"I Can Explain It to You, I Can't Understand It for You"

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

"I Can Explain It to You, I Can't Understand It for You"

Another day in the Bristow-Gainesville real estate market, another offer submitted for a buyer client to be piled on the mound of offers the seller will receive.  Every buyer has to go through a learning curve when they enter the market, even buyers who have purchased in the past or in another market.  The low inventory and intense buyer demand in the Bristow-Gainesville real estate market have made house hunting feel impossible.  And even though their agent may understand exactly what the terms most likely to win over the stack of other offers, some buyers are simply risk averse.

There are buyers that hear strategy for writing offers and pick it up right away.  And then there are buyers that hear strategies over and over and won't take a calculated risk.  That's when the words of a fellow agent ring in my head, "I can explain it to you, I can't understand it for you."

Unfortunately, buyers who aren't willing to take some risk are likely to be house hunting a long time.    If you aren't willing to take some risks, rest assured other buyers are, which leave the seller in a position to take as little risk as possible when they choose their winning offer.  As a Top Real Estate Agent in Bristow and Gainesville, I know what other buyers are doing to win.  How can you compete?  Read more on my personal blog.


Comments (28)

Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I love that saying Chris Ann Cleland. You are so right, i am experiencing the same thing here in NH  

Oct 24, 2020 05:15 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I expect you to be using it too.  It's utterly perfect.

Oct 24, 2020 08:54 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

This is so true. Sometimes they won't understand (or hear) what we're saying until they lose a house they really wanted.

Oct 24, 2020 05:44 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Or a dozen houses!

Oct 24, 2020 08:54 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Chris Ann - yes, some buyers "get it" right from the start, others grasp it eventually and there are those who remain tire-kickers and lament the one "that got away".  

Oct 24, 2020 06:01 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

When someone "gets it" and then wants to mull it over, I always suspect there is someone they consult that is thinking of a different market and telling them how terrible of an agent I am.  Last time that happened, I invited their confidant to join us on the house hunt and explained the types of offers a particular home was likely to get.  The confidant was popped like a balloon...full of hot air of course.

Oct 24, 2020 08:55 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

So true!!  Even after explaining the market to buyers with graphs and charts and current market information, they seem to always want to "try" a low ball offer.  I often explain the folks getting their contracts accepted usually have made several offers, each getting stronger.  With 10 - 15 offers per listing the first few days on the market, the sellers are not going to "counter your offer".  They will just take the best offer and go.  Rinse and repeat.

Oct 24, 2020 06:53 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

In our market, buyers try to make up for their contingency riddled offers with pie in the sky offer prices.  Sellers and listing agents are on to that game.  No appraisal or low appraisal guarantees are important. So many buyers are willing to write without even a home inspection.

Oct 24, 2020 08:57 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

It's very frustrating when a client does not take my advice and then loses out on the house they really wanted.  Part of my "explanation" now is that if you can really walk away from this house that you say is "perfect" for you and your family, then don't listen to me.  And, yes, those who have listened to my "explanation" of how to come out on top when there are multiple offers involved, have won the bid this year. 

Oct 24, 2020 07:20 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I had clients over the summer that were in a crazy multiple offer situation...again.  This time, they listened to my advice and got countered.  They were insulted.  I explained to them that their offer was so good, they were getting first crack at bridging a $5K difference on a $600+ home.  My advice, "If you want the house, make the deal.  If you don't care if you lose it, do it your way."  They offered an additional $3K.  THEY LOST THE HOUSE OVER $2K!!!! 

Oct 24, 2020 08:59 AM
Joan Valverde
HomeSmart - Colorado Springs, CO
GRI,CDPE,CNE,MRP,SRES Colo Sprgs, Blk Forest, Monu

That is a GREAT statement. I too have told buyer's my professional opinion on what we need to do, but  I always do as they say.  I have had buyer's loose a few and then GET IT!  The market here in Colorado is quite crazy,  not enough inventory for our buyer's needs, so we do need to write the WINNING offer in a great way!

Oct 24, 2020 08:03 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

The timing when it comes to buyers learning from experience here is pricey.  Prices are going up with every sale that closes.  And when buyers are willing to waive appraisal, crazy high prices are becoming comps.

Oct 24, 2020 09:00 AM
Beth Paterson
Reverse Mortgages SIDAC, LLC, NMLS #1790592 - Saint Paul, MN
CRMP, NMLS #342859

I love the title and am finding I use this statement too. ;-)

Oct 24, 2020 09:08 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Hope you read the post too.

