Frequently Asked Questions


What is a bidding war? As a seller, how do I get one on my house or avoid them as a buyer?  

We really dislike the phrase “bidding war” or at least Sandra and I do!  :) Competing offers sounds so much more civilized and transaction-based! Competing offers means that there is more than one offer submitted to a homeowner on their home and often the best offer (meaning both price and lack of conditions) wins the home! And no, we don’t get to know what the other offers look like; only the number of them.

Every seller wants their home to have competing offers. There are strategies we employ at the Lisa Harlock Group to get you the best possible price for your home. Depending on your home, the location, the price and the market conditions, we will discuss pricing your home to ensure that you get TOP DOLLAR!  You are in the driver’s seat.

Buyer’s, on the other hand, DON’T want to participate in competing offers.  Unfortunately, we are still in a seller's market and buyer’s don’t always have a choice depending on their price point. Don’t let competing offers scare you away! We are here to help you position your offer so that you have the best possible chance of getting your dream home...even if you are competing.

How do I know what’s happening in the market?

Wow!  That’s a great question and depends largely on the week. There continues to be a lack of inventory on the market meaning we are in a seller’s market. However, some of this depends on the price point.  Entry level homes (between $250 - $400 - can you believe this is entry level??), are seeing multiple offers as people try to get into the market and others are trying to downsize. The stress test introduced a couple of years ago by the Government, made it more difficult for people to qualify for mortgages. Higher priced homes tend to sit a bit longer on the market as fewer people can afford them. Having said that, unique homes, beautifully decorated, move-in ready homes and homes in a great location all tend to be in high demand and usually get a premium.

I want to buy a new home but have a property to sell. What do I do first?

This is a great question and depends on your financial situation and what it is that you are looking for in a home!  Questions to ask yourself…..

  • Are you looking for a very specific property?

  • Would you consider yourself to be very particular in terms of expectations?

  • Can you afford to carry two homes?

  • Will your home sell quickly?

Buying and selling can be stressful. If you own a well cared for, smaller home and find the perfect larger home that is beautifully done, complete with that walk out basement and in-law suite that you’ve been searching for, I would advise you to put an offer in and let’s get your home on the market asap! If you are fairly open and like lots of the houses you see and aren’t particular about a certain neighbourhood, then it may be better to list your current home (with a long closing) and find a house once it’s sold.  

Unfortunately, in this seller’s market, it is very difficult to get a “Sale of Buyer’s Property” condition accepted.  Whatever your situation, don’t worry, we will help you decide the best course of action.

What is a “Deposit” and how does it work?

When you make an offer on a home and it gets accepted, you are required to submit a “Deposit” within 24 hours of the acceptance. This deposit is held in trust and counts towards your down payment. The deposit can range anywhere from $5,000 - $25,000.  More often now, deposits must be made by certified cheque or bank draft. This can be a huge problem if you bank at a “virtual” bank as they often require a minimum of 24 hours to produce a bank draft! Be careful. If you don’t produce a deposit within 24 hours, you are in breach of contract.

If you have an offer that is conditional on financing or inspection, and for whatever reason, you cannot satisfy those conditions, you will get your deposit back. Beware though! It may take up to 10 business days!

Is it important to stage your home?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Let’s talk about what staging is though. Staging is defined as the activity or practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers. In real terms, it may be as simple as decluttering and rearranging furniture or as thorough as bringing in furniture and accessories to really showcase the space. Research indicates that 95% of all people start their home search online.  That means that our #1 job is to make sure your property looks fantastic in pictures so that potential buyers want to come and see it in person and give you TOP DOLLAR! We will help you with the staging as part of our concierge service!