We Don't Care What The Buyers Offered, We're Countering!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

Contract timeWe Don't Care What The Buyers Offered, We're Countering!

Okay, we can't exactly say those words in that order, because the decision during negotiations ISN'T ours to make, it's up to the homeowners.  We advise (sometimes strongly), but Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, how we respond is your call.

However, we've learned a lot over the years about successfully negotiating home sales, and we've also learned from negotiations that go down in flames.  That experience of knowing what and how to say things is a large part of why you hired us, even though it might not have been top of list when we interviewed.  Marketing, commission rates and more might have been more important to you, but bottom line, all of those things without the ability to close the deal when it's time don't mean much.

"But BLiz, their initial offer is a joke!  They can't possibly come to a price we'll accept!"  But here's the thing, they liked your home enough to write an offer.  They WANT to make your home their home.  They've been inundated with "It's a buyer's market" for the past five years, so they've got to try for the steal.  Human nature.  We won't be surprised if you want to do the same thing after you sell your home and it's time to buy again.  But it's not their first offer that tells us how serious they are, but the 2nd offer price.  And to get to that 2nd offer, YOU HAVE TO COUNTER!  Rejecting their offer slams the door shut.  Game over man!  And unless your home offers something REALLY unique they can't get elsewhere, they won't be back.  That 2nd response from them is where you REALLY start to see the buyer's motivation.

Another part of our negotiating philosophy is make the other side be the ones to walk away from the negotiating table.  Even when they provide a "best and final" that doesn't work for you, don't just say NO, but go back to them one more time.   Maybe with the same offer as before, or maybe a slight change to their benefit.  Let them know you're still interested in completing the deal.  Maybe their "best" was a bluff.  One last attempt in good faith may accomplish one of two things:  either get them to find a way to go a little higher (and maybe JUST high enough), or at least let them leave negotiations with the door still wide open for them to come back later.  And that's a good thing, because sometimes they do come back!

By no means is this a complete coverage of our negotiating skills!  We know NOT to  be the agents that throw gasoline on the negotiating fires.   Neither buyers nor sellers should expect the professionals they hired to represent them to be the ones committing dealicide (yes spellchecker, we made that up). 

So what we ask from all our clients, listen to us when it's time to negotiate.  We do this often.   Every offer won't be a winner, but we know how to give each offer the best possible chance to survive.  And if this offer doesn't work?  We'll keep marketing to get that offer that DOES work!

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

 

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ellie McIntire 07/16/2012 11:09 PM
  2. Evelyn Kennedy 07/17/2012 06:48 AM
  3. Debbie Reynolds 07/17/2012 02:39 PM
  4. Tom & Lisa Slaughter 07/17/2012 11:04 PM
  5. Gene Riemenschneider 07/20/2012 05:53 AM
  6. Winston Heverly 12/06/2012 12:38 PM
Topic:
Home Selling
Groups:
Realtors®
RE/MAX Active Rain Bloggers
Ohio Active Rainers
Advice for Sellers
Bananatude
Tags:
negotiating

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Ambassador
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Liz and Bill, I had one that lasted for three months one time, and we finally made it work.  The agents and the buyer were really, really patient.

Jul 18, 2012 12:08 PM #107
Rainmaker
1,431,210
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Churchill used to say "Talk Talk is better than War War."  Well in Real Estate "Negotiate Negotiate is better then Set Set."

Jul 18, 2012 01:37 PM #108
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Pat, That's REALLY patient!  3 months is a long time to go back and forth.

Gene, As long as they're talking, they've at least got a chance at making a deal.

Jul 18, 2012 01:38 PM #109
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I like that method of letting the other side be the one to walk away - so they can feel free to come back.

Jul 18, 2012 05:26 PM #110
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Marte, It's always good to let them have that feeling if it doesn't work out the first time.  After another look through what's out there, they just may come back with a new limit on what they can do.

Jul 18, 2012 08:31 PM #111
Rainmaker
2,502,838
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Hi Liz and Bill, no additions added to this post...you said it..excellent advice...I'm bookmarking for a reference.

Jul 20, 2012 04:08 AM #112
Rainmaker
373,445
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, KW Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
Lead Associate Broker

What a great post. I can't agree with you more.

I have buyers who want to send a message with their first offer. Just as the seller strategically picks a starting price, so does the buyer.

