Special offer

You Told Me That Writing A Full Price Offer Was A Waste Of Time!

Real Estate Broker/Owner CalBRE# 01433049

Oh boy. I got a very nasty e-mail from another agent the other day. It started with "You told me that writing a full price offer was a waste of time!". Then he followed up with "I can't believe you sold that house for that low of a price. My client would have paid more than that!".

Well howdy doody to you too. Yes, Mr. Agent, when you called and asked how many offers I had, I told you I had 4 offers in hand. Then you asked if writing a full price offer would be a waste of your time. I said "YES".

Apparently, Mr. Agent, you feel that properly representing your client is a "waste of time" unless you can be told that your offer, which you evidently don't have time to write, is a clear winner.

Those 4 offers I had were all above asking price. That is what the agent was fishing for and he got his answer. So why he turned around and admonished me for giving him the answer he was fishing for, and then not acting on that tidbit of information, is beyond me. Why didn't he write an offer for what he tells me his client would have paid?

My opinion is, Mr. Agent, if your client lost out on buying my listing because you were unwilling to write an offer for the price they "would have paid", then maybe your client needs to consider working with a different agent.


Posted by


Cynthia Larsen (707-332-2560) is an independent real estate referral broker in Sonoma County, California as well as a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist.

CA Broker License #01433049

Comments (33)

Rob Spinosa
US Bank - Larkspur, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator, Marin County

I don't know the buyers' situation in this case, but often there is a value to writing even when the odds of getting the property are low.  "You have to kiss a few frogs" is the mentality here and some of the best agents with whom I work will encourage an offer because the exercise can prove valuable in the grand scheme of the search --- whether this property or the next.  So if this agent is holding back based on odds, it could indeed be hurting his clients in more ways than one.

Nov 29, 2017 05:27 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Yes, for every offer written, the buyer learns more about the process and can understand why they lost out (if their agent bothers calling the listing agent to find out).

Nov 29, 2017 08:50 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

"My client would have paid more than that." So why hold back in a multiple offer situation? From the sellers side, it's not just the price but the "cleanest" offer with the least or no contingencies.

Nov 29, 2017 06:26 AM
Cynthia Larsen

I know, right? If his client would have paid more than the over asking offer that won the bid, then why didn't he write?

Nov 29, 2017 08:51 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

I have a listing that is an investor type property.  I've had numerous calls, emails and texts asking if the seller will take from $40-60K less than list.  I've told everyone to "write it up".  Yesterday we signed an offer close to list and now I have all of these "prospective buyers" mad at me because they "didn't get a chance".  Really, no, you had a chance. 

Nov 29, 2017 06:32 AM
Cynthia Larsen

So you understand exactly. "Didn't get a chance", are you kidding me?

Nov 29, 2017 08:52 AM
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Around here in the lower prices ranges, we have quite a few bank repos. The listing agents sometimes low ball the price and then try to start a bidding war. All things being equal, the winning offer is most often represented by that same Realtor. These are generally cash deals where no appraisal is done.

Nov 29, 2017 07:03 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Sounds like quite the little enterprise that realtor has going on, managing to double end the deal time after time.

Nov 29, 2017 08:54 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Seriously, I don't know how some agents manage to tie their shoelaces in the morning. LOL
Don't call and try to feel me up. Just write the damn thing and send it! 

Nov 29, 2017 07:32 AM
Cynthia Larsen

I always call to find out if the listing agent has any offers in hand, I think that is valuable information for my buyer. Then we put together the best offer we can and submit with a pre-approval and cover letter.

Nov 29, 2017 08:57 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

To check if the property is available . . . yes . . .

Nov 30, 2017 08:56 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Oh yes, that too! Some agents are better than others when it comes to changing the status in the MLS.

Nov 30, 2017 12:42 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
True that!
Dec 01, 2017 07:37 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Cythina, well, he can't say you didn't give him the straigh scoop. People do seem to be testy today. What's up with that?

Nov 29, 2017 06:28 PM
Cynthia Larsen

I think because of the lack of inventory the herd is thinning. All the more reason to write any offer you can.

Nov 29, 2017 08:45 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Sounds like an agent who is embarrassed he did not do the job he was supposed to do - represent his client to the best of his ability - and goofed up, so he needs to blame someone else rather than take responsibility. Probably got an earful from the buyer, and deservedly so!


Nov 29, 2017 08:09 PM
Cynthia Larsen

I think you hit the nail on the head. He probably sent a copy of that e-mail to his buyer too. I never responded, so he never had any more of my words to twist. Kind of wish his buyer would have called :)

Nov 29, 2017 08:48 PM
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

When I got finished reading your post, I was confused.  Why did that agent complain that you sold it for so low when you stated that all four offers were above list price. I was wondering if maybe during the inspection that maybe the seller had to give a lot of concessions?  So it left me hanging.  I had to read the comments to find out that the final price that was accepted was actually above list price in order to confirm that the agent was off base and was a stupid  *ss.

Nov 30, 2017 05:02 AM
Cynthia Larsen

I was just as confused as you, Tim. Still am.

Nov 30, 2017 12:30 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

It seems to happen more and more in this market when new listings sell quick and a buyer agent does not write an offer becuase they were too busy, waited too long or told their buyer to try offering less to start. 

Nov 30, 2017 05:21 AM
Cynthia Larsen

A buyer's agent has to be on top of it in this crazy seller's market, no questions asked.

Nov 30, 2017 12:31 PM
Doug Cook
Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors - O'Fallon, IL
Better Service, Better RESULTS!

