In the past week I’ve encountered two listings which, in the listing comments section, state a future date that offers will be presented to the Seller. Specifically, a recent listing that one of our Buyers was interested in said: “Hurry! All offers will be presented 4/16”. I can’t think of anything dumber to write in the listing comments sections of a new listing.
Steve’s literal translation of the comment: “Hurry! Wait, don’t bring me an offer yet.”
This doesn’t make any sense, but that’s exactly what the comment says to me. Not a very good marketing message to be sending other agents about your listing. The comment essentially removes urgency from the purchasing process. Urgency is a Seller’s best friend in a hot market. As a Seller in a hot area, you want a sense of urgency to set in immediately upon your home being viewed by the interested Buyer. You want the Buyer to think she better hustle up and submit an offer before someone else beats her to it. You don’t accomplish that by announcing that you’ll be sitting on the offer for several days.
Let’s take a look at this particular listing and how the “offers will be presented Monday” comment caused the Seller to NOT receive an offer from our Buyer, even though this particular home was chosen as our Buyer’s favorite home and they wanted to buy it.
Sylvia took our Buyers out Friday and showed them a bunch of homes in SW Austin. They narrowed the choices down to three favorites, one of them being the listing that included the above comment in the agent comments section. I took the same Buyers out the next day, Saturday, to see the three top candidate homes a second time and to make a decision. The Buyers decided on the listing with the comment that stated offers were not going to be presented until the following Monday. So, at this point, when we normally stop looking and write up the deal and hurry up and deliver it, I told the Buyers we needed to wait. “We’re not going to write it up yet”, I told them.
Why would a Realtor, having a ready and willing Buyer and a home picked out, not write up the offer immediately? Because of that stupid comment.
As I explained to my Buyers, since the agent has stated he won’t be presenting the offer until Monday, submitting an offer on Saturday would only serve to then allow the agent to sit on the offer for three days, telling other agents who might inquire about the listing that at least one offer was already in hand. That information might in turn cause subsequent Buyers, if they were also very interested in this home, to increase their offer, knowing that it’s going to be multiple offers. Then the agent would call us back and say “I now have multiple offers, do you want to leave yours as-is or change it before I present it Monday?”
I’m sure this is the scenario the agent envisioned happening when electing to employ this marketing tactic. Problem is, only an agent dumber than the listing agent would actually bring in an offer three days early under this circumstance.
In short, providing an offer for a listing agent to sit on for a few days is not a good strategy for our Buyer. I don’t know any good Buyer agents who would do this. Instead, my plan was to call the listing agent Monday morning and simply ask if the listing was still available and if any offers had been received. I’d find out what time he’d be meeting the Seller to present offers, if there were any, and would then submit our offer with no warning prior to the presentation time.
So, meanwhile, while we’re waiting for Monday to arrive, the Buyers wanted their friends to see the house this morning (Sunday 4/15). I showed up with a written offer for the home ready to sign, which I planned to hold then submit the next day as described above. I also brought with me a new listing which happened to come on the market the night before. We looked at the home for the third time and the Buyers felt even more assured that this was the home they wanted. Again, this is normally when we stop looking and write up the deal, but remember, we’re not in a hurry.
We then drove to the new listing, which as it would turn out, my Buyers liked better. We drove immediately to Starbucks, wrote up the offer for the new listing, submitted it and had it accepted this afternoon. See ya later Mr. Wait Till Monday. Your strategery just backfired.
What just happened here? The listing agent on the first listing essentially created a disincentive for my Buyer to submit a quick offer. Writing a comment in your listing that makes it less likely that an offer will be submitted is not the best way to sell a home. In this case, it’s a FACT that at least one less offer will be in the Seller’s hand Monday. That offer, in fact, just went through my shredder unsigned instead of being sent in to the Seller last Saturday as it otherwise would have been.