We should have taken the first offer...

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Weinert Realty

My broker always said, "many times the first offer is the best." But how many times have we, as real estate agents, tried to convince a seller to take an offer that we thought was a fair offer and reflective of the market, only to have that seller say, "I'm not going to let it go for THAT."

Sound familiar?  I just got off the phone with another agent who related her tale of woe with her seller.  She told me that they had received 2 offers when they originally put it on the market but that the seller decided that the buyer's offers were too low, declined them and haven't had another since - I'm guessing at least several months later. She told me how much they now wished they'd taken one of those offers.

This scenario is more common, of course if we receive an offer fairly quickly into the process as the seller can reason that if you just wait a little longer you'll get another one.  But length of time on the market ( in this case short) does not always indicate future activity.  Sometimes your home and the right buyer just happen to coincide and it's "kismet" even though you didn't have a long waiting period.

I feel that this is where we can really help our seller's.  We're out there all the time, comparing prices, showing homes, reading the statistics etc.  Our sellers generally have only the price they paid for their home, maybe what a neighbor's home sold for last year or an optimistic reporter's predictions for comparison.  The fact is that in many cases the seller can save money by selling quicker as they will not be paying months more of interest and taxes nor will their home continue to lose value in a market that's still doing a bit of a slide.

This is, of course up to the seller and it is sometimes a difficult conversation to have as we can be perceived as "just wanting to sell the home to get a commission." In reality this recommendation should be, and generally is, motivated on the agent's end, by knowledge, experience and caring for their client's concerns.




Comments (5)

Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties - San Diego, CA

Sometimes the first offer is the best one and sellers might want to at least give it some consideration. After all they can take back-up offers and counter the first and negotiate upwards if multiple offers come in.

Nov 15, 2010 08:14 AM
Ellie Penaranda
239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co

Linda:  well written, every day we have to learn ways to deal with this first offer situations - we've all faced them and regretted the results with our sellers.  To avoid having our honest intentions misunderstood by the sellers, we have now (this year) learned to address that scenario with them before we even go on the market.  It is still hard and I usually ask them to sleep on it and let me know the next day, but I think we've had better results this year.  

Nov 15, 2010 08:20 AM
Linda Breeden
Century 21 Weinert Realty - Safety Harbor, FL

Hi Victor,  This is something we all come to learn.  Good point about the back-up offers though


Ellie,  I think you're right on broaching the subject up front - and yes, sleeping on it can take some of the emotional punch out of it so hopefully they can review it in a more realistic light.


Thanks for your thoughts

Nov 15, 2010 08:44 AM
Chris Dugger
Real Estate Marketplace - Louisville KY - Louisville, KY
Louisville REALTOR

Linda ~ I agree...first offer is almost always the best one. One ugly statistic for my business is that I haven't sold a single home where the sellers wouldn't even 'work' the first offer. Sometimes that first one doesn't work out, but at least give it consideration and try to work it to something fair for both parties. They always think something better will come along, but it's not always the case, as we know too well!

Nov 15, 2010 02:45 PM
Linda Breeden
Century 21 Weinert Realty - Safety Harbor, FL

Thanks Chris,  I guess we're dealing with human nature - not that easy to change.  But we can try!

Nov 16, 2010 01:24 AM