Club Chaos Agents - All Things Hollish, Wacked, and Jacked

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If the Seller Were French He'd Slap My Face Twice With a Glove

sacramento listing agentAre listing agents prone to sabotaging their own real estate transactions? It's easy to do. I almost did it. And I certainly know better. Nobody is infallible in this business, you know. I've been in real estate in some form or another since the 1970s. Yet, I almost put my big, fat foot directly into my mouth last month and am sharing this story in hopes of preventing this mishap from happening to somebody else.

First, let me say that this listing was not a short sale. Yeah, I know, people tend to think of me as strictly a Sacramento short sale agent, but that doesn't mean I don't sell other types of listings because I do. In fact, my short sale experience probably makes me uniquely qualified to sell almost anything since short sales often result in what feels like 10 times the work. Not only do I have to sell the home sometimes more than once, but I am almost always required to bring the bank highest and best, so my Sacramento short sales sell at the top of the market most of the time.

In this particular transaction, the home was owned by the seller free and clear, meaning there was no loan involved. It had been in his family for decades, and the seller was the executor of the trust. There were 5 or 6 other relatives involved. The seller confided in me that he was tired of being responsible for the home and wanted to sell it as quickly as possible. We priced it at market value.

Shortly after the listing hit the market, an agent called me. Said he was interested in acquiring the property for his own portfolio. He also asked if I would represent him, and he shared with me how much he wanted to pay. When I heard his suggested lowball price, I immediately said, "Ah, I don't think so. The seller will never take that." I regretted those words 5 minutes later. What the? Why did I say that, I wondered? That was pretty stupid. It was stupid, and it was presumptuous. If the seller were French he'd slap my face twice with a glove.

I do not know what the seller will do. I never know what anybody will do. Even if they tell me what they will do -- swear up and down what they will do -- I still don't know what they will do because I am not them. My fiduciary responsibility is to look out for their best interests, not to dictate the terms of those interests.

I sent the seller an email and told him about the verbal offer. "You can say yay or nay," I offered. I did not say anything else. I didn't push him to take the offer, issue a counter offer or to reject the offer. This was his decision. His family's home, his decision. I simply stepped back.

We're closing today.

Photo: Big Stock Photo

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

Comments

Great ending!  Lesson learned and just another reminder that we need to listen and not make others decisions. 

Posted by Laura Sargent (Carolina One Real Estate) over 8 years ago

My mouth gets lonely if my foot doesn't visit at least once a week. Great post!

Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) over 8 years ago

So true how you never know what a seller (or buyer) will do.  In the past I had a seller state he would not make one repair but the buyer could have the home inspection for information only.  The inspector found a crack in the bottom of the fiberglass tub....during renegotiations, seller told me he would only repair not replace or buyer can walk (told it couldn't be repaired properly) and buyer said replace or no deal.......

I thought for sure when I told the seller the buyer wanted a new tub he would say "next" and guess what.....he didn't even raise his voice or get angry and agreed to replace the tub.  He did a 360 and that experience reminded me to never assume what a seller will/will not do throughout a transaction.

Posted by Cynthia (Cindy) Vogt (Long & Foster Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Congratulations on the sale!  I am always amazed by what my clients will do, some will walk away over a few hundred dollar difference, while others will agree to what I would consider crazy-low offers!  That is part of what makes the job so interesting and challenging I guess!

Posted by Hal Hovey, Realtor - Oak Harbor Homes For Sale Whidbey Island (VA & FHA home buyers, vacation homes, foreclosure homes) over 8 years ago

You just never know what the seller/buyer is really thinking.   Thanks for the reminder Elizabeth.

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor. (Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816) over 8 years ago

Sometimes we forget our place in the transaction, but I think your reaction was natural. Yesterday I saw a listing agent start screaming at a buyer's agent over $300. I'm so glad to hear that you transaction is closing.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 8 years ago

Love it.  We all have those...Oooops moments.  Fortunately it was with the handling of earnest money, or something far more blatant.  Thanks for the reminder.  Honesty in this form helps us all.  

