A BIG DOSE OF REAL ESTATE REALITY!...What would You Have Done In This Situation?

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

A BIG dose of REAL ESTATE  Reality!...and it shook me out of a day dream! WHAT WOULD YOU  HAVE DONE IN THIS SITUATION???

I thought I was actually going to get a full priced offer on a wonderful house in Southampton Village, the "hot" place to be this summer. I met the buyer and her agent 4 days ago and the showing went very well. The agent called me right away after the showing, to tell me the buyer was VERY interested in the house and would be making an offer in the next day or so---just wanted to do some due-diligence beforehand.

I made sure the buyers agent knew that there was another offer on the table. The owner had not yet countered and therefore she needed to advise her buyer accordingly and act quickly. She told me she would do her best but she was positive that the offer would be a full priced offer so I should wait at least a day.

A VERY STRESSFULL SITUATIONThen the agent called the next day, to tell me that there was another house that the buyer saw before this one, had made an offer and was trying to disengage in that deal--just give her another day or so. I was not very happy to hear that news and told the buyers agent that the seller was ready to take the first buyers offer and there was no time left to delay. She told me she would call me right back.....

THE STRESS WAS BUILDING!

The next day, the agent called again (late would be a kind word) and said the buyer wanted to come back and review before she made her offer...I met them again yesterday and the result was even better than before. The buyer was head over heels for the house and was talking openly in front of me that the plans she had for when she could close, when she would be moving in and that she would be paying all cash! I told her "Fine, but you really need to make an offer or you will lose this house"....I said firmly to the agent that the bid had to be emailed to me with all the terms and I needed it today!

I let the owner know that there may be another offer coming in and what did he want to do with the first offer? Did he want to accept it since it was so close to asking, and let the other buyer walk? The owner was very clear that he wanted to hear the next offer....so I went forward.

Meanwhile, I was holding the other agent with the first offer at bay--letting her know that the owner was deciding on what they wanted to do with her buyers offer and that I would let her know sometime in the next day...The agent was not happy but was going to tell her buyer to be patient. I said I would have an answer for her the next day.

I called the owner one  more time to make sure I was proceeding with his approval....He asked me how serious I thought this new buyer was and I told him what the second buyer said when I showed it the second time.

Now, we all know that feeling of having another agent "shop" our buyers bid or at least leaving that feeling that it was being "shopped"...well this first agent did feel that way and let me know. I tried to be calm and tell her that there was going to be a response sometime the following morning---meanwhile, I got back on the phone IMMEDIATELY and left a message for the second agent, telling her she had to put in her buyers offer or the deal was going to the first buyer.....

SHE called back the next morning and TOLD ME: "Oh, I forgot to mention that my buyer has just signed the contract on the other house and  is no longer interested!" I said "WHAT???" I told her what I thought of the way she handled the whole thing and immediately called the other agent. 

The first agent's buyer had just found another house and would not be going further on this deal!

I hung up and started to take very deep breaths....I should have known!!!

HOW WOULD YOU HAVE HANDELD THIS SITUATION???

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"Whacked"!!!
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Tags:
stressful situation
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i should have known

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Rainmaker
669,781
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

I can not tell from your post whether you ever told the first agent that another contract was coming in as you did tell the 2nd agent that you already had an offer. maybe the first buyer would have upped the anty since it was so close to asking anyway. Its sad that both walked. Ugh. Like the others I have a time frame, disclose to all parties and go from there. Hopefully another will be coming shortly. And stop beating yourself up. You did what the sellers wanted.

Aug 02, 2011 04:42 PM #8
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Karen: That's what I am saying too: If you like it--buy it! What's the big deal? That new buyer was just trying to play one against the other and was so good at it that she convinced me that the delay was nothing more than indecision...what a good actress!

Ellen: I do too...meanwhile I learned a new lesson: Nothing is certain, so just go with the most responsive!

