When Do You Share the News about a Possible Offer?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty


Painted Building Art  

You get that call we love to receive ... my client is going to make an offer on your listing!  The question - when is it appropriate to share this news with your sellers? 

Why hesitate or when do you  launch that call to paint the happy picture of the offer soon to be in hand?

Hesitation- wait, wait, no offer.  Follow up, excuses. Tick, tock and then no offer.  If you have been in the business for even a short time you would have experienced that awful wait and then disappointment.  Your listing of course has had no time lost on the market as you have kept the status as Active.  So is there any downside to calling your clients and placing them on standby notice?

Risks of notification - calls from your clients wanting to know where it is?  Having to deal with clients making personal plan changes to be available to receive an offer and discuss.

Benefit of notification - market showing a favorable interest in the home.  Locating sellers to find out their plans so you will be able to know what time frames they are available to meet. 

Agent Caution- if other agents call to ask if there is anything working on the home how do you respond?  Do you share that you have been told there is an offer coming but not in hand?  This may give the buyer client of that agent a feeling of "I don't want to go to a multiple offer situation and overpay, I'll pass attitude".  Or do you think it might get another buyer candidate off high center to bring an offer now?  Do you ask your sellers how they wish you to handle any inquiries?

The Wait Game - do you simply wait until you have an offer in hand then call your clients.  Play it safe than risk disappointment?

So much to consider from just that simple notification from an agent.  A rosey picture of hope to come or agent caution to wait until you actually have it in hand to share the news of opportunity knocking?

Comments (17)

Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Make that call immediately!!!!!!!!!!!

Feb 25, 2011 12:18 AM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Connie - I typically wait until I have the offer in my hand....

Feb 25, 2011 12:18 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I don't like to get owners' hopes up...I'll discuss received applications if they ask; however, I don't discuss the leasing prospects who have not submitted their application paperwork

Feb 25, 2011 12:19 AM
Todd Anderson
You In Park City group - KW Park City Keller Williams Real Estate - Park City, UT
Park City | Deer Valley Real Estate

I may indicate to other agents that there is interest in the property and possibly a forthcoming offer, but I'm not likely to say anything to the seller. In our current market once the offer is received we are only part way there; an offer is a long way from a closing.

Feb 25, 2011 12:22 AM
Terri Poehler
Realtor - Coral Springs, FL
Coral Springs Real Estate Agent

If it's not on my fax machine, I don't have an offer. I say nothing because "verbal" doesn't cut it.

Feb 25, 2011 12:23 AM
Dennis Duvernay Broker/Owner
Hillview Realty - Northbridge, MA

I very seldom tell my seller an offer is suppose to be coming in....why have them disappointed when it never shows up...I like to wait until I have it...then it is REAL.

Feb 25, 2011 12:24 AM
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


If I get a series of "Buying Sign" questions, I may tell the Seller, "This looks like a nibble."

But I don't call it an offer until I see an offer.  Ever.  Too many weak agents tell me an offer is coming and then won't take a call back or respond to email. 

I don't want to tell my clients something I cannot confirm.

Feb 25, 2011 12:28 AM
Mike Reyman
eXp Realty - Media, PA
Delaware County Real Estate

"Let it be written, Let it be done" - The King of Siam 


Feb 25, 2011 12:30 AM
Jim Courtney
OklaHomes Realty, Claremore Oklahoma - Claremore, OK

I usually tell my sellers that we had a good showing. I may mention that it seems like the buyers really like the property. But I don't say anything about an offer until I'm holding it in my hand or email. :)

Feb 25, 2011 12:45 AM
Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Good morning Connie, I wait until I have an offer in hand before I tell my sellers.  I have had what you described....yes...we are bringing an offer and nothing ever comes.  Great post and you covered all of the possible scenarios. 

Feb 25, 2011 01:08 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I also usually wait until I have the offer in hand...I think we all have been there when an agent says an offer is coming in and then it doesnt...that stinks!!

Feb 25, 2011 02:06 AM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Cindy - I can tell you are an agent that your clients love .. positive & full of energy.  Share the good news type person.  Love upbeat people!!

Carol - not a bad personal practice.  I think caution certainly needs to be used with some seller personality types too.  If you have to come back with it never came in and and the agent won't even call me back message, so sellers get very negative.

Wallace - deflating a positive is never a feel good.  Nice business practice.

Todd - excellent thought - positive interest and wait to see if it materializes.  Yes, this real estate climate is challenged and false hope can be a big negative.

Terri - Texas is a written state too and verbal is a huge point of discussion here. 

Dennis - Real is good until till then it is a fantasy.  Also if there is another offer that comes in then the seller may say .. shouldn't we wait (even if it has been days)?  No strike while you have the Real thing, not a fantasy.

Mike C.- I use the nibble language too, or there seems to be a very nice interest and good questions being asked, etc.  You are right, until you have it in hand you have nothing.

Mike R - Great and timely quote to draw good business practice.

Jim - I do the same as well unless I am asked about specifics that might tip off the sellers - when is a good close date and they can be out, or can they be out in 2 weeks?  Then I chase it with they are just exploring information and no offer as of yet but I will keep you updated and connected with the agent.

Judith - I can always count on your consistency of visiting my post and I consider that such a nice honor!  You are right, no offer is not anything to get all excited until we have it in hand.  And then the offer may not be anything that you were hoping for .. that is another post on disappointment and tackling that hurdle.

Kristin - Good morning to you!  It does stink and then you have to make that call .. then it double stinks!! 

Thanks to all for the kindness of sharing your comments and thoughts.  It is always great to get my AR opinions on such topics.  Appreciate the visit!

Feb 25, 2011 02:40 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

SOMETHING REAL Connie is when it is in hand by the agent, that is what I go with. I HATE "unreal". LOL

Feb 25, 2011 02:50 AM
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Connie ... We inform our owner seller clients about an offer only after it has been signed and received.  Otherwise, information about agent talk and proposed offers can be confusing and cause anxiety for what happens next.

Feb 25, 2011 05:27 AM
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

Good discussion going on here; I will drop a word or two if they express interest that they "liked" it but I agree without an offer in hand there's not much reason to get your seller's hopes up.

Feb 25, 2011 03:40 PM
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Unless I have something in hand I don't have an offer to present to the sellers.  I don't tell them one may be coming in because like many others I do not want the disappointment for the sellers of it not coming in.  I do let them know about showings, feedback, etc

Feb 26, 2011 06:58 AM
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR

I then to agree with most everyone here. It isn't an offer until I have it in hand. Sellers so often have so many disappointments nowadays, price, condition, emotions...

Feb 27, 2011 11:22 PM