Staging Your Offer

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Staging Your Offer


Yes, it can be done. And probably should, in particular if there are multiple offers and you want your offer, like a home, to show its best.


Perhaps the subtitle should be "Dressed for Success!"


Let’s face it – you want your offer to look great! You’ve made an effort to get pre-approved, have looked at a number of homes, decided on one you really like, and you want it. Bad!


So of course you want your offer accepted, right?!


Granted, the bulk of the responsibility for making the offer look great rests with your buyer agent, but there are some ways you must contribute.


What are the key components of a well staged offer, and why is it important?


You may be competing with other offers, and you want yours to be appealing to the listing agent, but most importantly to the sellers.


Not unlike when someone sells a home. Get rid of the crap and make the house (and your offer) show the best that it can. Curb appeal is essential. No clutter, no deferred maintenance.


The Offer Amount

Don't make a mistake of making the wrong offerThe amount you offer is a key component. If the amount is way off you won’t get the seller in the door (i.e., think of home that is not appealing or is over-priced), or the seller’s attitude will be one of disgruntlement. That’s an ugly offer! It probably won’t sell.


Terms and Conditions

Just as buyers may shy away from clutter, dirt, and garish colors, the terms and conditions in your offer should be reasonable, easy to understand and something that will not be a turn-off or really raise the eyebrows.


Even if the offer amount is good, the terms and conditions could make the seller shy away. As in a well-staged home, sometimes less is more.


How Does the Offer Look

Will your offer make the seller say NO!?The appearance of the offer could make a difference.


First of all, is it easy to read (sometimes copies or scans suck)? Is it complete, i.e., not just all the required paperwork (offer, pre-approval, proof of funds), but all the information in the offer including initials and signatures, and no required information left empty?


Did Your Agent Make an Appointment?

Like setting up a showing, your agent should let the listing agent know an offer was sent, and how, and to request they look for it? So often offers get sent with no forewarning from the buyer agent.


And making sure the offer was received…like confirming a showing appointment…is important. Sometimes things happen with technology, on either the sender’s or the receiver’s side.


*   *   *   *   *


Staging an offer should just be good business practice, and representating the buyer appropriately. It doesn't happen often but I seen some offers that are pretty scary, for a number of reasons. Not unlike the occasional house on the market.


Do you stage YOUR offers?


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John DL Arendsen 08/18/2014 06:15 AM
  2. John Meussner 08/20/2014 03:09 AM
  3. Winston Heverly 04/16/2015 01:07 PM
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California San Diego County Carlsbad
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Elizabeth Y. Foulds
Long & Foster Real Estate - Saint Michaels, MD
Your St Michaels Realtor

Great post and comment.  I love the heading.   I also add a Summary Page (Report #75 - Ellen & Don Stephens) which is also useful when countering because all the terms are on one page.   The Summary Page is also very helpful when sending via email.

Aug 18, 2014 12:35 PM #85
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jeff, the moment I know there are multiple offers, I start thinking how I can get my offer accepted. Staging is a great concept - and my staging includes cover letter, escalation clause and flexibility from buyers. Works most of the time.

Aug 18, 2014 01:19 PM #86
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Love your analogy - should make it easy for buyers to understand.  Fear or greed are the biggest problems I see in getting clean, strong offers put together.

Aug 18, 2014 10:21 PM #87
Karen Mathers - REALTOR®
Keller Williams Vero Beach - Vero Beach, FL
When it Matters, Choose Mathers! 772-532-3221

I have never heard of it referred to as staging, but what an appropriate term! 

Aug 18, 2014 11:00 PM #88
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Jeff,

Making it easy for the seller & listing agent sure helps. I got an offer once, where I could not read the agent's name properly & he forgot to put any contact info for himself. Since the offer was the lowest of multiple offers, I had to call the potential buyer at the number on her check to let her know directly & I certainly tried to look up her agent before taking that step.

Aug 19, 2014 02:51 AM #89
Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I missed this great post a few days ago but glad I stumbled upon it.  Just like in anything, an offer should be presented in a professional way!  Excellent points here!

Aug 19, 2014 05:10 AM #90
Marge Draper
Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto - Menlo Park, CA
REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA

Jeff,  Great reminder of how to put together a professional offer.  But whatever happened to the "personal, in front of the seller and listing agent" presentation?

Aug 19, 2014 08:06 AM #91
Ted Glover
Alderman Classic Realty, LLC - Moultrie, GA
ABR in Moultrie, Georgia 229-854-5422

Jeff, that was a very thought out plan and great explanation of how to present the offer for best impact to the sellers.

Aug 19, 2014 01:44 PM #92
Brian Force
Dallas, TX
Work With the Best!

EVERY offer should be packaged this way. Not only will you stand out in multiple offer situations, but instill an air of confidence that leads to more negotiating power and an ultimately smoother transaction.

Aug 20, 2014 04:30 AM #93
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

All day long, I'll tell you what I really care about as the listing agent is to get an offer which has appealling terms for my seller client.  All day long.

It tends to be that the unexpected email with a note that says "please see this offer" and little else usually doesn't herald much promise.  We've got 36+ pages contracts in this part of the world, and to my mind, there's a natural order for how the contact should read.   When I get everything without a cover memo suggesting the highlights, or when I get all the contact parts sent to me in alphabetical order, I brace myself and again, consider this may not be the best offer.

Sometimes those offers are the ones the seller likes; I usually find the well positioned and well presented offer, along with the phone call from the buyer agent, usually heralds an offer and a buyer who truly are ready the the best.

Aug 20, 2014 01:21 PM #94
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

You are so right on with this. I think it is the little things we do that connect people to us and the more we can make our offers clear, easy to understand and connect them to us emotionally the better. 

Aug 20, 2014 03:19 PM #95
Andrea HoffDomin
Florida Dream Homes Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
- in Real Estate always on your side!

A very interesting post and we should know how to do it right, but many offers as so crabby that it is embarrassing to present them to the seller.

Sunny greeting from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Aug 23, 2014 07:06 AM #96
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Jeff, I never thought of the term "staging your offer', but I actually do most everything you wrote about. It's always good to make your offer stand out any way possible.

Aug 24, 2014 04:02 AM #97
Jason David Maddox

Great Advice! I'm definitely a fan of "less is more" and with DocuSign, everything is clean and super neat.

Aug 29, 2014 11:27 AM #98
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

Jeff,  what a great read I came across today, keep them coming for all of us active Rainers.

Mar 16, 2015 11:35 AM #99
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Winston Heverly 

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the compliment


Mar 16, 2015 01:39 PM #100
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

This is good advice. I am amazed at the number of agents that send an offer and then do not follow up with a phone call verifying that it was received.

Apr 13, 2015 04:10 AM #101
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Jeff, a well written offer, like any proposal makes a big difference, we do this even when it is not a multiple offer situation.

Apr 16, 2015 04:34 PM #102
Faith LaRosse
Springer Realty Group - Wyomissing, PA
Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties

Jeff, I wound up on this post after reading today's post about multiple offers-  Great information!! Well worth reading!  Happy Easter!

Mar 27, 2016 08:11 AM #103
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     Make sure it is received!  I blogged about that once, after I learned that the Listing agent had NOT presented my offer (he had only presented his own offer, to get both sides of the commission).

Mar 27, 2016 09:31 AM #104
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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