Do You HAVE To Present The Offer For Your Buyer?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843


We don't use buyer agreements.  I can't say that we never will, but we haven't felt the need for them yet.  That said, here's the situation:

A few years ago I had a set of buyers that was looking for a property in the country.  They assured me that they knew exactly what they were looking for, and that they would be very easy to work with.  Over the years I have learned that those who say they are going to be easy...  usually aren't.  :)  

I showed them a home here and there for about six months.  They really weren't in a big hurry.  Then one day the perfect home came on the market.  I called them and we saw it that afternoon.  

They fell in love with it.  We sat down at the dining room table to write the offer.  I showed them comparables and recommended offering $180,000 on this $200,000 property.  I figured we would come together around $190,000 or so, which would have been a great price.  

The husband smiled at me.  He leaned forward, winked at me, and said "Let's offer $100,000 and see what they say."  

I laughed until I realized he was serious.  Then I REALLY laughed.  I reviewed the comparables again, reminded him the home JUST came on the market, showed him that most homes like that go for 96-100% of list price, and told him that writing an offer like this is a total waste of time for them, me, listing agent, and the sellers.  

Then he dropped this bomb:  "You are my agent so you HAVE to submit the offer I tell you to offer.  Let's write it up!  I'm not paying more than $100,000 for it."  

Realtors®:  What would you do at this point?  

General Public:  What are your thoughts here?  Have you heard this rule before?  


Posted by




Fort Wayne Realtors Jared and Amanda Christiansen with Century 21 Bradley

Amanda Christiansen is an award winning Realtor with Christiansen Group Realty.


Jared Christiansen is a business partner and in charge of marketing and taking care of things behind the scene.


Enough about us...


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We are committed to giving you everything we have to offer.  We are both full time agents and will work around your schedule.  Do nights and weekends work better for you?  NO PROBLEM. We are here to help YOU at YOUR convenience.


Amanda can be reached at 260-704-0843, and Jared can be reached at 260-704-0842, or you can email us at, or




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Mar 29, 2012 03:34 AM #92
Rocky Dole
Revelation Real Estate - Maricopa, AZ

I don't think that there is anything that says you have to work with unreasonable people. If I was in this situation with them being this demanding I would simply show them where the door is.

Mar 29, 2012 03:55 AM #93
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Jared- What a story. I haven't had anyone want to write that much of a low ball offer but, I think I'd handle the way you would could you do it over again. Writing offers and submitting them can be time consuming and if they aren't somewhat realistic why bother? Unbelievable that they are still in their rental!

Mar 29, 2012 04:29 AM #94
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

I have been in similar situations.  If I have a buyers agency I will still tell the client what I think of the offer.  I will warn them that low balling can have consequences.  If they really want the home they should reconsider the strategy.

I had it happen last month and the seller was so ticked they refused to counter.  My guy, who refused to listen to me was desperate to have the home.  He kept telling me to raise the offer.  I advised against that but he insisted.  He wound up paying full price.

If he had done it my way I could have saved him $10,000.00.  I did my job and warned him then I was obedient and followed his directions.  That's all we can do.

Mar 29, 2012 04:32 AM #95
Richard and Beth Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Massapequa, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

New York State Law mandates that all offers must be presented to a seller!  Of course an offer that ridicules can just get a fast phone call... People are fun.. don't you agree


Mar 29, 2012 07:07 AM #96
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

I think you handled it quite well - especially in your invitation to be fired conversation.  Life is too short to be the lackey of an idiot.

Mar 29, 2012 08:08 AM #97
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Not being in your shoes, I can only imagine what I would say. However, I have had people tell me what they want in a mortgage... and I've had to drop the bomb on them that rates just arent where they WANT them to be (without paying some serious points). After a little conversation, I basically said "I dont think I'm the right broker for you".

I'd think that I would do the same thing with this buyer. I'd explain that they must not value my time and certainly do not take into consideration my professional input on the market. If you want to offer something low, it needs to be MUCH higher than what they offered but they can still test the water if they would like. But something that low is a waste of everyones time. Have a good day!

Mar 29, 2012 09:32 AM #98
Kathy Stoltman
Rockwood Realty - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

I have never heard of a rule like that.  If I know there is not a chance for it to be accepted, I normally do not write an offer.  The buyers have to be realistic to the local market.  I personally do not want to get a reputation for someone who simple writes low ball offers, I believe by doing so, I demonstrate my lack of knowledge of the local market.