Thanks for posting.

Jason

Posted by Jason Smith (Crye-Leike Realtors) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth, guilty a couple of times.  Now I do not say a word till my seller reacts.  In fact if an offer comes via e-mail I forward to my sellers and ask them to call me to discuss.  It gives them time to think about it on their own before we talk.  I found that sellers react to our words and our opinion of the offers made.  We should not be part of the decision making.  I've had agents tell me don't bother to write a contract if it is below $$$.  I am hitting the button on this one and thanks for sharing.

Posted by Ellie Penaranda, Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co (239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty ) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth,

So true, we don't know what the seller will do.  I share offers and answer IF they ask my opinion.  It's up to them what WORKS for them.  I support whatever works for them.  (Or I don't take the listing in the first place if they are in outer space as far as price point.)

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth - I've only been in the mortgage industry since 2002 but I have certainly have seen and heard my fair share of unbelievable comments and remarks come out of the mouths of Realtors/agents and their sellers/buyers. 

At this point, almost nothing seems to shock or amaze me anymore.  Just when I think I have seen and heard it all, something else comes along to tremind me I haven't.  Just goes to show, we never really know what our buyers/sellers will or will not do and it would behoove us to remember that more.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 8 years ago

Sometimes it is hard to control our instinct reaction to offers. It is always always good to take a moment and then react or if any reaction at all. We have to try not to stand in the way of the transaction.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth,

Great reminder..Its not up to us.Even when we no it will never fly we have to go through the motions because you never know !! Congratulations on you closing.

Posted by Nicole Needham, SFR (530) 302-5478 (Needham Realty) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth, who hasn't inserted foot in mouth at times? Sometimes our loyalty to our clients gets in the way of good sense. We never know how sellers are going to respond to a real, written offer. Happy that it worked out for you.

Posted by Millie C. Legenhausen, CRS, GRI, CIPS, MBA, Realtor (Calcagni Real Estate, Hamden, Connecticut) over 8 years ago
Elizabeth - great post and great reminder. I too have inserted my foot in my mouth at times. And afterward I hope I have the professionalism to always do the right thing as you did! And you are right, we never know for sure what our clients are going to do. Congrats on the closing!
Posted by Lori Mode, Real Estate Made Simple (Keller Williams Realty - Elk Grove, CA Homes for Sale) over 8 years ago

What a great reminder! Glad that it worked out in spite of 'foot in mouth'. Also, great post title -- made me want to "click" and read more.

Posted by Jan Stevens (Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh) over 8 years ago

You know once when one of my agents was typing up an offer I was snickering under my breath about the wasted paper and time.  The seller took that offer.  An offer that seriously I could have bought and tripled my money in two years if I'd torn the house down and just sold the lot.  It was a rediculous offer and the seller took it even though our CMA indicated it was worth twice that amount. 

So you're right on target when you say we don't know what they will take until the offer is made.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 8 years ago

So true that we never really know what they will do. Even if they have taken a stance in the past.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) over 8 years ago

That is great advice!  Even if I "think" the seller won't go for a low offer, and after they have instructed me not to present anything under a certain price, I still do it because they may have had a change of heart after it's been listed.  Thanks for posting!

Posted by Monica Foster, Broker, CRS, ABR, SRS, CHMS, CNE, CNHS (Monica Foster Team of eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

I think we do sometimes get so invested in the process that it is easy to forget we are not the decision makers.  And seems like most of us have had that experience of being CERTAIN we know what our buyer or seller will do during negotiations, only to find out we are way wrong!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 8 years ago

It's hard on both sides. It's hard not to be insulted when you are the listing agent, and sometimes it's embarrising to make the low-ball offer when you're the buyer's agent. I have had buyers make such silly low-ball offers that I really did not want to call the seller's agent. But, SURPRISE! They were excepted! You never know...

Posted by Amy Law (Alliance Properties) over 8 years ago

We never know what our sellers will do, or won't do!  Keeping the offer in play... leaving room to negotiate, that is our job!  Great post!  Kathy

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth,

You stated this so well! Most of us have been there with that same feeling even if we didn't let it fall out of our mouths.  There are times I would have bet my own career that the seller would not  entertain a counter...thank goodness, I let them make the decision.