I can relate, Cynthia.  A few months ago, I had an agent call with the typical question regarding the existance of other offers.  I had permission from my seller to disclose that we did so I informed the agent and he submitted a rather low offer.  Instead of letting either party submit a second Best and Final offer, as is common in our area, my client decided to accept the highest offer he received because he knew both buyers had knowledge their offers were in competition.

The other agent was furious!  Told me I was an idiot because his client would have paid well over asking price.  I had to chuckle at the irony of this guy calling me an idiot over my seller's decision.  Then, HIS client calls me explaining that the house was perfect and begging me to convince the seller to reconsider.  I could feel the stress he was under as they had been looking for a home for quite a while and his family was crushed.  I felt bad for them but directed him back to his agent.  He told me that guy was no longer his agent because the offer he submitted was based on his agent's advice and assurance that if it wasn't high enough, they would have an opportunity to submit another offer. 

And he called me the idiot...

Nov 30, 2017 05:37 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Oh my gosh, Doug Cook ! I feel SO bad for that buyer. I can't believe agents who think that there is only one way of doing things. I've had sellers who insist on highest and best, while others will choose an offer based on who wrote the best cover letter. It's all a crap shoot, he's the idiot!

Nov 30, 2017 12:35 PM
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Got my attn. on this one ! I too have been on this journey with multiple offers and agents not taking heed and submitting offer even if multiples in hand. if they want consideration at all, they have to be in writing. period. Really simple. 

Nov 30, 2017 07:40 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Yep, simple. If you don't write the offer, it will NEVER get accepted.

Nov 30, 2017 12:35 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I always enjoy reading a blog like this, where I feel the agent is venting about a particular experience.  What a waste of time, plus it's very petty, to even question the final sales price of the house.  He/she wasn't involved in the transaction, the inspections, the negotiations after inspections. Would not want to work with that agent ever.

Nov 30, 2017 08:45 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Luckily, Mary, I was working in an area where I will never come across that agent again.

Nov 30, 2017 12:36 PM
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

The sad truth is, buyers and sellers usually don't realize they selected an agent who will not provide superb representation. Real estate agents are no longer "all the same". The level of professionalism and "standing out from the others" has risen. If only the general public saw it that way.

Nov 30, 2017 09:39 AM
Cynthia Larsen

You are so right, there are so many levels of experience out there. So many buyers are not getting the representation they need and deserve.

Nov 30, 2017 12:37 PM
Jon Sigler
Coldwell Banker Realty - South Windsor, CT
Sigler Sold Another! 860-306-8029

If they were willing to, they should have shown so in their offer!

Nov 30, 2017 10:20 AM
Cynthia Larsen


Nov 30, 2017 12:37 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Make the offer. Or don't. Does not take that long to use the software and keeps the buyer in your corner. Doing nothing unless a sure thing is lazy.

Nov 30, 2017 11:40 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Right! It takes a lot less time to write an offer than it does to find another client to replace the one you just lost.

Nov 30, 2017 12:40 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

This may be an example of an agent the did not know as much as he thought he knew.

It would appear that the buyer might be more upset with their agent than he was with you.

Congratulations on a good sale.

Nov 30, 2017 12:29 PM
Cynthia Larsen

None of it made sense to me at all. Telling the agent I had 4 offers in hand and that it would be a waste of his time (his words) to write a full price offer ... how could that message been misinterpreted? Sheesh!

Nov 30, 2017 12:44 PM
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

He had nothing to lose by putting an offer down. It doesn't even make sense that he didn't make an offer. Oh well. His loss. I'm sorry he took out his frustrations out on you. 

Nov 30, 2017 12:31 PM
Cynthia Larsen

Thanks Corey. I didn't even respond to the agent, it would have been a "waste of my time" :)

Nov 30, 2017 12:45 PM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

How funny folks often think the price is the only consideration for an otter.  Cash vs loan, closing date, closing costs, too high of an offer, etc.  BUT, if you don't write an offer, it doesn't really matter.  You can't win if you don't play!

Dec 01, 2017 06:23 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Yep ... price was the only consideration for that agent.

Dec 01, 2017 08:50 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Amazing how some people are always looking for someone to blame when they don't get the results they want from their less than stellar efforts.

Dec 01, 2017 07:34 AM
Cynthia Larsen

They can't get results if they don't act. Well, I take that back, their client can get mad. I guess that is a result. Less than stellar is right!

Dec 01, 2017 08:50 AM
Patrick Willard
Rio Rancho, NM

Up until about 4 years ago I mainly listed REO and often had listings with multiple offers. Had one several years ago that generated 10 offers over one weekend. Four of the agents asked what my highest offer so far was and of course per bank proceedure I told them I would not disclosed details of offers, just that we had multiple offers and to submit highest & best by Sunday evening. All four became nasty and accused me of having my own buyer and trying to "screw them over" so I could double end it. A couple even went as far as threating to file a complaint, which was ridiculous considering we hadn't even sent any offers to the seller yet.

Three of those four were submitting offers for themselves. In my experience, those that accuse others most loudly of unethical behavior are often the most unethical. BTW none of them got it. 

Dec 06, 2017 08:43 AM
Cynthia Larsen

I listed REO properties from 2008-2013 for Indymac/OneWest. That was a crazy, crazy time. Multiple offers, highest and best, cash was king ... and yes, angry agents. While all we were doing was fulfilling the asset manager's requests.

Dec 06, 2017 10:18 AM