I don't know if this is a trend or not but negotiations with Buyer's Agents seem to be getting really easy. Supposedly a lot of Realtors haven't had a closing in a while and are very anxious to get deals negotiated and pending. Kind of scary I guess if you are a Buyer but being a Seller's Broker, I like it. I was fortunate enough to place a couple of my listings pending this week. The last one I did, caught me a little off guard with the simplicity. The characters were a desperate Buyer's Agent, a willing and able Buyer, a Seller that needs to sell and of course me, the Seller's Broker.
This particular property had been on the market for about 11 months, listed with the Seller's son. The Sellers had moved back up north earlier this year and had hired their son to sell the house. The son works for one of my local competitors. Well, after 11 months of no activity and no communication with their Realtor(son), the listing expired and they called me, off of my expired letter. Originally, the property, was listed at $225,000 and had eventually been reduced to $199,000. Unfortunately, the house is only worth $189,000. Anyway, I listed the property about 60 days ago and Range Priced it from $179,000 to $199,000 trying to sell as close to $189,000 as possible.
This past Saturday I received an offer, coming in from another Realtor, for $175,000. Now this Realtor is an independent Broker, like myself, and owns a small Real Estate company. We've done deals in the past, so I struck up a conversation and we chit chatted about business. I guess things have been a little slow in his neck of the woods (my market) and he hasn't had a closing for awhile. I told him I would present the offer to the Sellers and get back with him the following day. Now, being the good little Realtor that I am, I prepared a Seller's net sheet, attached it to the purchase offer and E-mailed it to the Sellers. I let them know that it was a low offer but they should at least counter offer it, since the Buyers were pre-approved and had a little bit of a down payment. My Sellers were really tempted to accept it but decided to sleep on it. The next day they called me and wanted to counter at $180,000 and asked me what I thought, and did I think the Buyer would balk. The Sellers really need to sell this house. Well, since they asked, I answered, I told them I thought $180,000 was too low and how about we counter at $185,000, if the Buyers balk, we can always go back again.
The Sellers were a little nervous about this but agreed it would be nice to get another $10,000 out of the Buyers, if possible. So we countered at $185,000. That night the Buyer's Agent called me and asked if the Sellers would come done any further. I could tell he was really nervous about getting this deal together so I said "Well, I'm not sure, did your Buyers want to submit another counter offer?" This is the part I like, he said, "Uh, no, no lets just go ahead and do it at $185,000, I want to get it pending" Now folks, I could be wrong, but I got the impression that maybe his Buyers were wanting him to present another counter, verbally, to see what the Sellers would say. Well, I can tell you what the Sellers would have said, they would have said "YES". In fact they would have said yes if the Buyer stayed pat at $175,000. But, because the Realtor was desperate for a deal, we did the deal at $185,000. Needless to say, my Sellers are thrilled that their house finally sold and even more thrilled that they took my advice and ended up with $185,000.
But what about the Buyers? Well, they did get a really nice house for the money, and in reality, they would not have found a better one for that price. So hopefully, they will be happy as well, even if their desperate Realtor may have cost them $10,000.
There are two morals to the story. Please, never, ever put your need for a commission before you customers/client's needs. And if you are a consumer, it would be wise to ask your Realtor when was the last time they had a closing.
So that's it, my little story for today. Is it real or is it make believe? What say you?