You seem like a nice kid. I feel old, calling you a “kid”, but that is the first word that comes to mind. I am in my late 30’s. I am guessing that you are probably around 25 or so. Please try to consider these words as if they are coming from a wise older brother who actually wants to see you succeed:
You really need to learn to stand up to your clients. You brought an offer (perhaps I should say “alleged offer”) on my listing a few days ago. After having had one deal fall through because of financing, my clients would love to sell this house. They are not making any money at the current listing price, and in fact I think they are losing a bit on their original investment. I sold them this house about a year and a half ago, and they planned to stay a lot longer, but the job is taking him to Houston now.
When you bring an offer in the future, try to get the buyer to understand reality, at least a little bit. Austin is not a market where you can steal homes, at least not yet. Bringing an offer of 10% under the asking price will not win you any friends. Of course, I presented it to the sellers, and they made a reasonable counteroffer, to see if your client was truly interested. Later, my client felt that they had acted in haste, and they dropped the price almost to the halfway point, again hoping (apparently in vain) that your buyer really wanted to purchase a home.
I knew that we were in trouble when you rolled out every line in the book. I know these lines and their variants because I have used them myself. However, when I use them, they are smoother and more believable, frankly. Telling me that your buyer is considering other properties means nothing. Telling me that you did a CMA means nothing. You did it wrong. I live in the area.
I tried to set the appropriate expectation with my client, explaining that I felt that the lowball offer coupled with the 20% down payment made me think that this guy was probably an investor, and that he was trying to fish and see how low we would go.
So, with regard to the title above, I apologize for having to speak to you like a child yesterday, but you have a long way to go with regard to handling buyers, IF they are in fact real buyers.
When you called, I expected that your guy would probably just jump at the chance to get this home at a price clearly below the market in this neighborhood, or that he would at the very least get close on his price.
Instead, I think you and I both got a rude awakening.
Your buyer decided to leave his offer price where he started. Okay. I can play this game, too, if you like.
Rather than taking the time to call and strategize with the seller, since he is a friend and I already knew what his answer was, I decided to just be upfront with you. The seller has given me this authority already.
I couldn’t help myself. It just came out during our conversation:
“Tell you what, please inform your client that his offer has been rejected, or you can tell him that he is invited to bring a higher offer if he would like to do so. At this point, my client will listen to me, and I will NOT counsel them to negotiate against themselves by continuing to throw out lower numbers until your guy bites. They are not desperate, but they are anxious to sell the home, so they will consider a realistic counter.”
I really wasn’t trying to be harsh. It’s just the truth.
I know that you agreed with me, because you said so. I know that it isn’t your fault that this buyer is kind of a jerk. I was, however, surprised to learn that he/they actually intend to occupy the property, rather than buying it strictly for investment purposes.
When you told me that they have a friend who is an agent in another Texas market, and that the friend told them that this home was not worth the asking price, I am sorry that I laughed so hard. As we discussed, the friend knows little to nothing about the Austin market, just as I am not well-versed in Houston or San Antonio.
If you want uninformed opinions, why not just poll 10 random people on the street while you are at it? Take the average, and that should represent a solid and accurate view of the value, right? Um…wrong.
You mentioned that your buyer was also looking at the tax assessment, which was the most pathetic negotiating attempt of all, since our counteroffer already put us below that amount (I made sure while we were on the phone, remember?).
As I said several times, I don’t think they are very interested in this home, and that’s okay.
I know that I made you nervous when we were talking. I feel for you, because I was much like you 12 years ago, when I first started in real estate, although I probably had a bit more confidence with my abilities. It’s hard to explain the realities of the market when you are still figuring them out for yourself.
I would imagine that I will be hearing from you sometime over the weekend, after we play the “wait and see” game for a day or two. I can assure you that you won’t be hearing from me first. I have already communicated our counteroffer to you. My guess is that your buyer will in fact make this purchase, but he won’t get any more out of my seller’s pocket.