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Doing Right By Your Sellers Without Jacking Around Cooperating Agents

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster Real Estate VA License # 0225089470

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  It was a mediocre, outdated home.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.  


Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Such a great post on this topic. Those agents who choose to do business in a less-than-upstanding manner, it will eventually catch up with them.

Dec 16, 2020 02:48 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

One really has to wonder what this agent actually accomplished by doing this? Did the sellers feel their agent did a stellar job because " hey, we got 51 people who want our home!" I doubt it.

Dec 16, 2020 07:24 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Chris Ann Cleland - I can see that this is complete insanity and burns bridges.

Dec 17, 2020 03:58 AM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Wow that is one heck of a market to have 51 I would hate to have done the figures for each one let alone present them

Dec 17, 2020 05:52 AM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

We are in a similar sellers market being driven by low inventory and low interest rates.  

51?  Crap.  I wrote an offer on one last week that had 13 offers prior to ours and who knows if there were more.  

We were informed we were the high bid after all offers were presented to the seller and they still countered some minor stuff...which my client agreed to.

We came in 18% over asking price.  I am confident it will appraise.  

But 51 I would not have written an offer.  "Multiple" means make a higher offer to me or move on.

Thank you for sharing your experience!

Dec 17, 2020 06:19 AM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

51 offers! I've had a property receive a fair few but i wonder how long they had to hold off on accepting an offer for that amount to accumulate 

Dec 17, 2020 07:43 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Had 6 offers immediately on the last home I listed because I cut the offer acceptance date short, rather than going into the weekend. Out of those offers, the sellers accepted an offer above asking price after careful consideration and closed successfully.

No reason whatsoever to string buyer agents and their clients along like that 51 offers?! That is beyond rediculous Chris Ann!

Dec 17, 2020 09:19 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 --You said a mouthful there.  You don't have to misrepresent your sellers to be honest with cooperating agents.

Paula McDonald, Ph.D. --It's so true.  And agents with great reputations for honesty and not causing undue trouble are the ones that a lot of listing agents want to work with...or vice versa.  Agent reputation can be the difference between sink or swim.

Dec 17, 2020 09:34 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Jeff Dowler, CRS --I actually think the sellers are likely to be strutting like peacocks with the knowledge they got 51 offers.  And right now, this is the listing agent's claim to fame.   But he burned dozens of agents in the process.  If he attempts this again, he's not likely to get the same results.

Dec 17, 2020 10:04 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Grant Schneider --There's a point at which offers don't get any better.  Usually about four or five.

Charles Stallions --I fellt overwhelmed with 13 this summer.  I uploaded each to a shared cloud drive with a net sheet and updated multiple offer comparison sheet.  When it came down to it, only two or three were competitive.

Dec 17, 2020 10:05 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker --My folks waived appraisal and went a bit above list.  

Gwen Fowler-864-916-2019 SC Mountains Lakes Homes --Five days.  That's how long. 

Dec 17, 2020 10:07 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! --It does no one any good.

Dec 17, 2020 10:07 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

That is a ridiculous situation! You are correct that home's value doesn't change with 5 or 500 offers. We have multiple offer situations here, but nothing like 51 offers. Who the Hell has time to actually look at 51 offers!

Dec 18, 2020 07:36 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Wondering if that agent was exagerrating about the number of offers rec'd?  That does seem far fetched but --as we all know, just about every day we learn something new!  I think the most I've heard of in my office was 18--and I thought that was excessive. Yet if you set a deadline in 48 hr times, I can see getting that many. But 51?  UGH

Dec 18, 2020 12:50 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Chris Ann, You hit the nail on the head with this blog.  That agent did not think through his/her actions or properly surmise best interests of the seller.  How was the seller served with 51 offers? 

Apparently list agent illogically reasoned that the more offers the better.  Did he/she think seller would be more impressed by 51 offers?  On the other hand, what if seller was the instigator and was driving this game?  Even if this was remotely true, list agent should have explained law of diminishing returns.  There can be only one highest peak offer.

Dec 19, 2020 09:06 PM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

51 Offers Wow!  I usually keep a mental note of Agents like this - even though at this point in my life I have to write their name down and put it next to my computer because I forget.  This was a disservice to everyone involved and wasted a lot of peoples time.  It sounds like the Agent did not have enough experience, or they were just playing games.  In this business we are all each others co-workers.  The only difference is, the co-workers are the ones helping your business by bringing you a buyer.  If you don't have those, then you will be out of business quickly. Thanks for sharing!

Dec 21, 2020 03:34 AM
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

The market is so crazy right now. 51!!! Can you imagine how confusing and overwhelming that would be for a seller? Yikes! I wish those sellers well, and hope the contract works out in the long run. We have been seeing a good number of homes go under contract with multiple offers yet come back on in a few weeks.

Dec 21, 2020 04:20 AM
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

While multiple offers are great from the sellers' standpoint, I don't know of anyone who actually enjoys working them. Better to get a few good offers that have a chance of being accepted than a deluge of unrealistic ones.

Dec 21, 2020 12:22 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

 "My feeling is the price was too low..."

That statement is the sum of the issue. Whether the agent priced too low on purpose or simply misunderstood the market and did a poor job on pricing is unknown. Multiple offers are good for a seller. Receiving 51 offers does not benefit anyone except the agent who thinks it bestows "bragging rights".

Jan 02, 2021 07:44 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

With sellers permission a listing agent can reveal as much information as needed to weed out the offers that will fall far short. Might as well come right out and say it.

Jan 31, 2021 11:05 AM