Should Sellers Make An Offer to a Potential Buyer? (RE/MAX Results)

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Results 20344949

I have seen this question come up every so often on Active Rain with fellow bloggers.  It something not everyone thinks of. It something at first that might surprise or scare a seller to think about doing.  However, if your getting some interest in your listing, but know offers it might be time to send an offer to a buyer to see if you get a bite.

There is still a lot of competition out there with most of the houses listed.  Getting your listing to stand out is not always easy.  Perhaps the buyer saw your home and had interest, but for one reason or another is moving slow.  Sometime it could be just not quite having the funds ready for the down payment.  Or perhaps the house is in the price range but slightly higher then they want to spend.  Maybe the buyer has a lease that is not done for 3-4 month and they are starting their search a little early to see whats out there. There could be many other reasons along with these that a buyer may like a home but not make an offer.

What should a seller do?  Should a seller lower the price and see if that generates more showings and an offer? They certainly might need to do that but if a seller is going to do that perhaps first send an offer to a buyer that has shown interest.  What do you have to lose?

Keep in mind buyers want deals/value so likely an offer to a buyer will push a sellers comfort level on the price.  It is not something you see often and sellers making offers to buyers is an option that could help sell a house.

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Chuck Carstensen is a Realtor with RE/MAX Results in Elk River and Cambridge, MN.  Helping buyers, sellers and investors in great Minnesota counties like Sherburne, Isanti, Wright, Anoka, Chisago, Hennipen and Mille Lacs. He is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE).

Contact Chuck by emailing him at or by phone at 612-290-3809. 



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Kathy Denworth
Century 21 Schwartz Realty - Islamorada, FL
Realtor in the Florida Keys, Islamorada, Key Largo

Chuck, I went to a Keller Williams training session where they were teaching agents to do this. If a buyer saw a property more than once, they encouraged the listing agent to find out the hot button and push it. New carpet? no problem. Long closing? no problem, just fix it.

Jun 23, 2011 12:51 AM #1
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

This is a great idea.

Jun 23, 2011 12:55 AM #2
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


Reverse offers can be a strong tool for Sellers to nudge a buyer.

An interesting side-point:  My attorney tells me that the side that writes the offer shoulders more liability.

Jun 23, 2011 01:03 AM #3
Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

I've seen this just once in 5 years. The seller sent a written offer to the buyer with a reduced price. The buyer wasn't interested, however. I thought the idea novel and got the impression that the seller was desperate.

Jun 23, 2011 01:09 AM #4
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I have also done this Chuck.  Only after a 2nd showing and where the seller NEEDED to sell very badly.

Jun 23, 2011 05:52 AM #5
Stephen Howell
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Annapolis, MD
Annapolis MD Homes For Sale 443-994-8043

Like Bill (above) I've worked with sellers who've done this before but not had much success with it.  I think that sellers would be better off lower the asking price until traffic picks up, one there is traffic, then offers will come.  If there's traffic and no offers, then sellers need to lower the price some more.  Price will determine demand.  Sellers shouldn't worry about underpricing their home, since buyers will compete and drive the price up.  It's our responsibility to educate sellers on the things they have control over - and there are only two things sellers have control over - they are: price and condition.  That's it!!!

Jun 26, 2011 02:51 AM #6
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Chuck - This is an interesting concept.

Jun 26, 2011 10:39 AM #7
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Chuck Carstensen

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