A similar post was written back in 2008 and is still relevant today.
Years ago, a buyer called to see one of my properties for the second time. When I told her the home went under contract a few days before, this buyer was surprised and even acted shocked. "I have been watching this listing for a long time, and I thought I had plenty of time!"
When you see a home that suits your needs, don't be afraid to make an offer. Since I make all my appointments, I know everyone who views my listings. Some buyers have been "trained" not to show interest, but this can backfire. If this buyer had shown any interest, she could have been encouraged to move forward, and I could have notified her that there was other interest in the property. It was the right place, the right price.
Agents, please encourage your buyers to make an offer. Are you worried about "insulting" the other agent or the seller?
Please, please insult away! I have ratified many a contract where the sellers have previously said, "No way am I giving this house away." Some sellers may not want to take or even negotiate an offer lower than they anticipated, but you have to try.
A contract is not an insult. It is a starting place for negotiation. It demonstrates that the buyer is interested enough to go through the process, have a qualifying letter, sign all the necessary papers, figure out dates for closing, home inspections, etc.
"Will the seller take $XX for the house?"
Sorry, this is not an offer, not a contract; it must be in writing.
"I don't want to waste time by making an offer that will not work."
But until you put it in writing, we don't have anything to talk about, and we don't know what the terms are.
With a written offer, a seasoned agent is worth their weight in gold. (Well, maybe just a full commission.)
Now you can prepare and present net sheets showing what the proceeds to the seller will be.
The first net sheet says "In a perfect world" - this one has the full list price, 30-day cash settlement, and no contingencies.
The second net sheet says, "In the real world" - this is the actual offer in hand. This one includes a summary with price, date, contingencies, financing - in other words, the good and not so good points, but it is what we have.
You have two choices, accept or reject. A counter is a rejection and allows the buyer to walk.
More net sheets are examples of possible ways to negotiate. Sometimes this is price alone, and sometimes it the terms. It could be the date of possession or exclusions, but most times, it is a mixture of all these.
Now you're ready to negotiate, but it can't start until someone makes an offer.
Buyers and agents, please do not worry about insulting us with an offer..just do it!
Make me an offer!