WARNING - this blog post is not for the faint of heart!

Hello and thanks in advance for reading my blog. I write my own blogs and today I want to give an overview about the bully offer. You know what a bully is, and how not to be one! What you may not know is that, in today's real estate market, being a bully may be your best bet to have your offer accepted. WHAT? Yes that's what I said, you may find yourself suddenly ready to be the bully! Let's dive in deep.

Here on Vancouver Island, buyers are finding that, too often, they are being shoved aside during the buying process. The biggest reason for this is the simple fact that inventory is at an all time low, and the desire to live here is at an all time high. The pandemic sure showed us that living on an island has advantages. Of course those of us who are home grown Vancouver Islanders, or have lived here for a while, know this is paradise. And now, it seems that everyone else is learning that too. Go figure!

It's a crazy time to be working in real estate I can tell you that. It's common for a listing to go live on Tuesday, have some showings on Wednesday and sell on Thursday. Heck, last week a home on my street sold after 1 day on the MLS. If you are not ready to buy, you might as well view photos of properties from the comfort of your home and/or do virtual showings. It is very likely that listings you see on the market today will be sold in a very short period of time. Now that is not to say that you shouldn't spend time viewing homes, watching the market and learning about what's happening out there! All I am saying is that it makes sense to have all of your ducks in a row prior to viewing homes in person.

Let's define the term bully offer: typically a bully offer is well above list price, made prior to the offer date that has been stated publicly, and an offer with no conditions. Put simply, it's too good to turn down! Bully offers are commonly seen during a "Seller's Market" where the demand far outstrips the supply. The current popular strategy is for home Sellers to intentionally list the home at a lower value than what they think they can get, in order to attract multiple offers on a specific date and time of their choosing. The theory is that this allows time for prospective Buyers to view the home, get the due diligence done, and make an offer. Doesn't that sound nice? Sure Jacqueline, that sounds great. Here's what has been happening:

Home is listed on Monday, priced at $799,000 (everyone knows the home is going to sell for way over that btw) and Seller states that they will be looking at offers on Friday afternoon at 3pm (maybe). Bully offer arrives on Wednesday evening for $850,000, with a $100,000 deposit and no conditions. Listing Agent puts out a message to all Agents who showed an interest in the home saying they have received an offer. More offers arrive and are presented to the Seller. Price of home climbs and a few hours later, property sells for $950,000 with an unconditional offer Wednesday night.  Agents and Buyer's that did not get it pull all their hair out (ok maybe not all of it). Now I say to you what my kids used to say to me: no I am not joking you!


A smart Buyer's Agent will keep the offer open for a short period of time in order to lessen the window of opportunity for other competing offers to fly in. The longer your offer is on the table, the more likely it is that others will arrive! And while that is great for the Seller, it means a Buyer will have a more challenging time getting their offer accepted. It's important to note here that it is up to the the Seller / Homeowner to decide what offer he/she/they will accept. Agents are simply doing their job in a very competitive market. While I truly started out thinking that I would steer clear of this folly, here I am having played the game and won, already having eating my words, telling you all about it!

Here's what I say to my Buyer clients:

What is your Logical Comfortable Budget (LCB)? If you are my client, you must have a clear and certain answer for that question, because I will be reminding you of your LCB when the going get's crazy.

What is the market value of the property under consideration? If you are my client, you know what that is and it is based on facts and a proper CMA. Therefore you have your two eyes and two ears wide open.

Does the property need an inspection? I advise that every property with few exceptions should be inspected. It's up to my client ultimately, but unless you are a home inspector, you don't know what you don't know. Let's be reasonable...Is the property an older home that could contain hazardous materials? Do you intend to renovate? Is it a condo building that is older, has a 4000 page depreciation report and 2 years of minutes that show disgruntled owners and nothing getting solved? Is the property needing a whole bunch of TLC? Then yes, you would be very wise to get an inspection done prior to submitting an offer. This is a major decision and a huge investment, get an inspection is my advice.

Are you pre-approved? Nothing more to say about this question except that in this market you must be pre-approved.

