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By Tara-Nicholle Nelson | Broker in San Francisco, CA

5 Things Home Buyers Do That Turn Sellers Off (and Kill Deals)

On today’s market, every savvy seller wants to know what turns buyers off, so they can get their homes sold as quickly as possible, for as much as possible.  But buyers, take note – there is a minefield of seller turn-offs you can trigger that hold the potential to keep you from getting the home you want at the best price and terms, or to unnecessarily complicate dealings with your home’s seller.

Lest you think all of today’s sellers are under the gun and will just put up with whatever behavior buyers dish out, be aware that there are still many multiple offer situations in which buyers have to compete with each other to get a home – buyers who trigger these turnoffs tend to lose in those scenarios.  Also, avoiding these seller turnoffs can create a transactional environment of cooperation and avoid things turning adversarial.  That, in turn, can empower you to score a better price, get extra items you want thrown into the deal, and even negotiate more flexibility around your escrow and move-in timelines – all perks that can make your life easier and your budget go further.

For sellers, these turnoffs pose the potential of irritating you out of an otherwise good deal – maybe even the only deal you have!

Here’s a few of the most common buyer-perpetuated seller turnoffs, with tips for sellers on how to keep an emotional (and economic) even keel, even if your home’s buyer makes some of these waves:

1. Trash-talking. Trash-talkers are the home buyers who think they’re going to negotiate the list price down by slamming the house, telling the sellers how little it is really worth, how the house across the street sold for nothing, why the school on the corner should make them desperate to give the place away, etc. This strategy never works; in fact, when you attack a seller and their home, you only cause them to be defensive, and think up all the reasons that (a) their home is not what you say it is, and (b) they shouldn’t sell their home to you! 

Sometimes this happens with buyers who actually love a house and just walk around it fantasizing about all the ways they would customize it to their tastes while a seller is there.  Sellers: avoid being at home while your home is being shown.  Buyers: save your commentary for your agent; if you do encounter the seller in person keep your conversation respectful and avoid critiquing the house or the list price.

2. Being unqualified for mortgage financing. When a seller signs a buyer’s offer, most often the seller agrees to effectively pull the home off the market, forgoing other buyers who might be interested.  As such, the only thing worse than getting no offers on your home is getting an offer, getting into contract, then having the whole thing fall apart when the buyer’s loan falls through – especially if that could have been predicted or avoided up front.

Sellers: Work with your agent to vet your home’s buyers’ qualifications, including their loan approval, down payment and earnest money deposit – before you sign a contract.  It’s not overkill for your agent to call the buyers’ mortgage pro before you sign the contract and get a level of comfort for how robust their qualifications are.  Buyers:  Get pre-approved.  Seriously.  And make sure that you don’t buy a car, quit your job, deposit lottery winnings or do any other financial twitchery between the time you get loan approval and the time you close escrow on your home.

3. Making unjustified lowball offers. No one likes to feel like they are being taken advantage of.  And sellers generally know the ballpark amount that their home is worth, as well as what they need to sell it for to get their mortgage paid off.  Yes – the price you pay for a home should be driven by its fair market value, rather than the seller’s financial needs, and deals are more available in a market like the current one, in which supply so vastly outpaces demand. But just throwing uber-lowball offers out at sellers hoping one will hit the spot is not generally a successful strategy, especially if you really, really want a given property.

Sellers:  Don’t get overly emotional about receiving a lowball offer; counter at the price you and your agent decide makes sense based on the total circumstances, including your motivation level, recent comps and the interest/activity level your listing is receiving. Buyers:  Work through the similar, nearby homes that have recently sold (a/k/a comparables) before you make an offer to factor the home’s fair market value into your offer price – also factor in how much you want the place, too.  Don’t be amazed if you make an offer far below asking, and don’t get a response.

4. Renegotiating mid-stream. Sellers plan their finances, moves and  - to some extent – their lives around the purchase price a buyer agrees to pay for their home.  If you get into contract to buy a home, find out during inspections that costly repairs need to be made, then propose a lower sale price, repair credit or even actual repairs to the seller, that’s sensible and fair.  But if you were aware that the property needed a lot of work before you made an offer on it, then you come back asking for beaucoup bucks’ worth of credit or price reductions midstream, expect the seller to cry foul.  And holding the seller up two weeks into the transaction because you caught a case of buyer's remorse? Not cool, and not likely to foster the spirit of cooperation you may need to get your deal closed.

Sellers: avoid mid-stream price renegotiations by having a full set of inspection reports and repair bids at hand when you list your home. Buyers: try to avoid renegotiating the entire deal unless you get some major surprises at your inspections or inflating small repairs to try to justify a major price cut.

5. Misleading or setting the seller up.  Remember when we talked about buyer turn-offs?  Being misled by listing photos or very fluffy property descriptions was high on the list.  The same goes for sellers.Offering way over asking with the plan to hammer the seller for a reduction when the house doesn’t appraise at the purchase price?  #LAME  Making an as-is offer planning the whole time to come back and ask for every penny ante repair called out by the inspectors?  Lame squared.

  If you get multiple offers and are tempted to take a sky-high one or one that claims to be all cash, consider requesting proof that the buyer has sufficient funds to make up the difference between what you think the home will appraise for and the actual sale price, and statements showing the cash truly exists.  Buyers: Don’t be lame. I’m not saying you have to tell the seller exactly what your top dollar is, but making offers with terms designed to intentionally mislead is really, really bad form – and can result in losing the home entirely if and when your bluff gets called.

P.S. - You should follow Trulia and Tara on Facebook, too!