Oct 24, 2020 09:09 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Chris Ann,
Some people just want to play it safe and that's ok too if they're willing to accept the consequences. What agents need to decide is whether they'll take the risk on spending their time with those kinds of buyers.  It might eventually pay off or it might be a total waste of time.

Oct 24, 2020 10:47 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

In our current market, it's not out of the realm of possiblity that buyers will write a dozen offers before getting one accepted.  Have to keep that in mind as well.  Competition is plentiful and fierce.  Buyers that keep going are motivated in my mind.  Some are just slower than others to get to the place where they realize what they have to do to get a home.  And as I remind many buyers, "When it is meant to be your home, there is nothing you won't do to get it."

Oct 24, 2020 12:02 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Whether in real estate or anything else, it's frustrating when people just can't/won't undertand.

Oct 24, 2020 10:57 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I've learned a message repeated is one that is eventually taken in by my clients.  Takes time and patience.

Oct 24, 2020 12:03 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I just listed a home Thursday, showings have been intense for three days, and we are expecting offers to be reviewed Sunday afternoon. We will see who has been listening and who has understood.

Oct 24, 2020 12:27 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Don't discount the possibility that some agents don't educate their clients to market conditions.

Oct 24, 2020 01:53 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Chris Ann Cleland ,

Excellent post and glad to see it featured. You can lead the horse to water but can't force them to drink! LOL! The buyers that need time to mull it over, make a non-competitive decision and then wonder why they can't get a home under contract is way to common these days. 

Oct 24, 2020 12:52 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

I don't blame them for their hesitation because being competitive can be risky business.  However, if you need a house, you have to place the risk somewhere.

Oct 24, 2020 01:54 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Chris Ann:

Lots of good advice here for buyers. I've not heard that statement before but it's a good one. Some buyers are still going to do what they want, and miss out, despite getting good advice, and a rationale, from their Realtor. Of course even when they DO follow the advice it doesn't always work out when there is penty of competition.


Oct 24, 2020 05:15 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Slowly buyers put this piece advice together with another, and then another and then the final piece before they get accepted.

Oct 24, 2020 07:16 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Very interesting post, with a lot truth to it! I went to your blog and read your list of suggestions. Some of them are certainly reasonable risks to take. I do take exception to some of them! I don't know about your market, but here you can't get a loan without a pest inspection! We sell a lot of 80 plus year old homes. A client buying one of those without a home inspection is doingmore than taking a risk, they are being stupid!

Oct 25, 2020 04:46 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Most of the homes here are 30 years old max on average.  It's not a huge risk to take.  However, on the 192 year old home I sold this year, it would have been beyond ridiculous to not have one.

Oct 25, 2020 09:32 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

It's really frustrating I think. I remember trying to explain something to a seller rephrasing it 6 times. Then I finally realized, she's just not going to get it. What are you gonna do? Great post.

Oct 25, 2020 11:47 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Thanks Lyn Sims .  

Oct 25, 2020 11:51 AM
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

Can I borrow that line, Chris Ann Cleland ... I'm thinking there's a few borrowers that should hear it too!


Oct 25, 2020 03:08 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Use it!  Please.

Oct 25, 2020 04:03 PM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I will remember that one! I recently received an email from a buyer who had missed out on 2 homes. It said " . . . perhaps I've been too stingy . . ."

I'm thinking we'll do better next time.

Oct 26, 2020 08:57 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

That light bulb moment came too late for that house, but just in time for the next.

Oct 26, 2020 04:00 PM
Gwen Fowler-864-638-3599 SC Mountains Lakes Homes
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.  I too often see where people don't have the ability to look at it from my view no matter how much more of an expert I maybe they just do not see the same rewards I do 

Oct 26, 2020 10:17 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I suppose that is true of some people.  For those who seem timid, I usually tell them, "When you find the house that was meant to be yours, you won't be timid and you will do whatever it takes to get it."

Oct 26, 2020 04:01 PM
Shannon Jones
The Shannon Jones Team - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach CA Real Estate

You hit the nail on the head.

Oct 26, 2020 10:43 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

I owe this saying to my friend Debra.  

Oct 26, 2020 04:01 PM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

We don't really have the same wavelength of understanding. But as long as we did our job of explaining everything to our clients, we're on the right track! 

Oct 27, 2020 11:56 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

It's hard to get through sometimes.

Oct 27, 2020 06:00 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

My buyer has just come to realize that not only does she have to offer way over asking price, but she is going to have to waive any inspection repair costs. Difficult news to swallow but that's why she keeps losing to other buyers.......

Oct 28, 2020 01:48 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

At least it's just repair costs she is waiving.  Buyers in our market are waiving inspections all together.  It's rough.

Oct 28, 2020 03:08 PM

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