Jul 20, 2012 05:36 AM #113
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Rebecca, Thanks!  Always glad to help :)

Dana, There's definitely strategy from both sides, hopefully there's some overlap in the middle for both of them.

Jul 20, 2012 06:52 AM #114
Rainer
286,848
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

Taking OFfENCE at an offer weakens your DEFENCE of your asking price.

Jul 21, 2012 02:19 AM #115
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Thomas, No doubt getting overly emotional can scuttle the negotiating strategy.

Jul 21, 2012 02:54 AM #116
Rainmaker
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Debra Gould
Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc. - Toronto, ON
The Staging Diva

Liz/Bill I totally agree with all your points and want to add this observation from a non-agent.

I've bought and sold 8 homes and my own real estate agent never knows my true "final offer," or the bottom price I'd be prepared to sell at, for all the reasons you've mentioned. It's a negotiation between buyer and seller, but there are also two agents involved making a percentage of the agreed upon number.

I've found keeping some of my cards close to the vest gives me more power in the negotiation.

Jul 21, 2012 04:20 AM #117
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Debra, As a general rule, we'll provide our sellers the "break even" point.  But their actual bottom line price is totally up to them and rarely are we totally privy to that TRUE price for them.  And often we've been told one thing and watched the clients do something totally counter to what they said :)  Every situation is different.  And frankly, from a liability standpoint, if we never know their true bottom line, we can't be accused of disclosing.  Not that we would of course, but people's heads can go to funny places, especially if the situation turned into dual agency. 

Jul 21, 2012 04:26 AM #118
Rainmaker
252,643
Benjamin Clark
Homebuyer Representation, Inc. - Salt Lake City, UT
Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert

We just made a reasonable offer on a home where the seller was listing unreasonably high. Still, we thought if they would be reasonable (we were about $12,000 apart), we could make a deal.

The offer was rejected outright.

We are now building the same floor plan around the corner with the upgrades WE want for less money. Yes, it will be a few months down the road before my clients can move in.

If the seller would have just countered, who knows what may have happened? Their home still sits there for sale today.

Jul 24, 2012 10:17 AM #119
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Benjamin, And that response is just baffling isn't it?  Why not at least counter and see what happens?  Then if it doesn't work out, at least the attempt was made.  We don't expect every offer to come together (got plenty of experience with that), but at least an honest effort to negotiate should be made.

Jul 24, 2012 11:03 AM #120
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Bliz, I always encourage sellers to counter. Even if the offer was an insult. Recently while sellers from two different deals were doing this, a second offer came in close to full price. Those two other offers might not have been so strong if it hadn't been for the presence of a low-ball offer we were trying to negotiate. Obviously, the second buyers didn't know the first offers were low-ball but it got them to come in with good strong offers that my clients were able to close on in less than 30 days. You never know what can happen during a negotiation.

Jul 25, 2012 02:09 AM #121
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Tammie, Exactly!  The buyer that starts low extends the time line of negotiations and opens the door for someone else to come in and offer too.  And if that 2nd offer is even slightly better, that first offer is probably getting kicked to the curbs because negotiations didn't start with a warm fuzzy for the sellers.

Jul 25, 2012 02:16 AM #122
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Liz:  Always counter a low offer.  Always.  I have seen it happen many times that a couple will make a really low offer... but at the insistence of just ONE person in that couple.  The other wants the house, and actually resents what is usually their husband making such a bad offer.

By the time the counter comes back... the wife usually has beaten up the husband about it so badly, he will sign anything.  LOL.  It's really fun to watch.      

Dec 06, 2012 12:50 PM #123
Rainmaker
739,997
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Very good, sometimes because of culture or upbringing a serious buyer will initiate with a low ball offer to "feel the situation/sellers out".

Dec 06, 2012 12:57 PM #124
Rainmaker
558,553
HGNL Digital Marketing Agency
Detroit, MI
We are a full service real estate marketing agency

Hi,

Well stated.

The first offer should always be viewed as a starting point not a final offer. I’ve bookmarked this blog for future reference, love the verbiage.

 

Dec 06, 2012 01:04 PM #125
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Karen Anne, I've just started working with a buyer couple that I suspect may work exactly this way.  Showing them another home soon and we'll see what happens the first time they want to offer.

Pete, We see a lot of that, but as the market balances out I suspect we'll see that approach decline.

Wandanna, Definitely, just something to get the talks going.  After that we find out how really serious the buyer is.

Dec 06, 2012 06:15 PM #126
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