By Ed Rudolph,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 04:52
Thats good stuff! I have a couple of buyers who I will be sending it to today.
By Faye Bailey,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 04:54
Please read if you are thinking of buying OR selling.
By Clair Funk,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 04:57
Tara - You nailed it again! I love reading your articles - keep 'em coming!
By Anna Baran,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 04:57
excellent article! It was concise & informative.
By The Mills Team,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:11
Great advice! Thanks for sharing!
By Joshua Jarvis,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:11
In the Atlanta market, this article is irrelevant. Seller's are short selling or are banks. In a buyer's market, the seller should be less concerned with these and be happy they have an offer. It's up to the agent to help manage expectations on both sides. Of course, it rarely needs to happen at least in OUR market.
By Voices Member,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:12
Very well done. Real Estate is emotional for everyone in a normal market or normal situation. With today's economy and people losing so much alreay, let's leave dignity alone.
By Francesca Patrizio,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:15
As always, you are right on the money!
By Barbara Murphy,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:16
Tara - I've had Buyers lose great houses that they wanted and Sellers lose excellent offers that came in for the very reasons you so clearly laid out in this article. It takes care and skill in a negotiation to make sure that it's Win-Win for everyone. Thanks for sharing another great post. :)

Barbara Murphy - Tartan Properties - Pensacola - Pace - Milton - Gulf Breeze - Northwest FL Panhandle.
By Jason & Michelle Merritt,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:19
Very well-written and spot-on!!!
By The Sharp Soro Team,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:20
I am making a copy and handing it out at open houses! Luckily, I don't see this behavior too much- when I do - it NEVER work!
By Laura Gibbs,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:20
These are great comments for all in the sales transaction to be mindful of. Thanks for sharing these nuggets of wisdom.
By Nyla Young - Realtor,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:22
I've posted this to FB specifically hoping one of my buyers reads it and gets the part about low-ball offers! ;) Thanks for the great article.
By Anne Jasper,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:28
I disagree with the don't put in a low offer advice. Many times the sellers these days are selling homes that they inherited from parents. They can't in live in areas where there are no jobs (such as a resort area) and they don't want to lose their parents' home to the tax man when they can't pay the taxes on a home they don't live in. Better to take a lesser offer on a house than to lose it entirely. Real estate people don't always give the best advice because they want to keep those inflated prices in place for the same of commissions!
By Susan Sneed,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:32
I enjoy reading your articles as they provide excellent information and most that we can forward on to the buyer or seller that will make them more informed in their decisions.
By Suzanne Villar,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:38
You've hit the nail on the head. I'm not a realtor but have bought and sold 3 properties in the last 6 months and have sat on both sides of the closing table in three states. As a seller I was lucky and didn't encounter any of these issues but certainly knew they were potential pit falls. As a buyer, I didn't play games with my offers and was careful to be courtous and positive with both the seller and the seller's agents and we had very smooth closings in each case.
By Carl,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:41
This article really makes no sense in today's buyer's market. Why do I care if I turn the seller off? If I turn you off, then let's see if you can find another qualified buyer. From my perspective, there are plenty of other great homes for sale. This article made sense 6 or 7 years ago when homes already had offers before they hit the mls listings. That is when you needed to kiss the seller's butt, but not today.
By Carmen Di Biase,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:43
As always, timely, concise information. Keep it coming.
By Caroline Dugas,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:46
I just had this happen to buyers (friends of mine) in a transaction I had referred to a commercial practitioner. My friend's husband put in a lowball offer and then trashed the property to the sellers to "justify" his offer, when the bottom line was, it met all their needs, they were excited about it, desperate over it, and had no second choice. When the seller tossed their offer in the trash can and started talking to another buyer, the monkeys hit the fan.
I had to step in and take the buyer (wife) to the seller's office (wife) and got her to pour out her heart about what she loved about the property, where her heart was with the business, and basically got the seller to relent and agree to lower terms than asking price. Never underestimate the seller's financial position or motivation either. It can be a costly move.
By Kathy Knight,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:49
Great article with some sound points...
By Bill Malone,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:50
Your articles are always great, but THANK YOU for anchoring basic principles of business and behavior. I appreciate your efforts more than you can know!
By Janet Grosso,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:51
I have sold my homes and bought homes. I am now in the market, once again to buy a home. It seems all the above responses are from realtors. I am a buyer not a realtor. I would like to add a few comments and "tips" for Realtors and Sellers. Stop using those cameras that stretch a room to unatural lengths! Do you really think they are going to look that way when your buyer sees the house! Be honest! Show it as it really is, there is someone out there that will buy it. When I see those stretched out pictures it is a Big turn off to me. It makes me wonder what else are they being dishonest about. A Realtor should help not hinder a sale. When I sold my homes I made sure the potential buyer knew everything about my house, the good and the bad! I had quicker and better responses whenever I sold my house on my own. I have nothing against a Realtor, I do, however, have alot against dishonesty, just keep it honest and real. The buyer will be more inclined to buy your property if they know what they are getting into in the beginning. No surprises after they purchase the house. Keep the listing price real as well. You will get a better nights sleep with Honesty. :)
By Patrick W Kibby,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:57
This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO one of my buyer clients, its like you are the "fly on the wall". I've tried every approach I know to communicate all of these points-not getting through. I'd love to send this to her if only I could do it anonymously.
By JEFF RITCHEY/JUDY CARTER,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:58
Great,I think both buyers and sellers would read this,it Our Job a lot easier
By Stephen Kass,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:59
Good Advice. Sellers often get insulted when receiving a lowball offer and refuse to counter, they only want to reject the offer. Often the buyer really wants the home and knows what a fair price is. A counter to that price will nudge the buyer back to reality.
By Ed Batkins,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 05:59
What a fantastic article.
By Pearl Bayne,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:07
Thank you for your sensible advice for buyers and sellers. It was well put!
By Henry Cassidy,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:10
I love your articles generally but real estate agents drool over them, In this market getting an legitimate offer is hitting the jackpot .
Real estate agents are the sellers friends not the buyers of course they want the highest bid ,
As someone looking to sell and buy again in another State , give me the right offer and you can trash talk all you like , that's why i have a Agent to buffer me, but money talks and BS walks.
Should a miracle happen and I get more than 1 competitive offer then the trash talker would be in last place,
I won't treat the seller with disrespect but I also know they shouldn't be fussy in this market .
Agents get real ,your dam happy to sell any home in this market, if your commission is to high too bad there's lots of competition n out there.
By Steve Caliendo,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:15
A good article for all three parties.
This is just common sense that the public needs to be aware of.
