Your wife is fat and your baby is ugly. Will you sell me your house?

By
Real Estate Agent with South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com DRE# SA528757000

A tale of two home buyers.

"My buyers hope this will start the conversation."  That was the response from an agent when I asked him if he was sure he wanted me to submit his buyer's lowball offer on my listing that was priced at market value. I explained that I thought my sellers would be insulted but the response was the same, "we're just starting a conversation".

Yes, I get that. But starting a conversation with an insult is never a good plan.

So, I met with the sellers and tried to soften the blow as I shared the offer that was thousands below our list price, but all my sellers felt was insulted. 

buyer letter to sellerThis was the home that they had loved and cared for. They raised their children in this space. Grampa's sweater still hangs in the closet he called 'his room' when he came to visit.

The children have grown and grampa's been gone 3 years, but the memories are precious.

Yes, it's "just a house" and we counsel our sellers every day to not to take it personal, not to let emotions cloud their judgement, but for some sellers, this is an impossibility and something every buyer should understand.

Now, don't get me wrong...memories & seller emotions do not increase the monetary value of a home. The home is worth what the market will bear, but let me tell you how this played out.

Despite my suggestion that we counter the low offer, the sellers would not counter an offer from a buyer they felt had insulted them.

Enter homebuyer #2 who included a letter to the seller with their offer. The letter was written by the buyers introducing themselves and telling the seller a little bit about who they were. It explained how long they had been saving for their first home and how this home was a bit more than they could afford even though they knew it was worth what it was listed for. 

The buyers also shared all the things they loved about the home, how they looked forward to raising their family there and included a photo of their family. They became real people to my sellers, people who were going to love this home as much as the sellers had, and like the Visa commercial..that was priceless.

I probably don't have to tell you how this story ends. Homebuyer #2 will soon be making their own memories in their new home and my seller is thrilled that they could help make this happen.

Lessons in Home Buying

It's always important for a buyer's agent to communicate with the listing agent and develop a relationship. Some people call this Schmoozing.  I call it being a smart real estate agent! 

Had buyer's agent #1 felt out the situation just a bit, he might have learned that the sellers were emotionally attached to their home and his "opening conversation" could have gone a little differently.

Sometimes it's not all about the money.

 

 

 

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©2007 - 2016 Amy Jones. No article or image may be used without permission by the author. Some posts are also posted on Chandler Real Estate and Sun Lakes Real Estate

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Amy Jones, REALTOR®, CNE, EPro,CDPE, CSSPE
Keller Williams Integrity First Realty ~3341 E Queen Creek Rd, Suite 109, Gilbert, AZ 85297
Direct 480-250-3857 

Chandler, Sun Lakes, Gilbert, Tempe & Ahwatukee Real Estate
Voted Chandler's BEST REALTOR for 4 years! 

www.AmyJonesGroup.com

www.PhoenixArizonaRealEstateBlog.com 
www.YourSunLakesLifestyle.com

 

 

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan 01/26/2014 10:54 AM
  2. Chuck Carstensen 01/26/2014 06:34 PM
  3. Bob Crane 02/02/2014 09:28 AM
Topic:
Home Buying
Groups:
Realtors®
Diary of a Realtor
AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group
Tags:
making an offer on a home

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Rainmaker
565,890
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

I agree with the wisdom of having a buyer submit a well-written explanatory letter with their offer. It can make the difference between a yes and a no.

Jan 26, 2014 10:37 PM #49
Rainer
96,912
Jeff Fritzson: Frisco Real Estate Pro
Jeff Fritzson Real Estate, Ebby Halliday Realtors - Frisco, TX
Your Success is My Focus!

This business is all about relationships and communication. You can't establish a relationship without proper communication. Your story is great proof of that. Thanks for sharing.

Jan 26, 2014 11:03 PM #50
Rainmaker
634,538
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com - Chandler, AZ
4 Time BEST OF OUR VALLEY Winner

#36 - So true, Peter.

