How Your Real Estate Agent Can Lose You a Deal

We offered less money and there was another offer on the table for more which the seller turned down - why?

You view a home with your agent and fall absolutely in love – even though you know the home is going to sell for over the asking price and that you will likely have to compete with other buyers, you decide to go ahead and put in a bid on offer night.

You do everything right – you do all your homework beforehand so you can submit an offer with no conditions (check out how to make sure you’re doing that safely here), match the seller's preferred closing date, bring your certified deposit cheque to the offer presentation, and even offer a little above the high end of market value because you really love the home. But you still lose. You’re crushed...but even more so when you see that the home sold for less than what you bid.

Has this happened to you? If so, you’re not alone.

I was in an offer presentation just last week where I was able to win the deal for my client competing against six other buyers with what many would deem an inferior offer. We offered less money and had a condition on home inspection – and there was another offer on the table for more money and no conditions which the seller turned down (this isn’t the first or last time I have or will see this).


The buying agent with the higher competing offer utilized old school selling and negotiation tactics - putting pressure on - and even appearing to bully - the seller; in response, the seller and their listing agent wanted nothing to do with them.

As a listing agent, I’ve seen buying agents undermine their client’s chances in different ways: by submitting offers with blatant mistakes (the wrong address is in the offer, it isn’t signed properly or there are no standard conditions to protect the buyer),  not working to their client’s best interests - or thinking that the only way to get a deal done is for one person to lose (hint: at the end of a good negotiation, all parties should feel like they’ve won). These are all red flags that may result in a seller walking away from your offer.

As buyers do not accompany their agents at the offer table, there is a chance that some buyers may not be aware of how they are being represented, though most agents give a clear idea of their working style throughout the process.

If there is something about your buying agent’s style that gives you pause, it may do the same for sellers and their agents.

Nicole Harrington is a Sales Representative with Realosophy in Toronto. She specializes in using data and analytics to help her clients make smarter real estate decisions, concentrating on Toronto and the GTA, and hosts her own website:

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