By Phyllis Ritter,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:15
Great article. Getting ready to send it to some clients right now.
By ** Patricia Curnan **,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:21
Thanks for the article Tara! We have seen many buyers try to take advantage of sellers in this market. Getting to a fair price with the least amount of "turn offs" should always be the goal.
By Jimmy Thompson,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:25
thank you Tara for the post - wonderful article
By Rob Rathbun,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:27
Good article Tara. Are you suggesting in #5 that buyers bring more cash to closing to make up the difference in Appraisal and Purchase Price? With the number of FHA borrowers we see today that only have 3.5% to put down, bumping that up because of a discrepancy is simply not an option. It's a risk that a Seller takes in that the negotiated price is not what the Appraiser comes up with in the end. I just think you should amend #5 to be something more educated that just "#Lame." Telling your buyers to just "Bring more money to the table" is not only #Lame, but not in our buyer's best interest. Negotiations are done throughout the process from Initial offer to the Appraisal. Other than #5, your points are great. Thank you for posting.
By Scott Squires,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:27
Nice piece. I posted it on my facebook page. Thanks!
By Maudib,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:32
I received a $120K offer for a 3-2-4 brick re-done, great condition house listed for $179K where homes go for $175-225K. This offer was from my agent - I fired my realtor, I told my realtor that she should not make any future offers on any of my six properties currently under listing and she should no longer access those properties for showings since no offers would be accepted from her.
By Patrickh,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:37
As a buyer and investor I have some tips for REALTORS. Take pictures and plenty of them in EVERY property. I am quick to realize the property probably isnt worth looking at if there arent pictures. You are missing opportunity to sell because I dont want to waste my time going to a trash can. Everyone knows you are trying to sell your clients property. They know all your tricks. IN todays market, just be open and honest. Everyone is scared to buy anything because of fast talking bs artists. Honesty will sell in the future, people are educating themselves more then ever with major decisions. And if realtors dont like low ball offers, they need to get off their high horse and deal with it. IF YOU READ THIS check the listings date if it has been on the market for a while LOW BALL THE HELL OUT OF IT!!!!
By Karen S. Smith,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:38
Great points. I also agree with the "buyers" that realtors need to be responsible in representing a listing. Good quality and quantity photos and realistic price.
By Dan Gaylor,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:52
I been a Real Estate Broker for 27 years and I have always told Buyers that the value of the property is determined by the Appraisal. When a Buyer insist on a low ball offer I advise the Buyer if they want the property they need to be prepared to make a better offer if they get a counter offer from the Seller. I tell them to have the top dollar that they will give for the property ready for a counter or I tell them to offer more on the sales price and ask for more Seller paid closing cost. Worked great for me over the years. Problem is you have 4 different types of personalities and you better know in advance how to handle each one.
By Ray Johns,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 06:55
By Ray Johns
This one says it all and if everyone would read it; both buyers and sellers we could save a lot of grief.
By Douglas Trudeau,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:03
I can relate to 3-5. Too many want to low ball then ask for the world in repairs. Thank goodness its not with every transaction.
By Sergio Medina,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:13
Hey Henry Cassidy, it sounds like your upset because the home your trying to sell is overpriced and has been on the market for a long time with no offers. Trash-talk is cheap and disrespectful, if you came in to my house talking trash- I'd throw you out in a second. I know it's tough for sellers in this market to swallow what their homes are worth, but the bright side is that if your buying a home out of state, you will definitely buy value on the new purchase. Home ownership should always be looked at as a long term investment just like the stock market because if you buy for the short term- you will be at the mercy of the market.
By Dora,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:14
I disagree with the low offer comment especially in Florida where so many sellers paid more for their home than it's fair market value. It is sad to lose money on ones home but you cannot offset this mistake onto someone else. If there's one thing that turns buyers off, it's an agent who encourages giving high offers on homes that clearly are not worth anywhere near the listing price. We actually switched agents because of this.
By Kim Washington,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:27
You speak the truth.
By Steve & Judy Del Viscio,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:27
Most of what you say is very true. Being in Florida, we get lots of low ballers. As a Realtor, I know pretty much what the property is worth & advise my client accordingly. But many, due to what they have read, still have to come in 20% below what a reasonable offer would be. They can't help themselves! I understand but if they continually do so and come up empty, I find it best to let them waste someone else's time.
By Tiffany,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:29
They say this is a buyers market, I don't agree! We have been searching for a home for a year now and are finally under contract, but we had to give full price to get the home! Now after inspection we are told not to ask for items to be fixed! What is really going on! I have owned and sold 5 homes and have always had repairs done...in good and bad economy! I feel we are getting the shaft here!
By Lisa Egstad,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:32
Tara - you continue to amaze me with your wisdom - keep it coming!
By Judy Hanrahan,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:35
I'm giving this article to both buyers and sellers and I wish every agent would take it to heart. These are points that I've made to both buyers and sellers over 33 years. The selling/negotiation process should not be adversarial. The goal is to have both parties go to settlement feeling like the end result was "fair"...maybe the sellers would have liked to get more money, maybe the buyers would have liked to have spent less, but in the end they both think it was fair. It is our job, as a listing agent, to price, present and market a home accurately. As a buyers' agent, it is our job to educate our buyers. However, I have had experience on my listings iwith multiple offers where it was obvious that a buyers' agent had coached their buyer to make a high offer when we all knew that it would not appraise at that price and that buyer lost. And, there are buyers' agents who trash the house when presenting a low offer in an attempt to coerce the seller to take their offer. That is why I ,and most other listing agents in my area, have the offers sent to us and we present them to the sellers. Here is the reasoning: "Let the contract speak for itself. If there are things to be explained, tell them to me" If the buyers' agents claims they have a right to be there to represent their client, I ask "Then will I be able to meet with your buyers to present a counter offer to represent my sellers?" The answer is always, "no", so case closed!
By Lisa Radke,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:37
Great article. I'm print it out and putting it in every buyer file!
By Kelly Sullivan 01069735,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:49
The article is true in this market place, agents should not get in the way of the transactions, our job is to facilitate the needs and desires of our clients. We work with many different personalities, with sellers and buyers in this market place. We need to educate them, guide them through all the information that is out there. Is the information reliable?
By Wendy Vawser,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 07:55
This a really a good article. If buyers and sellers would be open and up front about their needs and motivations, everyone could have a better experience!!
By John Crowe,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:01
#4 is my pet peeve. I remind buyers, when we write and offer and know a place needs work, factor that in. Otherwise, the inspection period is a discovery period - unknowns. It's not an opportunity to work on a lower price.
By K. Kemper,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:02
real estate realist; how much do you pay to hold your title?

