Tips For Writing A Strong Offer In A Seller's Market

Tips For Writing A Strong Offer In A Seller's Market

The Calgary real estate scene these days is a seller's market. This means there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. This competitive dynamic in the market can lead to properties selling within days and the dreaded “multiple offers” scenario. For home buyers this market condition can be stressful; houses are gone before you even have a chance to view them, properties may sell for way above asking price, and you may lose the home you set your sights upon because yours was not the winning offer. There are a few keys to success for buyers in a seller's market: be prepared, do your homework, partner with an experienced Realtor®, and follow these tips to write a strong, winning offer to buy the home of your dreams.

What Makes A Strong Offer

This can be a bit tricky. Conditions such as a home inspection will protect your investment. An appraisal condition will likely be required by your lender. But the inclusion of conditions such as the sale of your current home may make your offer unattractive to a seller. Keep your condition deadlines as short as possible and only include conditions that are absolutely necessary. If you are buying a home to demo or to renovate extensively, consider waiving the home inspection altogether. 

Don’t Ask For More
In a buyer’s market or a balanced market, inclusions and exclusions can be valuable negotiating points. But when writing an offer in a seller’s market, avoid asking for things such as a custom chandelier or a hot tub that the seller has excluded in a listing. Asking for more than what is offered can weaken your offer and it will be easy to find a chandelier you love at your local lighting store.

Come In Strong
It can be common practice for buyers to come in with an offer below asking price and believe that a back and forth negotiation will result in a fair market value for both buyer and seller. But in a seller’s market the best strategy is to come in with a strong offer at or even above the listed price, especially in a multiple bid scenario. Sometimes an offer of just a couple of thousand dollars over asking is enough to get the seller’s attention and signal your serious interest as a potential buyer. There may still be negotiations, and if you want to have a seat at the table, don’t submit a low ball offer that may eliminate your chance at participation.

Make Good On Your Down Payment
Any opportunity you have to highlight that you are in a good financial position, that you are serious about the deal, and that you can meet your financial obligations can be seen as a sign of good faith by a seller. If you are able to, consider committing to a larger down payment as a statement of your financial stability.

Have Your Dollar Ducks In A Row
You should have a mortgage pre-approval before you even begin looking at homes to purchase, but this is vitally important if you are writing an offer in a seller’s market. Any weaknesses in your offer or delays in processing your financing could result in a failed offer.

Be Flexible With Possession
If you are able to accommodate flexible closing dates, this may make your offer more attractive to a seller. Some sellers are seeking a quick close so they can secure their funds and move on to their next venture. Some will prefer a longer close so that they have time to find a new home or the time to pack and move their family comfortably. If you have flexibility, indicate this in your offer and demonstrate your willingness to work with the seller to accommodate their needs.

Include A Personal Note
This too, can be a contentious point, but some sellers will appreciate getting to know the people interested in buying their home. This can be especially helpful if the seller has lived there for a long time and raised their own family there. Consider mentioning your reasons for choosing their home, how much you love the neighbourhood and community, your desire to give your children the educational opportunities of a really great local school, basically provide a snapshot of why you have fallen in love with this particular property. Sometimes this tug at the heartstrings can make your offer the most attractive.

A Strong Offer Starts With An Experienced Calgary Realtor®

There are many factors that go into writing a strong and competitive offer in a seller’s market. Go in strong, be prepared, and be flexible in your offer terms. But perhaps the best secret weapon to writing a successful offer on the home of your dreams is to partner with a skilled negotiator and an experienced Realtor®. Your Realtor® can help you draft an offer that will catch the seller’s attention and will guide you through the complexities of negotiating in a seller’s market.

The team at Mel Star are savvy and accomplished real estate professionals. With over four decades of helping Calgarians buy and sell properties in buyer’s, seller’s, and balanced real estate markets, we know how to help our clients navigate the complexities of real estate transactions. If you are looking to sell your home or buy your first home or your forever home, we would love to connect with you. Let’s chat about your goals for buying or selling and work together to devise a strategy to achieve those goals. Contact the Mel Star team by calling 1-403-861-9944 or filling out the online contact form.


When buying a home in Calgary, you should start by checking your credit score and determining an approximate budget. Then, come talk to the team at Mel Star. We can set you up with customized property searches, show you homes, and help you negotiate a great deal when you find the home of your dreams. To get a jump on exploring the Calgary real estate market, check out our featured Calgary real estate listings here.

The Canadian government offers first-time home buyers an incentive when they purchase their first home with a loan of 5% or 10% of the home’s purchase price to put towards a down payment. You can learn more about the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive here.

Your Realtor® will be able to help you explore historical and recent sales in the neighbourhood and understand how available inventory can impact pricing. Working with a Calgary Realtor® is the best way to ensure that you are making a fair and reasonable offer in any market.

A Star Team Working For You

A Star Team Working For You

The Mel Star team combines experience, insight, influence, connections, and access to the most cutting-edge marketing technologies to deliver results to buyers and sellers in Calgary’s Real Estates market. Our award-winning team will guide you through the process of buying or selling with smart strategies, skilled negotiations, and a customer-focused approach. Connect with us today to begin your journey to a successful Real Estate close. Call us at 1-403-861-9944.


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