When you are in the market to buy, it’s exciting to see a potentially perfect home online. It’s in your desired neighborhood. It has that special element that you know you want in a home. So you go to the open house and you confirm this is it, you stand in the driveway talking to your agent about your offer because you can’t even wait to get back to their office to write it! Your agent writes and submits the offer and you maybe get a call a couple days later that it hasn’t been accepted. That is, if you even get a call. You may just see the house online marked as under contract. So what happened?
Well, let’s say I’m the agent who listed the house, held the open house and saw your eyes light up as you talked in the driveway and then I got your offer in my inbox and here’s a scenario of what typically happened…I also received 7 other offers and here’s how it likely went: 3 offers had no lender letter with them. This is a letter from your lender stating that you are pre-qualified for the loan. If I don’t get this with your offer, there is no way I can have my sellers sign the offer and take their house off the market without this security. The next two offers in this scenario are for $5,000 and $15,000 less than asking price and they have lender letters. That’s a point for the agent getting the lender letter, but that price isn’t competitive in this market. So those offers don’t get attention. The next offer is for full price, with a lender letter and with a conventional loan with an inspection objection deadline. Well, that could be a good offer, and let’s say it’s yours, but let’s look at the last 2 offers. I have a full price offer with a conventional loan and an escalation clause up to $10,000 over the asking price with no inspection against a full price all cash offer with 2 times the earnest money to close in 2 weeks with an inspection. These are the ones I’m going to start negotiating with.
Time is of the essence and there are deadlines to meet, so I’m not going to waste it chasing after lender letters or helping agents get the details right in their offers. (I didn’t mention that I saw several mistakes and omissions in the offers that I would have to amend, but they are often there.) Weak offers have a lack of price competitiveness, lack of meeting the seller’s needs through non- flexible dates and just general errors that someone has to amend. Anyhow, I am required to show all of the offers to the seller and I always spend a few minutes to explain the pitfalls of accepting certain offers. All of my sellers are savvy enough to know which offer is the best or has the best negotiating potential when the offer is explained to them. I haven’t had a personal letter make a difference yet and I’ve read some good ones…Most importantly, the final negotiations and my seller’s needs are going to determine who gets the house.
Back to when I saw you at the open house, I could tell you were excited. I may have even thought I would like to work with you and your agent because you seemed pretty upbeat. Unfortunately, your agent didn’t know what it took to write the offer or to tell you how it needed to be written to get the house you wanted. It’s a shame, but my sellers are now very happy with the sale of their house and I’m available to work as your agent to get the home you want this year. I work equally as a listing agent and a buyer’s agent. All of my buyers bought the homes they wanted last year and my new buyers will get what they want this year. I hope that is you!
Marilyn Ackerman was in the top 25% of Coldwell Banker Agents in Colorado in 2017. She is available to list your home or work as your buyer’s agent.