#37 - Thank you Inna, it's always hard to get the seller to come back after they feel they've been punched in the face. :)

#38 - Yes, Steven, we can tell our sellers that and we do, but if an agent feels "it's just business", they're missing the boat.

#39 - You got it, Donald.

#40 - See, Bill, that's where we disagree.  It's not "always about the numbers". There are sellers out there who are emotionally attached and it's easy for agents to forget that. Whether that fact is viewed as "right or wrong" does not matter.

If a buyer's agent doesn't get the backstory they won't know how to approach & present their offer. As this story illustrates had buyer #1's agent advised them to soften their low offer with a letter of introduction, the seller would have countered and they may have been closing on this home.

The second buyer did not pay that much more than the first had offered because their agent understood that. It's all about the PSYCHOLOGY of real estate negotiation. A buyer's agent who doesn't get that is immature in the art of negotiation and it cost their buyer the home by not tapping into the emotional component. The second agent was a skilled negotiator and in turn helped their buyer get the house. Lucky buyer #2 had an agent who understood how it all ties together.

 

Jan 26, 2014 11:04 PM #51
Rainmaker
634,538
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com - Chandler, AZ
4 Time BEST OF OUR VALLEY Winner

#41 - Thanks, Debbie~

#42 - Yes it does, Keith!

#43 - Ed - Yep, but sometimes what we advise only goes so far.

#44 - Thanks, Gary!

#45 - Nina- Great point. :)

#46 - Yes, Richie, we have and it's important we understand how the facts and the emotions all fit together. That makes for a prime negotiator.

#47 - Amanda & Jared, exactly!  So even if the buyer of a lowball offer gets the house, it can often be less than fun unless the buyer and the seller were "properly" introduced.

#48 - Thanks, Michael.  So true, so true.

#49 - Eric - Your buyers are lucky to have you!

#50 - Thanks, Jeff.  Obviously you have a good grasp on contract negotiations!

Jan 26, 2014 11:14 PM #52
Rainer
37,868
Jill Saddler
Draper, UT
Draper Utah Real Estate Professional - 25 years+!

Great post and SO TRUE!! There needs to be a certain respect with some situations... very happy to hear that buyer #2 will be moving in! :)

Jan 26, 2014 11:39 PM #53
Ambassador
2,724,515
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Amy, Then we're definitely going to have to continue to disagree.

So buyers agent didn't call and get the backstory, they're the "immature" negotiators?  Which side refused to actually negotiate again?  It wasn't the buyers.  So did buyer's agent #2 just spontaneously produce that letter, or was prompting on your part the cause after the first offer wasn't countered due to your sellers' emotional reaction?

It would appear that the sellers in this case chose to reject the first offer without even trying to consider other factors (e.g. cultural negotiating differences) that might have led them to ultimately receive a higher net offer if they could have just seen past their own emotions.  No, they'd rather be offended.  That's the luxury of an unmotivated seller.  They wanted someone to stroke them, and they ultimately got it.

Jan 26, 2014 11:55 PM #54
Rainmaker
257,245
Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York

Sometimes it's "just business." But when selling residential property there will always be that emotional element.

Jan 27, 2014 12:00 AM #55
Rainmaker
634,538
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com - Chandler, AZ
4 Time BEST OF OUR VALLEY Winner

#53 - Thanks, Jill!

#54 - Bill - Agent #1 chose to ignore the information I gave him with the standard "it's a numbers game" philosophy. Not all sellers are "standard issue". Neither agent was coached by me. Agent #2 was just was smart enough to cover the bases.

#55 - Vanessa, you hit the nail on the head! Unless you're dealing with a bank or a detached investor, the human beings who are selling are going to have emotions attached to what is likely the largest transaction they will ever have.

Jan 27, 2014 12:08 AM #56
Rainer
347,321
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Dana Point, CA
Capo Beach Realtor® - www.CapistranoBeachHomes.com

I've read so many articles about the pros and cons of those letters ... it's nice to hear about one that worked well.  (and I loved the title too, Amy)

Jan 27, 2014 12:11 AM #57
Rainmaker
1,459,836
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Your title definitely pulled me in!  

