation process of offering 95-97% of list price. And if it has already sold, then you were wrong and you can move to the next property.

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