Buying or Just Fishing?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with eXp Realty RB-19250

In the last week, I have been received the following comments on a home I have listed for sale.

  1. How motivated is your seller?
  2. Is that price firm?
  3. Is there room on the price?
  4. Isn't that price kind of high?
  5. Is your seller flexible on the price?
  6. Am I wasting my time if I offer ______?

This listing has attracted a lot interest.  We had a great turnout at the first open house on Sunday and had several agent showings during the week. 

Here is the rub.  The comments above came from real estate agents who had not seen or shown the home to their clients.  They wanted to start a negotiation sight unseen.  Are you kidding me?  You really want to negotiate price, before you see it?  Is the price of gas gotten so high that you don't want to burn a gallon for a ½ million dollar transaction?

How about this?

  1. Get in your car and show it to your client.
  2. Check the comps.
  3. Submit a clean written offer.

Whatever happened to professionalism?  They don't know if it's overpriced or underpriced?  They don't even know if their client even wants it?

So here is my response.  I present all written offers to my clients.  Please show your clients the home and check the comps before you try and tell us we are priced wrong.  The fact that a long line of people showed up at the first open house tells me, we can't be too overpriced.

Posted by

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

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Rainmaker
552,739
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Randy,

I'm with you on this one. I'd just say, "please call me back after you've shown the home"...end of discussion.

May 04, 2011 12:52 PM #11
Ambassador
4,205,061
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Randy

We hear these questions far too often, from buyers and their agents. I think your response was spot on for those who haven't shown it - go see the darn thing.

And if they have and the client is interested, do your due diligence, look at the market, and submit a written offer so it can be considered.

Jeff

May 04, 2011 01:21 PM #12
Rainmaker
787,667
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate
  1. How motivated is your seller?
    Motivated enough to Sell.  Is your Buyer motivated to Buy?
  2. Is that price firm?
    Firm enough.  I slept on it last night, and my back feels GREAT!  Your Buyer should try it.
  3. Is there room on the price?
    Always room for another zero! 
  4. Isn't that price kind of high?
    Not for a legitimate Buyer.  Do you know any?
  5. Is your seller flexible on the price?
    I don't know about "flexible," but he can crack his knuckles in time to "Disco Inferno."
  6. Am I wasting my time if I offer ______?
    Well, not YOUR time.  But for anyone else whose time has value.........
May 04, 2011 02:53 PM #13
Rainer
109,250
Robert Schmalz
West Los Angeles Real Estate Group - Santa Monica, CA
Cal. Lic Broker
I think the word lazy comes to mind. Agents are trying to take the easy way out. They know what the clients top offer will be and they probably see a house like yours that would be great but the price is a little high. So they call and feel you out before even talking to the buyer.
May 04, 2011 07:53 PM #14
Ambassador
2,065,966
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I wish I could answer you that. . but the homeowner is the only person that can . .

write an offer and lets see. .

May 04, 2011 10:40 PM #15
Anonymous
Jeff Pearl

Randy, I get those questions all the time. It's mostly annoying when they have even seen the house, and you know it's priced fairly and been on market less than 30 days, then the first question they ask is are sellers willing to come down. If I know the agent, and I know the seller has authorized me to tell a serious interested buyer that they will come down 10-20,000., I'll tell them seller has some flexibility in price. But most agents are just fishing looking for a deal, and after they figure they can offer 10-20,000. less, they neglect to tell you that thay also plan on asking for a 3% subsidy and their buyer is still working on getting their financing approved. If I don't know anything about the agent and don't even know if agent really has a buyer, no sense in discussing too much with them until after they show the house.

May 04, 2011 11:36 PM #16
Rainmaker
4,798,469
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I'm getting a lot of this activity also Randy.   Both from agents and buyers.  If you want to really know, do what needs to be done and write your offer.

May 05, 2011 12:56 AM #17
Rainer
332,782
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

Randy,

I see this as a great compliment to your marketing.  Those agents are getting pestered from buyers who can't quite afford this particular home but love it thanks to your description and photos.  The agent knows the purchasing power of the buyers and is actually "feeling out" how much interest you're getting.

May 05, 2011 01:00 AM #18
Rainer
81,062
Donald Tepper
Long and Foster - Fairfax, VA
DC area investor helping heirs of inherited homes

I agree with you 100%. (Or maybe 98%, at least!)

