Doing Right By Your Sellers Without Jacking Around Cooperating Agents
Yesterday I got news that my buyer-clients, who had submitted an offer in a multiple offer scenario, had lost out. Not a shock. In the area they were looking, there were only two homes on the market in their price range. And I know there are plenty of buyers looking for single family detached homes in that price range. What I didn't expect was hearing we were the 30th offer of 51 offers. That's insanity and a waste of so many people's time.
As a Bristow listing agent, I have been at the helm of many of these scenarios myself. I know there is a ceiling that is reached on value after about four offers. And if your seller is looking for something specific, you can certainly let agents with interested buyers know. Only golden rule to follow to stay out of trouble there is whatever you tell one buyer's agent, tell them all. Give them all the same seller requests and see who meets them, or who even bothers to compete.
Collecting 51 offers from my professional standpoint is bad business. The seller didn't do any better by having that many. That I can guarantee you. And if the listing agent had been upfront with every buyer's agent about how many he had, there would have been many who knew their buyers wouldn't be competitive, had the talk with their buyers, and likely, the buyers would have moved on. The house isn't going to appraise for more because it had 51 offers. It was a mediocre, outdated home. The only thing it had going for it was it one of the only homes available at a time of intense buyer demand.
What this listing agent did was carve his reputation in stone as being less than up front. If I ever see his name on a listing again, I will know that asking the very pointed question of, "How many offers do you have on...." is not going to be answered directly, but a game will be played to collect as many offers as possible. I know because I have a text exchange asking how many offers he had. Answer was "multiple."
Game playing with cooperating agents in a market can lead to less than stellar results with future listings. Agent reputation makes a huge difference in how a listing is perceived by buyer's agents and in turn, how they will advise their buyers.
What good did 51 offers do this agent or seller? Very little is my guess. At the end of the day, they can only sell to one buyer. My feeling is the price was too low and the ideal offer described in an information sheet too vague. Also, the period to collect offers too long, particularly since the remarks said the seller reserved the right to accept an offer prior to the deadline.