In a strong seller’s market, multiple offers are rampant throughout most areas. So are web-sites and news articles with tips on how to get your offers accepted in a multiple offer situation. Yet many buyers and agents just can’t seem to get it when it comes to making offers and they sit and wonder why they keep losing out on what they think are great offers.
As the saying goes, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Your offers may be great offers and your buyers may be the right buyer for that home, but the message and offer is lost before the offer is even being read in many cases because it is put together so bad that listing agents and sellers are turned off from the get-go.
If you want to just write offers without getting them accepted, let’s talk about how to achieve your goal and how to get your offer declined almost every time. The following is what I recently went through on one particular listing that I had and the type of offers that I received, and why most of them never got to the seller’s thought process.
Not understanding the market
Everyone wants a great deal, but they are not always possible, especially in a hot seller’s market. In this situation, I had conveyed to all agents that I had eight offers so far and one particular agent came in at almost $100,000 lower then the other lowest offer and the list price of the home.
First of all, the property was priced right to begin with and within range of what other comparable properties had recently sold for. The agent would have known this had they done their due diligence and prepared a market analysis for their client before they wrote the offer. Second, the fact that there are eight offers should be a clue that the home will sell at least at fair market value, if not for quite a bit more then the asking price.
Not paying attention to details
One of the offers that was written and sent to me by another agent had the wrong property address. When I brought this to the attention of the other agent, they apologized and sent me an offer with the right address, and a cover-letter from the buyers to the sellers stating how much they loved the home and that they had fallen in love with the separate family room and enjoyed walking through the home during the open house. Nice letter. Except, the home does not have a separate family room and there was not an open house scheduled at the seller’s request.
This is clearly an agent who does not pay attention to details and could be a sign of things to come in the transaction. When the sellers read the letter and were informed that they initially made the offer with the wrong property address on the contract, they laughed and said “Next!”
Another offer had attached to it a pre-approval letter that was typed in a word document with no loan officer contact information, phone number, email address, etc., nor was it on company letterhead. Totally and completely unprofessional and scary. I then researched and contacted the loan officer and he went on to tell me that he has no web-site and his email address was a long email address with a lot of numbers at a Yahoo.com email address.
Just like the real estate agent who shows up with ripped jeans and inappropriate t-shirt to a presentation, you never get a second chance for a first impression.
Not following instructions
On MLS, I specifically stated that any and all offers were to be sent to me by 4pm on the date of the presentation. I had an appointment with the sellers for 7pm that evening and I needed time to read through and dissect each offer along with verifying the buyer’s ability to buy the home. It really does take time to do this, because contracts can and usually are quite complex with various terms and conditions many times written into the offer. In addition, my client’s residence was about 80 miles from my office and I wanted to make sure I had enough time to be there on time as traffic and other issues can sometimes cause delays.
In order to be more streamlined and organized, I had also specifically stated that any questions should be emailed to me rather then calling me because I was in appointments throughout the day and I would get back to them in between meetings and appointments with detailed answers to their questions.
One particular agent decided to continue to call me along with sending me an offer close to 9pm, which at that time we had already decided on which offer to accept. I had advised my client that there was another offer coming from that agent and when they finally saw it along with having knowledge of the way the agent handled everything, they quickly again said, “Next!”
You have to follow instructions. Everyone has their way of doing things that make them successful and when you are competing to get your offer accepted, you need to respect and follow the listing agent’s wishes, within reason of course.
Not understanding your client’s limits
One offer came in at a price that was much higher then the pre-approval letter, which right off the bat is a red flag. When I contacted the agent to advise them of this, she told me that the buyers were trying to get some extra funds by borrowing from family.
First mistake was overcommitting and overpromising when the agent already knew they would probably not qualify. The second mistake is not understanding your industry and knowing that one cannot borrow money for a down-payment to buy a home if you are attempting to finance it as the borrowed money needs to be paid back. You can buy and finance a property using gift funds, but not borrowed funds.
In this market, everyone is looking for an edge to get his or her offers accepted. Examples like the ones above take away any edge and send the listing agent and sellers running while yelling out, “Next!”