Realtor Tammi Dimock says it’s become typical for a client to put in five to 10 offers before one is accepted, which is stressful for clients and their realtors. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Realtor Tammi Dimock says it’s become typical for a client to put in five to 10 offers before one is accepted, which is stressful for clients and their realtors. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Houses selling for $30K – $100K over asking the new normal, Sooke realtors say

‘There used to be an opportunity to negotiate. There’s no negotiation now.’

Houses have been selling for several tens of thousands of dollars more over listing price this year, and as much as realtors say the market is softening, it won’t be “soft” any time soon.

It’s become the norm to have up to a dozen offers on every home, often without conditions and almost always over the asking price.

And this is in Sooke, never mind Victoria or the fast-growing West Shore.

“There used to be an opportunity to negotiate. There’s no negotiation now,” said Tammi Dimock, who’s been a realtor for more than 30 years.

Seeing houses sell for $30,000 to $100,000 over the list price is standard now, she said.

Pressure from buyers scrambling over limited inventory is leading to more aggressive bids. Not only are bids coming in higher and often without conditions, but some people are making what’s called a referential bid. It’s kind of like retail store price matching, except it’s the buyer promising to pay $5,000 or more than the highest bid.

There are also bully offers that come in ahead of the deadline at an inflated price with no conditions. Try looking at that money in the face and turning it down.

READ MORE: Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Listing realtors, who are duty-bound to get the highest price for their client, often drum up interest before properties are listed. That’s called a delayed sale, and it’s working well for Sooke realtor Oliver Katz.

He’ll post the house with elegant imagery, drone videos and 3D tours to Facebook a few days before listing it. When the official listing opens, the bids coming in are often from people who have already interacted with the social media post.

Katz listed three houses on May 14, and all of them were sold three days later, one with conditions, but all were over the asking price. One sold to a bully offer for $60,000 more than was asked.

“It’s insane. I’ve never seen this before,” said Katz, referring not only to the prices but the speed at which houses are snapped up.

The urgency is stressful for homebuyers, putting in between five and 10 offers on different houses before one’s accepted. It can lead to people borrowing more than they intended or putting in unconditional offers — that is, with no chance to get a home inspection or make sure the mortgage goes through.

And realtors are working harder than ever before but often aren’t making much more. Writing five to 10 offers per buying client, and only one of those generates income. And with bully offers, they’re always on call.

Recently, Dimock had a rare morning off and was reading a book when she got an urgent call: “A bully offer’s coming in. If your clients want in, I need your offer by 11 a.m.”

She leapt out of bed to write the offer that wasn’t supposed to be due for three days and raced out to get signatures. The same thing happened twice that day, and neither bid was accepted.

This graph shows Victoria home sale prices rising over 10 years. The numbers aren’t corrected for inflation, but the increase in unmistakable. The datum is combined prices of condos, townhouses and detached houses. (Canadian Real Estate Association graph)


READ MORE: Tofino waterfront condo sells for $1 million over the asking price

Part of the challenge is low inventory, as realtors quaintly refer to the largest purchase in most people’s lives. Even though it’s a seller’s market, sellers are usually buyers too.

“Sellers are afraid. They’re saying, ‘Yeah, I can sell, but can I find a home?’ ” Katz said.

The confluence of low inventory and cheap money – low-interest dead rates and a vast wealth transfer from boomers to their children – have driven the market, and on top of it, the pandemic has increased the demand for larger homes.

“Homes have become not just homes but school, office and recreation space. People wanted more from their home,” said Brendon Ogmundsom, B.C. Real Estate Association’s chief economist.

He predicts the market will soften to the point that “we won’t see record month after record month,” but make no mistake, the real estate market will stay strong.


Do you have a story tip? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Real estateSookeWest Shore

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read