Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Your agent should present your offer... IN PERSON

I'm not happy with the way real estate offers seems to be presented these days. At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, I will tell you that the new technology has paved the way for a more efficient but less effective way of communicating offers.

Bear with me for a second. When I began selling real estate in 1982, faxes were rare... email was not even on the radar screen. So when we got an offer from a buyer, I would call the listing agent and arrange to meet them and their client (the sellers) to present the offer. IN PERSON! I would most often end up in the kitchen of the sellers and would be given an opportunity to discuss the virtues of my offer. I would invariably describe my buyers... lay it on thick about how wonderful they were... talk about their hopes and dreams... refer to how their family is much like the seller's family when they started out... I would use all sorts of communication skills and techniques to promote my buyers' cause. When the seller responded in a less than desirable way... I could see it... I could hear it... I could FEEL it. I could deal with it. Right there and then. And we usually could find some common ground. We could usually sell the house.

Not today. The listing agents want the offer faxed to them. Or emailed. The buyer's agent never gets a chance to get in front of the sellers... belly to belly... man to man... face to face. And sadly, what I think is going on is that the listing agent doesn't even TAKE the offer to the sellers. They are calling them or even faxing the offer to their OWN client.

Why? I think it's partly because they are afraid. They... the agents, are like most humans: They don't like confrontation. And presenting an offer, that is NOT FULL PRICE is a confrontation. Depending on how low the offer is and how crazy the terms might be make the confrontation better or worse. But THAT was what made us real estate agents! Not everyone had it in them to do this. But doing this more often than not helped get houses sold.

So my advice today... try to get your agent to present the offer in person. Hopefully you have selected a Realtor who is well trained and has the personality to be able to walk into enemy fire and keep cool. They can take the initial response, and work it in your favor and get the offer accepted.

Then you won't be wondering this: "Did my offer ever actually get presented?" Because they way it is being done most often today, if you ask your agent that question they may well respond, "Well, I think it did... I, uh, faxed it over to the agent and have a fax transmission sheet that says it did."

Hoo boy.

Have a super day... you deserve it!

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