Margaret

 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 8 years ago

So often agents get overwrought about their role in advocacy for their client.

The fundamental requirement is to faithfully, accurately and timely carry the information to your client for their decision. 

Baldly stated, the opinion of the listing agent is neither solicited nor relevant unless and until the seller asks for it. What matters is the present the offer.  Predicting your client's behavior is extremely hazardous!

Posted by Jim Gilbert, The Gold Homes Team (Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway) over 8 years ago

Thank you for the reminder!  I know it's meant with the very best intentions but without the crystal ball - and mine is broken - we need to listen more than we talk.  I struggle with this daily!

Posted by Ivette Rodriguez Anderson, SFR (Keller Williams Success Realty) over 8 years ago

Other than a verbal offer your post is a good reminder to not assume!

Posted by J Perrin Cornell, Broker, ABR, VAMRES (Century 21 Exclusively, Wenatchee, WA) over 8 years ago

I wouldn't sweat it unless you had left it at that. And, obviously, you didn't. 

By the way, I've been in real estate since high school too. =)

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

Our instincts to "protect" our sellers from what we perceive as unattractive offers is a hard one to keep at bay sometimes.  I have a scenario similar to this one that's about to play out.  How it will work out, no one knows.  As you said, we don't know what our clients are thinking or what they will do.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the honest sharing and thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Laura Forman, Your Brevard Premier Property Specialist (National Realty of Brevard www.LauraSellsBrevard.com) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth,

Sacre bleu! Wonderful that you are closing. I probably have only avoided this because I tell everyone to put the offer in writing and I'll find out exactly what the seller will do.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 8 years ago

Great advice with the perfect ending.  Congrats on the sale. 

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 8 years ago

I can't tell you how many times I've heard that from adamant listing agents here.  We do have to always remember, however unappealing the offer seems to us, it's not our decision to make.

Posted by Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert (Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103) over 8 years ago

It is true that you sometimes want to answer for your seller, especially with a lowball offer.  There are too many agents that would not think twice about not even presenting the offer if it was too low in their opinion....it is unfortunate.  We cannot put ourselves in their shoes, and even though they may tell us at the point of listing what they are willing to do make it happen, you never know until the offer is on the table.  Good for you that you recognized that you needed to get out of your own way!  Congrats on the closing!

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 8 years ago

Hi Elizabeth~  Yes, sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we aren't the seller and it is never our decision. 

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) over 8 years ago

I have worked really hard to watch it, but it's east to think out loud.  Congrats on the sale.

Posted by Jennifer Pirkle, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Cumming, GA (Harvest Realty 678-617-0715) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth, you are absolutely correct. You do not know for certain what tge seller will or will not take! We can't make assumptions!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) over 8 years ago

I was born in Paris and much prefer to be kissed on both cheeks...

Tom

Posted by Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs) over 8 years ago

Congrats on getting it sold. Thank you for the reminder, sometimes it is easy to blurt something that you regret. At least you can swallow your pride and share with the rest of us so we can avoid the same. Thank you!

Posted by Brandon DeVere (Force Realty) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth -- Your reaction was only natural even though you know never to assume how the seller will react.  Congrats on getting it closed quickly.  

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 8 years ago

an old manager once advised me to get out of the way of the deal.

Posted by Greg Haraksin, North Orange County Homes (Prudential California Realty) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth, I love the openness of your post...I believe it is imperative to keep the "me" out of my counseling to clients.  I try to give them all of their options and leave them to their decisions.   It is not my job to persuade, as much to educate.  Very excellent post!

Posted by Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin, C2 Financial (C2 Financial) over 8 years ago

I encourage an offer any offer. I can't presume what my client will do when faced with an offer. If the seller doesn't like the offer, I council to counter.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Oh, yea, been there.  I wish I could say I've only failed at keeping my mouth shut on one occasion over the past 20 or so years, but I can't Like you, I DO know better.  I think sometimes it's the way you're appraoched.  But the key is that you did exactly what you were supposed to do, presented to offer and let the seller decide.  Congratulations on the sale..

