I was sitting down to write this post when I read Karen Fiddler's Blog, Do Your Buyer A Favor ....Ask Them To Write An Offer. Like Karen, I believe in the power of the offer. Instead, this is what I am seeing.
On one of my listings, I have had the following inquiries:
1) Will you folks consider our Rent-to-own offer? We haven't seen the house, but we like the pictures.
2) Will your folks take at least $75,000 under asking? We haven't see the house, but that is all we can pay.
3) My client is moving from overseas and has property there to sell. Will your clients consider a contingency or a delayed settlement (two very different things). Oh, and she can't pay full price. She isn't really looking in this price point.
What is wrong with each of these inquires? They aren't offers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are no specifics, there are no dates, there is no proof of financial qualifications, there are no prices!!!! In other words, there is no offer so how can I discuss any of these intelligently with my seller?
If you are interested enough in a house to send me an email inquiring if my folks are willing to 'deal,' then I expect that you should get out from behind your computer and come and see the house. If you are not working with a Buyer's Agent, I am happy to show it to you. If the house is what you expect it to be, then take your hypotheticals and put them into a contract and make an offer!
As a listing agent, it is my job to present all offers to my clients. As more and more people 'hide' behind email and voicemail, it is very difficult to determine exactly what it is they are offering. One of the reasons that we have a standard contract is to allow us to layout the exact parameters of an offer so that it can be evaluated.
Negotiation is a conversation. The only way to have a back and forth is to actually understand what it is that is being discussed.
We are an instant gratification Nation, but buying a house is not an instant gratification activity. It is a big investment that requires well though out parameters and agreement between parties.
I would love to get to agreement between parties, but please let me know--by writing an offer--what it is you want me to get agreement about? Without specifics, I am not presenting an offer to my clients, I am presenting an abstract idea. There answer to all of these inquiries was, 'well, put it in writing and we will evaluate it.'
Put it in writing and then we are having a conversation!
Oh, and if you REALLY want to buy the house, show me you are interested by coming to see it.