Second showings, my aunt Fanny!

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

We wrote an offer the other day, on a new house that had come on the market.  It was priced competitively... $329,000.  My clients liked it, and there seemed to be a bunch of showings, so we wrote, what I though was a strong offer.

We weren't able to write a cash offer, but we offered $320,000 with a quick close and a strong preapproval showing 40% downpayment.  Not bad, right?

The listing agent responded angrily, "That's too low, and I'm sure my sellers will agree".  Well I've never been a big fan of that "pre-negotiation" tactic... show it to your clients before you bite my head off, eh?

They dragged their feet all day, and at the very end of the day responded with a counter of $327,500.  Really, just $1,500 reduction?? My buyers felt that the sellers didn't take our offer very seriously... so after much conversation, we agreed our counter went back at $315,000.

The listing agent responded with "Well, that's going the wrong direction!!"... "Yes, I'm aware.", and left the silence there to hang.  "They're not going to like that!", he spat. 

They dragged things out another full day, and responded with $327,500 (no movement at all)... and added "We have some second-showings tomorrow, so this is your chance to have it for $327,500".  We replied that our counter of $315,000 was firm. (how do you like our $320,000 original offer now?)...we added if one of your second showings decides to write you a stronger offer, we'll understand.

Within less than an hour, they called back and accepted our $320,000.

"Some second showings" - my aunt fanny.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 1710 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email:

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



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Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

One thing about real estate is the negotiating tactics we use for our clients

Jun 15, 2017 03:41 PM #1
Theo Shaw
Baird & Warner Residential Real Estate - Evanston, IL
Serving Evanston, IL & Beyond

Hi Alan,

Cool story!  With homes in our area selling for about 97% of list price, your first offer was generous.  Glad you got the deal done. 

Jun 15, 2017 03:56 PM #2
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Ha, Ha!! They bluffed & you guys didn't blink! Great job Alan. Congratulations to  both you & your buyers!

Jun 15, 2017 04:38 PM #3
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

The Art of Negotiation - He who cares least wins...-Kasey

Jun 15, 2017 05:06 PM #4
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC

I have done that, when pushed too far by never-ending counters.   It sends a clear signal that you're done with the games.  Your client has to be on board, of course.

Jun 15, 2017 06:56 PM #5
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Ha ha, Alan, you have to laugh at their attempt. Hope things proceed well, given how they started.


Jun 15, 2017 07:03 PM #6
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I love catching agenst trying to bluff their way through thinngs,

Jun 15, 2017 08:37 PM #7
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

$320K with large downpayment sounded reasonable to me! I love that your buyers' counter offer was less than their first offer. Great job.

Jun 16, 2017 03:48 AM #8
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Alan. I loved the story and I think you played it just right.

Jun 16, 2017 06:55 AM #9
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Wow!  I'm not sure we could get away with that in our market.  I had a buyer who tried a similar tactic, then wanted to report the listing agent because her offer wasn't even countered. In our market, if your buyer likes it, odds are, someone else's buyer likes it too.

Jun 16, 2017 09:01 AM #10
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Alan, I've never understood as a listing agent getting antagonistic with the other side.  The buyer wants what the seller wants, to transfer ownership of the home for a large stack of money.  Let's make it happen and keep the agent ego on the sideline where it belongs.

Jun 16, 2017 12:20 PM #11
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I remember negotiations that went in a similar vein.  Sometimes, I think that agents who make those "pre-emptive" remarks about offers they receive do their clients a great disservice.

Jun 17, 2017 02:16 AM #12
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Not sure if this guy was off his meds when talking to you ... or just had extremely poor negotiation skills, Alan May.  Whichever it was ... it amounted to poor representation of their client and their needs ... wow ...


Jun 20, 2017 02:06 PM #13
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