And here you are, you and your Realtor® have found your dream home…ready, set, b – and, there’s another offer. What now? Panic. Bidding War. Just kidding – keep reading.


It happened. You and your Kelowna Realtor® have found your dream home. It has the perfect number of bedrooms, a beautiful kitchen, it’s in your budget, and it just so happens to be located in one of your favourite neighbourhoods. It couldn’t be any more perfect. Except that four other (questionably evil) couples feel the same way, and they’re all about to put in an offer – pause for dramatic effect.

You never know how much you really want something, until you find out someone else wants it too. Especially a home! (kind of like being back in kindergarten and someone takes the toy you want – parents, you get this reference). Yet the prospect of a bidding war leaves you feeling more anxious than excited. What if I don’t bid high enough? What if we don’t get it and we never find another house like it? What if we do get it and we’ve paid too much?

In the current Kelowna real estate market, which is experiencing near-record sales, competition is getting steep among certain types of homes and in certain neighbourhoods. Bidding wars could be on the horizon (dun-dun-dun).

Fortunately for you, with a professional sales agent (ahem, Quincy Vrecko & Associates) on your side and a few tricks up your sleeve – you sneaky thing you – you can increase the chances of being the one who gets the house. 

How to Win The Epic Bidding War

1. Bills will do

Money talks – how do you think Donald Trump got his wife? Not exactly a house, but you get the point – so, if you can’t convince them, confuse them…with money. In English this time, if you can show that you can pay cash and don’t even need a mortgage, a seller probably won’t think twice about accepting your offer because they know it’s a sure thing. Investors who buy and sell properties for a living have access to this kind of capital. For many families, however, that’s not always realistic. If that’s the case for you, follow steps 2-5.

2. Go to the bank or a lender for pre-approval

In the absence that you didn’t rob a bank and don’t have a bag full of bills (which, we strongly recommend against doing), be sure to get pre-approval from your bank or a lender. This tells the seller you’re not only serious, but you’ve got the funds at the ready and the deal is less likely to fall through.

A good rule of thumb is to do this long before you even start looking at houses in the Kelowna real estate market, never mind fall in love with one. That’s because if something isn’t quite right with your credit or you need to reduce your debt, you’ve got a bit of time to get finances in shape, paperwork in order, and meet your bank or lender’s requirements.

3. Get a bigger down payment together

A strong down payment is another promising sign that you’re a desirable buyer: You’ve got money. In Canada, federal rules state home buyers must have a minimum down payment of at least 5 per cent of the home purchase price (if the house price is between $500,000 and $999,999 the minimum down payment required is 15 per cent of the home purchase price).

So, if five per cent or 15 per cent is the minimum required, what if you got 20 per cent together? A down payment of that size will help put you in the running with said ‘evil couples’ offering cash. 

4. Make a really strong offer

If this is the house you love and will forever regret missing if things go sideways, what’s $5,000? If you think there’s a chance your home will be in a bidding war, don’t even think about lowball offers. You might not get a second chance to come back with a higher offer. So go on, play hard ball! 

Consult with your Kelowna Realtor® about the best approach, based on comparable recent home sales in the neighbourhood. Your awesomely professional agent will offer their expertise and the voice of reason when your heart has already moved the family, dog, cat, and hamster in. 

5. Make your name stand out

Are you the family that wrote the letter? …about how you fell in love with the lilac bushes and the tire swing out front, just like you had as wee child. This sounds like something out of a movie, eh? Writing a letter to the seller about why you were so drawn to the home. Write about how you’ll take care of it makes you not just stand out from other buyers. This makes your offer human (yep – you’re not just a money robot) and therefore (fingers crossed) harder to resist. 

Another way to set your offer apart is to say you can be flexible with the seller’s timeline. Do they want to be out in two weeks, or stay for two months? Whatever it is, if this is your dream home, tell them you’ll find a way to make it work. Look at you, you accommodating thing you.


Are you looking for your dream home in a market with not enough inventory and too much interest? Be sure you’re making smart decisions with the expert guidance of a professional Kelowna Realtor® from Quincy Vrecko & Associates. Call our office now. 1-250-863-8810.