Mar 29, 2012 09:33 AM #99
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Those are exactly the people that you need to remove from your business model. I'd councel them as best I could and if they were just "testing the waters" or "just in case" i'd write the offer. But if they were serious, and you thought they'd be doing this with every house, it's time to say goodbye.

Mar 29, 2012 09:35 AM #100
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Wow, can't say that we have ever had a buyer who low balled that much. After I picked my jaw up off the floor and asked them if they were kidding, I would definitely go over the comps and list to sales price again. If they still stuck with that offer, I would write a letter of intent, not even bother with a full contract, or do a verbal just to be laughed at and hung up on. If that didn't bring them around, we would part ways.


Mar 29, 2012 02:09 PM #101
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I realize that this is a 3 year old story, but in todays market the first question I would ask is "is this property overpriced?", then I would proceed to ask the buyer a few questions and not stop asking until I got real answers - Do you know something about the seller that I don't?  why do you think that the seller would donate $100k toward your home purchase?  do you think there is something seriously wrong with the home? why do you think they would accept this offer? do you realize that if we make this offer that the seller and their agent may not be willing to work with us again at any price?

After going through these questions with your buyers, they may either convince you that they have a good reason for placing this offer or they may convince themselves that they should raise the price to an acceptable offer.  Assuming that these people are predators or idiots or some of the things mentioned above is premature and may show more about your limited perspective than theirs.

Mar 29, 2012 03:03 PM #102
Tony Barker
Premiere Home Realty - Tony Barker 832-867-0835 - Houston, TX

My approach is to ask "Do you want a home or a deal?  Because you told me this home was the best one for your family".  To put it another way "How owuld you feel if someone put in a price closer to market value and you lost the home?  What is your back up property"?

I hope this helps.


Mar 30, 2012 10:59 AM #103
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

If they had signed a BBA I would submit it.  They may not get this house, but they will not get one without you.  

Mar 30, 2012 12:48 PM #104
William Rhoten
Richmond, VA

I may not win friends for saying this, but it seems to me like the buyers agent's job is to present an offer to the seller or sellers agent's.  The seller's agent's job is to present that offer to the seller.  We can talk about legal and moral obligations or we can talk about the agent's roll as an adviser, but at the core of a transaction is the buyer and the seller. The agents should be working as facilitators of communication not road blocks.

You never know what a seller will do with an offer until you present it to him/her.  You failed to present an offer to a seller because the listing agent discouraged you?  Some buyers may choose to buy a home without even using a Realtor because they don't want to have to justify their negotiating tactics.

If you choose not to work with people who take the low ball approach then you could screen them before you start showing them houses.  This buyer turned out to be just a looker who was really waisting your time from the start but some real buyers will choose to nigotiate this way.  It is not a nice way to negotiate and it may even be unethical of the buyer to use that tactic, but it is a known and recognizable tactic and sometimes it even works.  I understand this was a learning experience for you and you probably do screen them now.

Thanks for the thought provoking post.  I enjoyed reading it and the many different responses.

Mar 31, 2012 05:29 AM #105
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

That was the husband's polite way of telling you he doesn't want to buy a house.

I would let him know that I heard him loud and clear.

Mar 31, 2012 12:23 PM #106
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning,

We have all worked at some time or another with a buyer like this. Real Estate is always a learning process..some get it..some don't. I'd let this one go and never look back!!

Mar 31, 2012 09:27 PM #107
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

like many above ..... write it ..... present it with apologies to the listing agent ..... be very busy when they call to see other homes because they are not going to get this one

Apr 01, 2012 01:03 AM #108
Arthur Wainio
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ

I wouldn't be working with them.  I would show them 3 to 4 homes and then ask them to buy. If that happened to me then I would just tell them I'm not your agent any more.

Apr 02, 2012 03:57 AM #109
Jacqueline Drake CRS
Jacqueline Drake Realty - Saint David, AZ
Southeast Arizona land, farms & horse properties

Years ago I had an agent present a ridiculous offer and my seller would not counter and asked " do they believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?"

Sometimes a buyer needs to realize that the market might not be the best but most sellers are not that desperate. That type offer often gets a full price counter offer. Some buyers are educated and others keep trying the same thing over and over if we are willing to work with them.

Once when a buyer wanted to write an offer that equally ridiculous I told them that it would not be worth his time or mine to with such an offer. It's not easy but sometimes you need to divorce a buyer.

Jacqueline Drake CRS

Cochise County AZ

Apr 02, 2012 04:22 PM #110
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

That's when yelling to the top of my lungs...............................NEXT!! feels so damn good. 


There's a time to WRITE THE CLIENT OFF. This is one of them.

Apr 05, 2012 02:41 AM #112
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