WE are all realists. I DO NOT CARE how the seller feels about an offer. I care about getting my buyer
what he wants. I assume you also do dual agency transactions. i hope not
By Harley Wilcox,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:05
I like it when the buyer and seller are respectful of each other and want to be realistic in the negociations.
By Gladys Viruet,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:08
As Realtors we all have been there done that...
By Gersky-Rojohn Team,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:12
It is always a good idea to have respect on both sides of the deal. Even if you do offer low prices, try to have your buyer agent present the offer in person to put a more humanizing approach to it.

The ultimate goal is two happy parties.
By MONICA NUNCHUCK,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:13
Great article especially with buyers coming to St Augustine thinking they're going get a house 50 cents on the dollar.....ST Augustine is holding strong and not suffering like the media makes you think!
By Lawrence Tobler,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:18
Excellent information, I will be passing this information out..
By Charles Rosamond,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:18
Absolutely no doubt this was written by a real estate agent, for their own self-gratification...now, for the REAL TRUTH...Most agents encourage sellers to inflate the asking price, for 2 reasons: 1] They might make more money, personally [ if the "chump" buyer bites at that price], and, 2] They can fool the buyer into thinking that they are actually working to help the buyer, by "getting the seller to reduce the price, etc". BUYERS BEWARE AND REMEMBER: 1] THE AGENT GETS 6-8% FOR SELLING THE HOUSE [THIS IS ALWAYS ADDED TO THE PRICE THE SELLER WANTS ] 2} AGENTS ARE VERY ADEPT AT SIDE-TRACKING THE BUYER'S ATTENTION AWAY FROM POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WITH THE PROPERTY, [ steering you away from inspections/results, conveniently not informing you of any/all restrictions or required warranties]. Properties can always be bought at a lesser price from the seller, without the intervention of the agent. If you feel you must have an agent, as the buyer, hire them FOR YOU, you can usually negotiate much better than 6-8%, and a call to a real estate attorney can always inform you of any legalities that you are not aware of, usually no more than $ 25-30...well worth the price...
By RJ Ponzio,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:20
Great article. I am not a Realtor myself, although I do the tech work for a broker.

Personally speaking... No matter what the market conditions are,.. nothing gives the buyer (or anyone for that matter) an excuse to be rude and disrespectful to the other side. I am sure it happens far too often in todays market. I love to read what these buyers are saying on here about Realtors wanting the high prices to get more commission. Unfortunately, none of them realize that the money a Realtor would actually see from a $10,000 price increase is only about $150 or sometimes even less. I hardly think that is enough incentive for even the worst mannered people to throw the buyer under the buss. In all reality, the Realtor selling the property would gladly lower the asking price if that is what it takes to sell the home within the sellers expected time frame.
By Al Burns,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:24
Practical information for all, take what you need ,leave what you don't need, In whole it is very relevant
By Charles Rosamond,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:32
Yep, and now it becomes evident that some involved in the selling situation, aren't very well-versed in mathematics, either....according to my " 'rithmatic", 6% of $ 10,000 = $ 600....not $ 150------- I REST MY CASE
By Sharon Vest,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:38
Sooooo many Buyers are of the opinion that Sellers are all desperate and will be happy to get any offer. Foreclosures and Short Sales seem to be dominating the market and that may be why Buyers are so bold. I don't like low ball offers anymore than anyone else but I always tell my Sellers to keep emotions out of it, this is business and that we have to begin somewhere. Any offer is an opportunity to being the conversation! Serious buyers will get the message, those just trying to score a screamin' deal will move on.
I love the admonishment to keep your comments for your agent AFTER you have toured the home. Buyers and Sellers really should not even communicate, that is one of the jobs they hired us for isn't it? Listing agents should advise their Sellers to leave during showings. Most agents request feedback after a showing. That is when we share opinions and the savvy Seller's Agent will pass the info along to the Seller, although sometimes it needs a little softening. If a Seller hears the same remarks enough times they will eventually get the message.
By Sean,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:41
WHO are these people supporting these 5 myths. They must be the homeowners on HGTV who renovate their homes and make them presentable for sale. BANKSTERS have scammed the American people to believe homes appreciate in value. Why should a the price double in 10 years with a 30 YEAR OLD LAMINATE KITCHEN and GOLD BRASS LIKE FIXTURES IN BATHROOMS? TOTALLY OUTDATED. HOMES depreciate just like cars especially when there is NO UPKEEP. I refuse to bailout someone who has overpaid and owes a huge mortgage on a piece of junk like the CRAP in NEW YORK CITY. The worst is yet to come. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!
By Pat and Steve Pribisko,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:42
Great advice. You are spot on with all 5 comments.
By Sharon Vest,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:47
Oh, and Charles.... 6% of $10,000 (if you are getting 6 and not 4 or 5%) divided by 2 (usually 2 different agents involved) equals $300 divided by brokerage split (50%, sometimes more) minus E & O insurance and transaction fees and tech fees equals $150 if you are very lucky!. We take a pledge to serve the needs of our clients and conform to a stringent code of ethics in order to use the term Realtor. Sorry if your experience involved someone who was not performing to code. Not all professionals are great... in any profession.
By Lori Morris,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:49
I love this. Granted it is a buyer's market, but lately I've encountered many young brokers who apparently feel they're not doing a good job for their buyer unless they start the process by specializing in #1 trash talking "you and your seller are so wrong about the house/price and let me tell you why!" and #3 I actually had a broker say to me "It is a buyer's market so you'd better just tell your seller to take our (lowball) offer!!" I prefer to work with a coop broker who is classy enough to not start the transaction by calling and insulting you and your seller. Seems so common these days. I much prefer to work with the other broker in the spirit cooperation vs. win/lose competition. Who is training these new people?
By Peggy Roberts,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:51
Thank you for this insightful article about the benefits of practicing the "Golden Rule" of real estate. Here in Arizona, a toxic real estate climate dominated by short sales, foreclosures and REO properties has spawned an adversarial environment that diminishes the professional real estate practitioner's ability to serve our clients' best interests and benefits no one. Is it bigger than us?
By Andrew Muller,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:52
I am suprised by a few negative comments of people" who knows it all" better then people in the business. They still think of realtors very negatively, and they beleive that realtors like to inflate prices, so they can make more commissions. Ridiculous!!! Just FYI and argument sake, if a realtor sells a property for $40K more, which if it is financed Banks would not allow anyways, would make a a hefty $900-1000 more. Most realtors are honest and working hard, rather do the deal for a happy buyer which will generate more business by referrals, then an unhappy customer and $1000.00 more today.
By Smudge,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 08:55
The buyer's agent should be bringing only qualified buyer's to the seller.
By Mary Davin,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 09:00
Very timely and educational article! This should be posted on page one of the real estate ad section everyday! It's high time buyers are educated about real estate protocol! You should only see their behavior at a new homes builder's site! Atrocious and rude behavior! I'm writing an article up for that type of buyer especially!
By Dorrie Love,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 09:03
Great article and pertinent information for our market. THANK YOU!
By Voices Member,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 09:12
Good article, and so true about most all topics!
By Donna Jo Merrifield,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 09:13
This is absolutely a great article. I posted it to our company FB Page in hopes of educating both buyers and sellers.
By Joy Smith,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 09:29
I'm a buyer, not a realtor. I recently signed a contract on an old (30+ years) foreclosed condo in a resort area north of Houston, Texas. The comps were outrageously inflated--$100K and up. This trashed out condo was offered at $55K. It needed major repairs and about $30K in updates, which would have brought the cost of the condo to a little over $100K. I made an offer of $50K. It was rejected by the Bank.. The deal was off. Next week it was listed for $50K--the same amount as the offer I made! Go figure!
By Stefano Berio,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 09:37
Article is too biased towards the agent making that commission. Sometimes that "small repair" can kill your margins on an investment. Especially when dealing with banks, why the hell should I worry about some REO officer's emotions? Like he gives a hell about mine? You can be sure that once I get a bead on their markdown protocols, each offer I make is going to be lower and lower. All you people are funny "Great advice! yay! I'm gonna print this out and give it to all my customers....." It is so obvious you are just trying to close more deals.... And no Andrew Muller, realtors do not inflate prices. they don't care about prices... they just want the deal to go through...period. Unless of course they are selling their own house... Read Freakonomics.
By Colleen Moorhouse,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 09:52
Tara, Excellent article. Honesty is definately the way to be in everything we do.
By Henry Phillips,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 10:00
Great article with good points however as a real estate professional its part of your job to set the expectations prior to making an offer for a buyer or reviewing an offer with your seller. Managing and controlling the process.
By Kyra Quarles,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 10:05
Another great article of solid advise to both sides... love this and love being able to share with my clients, FB...
it's reinforcement from another source, Thanks!
By Kevin Walton,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 10:09
How about when homebuyers going thru drawers or helping themselves to making a pot of coffee?
california home loan
By Vikki Powell,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 10:29
To the non-professionals who comment that "Realtors will sell a listing no matter what the price", and care nothing for the Sellers/Buyers.. Get real, People! Most Realtors are wonderful, hard working, ethical and honest. WE cannot go around just "doin' the sale" at any price! And do you understand why? Our excellent conduct and treatment of Sellers and Buyers IS the best marketing program we have. Why would we mess with that? Walk in our shoes for just 30 days, navigate the water we navigate everyday and deal with all we deal with everyday. I will wager that on day 31 your opinion of Realtors, and the market environment we are operating right smack dab in the middle of, will have changed drastically.
By Larry Davis,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 10:41
By Susan K Talarico,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 11:00
Once again Tara, some great stuff and well written. THANKS!!! I will be tweeting and posting this one for sure.
By Reillyrealestate,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 11:06
I think there are some misunderrstandings on a few points, mostly around the low ball offer one. I think that there are two things people need to have context on for not making a lowball offer.
1) I think she means don't make a really low offer if you really want THAT house. If the DEAL is more improtant to you and that particular house isn't your dream home toss out something you think is crazy and you might get lucky. If you would be devestated to not get the house make an offer you think is good for you but not crazy low.
2) That last part leads to the other point. I do not think she is in anyway saying to overpay, pay list, or even not make a low offer. Just don't make a crazy offer, especially if you really want the house. There is a big difference between say a house being listed for $210K and your comps say it is probably worth more like $190K and then you make an offer of $180K trying to see if you can get a good price, or you make an offer of $100K. The first is reasonable and should at least get countered the 2nd might be so far off to them that they don't even respond.
By Jim Groff,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 11:32
Ummm . . . can you say "integrity?" Or just plain "honesty?" How sad in our society today that this article even needs to be written. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule?
By Haley Weaver,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 11:45
I love the golden rule...it's in my teams mission statement actually! But for my real comment, I love all of these. I bet you have a difficult time coming up with articles that can be delivered to a nationwide audience. You do a bangup job. Just wanted to let you know. Also, thank you for teaching me how to spell beaucoup :)
By Cpa, Mba,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 12:31
Immigrants that come from countries where it is the custom to trash talk and bargain turn off home sellers. Then the immigrants think they are being discriminated against because they come from the middle east.
By Dan Chase,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 12:47
Low ball offers. An interesting concept.

