Don't take it personal Mrs. Listing Agent
I have the pleasure of working with a very dear friend of mine, who is purchasing his first home, straight out of college, business savvy and a numbers guy. He has heard on the news that this economy sucks, and that sellers are giving away homes, literally! The second time out he found his perfect bachelor pad listed at $170K, completely rehabbed, marble counter tops, Jacuzzi tub, garage, and all new stainless steel appliances. Immediate comps in the area show two recent sales at $165K and $167K both renovated with a full seller's assist. I pulled two other recent sales that were priced at $155K and $158K, one rehabbed, one not, and both with no seller's assist.
I sat down with my dear friend, and I say okay judging by these comps tell me what you believe we should offer. "I think $155K," he said. So I examined the comps again to make sure we were discussing the same property, in an area that has an average days on the market of a little over 2 months. Did I mention my friend also needs a full 6% seller's assist? I knew an offer price of $155K would not be accepted, so we went over the comps again, just so we were clear. I was able to get him up to $160K, still not where I thought we should be but I was satisfied. I made my points to him, he understood, and he wanted to try it out at $160K, with the preparation to bid higher if need be. If it didn't go well, what's the worse that could happen?
I submitted the offer to the listing agent, and she immediately questioned, "Why is your offer so low?", and in a snarling tone she says, "I thought I told you that my seller wasn't going to accept any low offers?" Whoaa...I responded with, "I advised my client of the comps in the neighborhood, and we reviewed them thoroughly; however at the end of the day it is my clients decision and it is my duty as his agent to submit the contract and it is your's to do the same for your seller. Let's get this over to your seller quickly, and if we need to negotiate after they have reviewed the contract let me know. Now... I knew the contract would need to be negotiated, what I couldn't get is why she was so disgruntled and offended. The agent went on to say that she almost didn't have to give the agreement to her client, because she already knew what his answer would be and there would be no counter.
I very politely reminded her of the duties she had as a listing agent. Hey, I know it was a low offer, but $10K off the original offer price in hindsight is not huge! The highest comps in the area had a 6% seller's assist attached to them. How great of a world would we have, if we got all of our offer prices the same as the listing price? Oh wait that was the case just a few years back. I take that back!