Why I didn't call to tell the other agent I had an offer

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

You know that old saying about a bird in the hand or two in the bush?  We had a rather hot listing recently and it got a lot of showings in a very short time. One agent called and said "I'm typing an offer and I'll get it to you soon".  We got two other offers in hand before the end of the day.  The seller decided it was in their best interest to counter on one of the offers. Their terms were countered back and our seller accepted and signed.

Three days later the agent who called sent me an offer.  As required by law I presented the offer to my seller who said "huh?" at which time I re- explained I have to present "all offers" that are written and signed. I also had to explain that they were already in a legal and binding agreement to which they are obligated.

I emailed the agent that we were already pending and if anything happened with the current contract during the due diligence period I would notify them to see if their buyer was still interested. A LOT of swear words followed in the phone call I received.  Why in the blanketie blank blank bland did I not wait for their offer?

In my 26 years in this business I believe it would surpass 200 times an agent told me they were typing/sending/writing an offer and then crickets.  It is not my method of business to not even tell sellers when an agent tells me that. I used to tell them.  But after a certain number of times (10 to 15)  I realized that I was the one who looked bad to my sellers when that offer never showed. So I stopped. When I list a house I fully explain to my sellers that I won't be calling them about verbal or fictitious or maybe coming offers. 

After I calmly listened to the agent who took three days to send offer they called to tell me they were sending on a property that I told them had 15 showings and much verbal expressed interest the same thing.  I don't do "it's coming" in real estate when it comes to offers.  Trust me, I learned the hard way it's NOT the way to do business. Agents have to educate buyers that when inventory is slim and activity is high on a listing that "thinking it over" for a few days sometimes means you don't even have an opportunity to get the house.



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Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

I hear that "We're writing an offer" often, but can't count the times that nothing comes of it. So can't get excited until I see the offer!

Jan 10, 2018 06:33 PM #10
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

I just ratified one today "that was coming." It finally arrived. I didn't say a word to my seller until I had it in hand. I've made that mistake before too. Not going there anymore.

Jan 10, 2018 06:54 PM #11
Jim Whatley
Uber Realty - Fort Walton Beach, FL

Best line in Real Estate. "If it's not in writing it doesn't exisit"

Jan 10, 2018 07:23 PM #12
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I'm with you. Give me the offer in writing. If an offer is eminent, that's one thing. Three days doesn't qualify as timely.

Jan 10, 2018 07:40 PM #13
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Sounds right to me! Seems like the other agent is taking out some frustration on you that should be directed elsewhere.

Jan 10, 2018 07:52 PM #14
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

And then.. I recall the buyers who had to leave to pick someone up at the airport, but would "Be in tomorrow to make an offer." We never heard from them again.

Jan 10, 2018 08:43 PM #15
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

I often tell buyers the home you saw today and want to “sleep on” tonight might very well be the home other buyers looked at yesterday and will be writing an offer on today.  I wish I had a dollar for everytime I was told an offer was coming but it never arrived.  With low inventory and lots of buyers people don’t have the luxury of taking 2 or 3 days to submit an offer

Jan 11, 2018 03:58 AM #16
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

I agree. I think I only see about 50% of the offers that I am told are coming.
I understand that sometimes someone simply expect they may write an offer or that someone has significant interest.

Jan 11, 2018 06:36 AM #17
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

I have had a few situations such as these and I always find it funny that an agent calls to send an offer and then disappears for a week. Then they feel like you and the seller did something wrong by accepting a good offer that actually showed up.

Jan 11, 2018 09:55 AM #18
Jim Whatley
Uber Realty - Fort Walton Beach, FL

When I have an issue I look inward to see what I could have done to comunicate what I will do and what I expect form the other invdiual. If I continue to get the same results I need to change my behavior.

Jan 11, 2018 09:59 AM #19
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experience Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Just about every agent I know has experienced this.  I don't even tell the seller I am 'getting an offer' unless I either have it in hand already or the buyer is working with an agent I trust and have worked with before.

You did the right thing. You could have tried to message the other agent asking if she sent it (could have wound up in the black hole of cyberspace) but hey--gotta work with what you have!

Jan 11, 2018 10:36 AM #20
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

Being professional an presenting all offers in a timely manner is what sellers expect.  To wait 3 days doesn't make sense and in whose best interest would it be for the seller not to see the offers as they arrive.  

Jan 11, 2018 03:08 PM #21
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

I call them "threats" of offers . . . how long were you expected to wait? 

Jan 11, 2018 08:11 PM #22
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

It seems to be the agent that thinks they can take as much time as they want to write an offer and expect you to wait, that really put the pressure on when the shoe is on the other foot.

Jan 12, 2018 10:18 AM #23
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Tammy that agents clearly needs training - bad business practice. He/she clearly isn't in touch with the market or 'time is of essence' would have meant something.  And to think the buyer clients missed out due to this kind of advice. As for the swearing - so not happening on my watch.

Jan 16, 2018 03:43 PM #24
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Exactly!  Why would you even mention an offer MIGHT be coming?  A bird in the hand!

Jan 16, 2018 08:51 PM #25
Corinne Guest
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Luxury Home Buyer Specialist

Her bad for taking so long! She vented at you because she knew who would be venting at her! I am in total agreement and do the same as you.

Feb 09, 2018 06:24 AM #26
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Why in the blanketie blank blank blank did you wait 3 days to send in your blanketie blank offer?

Feb 09, 2018 07:12 AM #27
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Tammy Lankford, Thanks for the great blog. Agree 100%. 

I have a question for the po'd agent?  What were you thinking waiting 3 days? That is like a month in a hot market.

I rarely sell houses...but  just Wednesday I wrote an offer that was countered and is now under contract waiting to close. We viewed the home at 7pm on Wednesday evening and left the home after 8pm.  We were hot on the tails of another showing on a property that was less than 48 hours on the market and that was nicer than anything else we looked at. 

I always assume when there are other showings...that those folks have also looked at the same price range and houses that my folks have...thus they are potential competition.

We viewed the property, wrote the offer had the offer to the to listing agent which resulted in a fully executed contract in less than 22 hours.  Within 26 hours of the showing...the lender had a complete contract and all info on the house to order the appraisal as the buyer was approved contingent on appraisal.

Hot market means doing things in a certain sequence and doing it fast, efficiently, and correctly!

Bet my buyer is happier than that other agents buyer was when they found out...

Feb 09, 2018 08:57 AM #28
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

That was exactly the way I would have handled it. that was one educated seller to do what he did as well.

Feb 09, 2018 11:15 AM #29
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Tammy Lankford,

Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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