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.