If I offered $50k under asking and appraised price in 2006 I would still be underwater today by a lot!

When we are in a declining market not low balling means paying more than if you just waited awhile longer to buy a house.

When we have reasons to believe that house prices will drop at least another 20% offering 18% below current value is not low balling. It is being realistic.

The article below shows how prices are likely to drop 20% or more.

The federal reserve pointing out the fallacy of a pain free recovery in housing is below.

Low ball? It could be high before prices stop falling.
By Ana T. Terrado,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 13:02
Thanks Tara! this is not only for buyers, sellers....agents need to know!
here's my post on my facebook:
PLS. READ!! Buyers, Sellers....and us (listing & buyer's agents). It will help everyone involve AVOID the top of all killers... "the silent killer..... STRESS"!
Ana T. Terrado, Broker
Palmdale, Ca
By Kris Krenz,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 13:03
To turn the table around a little. Realtors can also be guilty of trash talking also. I witnessed this first hand when we recently sold a home. This was coming from a supposedly award winning agency in my area. -- Our neighborhood and property was put down by this particular real-estate company, because of stereotype and ignorance. - They claim to be the specialist in waterfront homes. There was nothing wrong with my waterfront community which happens to be the oldest in our town, so there are many older bungalow type weekend and vacation homes which are not always maintained in a timely manor, but never trashy. When I heard these negative comments from the realtor's caravan, I knew there was no way they were going to truly spend time offering my property - Can I say, "Your Fired" without getting sued by Mr. Trump? The next realtor cared and sold the property. – Nice commission for a $500,000 plus sold price. The people who bought the house love it! Positive Attitude and Marketing Sells!

In today’s Asbury Park Press there was an interesting article regarding a local food pantry. While not naming any names the article mention that the pantry was used by real-estate agent. With a plethora of houses to sell in this area including my other waterfront house built in 2005 and is the least expensive on the market and totally turn-key. It should be an easy sale to that proactive agent. If you are aggressive and positive, you should never find yourself in the food pantry, but instead donating food to the needy.
By Henry Cassidy,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 13:08
hey Sergio Medina,
You'd be completely wrong assuming my home has been on the market a long time.
My home has only been on the market a month and I know it's a tough market I'm trying to sell to move so in a down market selling low to get low is OK but to say I would be worried about the potential buyers deamor ,please that is just silly hello I hate you won't you buy my home ,you will! your wonderful , it's business not personel in this market..
I wrote generally I like the articles it's just not a normal market and if you apply rules that make no sense in this market you will get burned.

