Bidding Wars (aka 'Showdown at the OK Corral')

There is nothing in this business as emotional, exhausting and exhilarating as a bidding war, even more so when it involves four sellers, five buyers and three agents all present for the proceedings, on a Sunday evening, and for an address in the city's trendiest neighbourhood. Arriving at the Royal LePage office at sundown, my clients sized up the competition, reminded me that this was essentially a showdown at the OK Corral… and wished me luck.

If the first rule of a gunfight is to bring a gun, then you wonder why one set of buyers elected to come without an agent, having attended an open house earlier that day and deciding to put in an offer on their own, and as customers not clients (thereby forfeiting "representation").

Like many buyers who fly solo, I suspect that they:

a) figured they could do better by dealing directly with the listing agent,
b) didn't quite understand the difference between client representation and customer service, and
c) didn't think these things mattered.

The reality, as they found out first hand, is that unrepresented buyers are essentially left out to dry, with the listing agent (usually all warm and fuzzy during the open house) unable to offer any assistance or advice when it comes down to price and a negotiating strategy—the two things that make or break a bidding war.

The end result in this particular instance wasn't pretty; emotions ran so high that those who forgot to bring their gun ended up leaving by the back doorliterallyrather than walk past the elated couple who would now be living in what I'm sure they thought was 'their' home.

Food for thought for those shopping around on their own... (and yes, it was my clients who rode off into the sunset...)