Pre-emptive Offers – Love them or Hate them?

Pre-emptive Offers – Love them or Hate them?

Buyer frustration has brought on the BULLY or pre-emptive offer - someone who is willing to pay enough to make the seller not wait for the future offer date.

A few weeks back I received some marketing material from another agent. It spoke of the price of a property coming to the market, then it offered three dates: the date the property was scheduled for MLS, the date the property would be available for multiple offers and the date the property would be available for pre-emptive offers. The property is still on the market: is this because other agents and their clients are feeling manipulated?

Over the past years a custom has developed of holding off offers for a few days after the showings begin. The reason is that the seller can feel confident that no money has been left on the table and because real estate is not an exact science but can be a moving target in an active market.

Buyer frustration has brought on the BULLY or a pre-emptive offer – someone who is willing to pay enough to make the seller not wait for the future offer date. This usually is a price that will make the overly stressed seller happy enough to forgo three or four more days of tension in keeping their house showing ready.

I have been on both sides: I have seen sellers not entertain bully offers and not have any offers on the day set for offers AND I have had pre-emptive offers rejected or not entertained by the seller to have the same buyer come forward on offer day with even more money. There are no hard and fast rules, except at the end of the day all options should be explained and explored by the seller and their agent, always remembering that the listing agent’s fiduciary duty is to the seller.

Our team has had a few pre-emptive offers recently. The Real Estate Council of Ontario asks that all interested parties be informed and that the listing information be changed to represent the change in looking at the pre-emptive offers. Try as we might with both pre-emptive and multiple offers, the parties that did not “win” the property are upset and frustrated.

Recently RECO has added a new form that makes the listing agent track all offers submitted on a property and has reiterated that all offers considered by the seller must be in writing. Verbal offers should not be considered as tender.

In a market where there is a shortage of product, I wish there were more other solutions to alleviate and elevate the process. However, as REALTORS® we are always guided by the rule that our client under agency has the final decision. We can only inform them of options to consider and and the end of the day, take direction from them.


10 Replies to “Pre-emptive Offers – Love them or Hate them?”

  1. In today’s real estate marketplace some Realtors will want to differentiate themselves by offering innovative marketing strategies….in most instances it seems to work! When it comes to the real world (outside of the cocoon we operate in) the rule has to be “Vendor rules”. The caveat being as you suggest that they be informed, are in control and not being manipulated. I believe a property is available the very moment the contract is signed and in the current marketplace there are quite a few determined buyers… It’s a guerrilla warfare!

  2. No, it’s because the agent is unethical. Take the listing and put it up on the MLS immediately. Stop trying to pocket the listing. It’s shady and it doesn’t help the seller at all.

  3. The process isn’t the problem, multiple buyers for each of these properties, only one party succeeds. Thats the problem.

    I remember listing going live 9 AM and being sold by 9:30 AM. While still difficult for buyers the alternative’s worse.

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