This is like a realtors convention and God forbid someone has a different opinion than yours .
I assumed nothing, ,you assumed everything about me always a no no ..
Dan Chase said it perfectly, I would bet 90% at least who bought last year are already looking at a price less than that what they paid , that is why I know it's a tough road to hoe as buyers sit back and can wait you out ,
Hopefully when I'm the buyer again I wikll enjoy that situation.
By Hk,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 13:27
How about this, let's treat the seller with respect, regardless of the circumstances that are causing them to sell. Then you place your offer based upon what it is worth to you. If the seller gets offended at the offer, so be it. But you treated them properly, keeping the transaction separate from anything personal. Thanks for your time.
By Henry Cassidy,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 13:44
Since to some of you an extra $40,000 is only a few $$$ more please be my agent , who wants 6% because she has to work so hard just to get a qualfied buyer (which I believe) 40K @6% $2000 more or just a few $$$$, or $10,000 =$ 600$ or $150 or less ?? strange days indeed
Strange not being in the business I know my home on Long island has gone down $90,000
I will reiterate my problem isn't or wasn't with realtors just the advise about don't upset the seller , but the replies from the Realty board shows how out touch some of you are .
I don't give a dam about the buyers manners I'm not going to live with them, just can they close or not.
By Janet Page,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 14:26
Great advice! Even in the REO market this applies. The property is already discounted so why the low ball offers. Just makes everyone work hard for nothig. The deal is never going to fly. And whats with the negotiating after the inspections. The buyers agent forgot to mention you are buying it in all its glory and all it pain. Inspections are for informatinal purposes only. I love what you have to say! Hat's off to you!
By Toni Sadiq Lexton,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 14:28
Excellent article - I'm posting to Facebook now!
By Terry And Claudia Streckfuss,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 14:52
very good info
By Pete Prisock,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 16:14
Thanks Tara, Well done again! I'll post it on my site and of course give you all the credit!
By Joe Stump,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 16:28
Sellers should be happy just to get a offer in this market. Homes are still over valued and the market is doing what it should.
By Aruna Mettler,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 16:40
Need help in finding a buyer for a spectacular Townhome, 93 Topaz Drive, Somerset. Hrdly anyone has looked at it. Open house was a success. I am having one on April 3rd again. Price was lowerd to $299,000. Please, help.
By Sandy M,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 16:57
Nothing sells a home like a competitive price. That price right now, in the part of the country that I am following, is back to 2001-2003 levels. Property owners who do not price according to these levels in these areas will end up sitting on the property with no buyers. Read the reports, new home construction is down because the cost of existing homes per square foot is so far below current building prices. Agents who advise sellers to list their homes above the current market reality are doing their clients a disservice.
By J R,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 17:39
To those who suffer from terminal real estate agent animosity. . . . don't make a lowball if you know the property is priced correctly. DOn't bother making a lowball on a property that isn't priced correctly, don't even MAKE any offer on a property that isn't, because the seller is not going to magically become realistic because you made a low offer. As for not trash talking, no you don't go into someone's house and criticize it. Talk to your agent afterwards. And keep the venom to a tolerable level. We know what condition a house is as well as you do. For the person who said we'd like to sell it no matter what the price. . . I'd like the transactions I work hard on to actually CLOSE. If they don't appraise they don't close. The advice about nickel and diming stands: you can see if there's a broken door hinge that costs 15 cents to repair. Look carefully and take the condition of the property into account BEFORE you make the offer. If it isn't structural, electrical or a plumbing issue don't bother nickel and diming. To the buyers who said he made an offer the bank rejected, then it was listed lower. . . there's no dearth of buyers who want a foreclosure. The bank will usually do an appraisal and list close to that price. If the offer isn't close it's just rejected and NEXT! Onto the next buyer. Then the price is lowered. Banks rarely if ever come back to a previous offer. THey don't have to there are other buyers waiting in the wings. Many buyers think the market is so bad if a seller doesn't take their offer there isn't another buyer in the whole world who will come along. That's why buyers lose houses, they wait too long to make the offer. These buyers are the flip side of the sellers who think they have the best house on the planet.
By Ron Peterson,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 18:43
I tried to buy a house this week but lost out to the low bidder because the other bidder already had hired a home inspection and got final approval for his loan. I was just a little late and it was my first day looking at houses.
By Johana Story,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 19:28
Great information, I will be using this with my sellers and buyers.
By Amy Molea,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 19:49
Thanks for the advice! Definitely applies in our market in Springfield... there is still a ton of activity here, and some buyers think that what is happening in other parts of the country means that every seller must be desperate! I plan on posting this to facebook!
By Robert C.Galloway,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 21:06
Thank for the articale I'm new to Real Estate and any good avdvice well sure come in handy !!
By DAVID COOPER 1.888.616.6226,  Thu Mar 31 2011, 21:18
I find some of the real estate agents that represent buyers "talk to much" As a seller, I don't need to bond with with the agent, hear how great the agent is, how busy the agent is, how wonderful the buyers are. I also make my house available at the last minute and in the evening for a quick walk thru to a propsective buyer and agent, and then they stay longer than a few minutes with hundreds of questions.

