By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Selling homes: The art of the offer
Placeholder Image

Dear Real Estate Boys: My husband and I have a big chip on our shoulder this week.  We followed your advice and have our home listed with a local Realtor.  The Realtor is a social friend and I believe well respected in the community as a professional.  Our home is by far one of the best buys in town.  We’ve have taken incredible care of our place.  Never had a problem fixing or replacing anything that the home needed.  We have been on the market for a little over 30 days and while we’ve had numerous showings no offers until last week.  Bluntly said, we were shocked at how low this offer was, how rude this buyer was.  My husband and I refused to even counter the brainless offer.  We even told our Realtor to not allow the Realtor who wrote the offer to show our home ever again.  

Unmannerly Polished

Well you certainly put that buyer in their place didn’t you?  The Boys say sorry from all Realtors in our market area.  But, there’s always a but isn’t there?   Keep in mind the Realtor is just writing what the buyer tells them to write or offer.  We Realtors just are the conduit between buyers and sellers.  Sometimes a buyer will just use the Realtor to write an offer that is just ridiculous because the buyer doesn’t have to make that offer face to face with the seller.  That’s why Realtors get the big bucks.  Here comes another but, but think of this, Polished.

When you and your hubby decided to sell your home you must have invited your Realtor over for him or her to take an in-depth look at your home and give you a market analysis on the home’s value.  Did that value your Realtor came up with equal the value you and hubby thought it should be?  Was this terrible offer close to what your Realtor suggested the market would bare? 

Let’s change course here and talk about the ideas of an offer.  Sure you want as much for your house as you can get out of it.  And you deserve it too.  Buyers on the flip side want to buy the home for as little as possible.  The idea here is to negotiate.  (Something our elected officials have also forgotten how to do.)  Yeah, the buyers offered $499,000 and you are asking $549,000.  That’s less than 10% apart!  You have listed your home because you desire to sell and move on with your life.  The buyers desire to buy and start their new life.  

Instead of slamming the door on an offer try asking your Realtor to ask the other Realtor why their offer was a littler lower than you felt is should be.  Maybe, just maybe the buyers see that the roof needs to be replaced or the kitchen, in their eyes, needs gutting.  With that in mind, try a counter offer, maybe in this case, $11,000  lower to $538,000.  Remember the buyers made an offer and they are trying to see where you stand as the price.  With this counter of $538K the buyers see you want to sell.  OK, the buyers come back with maybe $515,000.   We are now just $23,000 apart.  The Boys feel we are so close this deal will end somewhere between $525-$530K.  Then both buyer and seller feel they got the deal they were looking for and walk away with smiles.  

Many times buyers come to the table with very little cash in hand and their offer is structured kind of like this.  The asking price is $249,000.  Home has been on the market for 45 days and no price adjustments to date.  The buyers’ offer is $240,000 and seller to credit buyer 5% for closing costs, and seller to pay all of the title and escrow policy.  OK, 5% equals 5% of the accepted price or $12,000 in this case.  The title and escrow policy is normally split so the extra cost to the seller is +/- $600.  Instead of you saying no way in Bakersfield are, sellers, going to give the buyers $12,000.  If they don’t have enough money to buy my house they should stay renters.  Remember, you listed your house FOR SALE.  Do you want to sell?  Maybe you should take a deep breath and listen to your Realtor.  Negotiate!  OK says your loving Realtor, how does this counter sound?  Sales price shall be $245,000 and all other terms and conditions remain the same.  Your loss, if you call it a loss, is around $7.000.  And the best thing is you get to get on with your life Polished.  

Between the two Boys we have a combined over 45 years of experience in this profession which means nothing really.  But we will say, if your home has been on the market for 30 days and you have not had an offer you may be priced too high or something you don’t see is wrong with the house.  So, when that first offer, the only offer to date finally arrives please look at it closely.  This is where that 45 years noted above gives us an edge.  That first offer often times is your best offer and sometimes your only offer.  Someone loves your home and has taken the time and effort to make you an offer.  Please take it seriously and act accordingly.  Good luck Polished and thank you for the letter.