The $10,000 Phone Call

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

The $10,000 Phone Call

Multiple offers are commonplace in the Northern Virginia real estate market in 2021.  Over list price offers with no contingencies make up a handful of the offers usually received on any property, no matter the price range.

Last month, I helped sellers in Woodbridge list their property and go through the pile of multiple offers they received.  It was thirteen total.  Mind you, they would have been pleased with a full list price offer, which would have been $525,000.  I would have been super thrilled with a $550,000 offer knowing what I know about the market.  What we had ranged from $525,000 to $585,000.

In the end, it boiled down to two offers.  One was $575,000 and had no contingencies at all.  The other was $585,000 and had a financing contingency.  

Naturally, the sellers wanted the $585,000.  So I made two calls.  The first was to the $575,000 offer to see if they would come up to $585,000.  The second was to the $585,000 to see if they would remove their financing contingency.  The buyer at $575,000 could not commit to more money.  Meanwhile, the $585,000 not only removed the financing contingency, but came up another $10,000.  That sure made the decision easy for the sellers.

It brings to mind a situation my own buyer clients faced last year.  We got a call on our offer, asking if we could come up another $5,000 to meet another offer the seller had received.  My buyers wanted to negotiate.  They didn't understand that the higher offer was getting the call to remove contingencies.  It was a very similar situation and while I expressed to them this wasn't the time to save a bit of money, it was the time to get a home or not.  They didn't understand, offered only a small amount more, less than $5,000,  and lost the home.   Some buyers get it, others don't.

When you are fortunate enough to make it to the final round of offer review and get a call from the listing agent, in the current seller's market, that is a buyer's chance to wrap up the deal.  It is not a back and forth negotiation, unfortunately.  Sellers are in charge and if you don't want to do what they are asking for, they will find another buyer that will in that stack of offers.

While our phone call was only to remove a financing contingency, it netted the sellers $10,000 more.  Are the buyers upset?  No way.  They got a home.  They knew that prices were only going up and did what they had to do to make absolutely certain to get the deal wrapped up.




Comments (8)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Chris Ann and worth the phone call to make it a better deal and with this crazy market it works.


May 26, 2021 09:55 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

As a buyer's agent, that phone call is golden.  It's the best you can hope for besides an outright acceptance.  Some buyers get it, others don't.

May 26, 2021 10:06 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Chris Ann,

Congratulations, and I am certain that your sellers are over the moon with this result. A

May 26, 2021 01:06 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

As are the buyers.  They are thrilled to get the hottly contested home.

May 26, 2021 01:16 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Chris Ann - we have all heard that "time" is money but sometimes the $$$$ come through in a lot of different ways.  Congratulations on a successful real estate transaction in-the-making.  

May 26, 2021 04:37 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

This example shows exactly how bonkers our real estate market is right now.

May 30, 2021 09:29 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Congratulations on both the contract and also for the extra few dollars.  That alone should have the sellers appreciative of their call to you to lost.

May 26, 2021 04:54 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

They dubbed it the $10,000 phone call when talking to the settlement agent about me.  I thought it was catchy.

May 30, 2021 09:29 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Chris Ann your post proves it over and over to me that we are educators the better we can educate buyers and seller the better the result... I see too many substandard agents in this market that are doing a disservice to their clients... yes that was a great phone call, Endre

May 26, 2021 11:40 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

Educating our clients means knowing the ins and outs of this stuff first.  Too many agents don't know enough to be competent in this job.

May 30, 2021 09:35 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

In real estate, it definitely doesn't hurt to ask, even when the request seems unreasonable, haha.

May 27, 2021 06:07 AM
Chris Ann Cleland

Not sure it was an unreasonable request when the lender said that the buyer had no issues and had been through underwriting.  Removing the financing contingency may be unusual, but in this case, it wasn't unreasonable.

May 30, 2021 09:36 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Chris Ann Cleland - I have the deepest respect for Real Estate Agents like yourself who can guide and navigate their clients by helping them to make the most important decision in their life. When a client can see through your eyes, the logical decision becomes apparent. 

May 29, 2021 07:04 PM
Chris Ann Cleland

This job is something I take very seriously and enjoy immensely.

May 30, 2021 09:39 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I would definitely I need it to be worth it in the sense that you're talking about for me to entertain the $10,000 expenditure: I feel you on that one

May 30, 2021 10:10 PM