Isn't That Why I Hired You?

Reblogger Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Excellent rebuttal post to my recent blog which included advice to shut up and write up a low-ball offer for a buyer instead of trying to talk him out of it. Brenda (very politely) called me on my stance, and it appears that 100% of the comments so far agree with her and not me (hmpf!). ;-]

Actually, I'm glad she made an issue out of my advice AND that her blog was featured because it gave me the opportunity to clarify my opinion on the matter (both in my own head and here on my blog)!

If you didn't catch this on the Active Rain Gold Star page already - Enjoy!

Original content by Brenda Mullen 574299
Isn't That Why I Hired You?

I commented on a very good blog from Jennifer Allan yesterday called How Do I Talk My Buyer Out of Low-balling?  The blog generated some discussion, but one of the points that Jennifer brought up was...write the offer up, if the buyer wants your opinion, they will ask for it. Now I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer Allan and her Sell with Soul philosophy but... 
I disagree just a tad with this premise.  Not the premise about writing the offer Questioningup, because I will, but the idea that if the buyer wants my opinion, they will ask for it and that I need to wait until they do or they might think I'm not on their side.  I believe that is why the buyer hired me in the first educated and experienced opinion on buying a home in the area that they want and for the price range that they are pre-approved for. 
Buyers today have choices in who they hire as a Realtor® and when I become their Guadalupe County buyer's agent, I become their advocate and advice giver about all aspects of the home buying process and that includes the entire process from beginning to the closing table (and sometimes even after).  I am not, nor do I want to be just a door opener and contract writer, although I do both of those things very well if I do say so myself :).  When (not if) we find home for the buyer, I advise them that I will prepare a comparative market analysis for them to give them an opinion about the value of the home and how we can come together to best get them the home that they want. 
Once I present to them the comparables, and given what they want to spend and if they want any seller contributions, we will then discuss a strategy how to best get them into the home they want.  Now, so that everyone understands where I am coming from, ultimately the decision will come from the buyer.  If they choose to low ball because it's a buyers market and there are deals to be had, I don't have any issue with that.  I will let them know, however,  the possible consequences.  Is it true that the seller may just accept the offer as written...sure.  We never truly know what a seller will accept or not accept until we ask.. and this is a truism...however, a lot of the time a low ball offer will get at the minumum countered.  I feel it my duty to at least let the buyer know "my opinion" on what or how the seller may react to the offer so that there are minimal surprises if and when the offer comes back countered to full price (which happens all of the time) or gets rejected in favor of another offer (which happens all of the time). 

Again, I must note...I will not try to "talk the buyer out of the offer or make them go up".  All I can do is present the information and allow the buyer to make their own decision based on that information.  
If I don't counsel (provide my opinion to) them, and they lose the home because of the low ball offer, then the buyer is sure to wonder why I did not give them any input. 
What happened...? didn't ask for my opinion...if you had I would have provided you these comparables and let you know your options.
Well isn't that why I hired you?
Don't beat me up Jennifer :).

Would you like more information about the Guadalupe County Real Estate Market or do you need to sell your home in Schertz TXCibolo TX or Selma TX?  Call Me, Brenda Mullen Realtor® Smart Moves Realty at 210-807-0819 or send an e-mail at  I would be happy to prepare a Free Comparative Market Analysis for you and show you the marketing that will set your home apart from the rest!  Can't wait to hear from you!



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Brenda Mullen
Realtor®, ACRE®, ABR®, ePro®

Smart Moves Realty - Helping You Find Home
17156 I-35 N

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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Here was my comment on her blog:

Hey Brenda! I'm a little late to the party, but I appreciate the opportunity to respond. First, thanks so much for the mention and, because you spelled my name right, I won't beat up on you ;-]

Nah, just kidding, I actually agree with every word you wrote, so allow me to clarify my original position.

I may have been spouting my advice with a bit of tunnel vision. Almost without exception, when agents ask me this question ("How do I stop my buyer from low-balling?") they're asking it out of frustration, and want me to give them a persuasive ARGUMENT to get the bottom-feeding buyers (BFB) to change their minds about their offer price. However, from my interpretation of these situations as they're described to me, the BFB is going to low-ball regardless of the ARGUMENT the agent comes up with, and so by ARGUING with the BFB, the agent takes the risks I mentioned in the original blog and subsequent comments.

Now, to your point of "Isn't that why I hired you?" - well, that may or may NOT be why a BFB hired you (that is - to give your profesional opinion of his strategy). From what I hear from the trenches, these BFBs are going to make low offers regardless of what the comps tell them and unless your professional counsel is done very carefully, it, again, is likely to be perceived as an attempt to benefit YOU (easier sale, higher price, etc.) instead of helping your buyer achieve his financial goal of getting a fantastic deal on some real estate.

Many who have commented on your blog have offered their strategies for working with BFBs (and by the way, that is NOT an implied criticism of the buyer, just a market reality these days!) - and it's obvious they handle themselves professionally and their counsel is likely taken in the spirit it was intended.

So, I shall stand somewhat corrected ;-] - it might be advisable to give your opinion without being asked for it, as long as your intentions are pure - that is - to give your buyer the information he needs to achieve his goals. However, if you find that your goals conflict with your BFB's and THAT's why you're arguing with him, you're probably much better off smiling sweetly and writing it up OR referring that buyer to someone else.

Aug 09, 2011 10:20 AM #1
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Sitterle Homes - Richmond, TX
Sitterle Homes

Wow I can only imagine the posts..I can see good points on both sides but I do think a realtor needs to point out what the expected results of a low ball offer can be otherwise they are not doing their job but alas in the end it is the client that rules.


Aug 09, 2011 10:25 AM #2
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Hi Jennifer-Thank you so much for the reblog and my response to you was a lot of what you said.  If the point is to argue with your client and shut them down, then IMO, this will give the buyer the opinion that you are not advocating for them, but for your paycheck.  The intent is (should be), to present the facts (as best you know them with reliable comparables), along with their wants and needs...and from there develop  a strategy to best get them there.  If, after you have objectively given them this information and they still choose to low ball, at least you have given them possible implications of their decision.  Then, you are absolutely correct...write it up :)! 

If after the offer comes back with an inevitable outcome...then perhaps they will change their tune and listen.  If not, and they want you to continue to write offers up arbitrarily...then it may be time to change agents :)! 

I did tell you I thought you were awesome, right :)!

Aug 09, 2011 10:46 AM #3
Jeanne M. Gavish
Jeanne Gavish, Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners - Spring Hill, FL
Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners - CIPS,GRI,S

While I appreciate Brenda's perspective on her duties and giving market data, offering her expertise, and all of the good comments backing it up, I think the post was taken out of context.  Your original post began with the words, "So, you have a buyer who is bound and determined to get a killer deal", and I have come across many of these buyers. They have their minds made up, and anything you say (that sounds remotely like fact) will fall on deaf ears.  The only thing that teaches them is their own experience, so I think your original post view is valid, write em up.  They will get it and you will win by sticking it out with them.

Aug 09, 2011 02:04 PM #4
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Thanks for reblogging this Jennifer.  I started to read your blog yesterday and then got distracted by something else.  I actually agree with everything Brenda said AND everything you said in your comment above.   Brenda does pretty much exactly what I do.  But I will never tell a buyer NOT to offer that low amount they want to offer, I just give them the information and they make their own decisions.  I have been surprised in my carreer what a seller would take and had I told the buyer to offer more they would have ended up paying much higher than the seller was willing to take.  So, the ultimate answer is it IS the buyers decision, but we can just help them make an informed decision.

Aug 09, 2011 07:04 PM #5
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