What does your heart tell you? That's great if you are looking for love, but you are shopping for your next home so let's  listen to our brains now.

So you've decided that you can live with no inspection (or you have managed to get an inspection done quickly, which is often possible and I can help you with that); or the property has had a pre-sale inspection (insert loud applause here); you have your financing all in order; you are positive that you can get insurance; you are ready to play hard bully ball. Grab your balls, get the gloves and put on your funny tights ok?

There are still ways to use negotiation and strategic information gathering in conjunction with a bully offer to increase the likelihood that your offer is accepted. Without giving it all away (come on, I get to keep some secrets), it will also depend on the Seller's frame of mind, specific wants and needs. Remember, bully offers have a higher likelihood of falling apart! They are certainly not my favourite cup of tea for my Seller clients.

My parting words on this subject? Bully offers are here to stay until there is a significant change in the market. Never lose sight of your LCB, and do your due diligence. At the end of the game, you want to feel good about winning.

Read full post

I have listed a new property at 6251 Selkirk Terr in Duncan.
A lovingly created and cared for builder's home situated in a desirable development, the Properties near Maple Bay. Gorgeous hardwood, tile and slate floors, 9 foot ceilings, expansive decks invite the natural beauty of the area in and offer stunning views of the valley and mountains beyond. Entertain in the gourmet kitchen with maple cabinets, granite counters and attached family room w/fireplace. Formal living room w/vaulted ceilings, fireplace and adjacent formal dining area. 3 large upper floor bedrooms, including a master with ensuite, jetted soaker tub, separate shower, plus another full bath on this level. Enter the home into a large foyer, spacious den/multi-purpose room, and 2 piece bathroom on the main. Self-contained 2 bedroom in-law suite w/fireplace and contemporary kitchen/family room. A greenbelt in back gives a feeling more green space w/8' x 12' greenhouse w/power and water for year round gardening. This is a perfect home for two families to share.
Read full post

Budgeting is something that I personally have struggled with and have as a priority this year. Are you like me? Do you struggle with keeping track of your spending?! If so let’s learn and work through the roadblocks together. I would love to hear from you if you find this post to be helpful and/or inspiring. I really want you to know that - so many others struggle too!

The next two paragraphs are taken from a Canadian Financial Capability Survey from 2021:

Budgeting is crucial for many Canadians in managing their day-to-day finances, keeping on track with bill payments, and paying down debt.

For many Canadians, creating and maintaining a budget is one of the most important first steps in managing their money. About half (49%) of Canadians report having a budget, up from 46% in 2014 (FCAC, 2015). The most common method of budgeting is using a digital tool, such as a spreadsheet, mobile app or other financial software (20%). This is followed by using a traditional approach, such as writing the budget out by hand or using jars or envelopes (14%). Evidence from the 2019 CFCS indicates that another 1 in 6 Canadians (17%) could benefit from having a budget. These individuals cite a wide range of reasons for not budgeting, such as not having enough time or finding it boring (9%) or feeling overwhelmed about managing money (6%). Others say they are not responsible for financial matters in their household or prefer not to know about their finances (4%), or that they do not know or prefer not to say (5%). These time-crunched and overwhelmed non-budgeters experience considerable challenges in managing their money.

Compared with non-budgeters who are time-crunched or feel overwhelmed, Canadians who budget are less likely to be falling behind on their financial commitments (8% vs. 16%). Budgeters demonstrate more effective management of their monthly cash flow: they are less likely to spend more than their monthly income (18% vs. 29%) or to need to borrow for day-to-day expenses because they are short of money (31% vs. 42%). Interestingly, Canadians who use digital tools for budgeting are among the most likely to keep on top of their bill payments and monthly cashflow. In addition, compared with Canadians who feel too time-crunched or overwhelmed to budget, those who budget are 10 percentage points more likely to be taking actions to pay their mortgages (35% vs. 24%) and other debts (57% vs. 47%) down more quickly.”

