You’re finally ready to make an offer after weeks—or perhaps months—of planning, preparing and searching. This is an important step of the home buying process, and it’s an area where your real estate agent will truly earn his/her stripes. Making an offer you can afford is a bit like a game of poker – see below for some of our top tips.

Keep your emotions in check

You want to keep your emotions in check, balancing against the realities of the market. You don’t want to be so excited that you tip your hand to the seller. On the other hand, you don’t want to be so conservative that you bid too low and lose out.

Get pre-approved

If you’ve taken the important step of getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you know exactly how much you can afford. This way, you’ll be less likely to get caught up in a bidding war that will carry you above your price point.

Educate yourself on market conditions

Of course, the interest and potential competition for a property depends on market conditions. If it’s a buyer’s market, you hold the cards and you’ll be confident in knowing there are other options out there. If, however, it’s a seller’s market, acting fast to make an offer that you can afford and is acceptable to the seller is a combination of instinct, preparation and the experience of your RE/MAX agent.

Your most important tool to avoid a bidding war

One of the most important tools you have when it comes times to make an offer are the comparables your RE/MAX agent generates from the Multiple Listings Service (MLS). These are excellent snapshot reports into the recent sales activity of comparable properties in the same neighbourhood. You can see important information such as original and adjusted asking prices, number of days properties were on the market, listing agent history and actual selling prices.

Once you have this information, weighed against the details of the home you’re making an offer for, you will feel tremendously empowered to make an informed decision, and less likely to enter a bidding war.

Still Have Questions?

If so, that’s okay. You’re not alone. RE/MAX Canada hit the streets in a new video series, to find out just how much (or how little) the average person knows about Canadian real estate, and to offer some answers in the process.

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Connect with a RE/MAX agent for answers to all of your real estate questions.