Christie: I am in full agreement with the time demands but I gave the second agent full warning and she just kept bettering me in her seeming conviction in her ability to get her buyer to step up to the plate..I should have dropped her after she didn't call me back right away on the 2nd day of this mess! I may have still lost the first buyer but at least I would have felt more effective in the end!

 

Aug 03, 2011 12:35 AM #9
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Martha: Everyone was informed except the first buyer because the seller did not want to respond until he knew what the new offer was going to be---the owner was actually ready to accept the offer because it was so close to asking--remember, this all took place is less than 3 days and by the end of that day the owner was ready to go with the first offer---you know the rest of the story. I guess you could say that the owner should have countered the first offer in some way, if for no other reason than to buy time, but it was a very good offer that the owner should have just taken. I can say that in retrospect--not so easy at the time with a promise of a full priced offer from a buyer who appeared to be head over heels for the property!

Aug 03, 2011 12:42 AM #10
Rainmaker
375,867
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Hi there Paula, we have also been in the situation many times and we let our sellers know the risks. Because of what our experiences, here is how we handle the situation.

We share are what may happen if the first offer decides to move on, the second offer not coming through, both offers not coming through because they both don't want to get in a bidding war etc. We explain our experiences from the past and let the sellers decide what will work for them.

The basic principal is that we do our best to get the sellers what they want/need from the sale of their home and property. They make the decision if the offer will work for them or not. If they are comfortable with the negotiations from the first offer, they may decide to just accept it. If they wish to hold on for a better offer and it is in a reasonable amount of time, they may choose to wait a little bit.

While multiple offers are great and usually result in a better bargaining position for the seller, they can cause some confusion and result in some buyers walking away.

I am sorry this happened to both you and your seller. Perhaps your sellers can make an offer back to the first buyers and see what happens. We have done that before too (and it worked!).

Jacque & Larry

Aug 06, 2011 07:07 AM #11
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3,691,648
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Paula!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.   Have a great Sunday!

Aug 07, 2011 02:29 AM #12
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Jacque and Larry: Thank you for sharing your experiences with us..I always prepare my buyers and sellers in a situation like this and that's what was so astounding about this one for me. If I had not prepared the sellers to have to make a decision in this case then the outcome may have been totally different too and I realize that they always have the choice. I suspect that the buyers in both cases probably always felt they had options and they excercized them to my sellers dismay. I do have another buyer lined up now and the house will sell---this was just one of those situations where I did everything I could but still could not affect the outcome.

Patricia: Thank you so much! I think we all can relate to this situation....

Aug 07, 2011 02:57 AM #13
Rainer
207,994
Marcie Sandalow
Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 - Bethesda, MD
Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate

I've recently been embroiled in a wait and see situation myself.  I let an agent know that we planned to write an offer on her listing.  Suffice it to say that there were complications and just about everyone we needed something from was on vacation.  One week later when we finally did get around to making an offer, surprise, surprise, we had company.  Not fun.  Still, our intentions were pure. This second agent sounds like a real manipulator (or, at least her buyers were)! Like you, I would have let the sellers know about their options, along with a warning. In the end, it was their choice to risk losing the first offer. You did your best.

Aug 07, 2011 03:37 AM #14
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons
  1. Marcie: It happens now and then that there is nothing we can do about surprises such as the one I had....my comfort is taken from the idea that "if it happens it happens-if not, it was never meant to be"! Now, this new buyer happens to be my own customer and I am in a position where I can "know" what is going on from both sides....everyone is very happy with the deal and  am sure that nothing will ruin it..at least I hope that nothing will ruin it!! :) 
Aug 07, 2011 03:43 AM #15
Ambassador
3,154,976
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I'm glad Pat Kennedy featured this in her weekly favorites list.  You have to work with what you actually have in hand. 

Aug 07, 2011 06:21 AM #16
Rainmaker
887,586
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

I would give 1 deadline and leave it at that. No one could have blamed you. Frankly, I don't know why sellers make offers wait on a decision when there are so many choices. Making a buyer wait more than a day invites peril. I have had selelrs do this also and they often lose the sale. 