David Cooper Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned houses with Cash Flow. FReee List +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent Ask about limited partnerships
By Voices Member,  Fri Apr 1 2011, 07:58
THANK YOU! This is a great article!
By Rose,  Fri Apr 1 2011, 08:27
As a regular person, I was very offended by a low ball offer that was not based on the condition or comp's and told my agent to tell the offending party's agent that I would not even dignify their insult with a response. I deal with reasonable people only. Likewise, I am now looking to buy, though there are many distressed, short sale and foreclosed bargain properties here in Providence, RI, there is enormous competition, and even with really beat up houses that need $50,000 - $100,000 in repairs and updating I am waiving All contingencies and offering asking. I have not gotten my offer accepted, as I was out-bid numerous times on several houses.
As a seller I would not ever sell my house to a rude, obnoxious, low-ball offering jerk, and would never want to be one as a buyer. I'm just trying to figure out how much I want a house to be able to justify a no-contingency offer at how much over asking in order to be the successful bidder.
It always makes sense to put your best foot/offer forward and to try to make such a stressful transaction at least civilized and cooperative. Why would anyone want to give or take money from a miserable. mean moron. I put my money where my mouth is when doing any kind of business: I like to deal with respectful and pleasant people, especially if I am paying them.
By Chris & Linda Willson,  Fri Apr 1 2011, 13:14
Good article ...but the buyers agent often needs to consel the sellers agent as to the motivation of the buyer. We have investor buyers for whom this is a business decision. Its all about x's and o's and not about emotion. The offers are generally all at 30% below list or lower. They make very few purchases but the ones they do make work are a good business decision and often times helps a seller out of a postion that they are ready to move away from and this is not just about short sales and foreclosures. Unfortunately many properties get listed at unrealistic prices because we as realtors get emotionally tied to our clients...I know as we have some overpriced inventory ourselves. All in all good communication skills makes a lot of rough water a smooth sail.
By Margo Cunningham,  Sat Apr 2 2011, 09:20
Took the words out of my mouth....and saved me from having to write it myself...thanks!
By Mary Ann Varner,  Sat Apr 2 2011, 15:39
Great article Tara. And thank you to Janet Grosso for your honesty about what the consumer is looking for in a Realtor!
By Steven J. Pahl,  Sat Apr 2 2011, 18:00
Excellent points, Tara. Buyers and in many cases, buyers agents often think that the sky is the limit and that any offer will be accepted. Often, they shouldn't wast their time!
By Sharon Hughes,  Sun Apr 3 2011, 09:08
Great Article and sooo true.... This article relates to all markets in general...Have the buyer's agent due the homework and pull comps in the area first before you put in the offer... This will help you to make a fair and honest offer.... A win win for everyone involved....(: Keep selling my fellow realtors.... If you need any info about the Canton fells Pt areas
you can email me at sharon.hughes@longandfoster.com Baltimore Maryland HON!
By Larry,  Sun Apr 3 2011, 10:30
Excellent article. We're currently in the middle of one other 'buyer faux-pas' - nickel and diming the sellers to fix every single issue that an inspector brings up during inspection. Major turn-off
By Savannah Boon,  Tue Apr 5 2011, 10:52
Great info for buyers and sellers. Thanks so much for the highly informative and useful blogs!
By Leslie A Howard-Redweik,  Tue Apr 5 2011, 12:23
You need "Print" as an option. Not every buyer and seller does computers - really! :)
By T,  Tue Apr 5 2011, 18:56
Is there really a "Tara" ? Maybe just a unknown, unqualified person writing a column on real estate
targeting the real estate community.
The real world isn't half what is written, its really a market owned
by the banks and fannie mae, etc.
When was the last time a "buyer" was really in control??
By Max Sabo,  Mon Apr 11 2011, 16:46
great points! I've heard off all of those killing deals.
By Bruce & Sandy Soli,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 05:56
Great article. I love the 'Lame Squared'...might have to use that one!
By Tni LeBlanc, JD, MA, Broker,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 05:58
Good advice Tara. You are right these are things that sellers HATE.
By Byron Greiner,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:02
I agree that Sellers should not be home when their property is being shown. It is great for me as a buyers agent as I can get valuable information that helps me with an offer, but as a sellers agent I would be in shock how much a seller is willing to tell. It is helpful though after the contract is in place the tranaction goes much smoother with a breif meeting provided agents are in attendance.
By Betty Saenz,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:16
True statements. That's why buyers need a great Buyer's Agent and sellers need a good Seller's Agent.
By Kim Loveland,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:18
When some of the people with the totally negative attitude about buying homes are on the sellers side, their tunes will change dramatically. As an associate broker, owner I can tell you that 2010 was the best year I have had in 23 years and 2011 looks like it might even be better, so yes there are many people out there buying homes.
By M. Carmen Donaldson,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:31
One of the best, real life articles on buying and selling I've ever read.
By Gary Dannenbaum,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:35
What is #LAME?
By Sue B. Wilson,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:36
I agree with the comment about the "trash talking" Seller turn-off and the "low-ball offer" method. They are both as old as the hills. I have been in real estate for over 30 ys. as Broker/Owner but not anywhere near "over the hill." Real estate is still enjoyable and profitable even during theses times. There are buyers out there in my "small town U.S.A." world. People are still moving in, moving out, moving around, young couples getting married, and people setling estates of the deceased. Never give up, never give up, never give up! Let's see what the media says today. Just ignore it and move forward to another beautiful spring day here in "the heart of S. Alabama" and "the dimple of Dixie," Andalusia, Alabama.
By Lynda Bennett,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:38
The interesting perspective of seller response and buyer motivation was helpful.
By Christopher Burgan,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:46
Great post, I'm happy to share it with my community members!
By Lou Ann Brannan,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:52
As a REALTOR, Broker, GRI, ABR, QSC and 30+ years in this business, I can say that MORE agents needed this article than buyers or sellers. We are the ones, presenting the property, the offers and dealing with the negotiations. We are the ones who are supposed to be lending great advice on whatever our clients' needs and wants are! There is NO BLAME to be put on the clients but EVERY OUNCE of BLAME on their real estate "professional!" I have had some incredible experiences over the years with ignorance, rudeness and outright lies told by my peers and then there are the REAL PROS! A great combination includes being Curteous, knowlegable, wise and keen arbitrators/negotiators. Knowlege is true power and doing your homework is very important to all involved. Get off the Blame game and get to work, afterall, 6% is a lot of money and you have to actually try to EARN IT~!
By Bill Barbin Team,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:55
Right on! This is something I will put in my buyer presentation!
By Donna R. Beedy,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 06:55
Good article! Not only am I sending this to my Sellers & Buyers but as a Branch Manager to my agents.
By Steve Morgan - (302) 541-5363,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:10
As a seller of my investment properties and in the mortgage business - i couldn't agree more. I tell my agents no offer offends me i just don't take them. Steve Morgan http://www.bethanybeachlender.com
By Dee Greene Hill,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:14
Well-written and timely article! Definitely something to add to my buyer education arsenal.
By Glenn Stromberg,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:14
I always say, don't go in there thinking your "Trump" demanding your way. The best deals are communicated.
By Eve Meyerson,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:18
Makes a great handout! Should underscore what an agent is already advising their clients but clients don't want to believe.
By Solita Davis,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:23
I specialize in selling homes in a small area of my city that is very popular and has not been hit by the foreclose bug. My buyers seem to always listen to my opinions and the comps of the area but my listings are being flooded with these buyers you are writing about who trash talk, low ball etc... I can't help but think that these buyer's agents are not educating their buyers and by that doing them no favors bringing low offers with tons of other extras! I have had agents call me after we countered with reasonable offers telling me how much they love the house but are looking for a "good deal". I think these buyers are watching too many home shows and thinking they are real estate experts before they purchase their first home...
By LMote,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:26
This is great information every buyer and seller should read.
By LMote,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:27
This is great information every buyer and seller should read.
By Peggy And Mike Polomski,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:35
Great article once again. I will also use this as a hand out. Thanks for taking the time to write these articles and have a great day.
By Melissa McDonald Press,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:37
Tara - This is perfect timing for me to receive this information. These are the very things I have been discussing with my Team Coordinator these past few weeks. Let’s just be straight--Buyers and Sellers need to know this information. What‘s wrong with agents carefully taking steps to be "bold" in their dialog with clients? I am secure enough to convey these things to my clients and we all should feel the same~ I have decided to add these deal killers to my list of do's and don'ts that I give to my clients.

