October 19, 2023 | Buying

Can You Make a Home Offer Appealing Without Paying More Money?

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Buying a house in Toronto often requires deep pockets, especially if you find yourself in a competitive situation. Sometimes, the winning bid comes down to a couple of thousand dollars or even less. In real estate, the general principle is that whoever offers the most money wins most of the time.

However, every scenario is different, and so is every seller. Some want to sell quickly without hassles or headaches. Others want to sell as-is without making any upgrades. Still others may want their beloved home to go to someone like you, who will love and care for it as much as they do. No matter what the circumstance, it pays to know how to stand out in a fast-moving market like the GTA. 

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Understand Your Strengths

A deep knowledge of the current market and the seller can go a long way toward getting your offer accepted. For example, if the market is slow and you’re not in competition, you might go in slightly under the asking price while still protecting yourself with conditions.

If competition is high, you will likely need to consider dropping conditions while negotiating the price. Whether your purchase is successful or not depends on how many other buyers are placing offers. However, all things being equal, the seller may be willing to accept a little less when they don’t have to jump through hoops to get a home inspection or wait until the buyer financing solidifies. 

Another factor that can give you an added edge is to understand the homeowner’s motivation for selling. For example:

  • If they are an investor, money is likely their highest priority, followed closely by the ease of the transaction.
  • If they are a distressed seller, they may need to sell quickly because of a divorce, job loss, or illness. A firm offer with no conditions will be very appealing.
  • If they are downsizing from a beloved family home, they may be more motivated by emotion than money. A heartfelt letter about how much you can’t wait to start making memories in the home can be just the thing to set your offer apart.

Looking for more tips to buy during challenging conditions? The posts below are a great place to start:

Look in Niche Neighbourhoods

House hunting during a fierce seller’s market where many listings go into bidding wars can be discouraging to many would-be buyers. In that case, it may be to your advantage to look to niche neighbourhoods and up-and-coming areas. 

No matter how busy the market gets, there will always be some areas that sell faster than others. Sometimes, this can mean placing an offer on a home that needs a few cosmetic upgrades. Other times, you can get a beautiful home in a great neighbourhood that simply hasn’t caught on yet.

Customize Your Offer

Real estate paperwork can be complex and tedious, even for the listing agent who must decipher the same terms stated differently in different places. Clauses, clauses, and then more clauses! It’s enough to make anyone shut down their laptop, turn off their phone, and disconnect the Wi-Fi. However, many are generic and don’t even need to be in most offers. 

Just trimming the fat and customizing your offer directly to the seller can help you stand out from many competing buyers–all without offering more money.

If you can be flexible about your terms or the closing date, that can help you clinch the deal even further. Of course, you must be careful about what clauses you include and what you eliminate. And depending on the market, placing conditions can protect you from a bad purchase. A local GTA Realtor® can help you craft an offer that the homeowner cannot ignore and protect your interests.

Be Prepared Ahead of Time

Did you know that there are ways to safely drop conditions from your offer, thereby allowing you to negotiate with a seller without giving up any protections? Let’s take a look at the most common conditions and how you can work around them in a competitive market.

  • Condition of home inspection. No one wants to end up with a home that turns into a money pit because of unforeseen problems. But you can request an inspection ahead of time so that you can leave this condition out of your offer. When buying a condo, a status certificate can tell you what you need to know about the condition of the building. In addition, many sellers will have already conducted a pre-listing inspection to save you the trouble. 
  • Condition of financing. Committing to a purchase only to discover that you don’t qualify for financing can be a buyer’s worst nightmare. However, there is a simple solution. You can get pre-approved for a mortgage ahead of time, allowing you to drop this condition while being confident about your financing. 
  • Condition of sale. This used to be one of the most common conditions in real estate. However, very few sellers want to wait for your home to sell to find out if their transaction can proceed. You can solve this problem by selling your house before placing offers. Having the funds from your sale ready and available is a compelling competitive advantage. 

Be Flexible About Your Needs

If you’re going to place an offer with conditions, it pays to be selective about them. It’s one thing to protect yourself with a home inspection if the market allows it. But in challenging scenarios, you might want to think twice about requesting that the sellers leave their expensive new BBQ or beautiful patio furniture behind. Placing an offer with as few restrictions as possible will always be more appealing to a seller. 

Before beginning your home search, it pays to carefully consider your list of wants and needs. Of course, you want to find a home that will suit your needs for years to come. However, you may realize that many of your needs are actually wishes after doing some soul-searching. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to negotiate an offer that both you and the seller are thrilled with. 

Negotiate Respectfully

Often, getting an offer accepted is as much about communication and presentation as the offer elements themselves. This is why having an experienced buyer agent to negotiate with the listing agent is essential. Your agent’s approach can be the difference between the seller agreeing to your terms or rejecting your offer outright. The following do’s and don’ts will give you the best chance of a successful transaction:


  • Communicate clearly and often.
  • Follow the listing agent’s instructions about how and when to present the offer.
  • Be sure to fill out all information clearly and accurately.
  • Negotiate for the best terms while being courteous and respectful to the seller and the listing agent.


  • Ask questions where the answers are easily found on the MLS® or in the offer instructions.
  • Alienate the sellers by criticizing their property or playing hardball. 

Negotiation is a delicate process when buying a house. It’s natural that the seller wants the highest possible price while you want the lowest. A little give and take is often necessary, but there is no reason for either party to feel taken advantage of. Buying a house should be a joyful experience, and the best deal is the one where everyone walks away happy.

Do you have questions about financing your home purchase? Find the answers in the posts below:

Why Work With a GTA Realtor®?

As you may have guessed by now, crafting offers is more complex than many people realize. Every scenario is different, and the market changes constantly. Your best bet is to partner with a local agent who will negotiate on your behalf. A well-connected GTA Realtor® can often get you first dibs on the listings of your choice and help you put together an offer that makes sellers take notice. 

Are you ready to begin your search for a house in the GTA? Our experts are here to help. Reach out to 647-875-8000 or email info@teamrajpal.com with any questions or to get started.

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