By Scott Newman
Real estate is back in 2012 in a big way. Many markets are seeing price increases in response to dwindling inventories as more and more buyers are getting off the fence every day. With that in mind — especially since it’s been so long since we’ve had the opportunity to use the phrase “multiple offer” — I felt it would be pertinent and relevant to go through some best practices for handling multiple offer situations to make sure you’re in line with ethical and fair business practices.
Don’t Forget Your Loyalties: This is a big one, and it’s obvious, but many agents forget that you can’t disclose information that your client doesn’t authorize. No where is it written that you must disclose whether or not you have other offers on the table. Unless your seller has specifically directed you to do so, you should not automatically answer that question if asked by a buyer’s agent or buyer.
I have seen situations where a buyer will pull out of a deal because they think there is too much competition, and you can be legally liable for any negative consequence that results from your disclosing information you shouldn’t have.
To summarize, don’t ever forget that your ultimate loyalties lie with your seller, and just because you’re asked a question doesn’t mean you have to answer.
Treat Everyone the Same: This is another obvious one, but it’s important and bears repeating. To avoid accusations, legal action, and overall negative impact to your reputation as a professional, it’s imperative that you treat everyone the same way.
If you’re sending out a request for highest and best, send the exact same e-mail, forms, etc., to all interested parties who have seen the property so there is absolutely no doubt that everyone was informed of the status and had a chance to make an offer if they wanted. It’s better to e-mail an agent that showed the place six months ago along with everyone else, than it is to have your deal blown up by a lawsuit from a buyer who feels they were unfairly kept from knowing the latest update and opportunity to place an offer.
Keep Unbelievably Good Records: Continue reading »
By Melissa Krchnak
Who has an influx of buyers? We sure do! My market (the Inland Empire of Southern California) is crawling with them. Our middle market is sitting a bit, but our entry-level and high-end are moving quite quickly… with multiple offers over asking!
That got me thinking: With lower inventory and a ton of activity, should I be going back to the 2009 days of setting a cut-off date for offers?
I obviously want to make sure I’m doing what’s in my seller’s best interest… so, is that it? Maybe. Here’s what I think you should do if you set a cut-off date:
- Review your offers as you get them, but present all at once: I created a cover sheet that I attach to each one with a break-down of the offer with any special notes, so when I go to present, I have all the info right there.
- Have at least one open house before presenting offers: Like I say, “business comes from everywhere,” and who am I to deny a lucky buyer the joy of working with me?
- Have at least one brokers’ open: Give all your lovely agent friends a chance to check it out. I don’t do a brokers’ open on most of my listings, but if you’re only going to have it on the market for a limited amount of time, it’s probably a good idea to give everyone a fair shot.
- Have it on the market for at least 10 days: When the market was hot in 2009, 10 days was an eternity and I’d be swimming in 30+ offers. I don’t think it’ll get that crazy now, but I wouldn’t want my sellers to wait much longer than that – they’re tired of opening their door to strangers… I get it. Just make sure that 10 days includes two weekends. I usually list my homes on Thursday or Friday for maximum exposure.
I’ve had agents try to get me to extend the cut-off date, but if I have it in the MLS, and your Client (or yourself) is set-up on an auto-email, how did ya’ll miss it? Just curious. I always offer to hold it as a back-up in case something happens with “the chosen one.”
What’s your market look like? Do you need to chat with your sellers about a cut-off date when you’re taking the listing?
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.