But let me play devil's advocate here. I suspect some of those agents have buyers (or potential buyers, or clients who say they're interested in buying . . . anywhere along that spectrum) and the first question out of the buyer's mouth will be "How motivated is the seller?" or "Is the price firm?" That's a knee-jerk reaction from some buyers. And they won't proceed further unless they get an answer that satisfies them. The buyer's agent knows that's the first question the client will ask. So rather than the following conversation:

Buyer's Agent: There's a house on 123 Main Street that just came on the market. It's in your price range, it has the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and has the other amenities you're looking for. It's priced at $xxx. I've run the comps and it looks like a good value.

Client: Do you know if the price is firm?

Buyer's Agent: Well, we can always make an offer. Most sellers are willing to negotiate. When can we schedule an appointment to look at it?

Client: As soon as I find out if there's room for negotiation. I'm not going to waste my time if the price is firm.

The agent instead picks up the phone and calls the listing agent to ask, "Is the price firm?" It just may be that, rather than the agent acting unprofessionally, he/she is acting at the direction (explicit or implicit) of the client.

May 05, 2011 04:12 AM #19
Rainmaker
662,741
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

David B. - I wish more agents would practice that.

Jeffrey D. - Apparently

Endre B. - Ignorance has no boundaries.  LOL

Donald R. - Comps are extremely important, but not the only test.

Michael M. - When I am asked how much my client wants, I tell them the list price.

Margaret G. - Not only wasted everyone's time, but they are trying to get the seller's agent to violate their fiduciary responsibility.  If the seller's agent plays ball, shame on them.

May 05, 2011 05:19 AM #20
Rainmaker
662,741
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Lisa and Robert - If the buyer's are not available (out of state etc.) and making an offer subject to inspection, the agent should preview the property before making recommendations or writing an offer.

Lorraine or Loretta - The unfortunate truth.

Adan Properties - The problem with that is our contracts have 12 pages plus addendums.  Until the seller sees your entire contract, it is hard to tell what they will accept.  How strong is the rest of the offer?  That may have an impact on what price they will accept.

Erica R. - I have found that to be so much more effective when representing buyers.  I guess we aren't lazy.

Lynda E. - Good practice.

Jeff D. - It seems pretty straight forward to us.  Why is that so hard for so many others?

May 05, 2011 05:29 AM #21
Rainmaker
662,741
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Mike J. - All answers we are thinking.  But to best represent my sellers, I have to bite my lip at times.

Robert S. - In this case it was the lowest priced home in the area.  It seems like that is an automatic tactic for some agents.

Fernando H. - Best policy!

Jeff P. - You make a great point.  That is exactly why I never engage in that conversation.  When the actual offer comes in the other 12 pages and addendums have other items besides just the price that devalue their offer.

Gabe S. - I tell them I present all written offers immediately.

Irene K. - That is true in a few cases.  I have agents tell me, my client is qualified for X.  Are we wasting our time?

May 05, 2011 05:38 AM #22
Rainmaker
662,741
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Don T. - In my years in the business, I have never had a buyer tell me that.  It seems funny that so many other agents would have this happen so often.  I can name a few agents who have this happen with every client.  LOL

May 05, 2011 05:47 AM #23
Rainer
233,478
Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX

Randy - if you have a long line of people viewing the house, you know you did something right. Some agents just wants to share their opinion without gathering facts.

May 05, 2011 06:42 AM #24
Rainmaker
106,567
Beth Thoma Robinson
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers Big Island - Hawi, HI
R(B) SFR - Hawaii Island Luxury Resort Real Estate

And I can add one to your list that I literally got minutes ago on a condo listing I released this week that is currently vacation rented and cannot be shown until next week:

How much do they want for the furniture?  Will they take X?

Honestly, this a short sale listing, over half a million dollars, and your buyer is going to decide whether or not to offer based upon the price of furnishings he hasn't even seen?

May 05, 2011 10:17 AM #25
Rainmaker
662,741
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Mike - I agree, and some are trying to impress their clients.

Beth - Sounds pretty silly.

May 05, 2011 12:22 PM #26
Ambassador
1,091,657
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

lol...get in your car and show it!  Good one!  Let's just low ball and negotiate without even making the effort to show the property!  BTW...that is a HUGE lot!

May 05, 2011 06:09 PM #27
Rainmaker
662,741
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Sally - Some of them send just a price page and the page with their names on it. I have even seen the names missing.  I guess they do not want to waste the ink.

May 11, 2011 06:02 AM #28
Rainmaker
643,400
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Randy, I will occasionally ask a question prior to showing but it is not a negotiation question it is a question about the actual property.  That is amazing!

May 22, 2011 04:10 PM #29
Rainmaker
662,741
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Marcel - I too may ask the agent "Is there anything about the property we should be aware of or point out when I show the property?"

May 26, 2011 07:20 PM #30
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Randy Prothero

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