Don't Take it Personal Mrs. Listing Agent

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Bell Real Estate

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!




Posted by

Zakiyyah Newman, Realtor®


Comments (7)

Carol West
Carol West Real Estate, LLC - Hillsboro, OR
Real Estate Agent, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Portland


Sounds like the listing agent is forgetting her duties to her client! Oh well, I think you reminded her well enough. Best of luck in all you do!

Sep 21, 2010 11:54 AM
Donald Tepper
Long and Foster - Fairfax, VA
DC area investor helping heirs of inherited homes

I'm guessing the listing agent had as much as promised that the seller would get full price. And she's concerned about her client's reaction.

Comps at $165,000 and $167,000 with full seller's assist, and you're offering $160,000? Maybe a tad low, but I fully understand where the buyer's coming from. And--though I disagree with the strategy--many buyers and sellers pretty much end up splitting the difference. So it's listed at $170,000 (likely $3,000-$5,000 high) and the offer's at $160,000? Your client probably figured the end price would be right around $165,000--right on target with the comps. That makes a lot of sense.

So: Fill us in. How did the seller respond?

Interesting post.

Sep 21, 2010 12:01 PM
Maureen Fukumoto
Help-U-Sell Realty Pro - Mililani, HI

Maybe her sellers can't accept that price without going short. On several occasions I have told agents that a certain price can't be accepted because it will not net enough to pay off the loan. I assume an agent would want to know that before spending time writing an offer. It's meant as a courtesy, to respect thier time.  I don't think I've ever snarled at an offer though, maybe you just caught her on a bad day.

Sep 21, 2010 12:22 PM
Zakiyyah Newman
Liberty Bell Real Estate - Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Realtor - (Philadelphia Real Estate)

They have refused to counter and will not budge on a seller's assist.   The sellers, who are real estate investors as well as licensed agents want an offer price of no less than $167K, with no assist.  The statistics in the neighborhood show that 67% of the homes sold in the last 6 months were with a seller's assist.  My client  and friend is bummed.  When you finally put in your first offer on a home you expect to negotiate a little... We'll find him a better home yet!

Sep 21, 2010 12:28 PM
Zakiyyah Newman
Liberty Bell Real Estate - Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Realtor - (Philadelphia Real Estate)

Thank you Carol! And Maureen I was thinking the same thing, it could have been just one of those days.  The home was purchased a few months ago for $80K, so no short sale here. Perhaps they spent too much money on renovations and need to make a set profit.

Sep 21, 2010 12:35 PM
Don Spera
CR Property Group, LLC - East York, PA
Serving York and Adams County, PA

I have a feeling we don't know the entire story.  You may want to check with the court house to see what liens are against the property, as they may not be able to clear title.

Sep 21, 2010 12:51 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I've had a couple of these !  Pls. view our RELO message -

Jul 20, 2014 01:09 AM