Posted by Virginia Gardner, Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia (Roy Wheeler Realty Co.) over 8 years ago

I love the ending. Sometimes it pays to just shut up and let the Seller make the best decision for themselves.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 8 years ago

I love it when a deal comes together. It's great to see that you presented the offer. So many agents THINK they shouldn't.

Posted by Darrin Carey, Real Estate Buyer (Homes and More, Inc) over 8 years ago

This is such an honest post.  I think you summed it up best when you said, "My fiduciary responsibility is to look out for their best interests, not to dictate the terms of those interests."  It is Basic Real Estate 101 and something drilled in us while studying for the license exam that we have to forge through and continue. 

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) over 8 years ago

Sometimes market price and actual selling price just don't synch up, especially in a situation like this. Sounds like this seller was much more motivated by speed of sale than dollars.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 8 years ago

I understand where you are coming from, but I am not sure I agree. I wouldn't feel I was doing my job if all I did was to take the offer, bring it to the seller, and tell him that he could either accept, counter, or reject it. This is not paying me to act as as courier. I do believe in engaging the other party in the negotiation. And to do that, I have to say more than simply "thank you. I will present it and let you know.".

Hope this makes sense.

Posted by Jose Dias, Sell Your Home in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale-Goodyear (Home Sellers Help in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth, it happens to all of us. I'm glad that you recognized your slip and corrected it in time. Also glad that you've got a closing coming.

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 8 years ago

A closed mouth gathers no foot. 

I blew a transaction over another agent demanding small incremental concessions, including a $300 raise in her commissions.  I had shown her clients the home, and had procuring cause but didn't say anything. Long past the inspection she kept trying to get more concessions from me until I snapped.  She had them cancel.  We all lost. 

Posted by Mary Jo Quay, I Move You Home (Remax Results) over 8 years ago

Great post Elizabeth! So true, we have to let the seller speak when the opportunity presents itself and never assume.  That is important for agents to keep in mind.  Congratulations on your closing and yes sometimes short sales are 10 times the work. 

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago

You really never know...some sellers say they will take x, but when that comes in they DON'T, and others say I will never take x, when it comes in the DO!...you just never know!

Posted by Pat Tasker, Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI) (Shorewest Realtors) over 8 years ago

It's good that you were able to step back and realize the issue and bring the sale to resolution.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth, yet another superb post! It's true that you can't take words back once they've been spoken.

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) over 8 years ago

It takes a lot of courage to admit a mistake. . .I get so many calls that start like that on my listings . 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth, congrats on the close!  Good post, too!  I have seen some of the lowest, dumbest offers EVER work.  Buyers often make the low ball offers only to meet the seller at just the right place.  Seller never stop surprising me.  Best lesson, as you say, is to go with it and see if there is a meeting place.   

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) over 8 years ago

I think this has happened to most of us, Elizabeth.

I had a listing presentation the other day and reflected on it later in an effort to evaluate myself.

There were a couple of things that came out of my mouth that I wish I could do over.

Got the listing but hopefully I learned something at the same time.

Posted by Jim Shaw, Real Estate Sales Associate, Naples Luxury Real Estate (Premiere Plus Realty Co.) over 8 years ago

I wouldn't have a problem with that comment if it is prefaced with "I doubt"

 

I doubt my seller will accept that

I doubt my seller will entertain an offer that low this early

I doubt that we can get this done at that price

I doubt that .....

 

and ended with "But it never hurts to ask"

 

I have had the inverse, when I called and said I'm presenting.....and we will consider counters....the listing agent has said...."Oh, they will take that!"

 

Gary De Pury, SFR

And I am French!

Posted by Gary De Pury, ESQ. (Bay Vista Realty) over 8 years ago

Wow! That just happened to me last evening. I have a new listing and the prospect made a low offer. My jaw hit the ground but I have presented it to the seller and waiting  their reply. You really never know what their thoughts are and I am required to submit all offers.  

