The story of the house at 25 Skey Lane offers a good example of how a house can suddenly draw competing bidders – even a few weeks after the "for sale" sign first appeared.
I wrote about the laneway house near Dundas and Dovercourt in early October.
Real estate agent Jose Nieves of Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc. talked about the rising appeal of houses tucked into the back lanes of downtown neighbourhoods and the amazing transformation of Dundas Street West.
Owner Lisa Ellenwood talked about the artistic neighbours and the serenity of lanes that don't see any through traffic.
The house had an asking price of $874,000 but, despite the vibrant decor and hip location, didn't attract any bids on the night reserved for reviewing offers. It seems that the warm weather and strong sales happening around that time had prompted quite a few homeowners to list their properties for sale. With more listings around, buyers didn't feel the same pressure to enter the fray and lots of agents began reporting that competition had eased.
Lots of houses and condo units were still attracting multiple offers, but agents were surprised by some of the desirable properties that didn't.
On Skey Lane, Ms. Ellenwood and her husband renewed the listing and lifted the asking price to $925,000.
They turned down an offer for $860,000, then another for $875,000. The third was for $880,000.
At one point, the couple thought they were getting close to a deal, but when they signed back a counteroffer the prospective buyer let it expire.
Then, Mr. Nieves heard from another couple who wanted the house and tabled an offer, which in turn revived the interest of the first guy. He increased his offer to $910,000 and the couple accepted.
Ms. Ellenwood says the couple is very happy now with how it all turned out. They even have friends in common with the new owner.
She says the process was stressful at times – especially when the dog returned from exile with relatives. They had to keep the house ready for viewing at a moment's notice. They also worried that their hopes were unrealistic.
That's a feeling that anyone who has had a house sit for a while can likely understand.
Mr. Nieves was good at calming their anxiety, she says, and he turned out to be right.
She's also glad they hadn't bought another property.
"In hindsight I think it worked very well for us to sell our house first before buying because we didn't feel pressured to just accept the first offers that came in," says Ms. Ellenwood. "A bit of luck, some patience and belief in the value of our property got us a good price in the end."