Aug 07, 2011 08:13 AM #17
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Chris: Me too! I am so unnerved by what happened and yet I have to move on to the next one and hopw it does not happen again!!!

Phil: I have the same experience....the longer a deal goes unfinished in this market, the less chance of it coming to fruition!

Aug 07, 2011 12:43 PM #18
Ambassador
4,200,253
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Paula

I'm not sure there is a true, right answer to this sort of information as there are so many variables, and people and emotions involved. And it sounds like you did what the seller wanted, which in itself might not have been the right decision. So easy to criticise or play "what if" or "shoulda woulda coulda" when it is over and done with. Good news is there is another buyer. And if Buyer 1 found another so readily it might not have gone ahead anyhow. Seems to me, though, that there was too much back and forth and clearly the other side took advantage.

Jeff

Aug 07, 2011 03:32 PM #19
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Jeff: I am in agreement with you! I think the possibility exits that BOTH the first and second buyers would have been a problm getting to the closing table--in retrospect, the attitude on the second buyer was so over the top for the property, but I noticed it was AFTER she found out there was another offer on the house. In the case of the first buyer--it struck me as strange that she didn't try to get the deal by insisting that her broker get the response to her offer--ther was no inspection done and there were a few other things that said to me a (after the deal was gone) "I wondered why the agent didn't force the issue with the counter offer or acceptance...I would have if I wanted to sell the house and there was such a delay!

Aug 07, 2011 04:23 PM #20
Rainmaker
588,515
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

It's hard to second guess - especially for us when we know the outcome, we could just guess that it was the wrong decision.  But you did the right thing by asking your client what to do.  After all, it is not our decision but the seller's.  And I'm sure you explained the pluses and minuses of each choice.  Like they say - sometimes spit happens.

Aug 07, 2011 04:35 PM #21
Rainmaker
185,772
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate

So sorry about your situation.  Usually, I'd give an agent a day at the most to submit an offer. If a buyer likes or as she said "loves" the house, they will put an offer in quickly especially knowing that there's another offer on the table.  Hope you find another buyer quickly.

Aug 07, 2011 07:59 PM #22
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Susan: And that is what I did--I suspect that there was nothing else I could have done so i will move on and sell it to someone else--looks like tha will happen!

Irina:I have done that and in this case the second agent did have plenty of warning and in 2 good showings she still did not get the offer to me so it was a bad situation al around....

Aug 08, 2011 02:43 AM #23
Rainmaker
290,462
Ellie Penaranda
239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co

Paula, can't tell you how many times it has happened to us till we learned to just offer a one time 24 hours to produce an offer... if we do not receive the 2nd offer within the 24 hrs we just go ahead full force with the first offer.  We do not even call the agent as a reminder that time is running out.  Less stress, but also the only way to protect our sellers.  Hope you get a full price offer soon.

Aug 09, 2011 02:10 AM #24
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Ellie: Thanks, I have another deal!!! This one is going to contract soon and will close quickly too....

Aug 09, 2011 02:12 AM #25
Ambassador
1,042,881
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Paula, over the past few years I have come to learn that I no longer believe "we are writing an offer" until I have it in writing, in my hot little hands. I don't tell my sellers until I have one in my hot little hands either because... more times than not it does not arrive. Or should I say, I HESITATE to say anything until it arrives.

But I understand why you did what you did, and believe me, I could do the very same thing. I usually have to repeat outloud to myself.. it isn't an offer until you SEE it...

Aug 10, 2011 04:11 PM #26
Rainmaker
500,819
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Andrea: I know that, like I know my own name--but each case is different and this one was a doozy! I had two outstanding showings with the second buyer and you could not tell me that she wasn't going to buy the house! I even took comfort in the fact that the agent was "up front" with me about her buyer having another house she had bid on!!! It could not have been better choreagraphed!! The weird thing is, I don't think it was intentional on the part of the other agent---she was just floating along; too bad she had no compassion for the other homeowner---or me for that matter!!

Aug 10, 2011 05:10 PM #27
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Rainmaker
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Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA

...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons
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