Posted by Kevin Gann (United Country Deer Capital Realty & Auctions,llc) over 8 years ago

Excuse me.  We Frenchmen, (I'm half French) are lovers not fighters.  LOL

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 8 years ago

lucky for you that it turned out well.

Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) over 8 years ago

Oh if I had a dime for every time I've heard "my seller won't" before the agent has spoken with the seller....

I have been trained in hostage negotiations by the FBI - and as funny as it may seem that training has served me well in this profession.  Never say never.  Always try to end on a positive.  And never speak for another party.  Great post and timely reminder.

Posted by Kimberly Brandon, Broker/Owner (Smart Moves Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Thank you for your honesty and stepping aside...

I have had too many listing agents tell me if it is below $$$ not to bother submitting it....I always ask if they are part owner of the property? 

The surprising thing is that the seller will then counter with with a lessor price than I expected!

Eve in Orlando

Posted by Mike & Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) over 8 years ago

Even if they tell me what they will do -- swear up and down what they will do -- I still don't know what they will do because I am not them. Isn't it interesting how a seller will tell you one thing and react completely different?

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 8 years ago

This is a great post.  You are very courageous to admit your snap judgment error and correct it immediately.  Not only was that the right thing to do, it turned out to generate a commission check for you.  Personally, I have run into many, many listing agents who also immediately reject what they deem to be a "lowball" offer.  The problem is that they do not correct their mistake.  In most cases these listings are still for sale months later....

Posted by Jim McCormack, Nashville Short Sale REALTOR - Stop Foreclosure (Nashville Short Sale Specialist - Jim McCormack - Edge Advantage Realty, LLC - 615-784-EDGE (3343)) over 8 years ago

Liz, I do hate when I suffer from hoof in mouth disease... And if you don't think before you speak it is an easy thing to catch. Really hard to get rid of though.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

So completely true and worth reminding ourselves daily.  We are not the decision makers we simply bring them together.  My standard line is I don't know know what the sellers will take but I'll certainly let them know your offer and we'll go from there. 

Love the comment about mouth being lonely without a foot in it weekly! 

Josette

Posted by Josette Skilling (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 8 years ago

Great post Elizabeth.  Very similar to sellers immediately wanting to reject lowball offers and not counter for an amout they WOULD accept on a transaction.  Glad to hear the deal went through!

Posted by Pete Neuville (Realty Executives) over 8 years ago

I think we've all done that and then regretted it. Then we have to back-track. You never know and it's not about us and our opinion, as you say. It's the two principles involved.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 8 years ago

I have learned not to project my feelings onto my clients - No take that back, I'm still learning

Posted by Ann Wilkins, Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA (Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth:

You were correct to withdraw that comment.  We never know what the seller will take for the property. I have sellers that change their mind everyday.  They get in a panic and want to sell right away at a lower price.  Good luck!

Posted by Ronald S. Accornero (OC Signature Properties) over 8 years ago
Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for a terrific reminder that we really need to keep our opinions to ourselves. Glad it worked out for your seller. I will think of this post when I'm in this situation !
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 8 years ago

Thanks for being so canded and sharing the lesson learned. Food for thought for us all in the future.

Posted by Victoria M Baker (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 8 years ago
Congratulations on the closing Elizabeth! Great point for all of us.
Posted by Paul Armstrong, Serving Orange County & The Long Beach Area (Realty Network) over 8 years ago
Hi Elizabeth Good post. I actually had it come the other way last week after signing a listing agreement the MR Seller started to shcool me up on what he was and was not going to accept, right away I explained that I would not be screening his offers for him. I would bring all and the choice would ultimately be his.......Brad
Posted by Brad Hornshaw, Realtor, Listing Agent, Buyers Agent, Investments (Brad Hornshaw Realtor Lynnwood, Bothell, Everett) over 8 years ago

Good post. We can never presume to know what the seller will or won't say. Our job is to present all information known to us to the client. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by RhondaHeaslip NanaimoRealEstate (RE/MAX of Nanaimo) over 8 years ago

Human behavior - still haven't perfected predicting it, so I've stopped trying, shut my mouth, and passed on the information to either the seller or the buyer. You just never know, and it's taken me a while to prove that to myself!