Where do you fit into all of those percentages? If you want to read the full report click here:


Let’s break it down and make it friendlier to discuss ok?! Let’s make a plan!

5 Steps for Creating a Budget

So you want (or maybe just need!) to get a handle on where your hard earned dollars are going? There is really no easy way to put this…you need to create a budget! This will help you to feel in control of your spending, where you can trim it and how you can save for what or whoever you want to save for! Whether it’s a person, place or thing that you need to save for, you will need to decide what your priorities are, and a budget will give you a roadmap. 

You will need a basic template to start with. There are many to choose from, and some good free online resources. Choose one that fits your needs. There are some great spreadsheets and budgeting apps available, like these two for example:



Take a little time to explore some apps, because they will definitely make budgeting easier! Yes you can do it with a pen and paper, but you will find that the app, once you get familiar with it, will save you time (and money!)

Step 1: Organize your paperwork.

Get everything together in one place! This can feel like the hardest step and may lead to feelings of overwhelm and upset. Take care with this step! Ask for support from a family member or good friend. Remember that this is a process, and once done you will feel so much more in control of things, and therefore less stressed. Here’s a starting list of what you need to gather: 

Bank statements

Investment statements

Current utility bills

Pay Stubs and other sources of income statements

Credit card statements

Rent or Mortgage statements

Any loans ie. student / auto / consolidated debt payments

All your receipts from the last three months.

What you need is all of the information about your expenses and your income. That way you can see the average and work with that number. The more information you gather, the better. So take your time with this process - one step at a time and remember to BREATHE!

2. Calculate your Income

This step should be relatively easy compared to the previous one right? If you have a regular paycheck where it’s a recurring amount each month then it’s simple. Include all sources of income, no matter the amount. If you are self-employed, add up what you have earned during the past 6 months and divide this number by 6 for the average, and use this average for your income. Yes any investment income is included as is any pension or child / spousal support. 

3. List all your Monthly Expenses

Make a list of all your monthly expenses. Just like step 1 - take it slow and remember to BREATHE. This step is extremely valuable and can trigger all sorts of feelings. It’s going to feel better once your done. You will need your bank statements, your CC statements and your receipts for this step. Here are some examples of what you will have a list of:

  • Rent or Mortgage

  • Car Payment

  • Car / Home / Tenant / Life Insurance

  • Groceries

  • Personal Care

  • Utilities

  • Childcare

  • Transportation

  • Travel

  • Loan Payments

  • Savings

  • Entertainment

  • ETC...

Now put the fixed expenses onto a separate list because you can’t change those in the short term. Perhaps you can make a longer term plan to change those, but for the immediate future let’s focus on the variable expenses (the ones that change month to month). Begin the process of putting some hard limits on the spending for these categories. If you have a goal in mind that is really important to you, then be ruthless with this part of the process.

5. Put The Big Picture Together

Here you are - ready to look at the big picture. It may be messy so get a cup of tea (or a glass of wine maybe!) and settle yourself somewhere you can be comfortable. Then get real. If your income is totalling more than your expenses, that’s a great place to start from. This extra money is yours to save, spend, put into a tax free savings account…that’s up to you to decide.

On the other hand, if your expenses are more than your income, you are going to feel motivated (hopefully) to change that scene now. When we write it down, it gets real. Look for areas where you can reduce spending, and again be ruthless. For example, cook for yourself rather than eating out, plan your outings, make grocery lists and stick to them, consider shopping consignment (did you here it’s trendy now?). Get creative and try to have some fun with this. 

Track it ALL

Now here’s where those handy Apps come in. Tracking tracking tracking…equals time. And most of us really don’t have a lot of extra time. So the Apps are going to be enormously helpful with this process, because ideally you are going to monitor your spending daily. 

Your goal is to keep your monthly expenses as low as possible. With a good App, this should take 5 minutes a day. Be patient and loving with yourself around all of this and celebrate the small stuff. If you have a good App please share it with others! I would love to hear about your tips and tricks for budgeting.

Thanks so much for your interest and for being a supportive force in my life!

From my home to yours,


Read full post
MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.