Should Buyer and Seller Agents BOTH Present an Offer to the Seller?

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

Some buyer's agents request that the seller's agent ask the seller if they can be physically there to meet with the seller when presenting their buyer's offer.  We think in the best interests of our clients and want to do everything for them in the negotiating process, right?  There are two sides to everything and I've been contemplating both those sides.

Pro's of the Buyer's Agent presenting their buyer's offer to the seller with the seller's agent:

  • Negotiate for the buyer in price (meet halfway?)
  • Negotiate for the buyer for closing costs (VA loan and no money down)
  • Negotiate for the buyer in terms (i.e. contingent on home for sale)
  • Representing their buyer's best interests (relocating and need to get in home quick)
  • Showing the buyer that we are working for them (and going above and beyond)
  • Buyer's agent will be able to tell the seller (if buyer agrees) their personal history
  • Why the seller should accept their offer (close to price, buyer has outstanding credit)
  • Everyone at the meeting (Both agents and seller) comes to a mutual agreement.

Con's of the Buyer's Agent presenting their buyer's offer to the seller with the seller's agent:

  • Lowball offer and buyer's agent insists they did the comps (so did the listing agent)
  • Buyer's agent just wants to railroad the seller into accepting
  • Seller feels uncomfortable and wonders why the buyer wasn't allowed to come to the meeting
  • Seller has no intention of listening to any other agent but his own
  • Buyer's agent gets to the meeting and has nothing to say
  • Everyone at the meeting comes to an agreement but the buyer did not get to "speak"
  • Overpriced offer and the seller's agent and seller know it won't appraise at their price.
  • It's still undecided if the buyer will accept any of the terms.

We all have counter offers to negotiate terms of the contract. It's in writing and there are no ifs ands or buts when presenting to both sides.  Everyone involved in the negotiating process is thinking in the best interests of their clients.  I personally think that a meeting like this could backfire without the buyer present at the 'meeting' as well.

We represent our buyer or seller and think in their best interests.

We trust that the cooperating agent (broker) is ....cooperating

....and the buyer and seller are following the direction of their Realtor®

.....What are your thoughts?



Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


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Sandra Ormerod
Sotheby's International Realty - Sonoma, CA


Occassionally I present a buyer's offer, most of the time I do not.   I always extend the offer to present to listing agent and then take their lead.  Last summer a seller required it!    In an offer presentation,  I'm here ONLY to present -- never to negotiate.   My goal is to walk thru a clean straightforward offer and then answer questions pertaining to the offer.   Nothing more ...   It can make a difference!

Jan 21, 2011 11:29 AM #40
John Elwell
CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. - Zephyrhills, FL
You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results

I have no problem with the other agent being there, if my seller is local. Harder to do if they live 1,000 miles away, which is not uncommon here. But the selling agent needs to understand that once the offer is present, he/she will not be in on my discussion with the sellers. As far as I know, he/she has no right to listen in on what needs to be a confidential conversation. In our area, most of us know each other so well that we trust each other to present the offers that we are given by buyers agents. But if they want to make sure, I have no problem with that. Then they can exit, stage right.

Jan 21, 2011 11:49 AM #41
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sally I am not involved in the negotiations, but if I were representing a Seller I would not want the Buyers Agent anywhere near my Seller.  It just does not seem like a good idea to me, and has more potential for blowing things up then doing any good.

Jan 21, 2011 12:43 PM #42
Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan - Morristown, NJ
Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ

I think having both parties meet in person is no longer necessary with today's technology.  With that said, I do make it a practice to inform and educate the other agent involved about how we came to our price as well as some other "background" information that that may be relevant to the transaction in order to prive the most clarity.



Jan 21, 2011 01:26 PM #43
Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty
Leolinda Realty - Surprise, AZ
Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona

In my market buyers agents periodically request to present their offer to the seller.  The listing agent is always present.  The selling agent presents the offer, the seller asks questions, then the selling agent leaves. 

The problems that I have experiences is when the selling agent presents an extremely low offer and does not provide substantial comparable properties.  Many sellers are extremely uncomfortable.  The personality of the agent presenting has always been a determining factor.  If the presenting agent does not seem sincere, honest or informed, the offer will ultimately get rejected.

Jan 21, 2011 02:17 PM #44
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

This shows a lot of the pros and cons. Interesting piece. The conceptt of presentation in person has gone a lot by the wayside with technology I have noticed.

Jan 21, 2011 02:35 PM #45
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

It would be very unusual around here for both agents to present to the seller, and I can also see how having all parties could be good and bad, depending.

Jan 21, 2011 03:00 PM #46
Anthony Daniels
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
SF Bay Area REO Specialist

As a listing agent, I wouldn't allow it and would advise my seller accordingly.