Selling and buy real estate is such an emotional experience, for both the buyer and seller.  Sometimes sellers won't negotiate and sometimes buyers won't either.  In those cases, one or the other just decides to walk and continue looking/waiting.

Sometimes that strategy works and sometimes it doesn't.

Jan 27, 2014 02:57 AM #58
Rainmaker
1,061,962
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Amy, I love the title of your post. It would be a good way share with buyer clients how their low-ball offer may be perceived.

Jan 27, 2014 11:27 AM #59
Rainmaker
543,912
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

If a seller is properly counseled before they put the sign out, there should be no need to soften any blow...

Sorry, real estate is a business transaction and it is NOT UP TO YOU TO QUESTION ANY OFFER...it is not up to you to call any offer "insulting"...it is a violation of the code of ethics  to add your personal opinion.

REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)

Eve in Orlando

Jan 27, 2014 10:49 PM #60
Rainmaker
634,538
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com - Chandler, AZ
4 Time BEST OF OUR VALLEY Winner

#57 - Thanks Raymond!

#58 - Kat - When we are working with humans, there's bound to be emotions involved!

#59 - Thanks, Sharon!

#60 - Oh Eve..you truly missed the point of the post. I did not question the offer. I shared with the first buyer's agent information that the buyers were emotionally attached in order to help him best serve his client by presenting the offer in the best light. When he wanted to submit it as is, I presented it objectively and encouraged the sellers to counter.  They were counseled prior to the listing that buyers will test the waters. What you don't seem to be taking into consideration is that EVERY seller is a human being and some are more emotional than others. This post was more about helping buyers understand that there's a way to soften the blow and communication is the key. Buyer's agent #2 GOT IT and so did their buyer.  Lucky buyer to have an agent who understood the psychology of real estate. 

Jan 27, 2014 11:05 PM #61
Rainmaker
543,912
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

I read correctly...

you said "But starting a conversation with an insult is never a good plan".

You already have a pre-conceived opinion of the offer...Sorry, but I find that sellers typically take on the attitude of their agent.

Eve

Jan 27, 2014 11:37 PM #62
Rainmaker
634,538
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com - Chandler, AZ
4 Time BEST OF OUR VALLEY Winner

Eva ~ I was simply relaying what the sellers felt and that was Insulted. Can't twist that any other way.

 

Jan 28, 2014 12:03 AM #64
Rainer
106,803
Rob Marken
Bend River Realty - Bend, OR
25+ years experience in Bend

Great point.  Communication is a great asset when communicating with another broker. 

Jan 28, 2014 12:47 AM #65
Rainmaker
634,538
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com - Chandler, AZ
4 Time BEST OF OUR VALLEY Winner

Thanks, Bob!  It sure is!

Jan 29, 2014 11:59 AM #66
Rainmaker
679,220
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY

I hear you on this blog posting!  My sellers recently received an offer over 30% lower than their "at market price" , move-in ready home.  We did put on our senses of humor and respond, but the buyer was adament.  I don't know what world he is living in, but he won't be buying many houses.

Jan 29, 2014 10:49 PM #67
Rainmaker
241,327
Bette Gottwald
UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
"Bet"on Central PA Real Estate!

Stopping by as a result of Bob's re-blog.  Great post.  Communication is the key to success in almost everything we do.  Sellers do seem to take a lot personally, and Buyers need to keep this in mind, unless they want to alienate them.

Feb 02, 2014 10:29 AM #68
Rainmaker
634,538
Amy Jones Group
South East Valley - www.AmyJonesGroup.com - Chandler, AZ
4 Time BEST OF OUR VALLEY Winner

Thanks, Cara & Bette! Buyer's do need to be sensitive to a sellers emotions no matter if it's a "numbers game" as some claim.  I mean really? Is your home all about numbers? My home isn't. :)

 

Feb 02, 2014 10:39 AM #69
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