Congrats on the closing and the great post!

Posted by Debbe Perry, 828.439.3084 Morganton/Lake James NC (Real Living Carolina Property ) over 8 years ago

I have seen agent ego get in the way several times. We all need to check our ego's and present any and all offers. Work each deal until it closes or the buyer or seller says no.

I have saw some very low offers come in and the seller make a counter offer and end up closing. I have also saw sellers give a lot just to get the deal done. It is their choice not ours.

Posted by Alan Grizzle, Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega (Chestatee Real Estate) over 8 years ago

We have to remember that the concept of "Market Value" is a tricky one. When your seller accepts a bid, he has just established the market value for that property. Buyers and sellers, not Realtors, establish market value.

Posted by Thomas McCombs (Century 21 HomeStar) over 8 years ago

Motivation at work here, price is secondary

Posted by Phil Parisi, Specializing in Florida's Treasure Coast (Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Laviano & Associates) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth - I don't know how I missed this blog when you posted it.  Duel agency is always tricky.  I've done it a few times, but not lately.  I do something totally unorthodox when I am representing both buyer and seller.  I "try" to get them to agree to meet around a table with me.  I begin the dialogue by having them all sign the dual agency disclosure form.  I explain in depth what dual agency means.  I also tell them that in many transactions, a buyer can only qualify or afford so much, and a seller can only settle for a certain amount.  I put every conceivable comp I can find for the property on the table.  So all parties can view as they wish.  I explain the good news is that because it is a dual agency and I am representing them both, that I am reducing commission from 6% to 5%.  I have been successful with that method most of the time. 

There are times, like you illustrated, that words simply jump out of our mouths.  You're right - we do not always know what a seller will accept, or won't, until written word appears on an offer.  I also agree with Thomas McCombs in his comment, "Market Value" is a tricky concept. . .Especially in today's marketplace.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 8 years ago

Great advice for listing agents. I always encourage an offer, even a low one. Better to have an offer to counter than no offer at all.

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) over 8 years ago

You would think that this is a no brainer but I am sure this has happened to us all at one time or another. I applaud you for recognizing the gaff and taking the necessary steps that allowed the seller to get out from underneath his burden - as somebody up above said, its not always about the money.

Posted by Bill Bentley (Realty One Group) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth, there are a lot of comments, and usually I read comments, but just not enough time, so sorry if I repeat what others have said.

We all do things like that. I also know that even if the Seller says he would not take anythhing below cedrtain number, when you submit the offer, it may often change drastically.

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 8 years ago

Glad it closed after-all Elizabeth.  Congratulations.  Sometimes it's just a reaction, but you're right.  The sellers might have told you what they wanted but what they'd take could change and does!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) over 8 years ago

Congratulations, glad you were able to close.  You said the agent asked you to represent him/her, but you did not mention if you accepted or not prior to speaking with the seller.

Posted by Steven Pahl, Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423 (Keller Williams Tampa Properties) over 8 years ago

That happened to me once - I had an estate property and got an extremely low ball offer - As in, about 1/3 less than the list price.

This is a small town and the buyer had been a friend of the gentleman who had passed on. I didn't know that he also knew the daughters, because they had moved away years ago.

Rather than write it up, I called the sellers with the verbal offer. The answer was "We like Tony, so sure, we'll take that offer."

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 8 years ago

Elizabeth ~ I liked Doug's comment #2!  We do need to step back and not answer for the clients.  Often it is difficult to do, especially when we feel we are working in their best interest.

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) over 8 years ago

Great points. A lot of times, we take a low offer personally without being un-biased and seeing what the seller might react to it first.

Posted by Sandy McAlpine, Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC (RE/MAX EXECUTIVE) about 8 years ago

LOL As soon as you say they will or won't do whatever, they will turn around and do exactly opposite of what you just said. Yes, it's best not to go there. 

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) over 5 years ago

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