As a buyer agent, if my offer is clean, complete, impressive and typo free then there's no need for me to perform a dog and pony to the listing agent/seller.

Good stuff, thanks for sharing it.

Jan 21, 2011 03:21 PM #47
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Sally...When a began as an agent in Northern Virginia it was the norm for us to present the contract to the seller and listing agent.  We would answer any questions either one had and then leave unless we were asked to stay.  By staying, I meant in another room as the seller(s) and listing agent discussed the offer.  It was never considered an issue.

I have not done this in years.  I'm sure it is primarily because we now have buyer representation although in the scenario I mentioned it would not really make much of a difference.  When I began working at Lake Anna in 1995 many of the properties belonged to out of area owners so we did things by fax and phone.  Still do a great deal of business that way.


Jan 21, 2011 03:32 PM #48
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Remember folks...we all have different situations that arise with each and every transaction. There are NO two humans alike in this world ...and therefore will not have any two transactions that will be exactly alike.

We have to look at all sides of the coin. I presume (like Kate #48) says...we NOW have Buyer Representation. We (Hawaii) does not have subagency....



Jan 21, 2011 05:48 PM #49
Jeanne Kozak
RE/MAX In Action - Martinsburg, WV
REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA

I am not sure there is a black and white answer to this one. There are too many personality types and that is going to impact the success or failure. I have clients that this would work well for, and I have clients that I would never even attempt this. I would say we need to look at every deal closely, look at the agent(some may be ok some not) and decide then.

Jan 22, 2011 12:39 PM #50
Robert Slick
Beach and River Homes - Georgetown, SC

Sometimes I wish I had been there. One instance comes to mind when the listing agent had an offer too and told the seller they didn't need to come back for highest and best in this multiple offer situation because her's was the best offer and the other buyers weren't coming up. You learn from experience who will bend the rules and sometimes being there will keep them straight.

Jan 22, 2011 03:17 PM #51
Joan Valverde
HomeSmart - Colorado Springs, CO
GRI,CDPE,CNE,MRP,SRES Colo Sprgs, Blk Forest, Monu

Sally, this is an interesting post.  I have not had this in my career yet -- I see where the seller could feel ganged up on with this approach.  I always like to talk with any agent I send an offer to before the offer is submitted to get a feel for them, and of course more info on the property.  Best to you in 2011!

Jan 22, 2011 05:17 PM #52
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Woo Hoo ,

Congratulations on the feature and I have enjoyed all the comments and experiences expressed here. It is quite clear the real estate industry practices have evolved.

Jan 22, 2011 09:44 PM #53
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

John:  Our island is way small and we do trust that the listing agent will present all offers. There are always good and bad in a bunch of any group and though I believe everyone is thinking in the best interests of their clients (IMO) there will be extenuating circumstances that may /may not allow us to to just this.

Leolinda:  Everyone involved in the transaction need to be team players....if not then their will be conflict.  So how does one determine if it's a good idea or not? 

William: Thank goodness too...lest you and I would have had snail mail through the referral process lol

Jan 23, 2011 04:31 AM #54
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Sally -- I have never done this or been faced with it.  However, if I was, it would be up to my sellers to allow this and the agent could present only.  Bringing the buyers in would, in my book, be a BIG  no-no.  Sellers and buyers can meet up all right --- at the closing.

Jan 23, 2011 07:51 AM #55
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Sally - I present my offer to the listing agent and let them present it to their seller just as I have buyer's agents present their offer to me and I present it to my seller if I am on that end of the deal. That is pretty common practice around here.

Jan 24, 2011 01:49 AM #56
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Sally, I really think it makes a difference if the buyer agent is a good presenter and negotiator.  I had one high stakes sale where one agent emailed me the contract and the other insisted on presenting it personally.  The one who showed up had a huge advantage and her buyers (who were out front waiting in her very nice car) were able to throw on the couple of initials we needed to ratify.  Until fairly lately, it was the custom here for the buyer's agent to be present at the contract presentation.  I normally give agents the option to present if they want to. 

Jan 24, 2011 04:41 AM #57
Todd Clark
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

I love it when everyone is there for an offer it can create a great bond and a feeling for a seller to want to make it work for a buyer. (That can backfire also) Lately though I've only been offering on vacant short sales and foreclosures. I wish it was the ways of 2007 again where I got to do that every time.

Jan 28, 2011 04:53 PM #58
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Great post Celeste!

I have been involved in this situation twice, representing the seller each time.

The seller wondered why the other side wasted everyone's time. The offer speaks for itself.

Jun 14, 2011 08:19 AM #59
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