I Don't Want It Unless Someone Else Wants It!

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I Don't Want It Unless Someone Else Wants It!

There is an interesting phenomenon occurring in the real estate world that has some agents perplexed. Some of their listings are getting multiple offers while others sit gaining nothing more than additional days on the market.

It seems that the more offers that are received on a property the more offers that continue to trickle in. However, other well-priced listings may be sitting with nothing more than a few semi-interested calls from agents asking if there are offers coming in on the property. When the answer is "no," zero offers come in.

Many agents have told me that their buyers simply don't want to write an offer on a property that isn't being inundated with other offers, feeling that the lack of interest means that the home is not worth having. If they can't fight for it, they don't want it - which makes me think of preschoolers who only want to play with a toy once someone else has picked up. It seems counter-intuitive, but I have seen this happen many times: buyers will circle around a listing they love almost waiting to see if there is someone else interested before they take action. However, this is a strategy that can be very costly for a buyer.

While the concept that if people compete for a property it is guaranteed to be worth more later could have some merit, it is wiser to buy real estate based on facts and not competitive spirit. I know many smart buyers who have chosen not to compete in the price point with multiple offers and have in fact moved up or down in price to be in a less-competitive market. They have chosen to purchase great value properties that do not have the kind of competition that multiple offer properties with escalating prices do.

I encourage you to take a look at your buyers and ask yourself if this scenario sounds familiar. Sit down with your buyers and reevaluate your strategy regarding evaluating properties based on how it solves problems for a buyer and discuss price points. A change in strategy might just help your buyers find the real jewels in the market. Just because a property doesn't have a lot of activity or multiple offers does not mean it isn't an excellent buy.


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

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Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hi Denise, I have alwaus  felt that if many offers are mde it could lead to over paying for the home.

Oct 16, 2015 03:51 AM #1
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

The markets I work we kind of see the opposite, especially first time home buyers looking at homes that dont have offers. If I did have a client that was making offers on properties with multiple offers, I would sit them down and have a talk about what home values are based on. 

Have a great weekend!

Oct 16, 2015 03:54 AM #2
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

I wish we had that problem. We very seldom have multiple offers, so this issue does not come up often.

We are more likely to have buyers walk away from a negotiation because they do not want to get sucked into a bidding war.

AREIL! (All Real Estate Is Local)

Oct 16, 2015 07:16 AM #3
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential


Some call it the eBay syndrome. People have gotten used to bidding against each other and like it.

Oct 16, 2015 07:43 AM #4
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I recall a few years ago when my son was looking for a house. If the agent said "We need to act quickly because there are other offers coming in" he'd say "Then let's not bother looking at it." He had no desire to get in a bidding war. 

Of course, knowing how some of the agents in our area think (and their level of honesty), they probably just chased off the only person who had shown an interest. 

Oct 16, 2015 08:46 AM #5
Erick Blackwelder
Cell: 703-677-1120 - Woodbridge, VA
Text or call Erick now at 703-677-1120.

This is when we need to fall back on our scripts and dialogs.

Buyer: "How come nobody is making any offers on this house?"  You say, "This house has been waiting for you."

Oct 16, 2015 09:03 AM #6
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Denise,

That sounds like pure chance to me. I have never had a client want to make an offer, because others were doing so.

Oct 16, 2015 12:59 PM #7
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Many Dallas buyers are multiple offer adverse.  Sometimes Sellers receive multiple offers on Day 1.  Buyers rush to make an offer because they want to submit the first offer.

Oct 16, 2015 02:35 PM #8
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

It has everything with L3 that resonates with buyers and multiple offers. The perception regarding buyers who would rather make offers on locations that have multiple offers is nonsensical IMO.

Buyers have unique requirements, so, if a property meets their requirements but hasn't any offers, they would pass without any offer? There are other reasons buyers wouldn't make an offer and I believe it has everything to do with L3, location, location, location.

Oct 16, 2015 08:39 PM #9
Debra B Albert, PA - Keyes Realty
Keyes Realty Treasure Coast, 34986 - Port St Lucie, FL
Ron and Debbie 772.708.3292

Great Blog!  There is something to be said for "Educate your buyers on the local market".  Deb

Oct 16, 2015 10:57 PM #10
Jim Harper
Atlanta Communities Real Estate - Marietta, GA

Like Thomas and Sharon and others, my experience is that many buyers will run from an "auction" situation. They just don't want to be in a bidding war. Conversely, when our inventory shrank I did warn them that the home they liked would also have other fans.

Oct 17, 2015 01:54 AM #11
Theresa Akin

I'm not afraid to ask "How many?" I hate playing games. I tell my buyers if they want to make an offer make it their one and only and highest and best. This business of playing phone tag because of multiple offers is not for me. I let them know that if they want to get into a bidding war to remember the closing date they put in the offer and if they want to extend right off the bat. Bidding wars affect closing dates and I remind them of that.


Oct 17, 2015 02:46 AM #12
Rose O'Reilly Sievers,CRS,SRES
Carlsbad, CA

There is an agent who has the reputation of when you call them and ask is there any offers, they will say no.  Your buyer makes the offer and you email it to the agent.  The agent then counters on behalf of the seller, and shows multiple offers.  It can backfire, because my buyer refused to get in a bidding war and I found my buyer another home. 


I ran into the seller and she said, what happened to your buyer, I said your agent indicated you had another offer. Surprise! she said no I didn't.  That agent lost the listing because the seller knew she lied.

Oct 17, 2015 05:26 AM #13
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Oh boy this is a terrible situation for you!  Your buyers don't want a house unless other buyers do?  Is that the main reason for their decision??  When the market is tight as it is now, it seems like when a new house hits the market--in a desired area, updated and priced well--there are multiple offers. If there is something a bit 'off' about it -- it will sit for  a while.

Oct 17, 2015 07:39 AM #14
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

this reminds me of the days when we would participate in Auctions, fun times...

Oct 18, 2015 04:36 AM #15
Walter Northfield
Northfield Properties - Everett, WA
Love life

There is no question an offer creates a sense of urgency!  Often you have remorse with buyers wondering if they over paid and the appraiser, well lets not go there. After buyers realize they can have the property the real question is do they really want it?  I have been on both sides with multiple offers,  at times seller is left empty after 30 days and I have had to hold buyers hand to the signing.


Oct 19, 2015 05:02 AM #16
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

This may be true, but I have not seen it.  I think well prepared properties priced right get lots of offers and sell.  I think there are bargains to be had on other properties.

Oct 19, 2015 05:15 AM #17
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I think this could be location and price specific here in AZ.  

Oct 19, 2015 09:24 AM #18
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Oh the game of real estate. It's sad but true, I find it's either feast or famine with offers. 

Oct 19, 2015 10:06 AM #19
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