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Offering Over Asking Price for Ontario Real Estate

Split levels selling for $367,000 and $306,000 over list price — who knows where Ontario real estate prices will land buyers and sellers.

Should you ever offer over listed sales price? Axess Law sees many buyers who do, especially — 

When It’s a Seller’s Market

Housing demand and supply rarely line up. Competing for limited inventory in a pent up market can be lucrative for sellers.. No wonder you feel pressured.

Relax! A temporary step back could save you from making real estate offers too rich for your mortgage lender. 

Check out how long homes are taking to sell by looking at the number of days the property has been listed for. Less than 10 days and it’s anyone’s guess how much a modest bungalow in the Greater Toronto Area could go for.

You’re in a Bidding War

Popular homes in desirable neighbourhoods often attract multiple offers — real estate in Ontario is a hot commodity. Find out from your realtor if you’re in a bidding war. Then put your best offer forward and hold your breath. Don’t go too far over budget. You could regret it if your offer is way over the appraised value.

A Home’s Under Contract, Over Budget

Sure it’s disappointing to find a property you like is under contract. Persevere. You still might get it if the deal falls through. 

Pending sales can be subject to multiple conditions. All it takes is second thoughts, a negative credit report or a better deal elsewhere for prospective buyers to disappear. The house could be yours by outwaiting your competition.

It’s Too Good to be True 

Look under the wrapping. Sellers who deliberately list for less than market value could be pushing for a bidding war. Ask your realtor for “the comps”, comparative values of similar homes in the same or surrounding neighbourhoods. Comps give you a realistic idea if a home is priced right for its age, condition and location.

Cash is King

Cash offers cut out the middle man, your mortgage lender. Instead of waiting for a bank or credit union to approve financing, the seller can close the deal right away. You’ve offered cash. Obviously, or so the seller thinks, you can afford the house. 

When you’re up against cash buyers, try going over list. It’s a windfall for the seller, so don’t be afraid to make your best offer.

What to Ask Your Realtor About a Home You Want

You could find out how popular a home is just by asking your real estate agent a few pointed questions.

  1. What offers have been rejected?
  2. What are homes selling for in this market?
  3. How long do you have to make an offer?
  4. Can you include a clause in your agreement of purchase and sale to beat the best or any offer?
  5. Can they show you comparable homes at lower prices?  

Your realtor’s duty to you. 

What to Offer in Bidding Wars

Always offer no more than you can afford to pay. 

New homes mean extra expenses, like upgrades, moving costs, utility hook-ups or replacing a water heater or roof. Common area fees for condos or, if you are new to home buying, school or property taxes can be an unexpected financial burden.

Strategize before you make an offer:

  • get a home appraisal — you will have to make up the difference between appraised value and your offer in cash
  • increase your deposit to show you’re serious
  • get a preapproved mortgage so you don’t go over budget
  • and only include necessary contingencies, so you can close quicker than other buyers.

Private Mortgage Rules Ontario  

Private mortgages can make the difference between affording a home you desire and getting financing in time. You borrow against the equity in the home’s value. Mortgage stress tests and stellar credit reports are not required. Your home is security for the loan.

Private mortgages carry higher interest rates and transaction fees. Lenders are less likely to work with you to keep the home if you run into financial problems. And your title insurance could be compromised if you share a lawyer with the lender. 

Have Axess Law review the details before you sign for a private mortgage loan. We cover off all the legalities before we complete your real estate transaction.

Having second thoughts about a second mortgage

Why You Need a Lawyer

Axess Law’s real estate lawyers (Ontario) review the agreement of purchase and sale to add in clauses that protect your interests as buyer or seller.  

Including a home inspection clause prevents you from inheriting problems the seller should rightly correct and gives you the right to walk away if a home requires costly repairs. Axess Law writes your offer to purchase in a way that erases any questions about If a real estate deal falls through who gets the deposit

We have a licensed real estate lawyer in Toronto, Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa when you need one and virtual lawyer services anywhere in Ontario. See 25 questions to ask real estate lawyers.

Flat Fee Legal Services You Can Afford

Axess Law’s affordable real estate lawyers cost far less than traditional legal services. 

Our flat fee legal services start at $999.99 plus HST for real estate buyers or $799.99 and up plus HST for property sellers. We transfer title to your property for $649 plus HST and up or work with your lender to refinance mortgages from $799.99 and up plus HST.

We can meet with you remotely via secure, online video conferencing software or in person at any of our Axess Law locations in Ottawa and Greater Toronto Area. 

Make Online or Phone Bookings

Making an appointment is as easy as using our online booking form or picking up the phone.

Dial toll-free to 1-877-552-9377 or call our 647-479-0118 lawyer line for an Axess Law office near you. We’re open 7 days a week and have day or evening appointments when you need them. Check out our onsite parking and easy transit access.

When you prefer it, our lawyers video conference online from the convenience of your home or office. Axess Law’s virtual video conferencing software is private and confidential. You can trust Axess Law with all your real estate transactions. 

Call us today to make an appointment.


It was a pleasure working with Patricia from Axess Law. It was my first time purchasing a home, and was very nervous about every step in the process. I called and emailed Patricia several times with the silliest questions. She answered them all promptly, and provided the best customer service I could ask for. I would recommend Axess Law and particularly Patricia to everyone.

c Cindy Tran

In the past I had to make appointments and waited for days to see a lawyer. Now conveniently this office is at my neighborhood supermarket. I was able to walk in and get my documents signed in less than 30 minutes The staff are courteous and professional. I would recommend anyone. Prompt service.

Joy Stewart Joy Stewart

I am writing this review on behalf of my daughter who completed her first Real Estate condo transaction with AxessLaw. Besides just helping my daughter as a client, they helped her understand every single step involved in the process and the whole process was completed without any problems. I would recommend them to anyone looking for hassle free real estate transaction without thinking twice.

icon Irene Tucker


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