Want to Buy This House? Get Serious!

Real Estate Agent with Associate Broker, Momentum Realty

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.Handshake

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.



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 Momentum Realty

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Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

I agree - I had a rent/lease to own person approach me on the same thing, and they hadn't even been to see the house! How can you know it's something you want without LOOKING at it?!

Feb 19, 2011 12:48 AM #1
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY

Yep, yep -- show me an offer and THEN we'll deal!  Nicely put.  Pictures online are not the same as reality.

Feb 19, 2011 01:56 AM #2
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Holly, I am amazed by the number of agents who have no negotiating skills whatsoever!  And I think it's the most important part of our job.

Feb 19, 2011 02:32 AM #3
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

How funny. I just had a call this morning from a listing agent throwing a low ball offer around. They have not even seen the property yet!

Feb 19, 2011 03:02 AM #4
Michele Myers
Prudential Homesale Services Group - Harrisburg, PA
Harrisburg/Hershey Realtor

Very funny.  I say "show me a real offer and then let's talk."  I hear so many hair-brained offers, well . . .what people say are offers.  They will do anything to take advantage of this soft market.  Get real, people.

Feb 20, 2011 01:49 AM #5
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Holly....great advice.  I cannot imagine doing any of the above.  As you said, I would put it in writing & submit it to see what can be negotiated.  And I would not do it without seeing the house first & having my clients see it first!

Feb 20, 2011 03:57 AM #6
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Holly - fabulous advice!    I have trouble also speaking with sellers about the verbal offers, if that's what we call them ....

I came to you on Pat's advice from her Sunday list ... - miss reading your posts, so I am subscribing - thought I was already!

Feb 21, 2011 12:54 PM #7
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

I had to laugh while reading your post.  I don't understand what agents and their clients are thinking.  Nearly every house I hold open has at least one person (either a buyer or an agent) who loves the house but says the price would have to be X or the breakfast nook set would have to be included or something.  My response is always, "Put it in your offer."  They seldom even make an offer, even though they seem disappointed that they " probably can't buy" that house.  Giving up without an offer is a loser mentality.  Be a winner - at least try!

Feb 22, 2011 04:31 AM #8
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