Special offer

Do you have to submit all offers?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Preferred Realty

Recently I was talking with a few of my co-workers about making offers on properties. One of them, RB, spoke up and said that he made an offer on a property for his buyer client. The offer was considerably less than asking price.

The property is a nice home listed at over $300,000. The listing agent was very upset with RB, highly emotional, and said that the offer was an embarrassment to both her and her sellers. RB told her that this was not a personal matter, but rather a business decision made by his buyer client.

As their conversation progressed, the listing agent finally told RB that she was not going to present the offer until he came back with a more reasonable offer - something that her clients could at least counter. In the end, RB came back to her with a higher offer that was considered and is still being negotiated.

There are two points that need to be made. First, the agent who receives the offer should submit all offers to his/her seller client(s). Secondly, it is not good practice for a real estate agent to become very emotional while handling offers. Sometimes offers can seem a bit ridiculous or could be much more than expected. However, we should try to be professional and realize that a buyers agent is only doing his or her job by presenting all offers - even if they are sometimes low ball offers.

Comments (20)

Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ
Keith, you are right on. Both points well made. ALWAYS must present the offer to the seller. AND don't get so caught up that you're not professional about the entire transaction.
Jun 05, 2007 12:24 PM
Rebecca Savitski
BSR Real Estate Group - Cary, NC
NC Real Estate Listings

HI Keith,

I get this often, I just had a seller refuse to counter my $210 on her $225 listing the home is still on the market 2 weeks later.

Jun 05, 2007 12:25 PM
Rebecca Savitski
BSR Real Estate Group - Cary, NC
NC Real Estate Listings

HI Keith,

I get this often, I just had a seller refuse to counter my $210 on her $225 listing the home is still on the market 2 weeks later.

Jun 05, 2007 12:25 PM
Highland Beach Condos David Serle
RE/MAX Services - Highland Beach, FL
Boca Raton Agent David Serle
Yes unless the seller has informed the listing agent in writing of his intentions of not taking a offer less than $400,000, and do not present any offers unless it is $400,000 a listing agents legal responsibility in Florida is to present all offers.  Actually, the listing agent can be sued if the seller finds out and down the line decides to take an offer for around that.  Stupid listing agent.  Present all offers!!!
Jun 05, 2007 12:27 PM
No Longer Active
Real Estate - Fallon, MT
You did not specify if the offer was written.  Sometimes a buyer will toss out a number without any other data and in the case my response is put it in writing.  I will not call my seller with a verbal offer.
Jun 05, 2007 12:33 PM
Portland Oregon Real Estate | Alecia Barnes - Broker
Portland, OR
You have a valid point. The listing agent should always, always present ALL offers. Why get emotional about it?
Jun 05, 2007 12:38 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
We are obligated to present all offers -- unless you have written instructions from the seller to the contrary.  I just presented an offer that the agent told me would never go anywhere -- and the parties negotiated in good faith and both are very happy with the outcome.
Jun 05, 2007 12:39 PM
Linda Sanderson
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific - Benicia, CA
It's such a shame when agents act as if they are the principle in a transaction.  They are not the ones who should make any decisions with respect to an offer.  All offers(written) should be presented ASAP
Jun 05, 2007 12:40 PM
Paul Moye
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Broker, GRI, SRES
Sounds like the listing agent's Broker needs a phone call..That usually resolves it in a matter of minutes.
Jun 05, 2007 01:11 PM
Richard Parr
ADT Security Services - Slidell, LA
Home Security Specialist - Greater New Orleans, Louisiana
I tell my sellers that the initial offer is only a starting point.  Often times a buyer will start very low, but don't take it personal and ALWAYS counter.  I have had low-ball offers that ended up at just a few thousand off of list price.  It is never where you start, but where you finish that counts.
Jun 05, 2007 01:26 PM
Cheri Smith
Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX - Cypress, TX
Realtor Prudential Gary Greene
I call my sellers with any offer no matter how low it is. It seems to me that to do otherwise would not be in our client's best interest. For instance, my seller said she would not ever take less than X amount of dollars but I got in many offers for less than the amount she stated and called her with each one anyway......after 6 months of this she eventually "settled" for less than the X amount she'd stated in the beginning when she realized that the market dictates what you will net on a sell, not your expectations.
Jun 06, 2007 05:37 AM
Keith Pate
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC

Teri - My sentiments exactly. Thanks for the comment. 

Rebecca - I have had that recently myself. I guess some people have to learn the hard way. Thanks for the comment.

David - Good points, listing agents are required to present all written offers in NC. Thanks for the comment.

Dan - I should have stated written offers. I will present verbal offers to my sellers, especially if it is close to asking price. Thanks for the comment.

Oregon Real Estate - Yes, listing agents should always present all offers. Thanks!

Joan - I've gotten that a few times myself. We, too are obligated to present all offers. Thanks for the comment.

Linda - Great point! Sometimes agents step over their boundaries and take matters into their own hands with presenting offers. Thanks for the comment.

Paul - I'm with you. That usually does the trick - and it usually doesn't happen again. Thanks!

Richard - Another good comment. It is where you finish that counts. Thanks for the reminder.

Cheri - I also call my sellers with all offers. Not only am I obligated to do so, but I would be afraid not to. What if it got back to my sellers that I didn't tell them about an offer? Thanks for the comment.



Jun 06, 2007 10:23 AM
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


I recently had the honor of presenting a low-ball offer.

We did get a counter, and the other agent said, "Congratulations on writing the worst offer in the history of 'John Doe Downs'...  I said, "Hey now, it was REALLY well put together, wasn't it?"

Her: "Oh, yes, Beautiful!"

We laughed, and I am sure can do business in the future should we need to.

It is easier when we do our jobs without the emotions, isn't it?

Jun 06, 2007 11:53 PM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK
We have received a few "very very low" offers and some of them work out, some don't.  I always insist that the offer be presented on written standardized forms and if they want the seller to take the offer seriously, they should present a good sized earnest check with the offer.  The lower the offer, the higher the earnest deposit is always my recommendation.
Jun 07, 2007 10:54 AM
Keith Pate
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC

Mike - How true it is. Sometimes I wonder why I let myself even react. Thanks for the comment.

Judi - That's a good point. Lower offers and higher earnest deposits is a good balance. I like that. Thanks!

Jun 07, 2007 02:02 PM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Well written post, Kieth.........

YES...ALL offers are supposed to be presented to an owner.......

Even if they are an embarassment....


Jun 11, 2007 06:14 AM
Jun 28, 2007 07:40 AM
Jun 28, 2007 07:40 AM
Darleen McCullen
Raleigh, NC
Broker - Raleigh, NC Real Estate
Oh my goodness! I can't believe the agent refused to submit the offer. We as agents do NOT have the right to decide whether our clients would accept an offer. Our job is to present it and provide our clients with the pros/cons of the offer. Unprofessional people like her give the rest of us a bad name! (I hope I don't run into her around town.) :-)
Sep 29, 2007 03:02 PM
Brian Wray
Wray Realty - Holly Springs, NC

I agree with all the comments, but more importantly. It is NAR, NCAR, RRAR policy to present all offers weather Verbal or Written to our clients.  It is not our place to decide what is a good offer or not to present.  We can add comments, advice, etc, but we can not act as the seller, and presenting any offer is in the best interest of our sellers or buyers.  Also, it is law by NC REC to present all offers whether verbal or written.  The contract is not binding until it is reduced to writing, but it is still an offer.  Thanks!  Brian

Sep 17, 2008 02:53 AM