"I'd Rather You Just Said Thank You"....

Managing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker 17050

It's a line from one of my husband's and my favorite movies "A Few Good Men" starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. So many lines from this movie have stuck with me, and although this one was delivered by "the bad guy", it came to mind a few weeks ago after writing an offer for a client.

Here are the details:

  • The offer was low.
  • The property has been on the market, on and off, for more than a year.
  • The buyer is pre-approved and expecting a counter-offer

Here was the Listing Agent's response:

"Sigh, Sigh, Sigh, wow, it's really low"

(Wasn't that low, definitely within offer range for a property on the market this long)

"What are your buyers basing their price on?"

 (Um, I don't know. Maybe the fact the property has been on the market for a long time and prices are continuing to soften and they want to make sure they aren't leaving money on the table?)

I soooo wanted to ask this agent how many properties he/she had sold or offers he/she had written in the last 6 months because it definitely felt as if he/she had NO IDEA what was going on with respect to offers and negotiating these days.

But I took the high road. (I'm getting good at that)

So the counter came back and it wasn't good and my buyer passed.

I can't help but compare this experience to another I had a few months ago when I wrote an offer on a house which had only been on the market for about 15 days. It was a LOW offer (lower in terms of percent to list price than the offer mentioned above). The buyers were coming in from out of state and had been listening to the news about "a strong buyer's market".

When this agent received my offer, the response was, "Colleen, thank you so much for an offer to work with. I look forward to having a response to you soon."

Far different from "Sigh, Sigh, Ugh, Sigh"

The sellers came down with a reasonable counter. My buyer paid more than they thought they would have to, and the sale closed roughly 40 days later.

So to the listing agent of the property STILL on the market......rather than sigh and act as if I've caused you a big headache by writing an offer on your listing...."I'd rather you just said thank you and did your job of presenting it to the seller without emotion or predjudice because you haven't a clue what's going on in the market right now"

That's actually not the real line from the movie.

The real line is" I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way"

Close enough


  Colleen Fischesser is the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Select in Maple Valley, WA. She has been successfully selling and marketing properties all over South King & North Pierce counties since 1990 but specializes in the Maple Valley Washington area. She may be contacted directly at: 425-432-5400



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Colleen Fischesser REMAX

 Serving the beautiful Pacific Northwest Since 1990!


Colleen M. Fischesser, Managing Broker

RE/MAX Advantage, L.C.

Serving Seattle and the Chelan Valley

206-491-3819  (Cell/Text Seattle)

509-699-1611 (Cell/Text Chelan)






This is a personal blog based on my opinion and experience in the real estate industry. All content is provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal, financial or tax advice. Laws, industry practice standards and procedures vary by state. Readers are advised to contact appropriate third parties for professional advice when needed. Any questions please let me know!



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Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Me thinks you could have used the line "You can't handle the truth!"  somewhere in that first discussion :0)

Jun 07, 2009 02:02 PM #1
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

I just view all of it as activity, nonetheless, and deliver the news with the hope of builing a bridge to a more reasonable price. Sometimes they walk, but sometimes they really do step up. thanks for the post.

Jun 07, 2009 02:05 PM #2
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

The best agent is one who doesn't sigh, groan, nag etc...just present the darn thing....which we're supposed to do.

Jun 07, 2009 02:37 PM #3
Sheila Moran
RE/MAX Access (Garden Ridge, San Antonio, New Braunfels) - New Braunfels, TX
SanAntonioSheila.com, RE/MAX Access, 210-32

You know....rarely do we hear those nice words, "thank you!" right?

Jun 07, 2009 03:00 PM #4
Stephen Hodge
Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage - Cobourg, ON

It of course works both ways. I recently had a very low offer on a property as a listing Realtor and had the buyers Realtor in my face trying to intimidate me and basically being very insulting because my sellers didn't have any interest in coming down that low. The fact that she herself had the listing previously and had been the person who initially set the price... well, apparently that was beside the point!

Jun 07, 2009 03:18 PM #5
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Colleen, they probably couldn't handle the truth. :)
We never hear 'thank you', no matter what the market is like.  It's usually a sigh, and 'my clients will never go for this' ... but we know on both sides that a low offer is better than no offer, so let's just work together and get it done.


Jun 07, 2009 04:21 PM #6

You are so right. A lot of lines from the movie could be used in these situations. Like, when the first agent asked you what they were basing the price on, you should have said, "I'll tell you. But you have to ask me nicely," Can't you just hear Jack saying it. That is one of my favorite quotes of all time. Great Post.

Jun 07, 2009 04:25 PM #7
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Colleen, I like the second response. And I know that is the first offer.

The second go around really shows the intent of the buyer and the willingness of the seller.

But, "thank you" is a very welcoming and in this market they chose to write on that listing.

Jun 08, 2009 12:38 AM #8
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Knowing the real value of a home is one of the most important services a Realtor can provide to their clients. It sounds like the Realtor may not know or the seller remains unrealistic.

Jun 08, 2009 12:58 AM #9
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

LOL....ok, I guess I could have gone a little farther w/ the movie quotes, "You can't handle the truth", and "but you have to ask me nicely".

Jun 08, 2009 02:28 AM #10
Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Gardnerville, NV

Colleen,  It is what it is ... its an offer.  Its up to the seller to determine the value of the offer and certainly price isn't the only salient issue in the offer.  Terms can offset price - either high or low.  Amazing how many agents have an attitude and don't understand why they don't sell anything.

Jun 08, 2009 02:51 AM #11
Alexander- Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate

Hello Colleen, I agree that when we are working as buyers agents it is nice to hear a thanks for: 1) showing the home in the first place, and 2) taking the time to work with the buyer to write an offer.  Lot's of offers are being written and not all of them will be acceptable to the sellers -- no reason to be grumpy about that!  John

Jun 08, 2009 03:13 AM #12
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

Boy do I ever know what you mean. Buyers and Sellers are not in-line with the universe right now. Some have no clue and ask for wiggle room, others don't wish to leave anything on the table, and others are still praying for someone from another town who has no clue what the value really is. I think we are in for at least another 2 years of this market...

Jun 09, 2009 12:13 PM #13
Gabrielle Nemes
RE/MAX Realty South - Tumwater, WA
206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate

You know, I haven't hit this one in quite a while. The agents I've run into lately that are still standing are generally very gracious, and thrilled to get an offer. I'd sooo much rather get a low offer on a listing. At least it's something to work with, right? And if not, well, it was a learning experience all around maybe.

And, yes, you're very good at taking the high road (but it's tough not to grit one's teeth, right?)

Jun 09, 2009 06:23 PM #14
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I try to make a point of always thanking the buyer's agent for submitting an offer on one of my listings. Even if it's a ridiculously low offer that is never going to see the light of day in an escrow office because I have multiples up the ying yang. Because we're all in this together. Well, unless it's a spam offer. Those are a whole 'nother story . . .


Jun 16, 2009 03:10 AM #15
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Colleen, I am with you.  Thank you for the offer.  I recently came across a closing line to say to sellers when you have a low offer.  "Let's not be mad at this buyer.  This buyer is trying to buy your home.  If you want to be mad, be mad at all of the other buyers who have come through your home and didn't think enough of it to make an offer.  Now, what should our counter be"?



Jun 18, 2009 01:21 PM #16
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