Always a pleasure,
Melissa Press
By Peggy And Mike Polomski,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:38
Great article. Once again your article is a food for thought as we work with the buyers and sellers. I will also use this as a hand out. Again thank you and have a great day.
By Wayne Gauthier,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:57
Excellent advice for both Buyers and Sellers in this market. I want to share this with everyone we are working with and will bookmark it for future reference for sure.
By Voices Member,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 07:59
Great info. Right on the money with this article.
By Beate Rodriguez - Mortgages,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 08:14
Great article! As always "thank you" for sharing. I just shared it with my networking contacts as well. I do not understand why a Buyers Agent would show homes without having a pre-approval letter from a potential buyer.
By Susan J Hutchinson,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 08:17
Wise advice that makes for a Win-WIn situation for both buyer and seller! Thanks for posting!
By Ralph Eronemo,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 08:18
There are so many ways in which a buyer can ingratiate themselves with a seller. And when that happens, everyone is happy to help towards a successful close.
By Painterman,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 08:19
im not a realator but what is the true value of a home?is what the assesment is? is it the cost approach? i think the true value exists only between the buyer and seller. example a house was on the market in poqouson three years ago for over 300,000 dollars. 3 years later sold in the mid 100s. so was the value dtermined by the assesment or cost approach? no it was determined by the buyers desperation or lack of and the sellers desperation or lack of. in short a person might want a certian home for a certian price and if its been on the market over a year i think anything is a fair offer , or keep the home until the market gets better. people are broke but still want to live. homes were way overpriced for a long time and interests rates were down right a crime{or should have been}. and in the end its all about money to everyone so dont be insulted if a buyer or seller trys to protect their money expect it.
By Edyta Gryc - Broker Associate,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 08:39
I always enjoy reading your articles. Always great points!
By Julia Evinger,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 08:41
Well said, Tara. Most sellers have already been presented with inventory levels and sales trends by their Realtor and have taken that into consideration when setting the listing price. In my experience it has been the well qualified buyers that can be demanding. It's wonderful to be in the position to have no contingencies, but that does not mean a seller can/will agree to lose equity with a low ball offer. On the other hand, sellers and buyers that are cordial, often share local tips about restaurants and other service businesses at closing, little nuggets of wisdom that make the new owner's transition easier! I appreciate "friendly" closings.
By Kirsten Lindquist,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 09:04
Excellent post---fascinating array of comments! Educational, too, with the many various comments from buyers, sellers, and agents. I'm sharing this with others not only for the content of the post but also the feedback from readers. What's needed more than anything else in this chaotic market is HONESTY, INTEGRITY, & KNOWLEDGE on the part of all players---the clients and their licensed agents.
By Reba Haas,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 09:13
Good article, I've had to advise clients on both sides of the fence on several of these tips and it's become more and more necessary as the market has been in major flux the past few years. We see a lot of these, what I call "spaghetti" buyers who are throwing anything out there hoping to find a desperate seller. But, I've also seen several homeowners who have dug in and who won't budge on pricing even when comps show that the situation is otherwise AND they're turning down offer after offer only to sell for much less a year later. Sorry to say that it's mostly been sellers who are 60+ who have been acting this way in my personal experience. Not to say younger sellers aren't unrealistic - they just have other reasons for why they feel the way they do.

Recently, I told a client I didn't want her listing because she had a bottom end number that didn't make any sense. Told her to use the other agent competing for the listing or don't sell. I wasn't going to work with her if she wasn't going to listen to my advice on pricing. Now, she's just about ready to list and she said in an email, "Reba, you put the fear of god in me (in a good way)." And, she's starting out her pricing at the lower level that I told her we should target. Sometimes brutal honesty from us, the professionals, is what the consumer needs to hear because they have plenty of misconceptions and misperceptions of what they believe the market is doing since most media outlets speak only from a national perspective and not local to the individual.
By Ron Jesser,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 09:23
I'm dealing with a buyer right now who is Mr. #3 to a T......He has lost more houses because he thinks he knows better than I do about how to place an offer on a short sale or REO in this market. His continual "offer 'em less" attitude is a losing proposition and I have repeatedly tried to coach him on this. Today it happened again and so we are in a bidding situation again but because he has felt this pain so much, and his wife wants this one big time, he's going to come back with a full-price counter and hopefully win the bid........ it's a battle I tell you :-/
By MARGIE KANDEFER,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 10:18
Thank you ! We all need to be reminded to be on task & honest with buyers & sellers
and make the experience a pleasent one
By Sandy Elliott,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 10:19
I have always found that the "do unto to others as you would have them do unto you" a principle to live by no matter the circumstances.
By Ryan H Sarkissian,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 10:19
Great article. The challenge is in the fact that if only a few people don't play fair out there, your client loses. So many people are offering very high and then renegotiating to a much lower price that when you advise your buyer to come in at a fair price in a multiple offer situation, more times than not, they lose. Several homes have sold for much less than my clients had offered, yet their bid was not accepted at the time.
By Laszlo and Derek Betyar,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 10:43
Great article. And with lending being such a huge obstacle these days, I love the "don't mess with your financials" tip.
By www.SueSellsPinellas.com,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 11:05
Good article - I posted it to Facebook!
By Jonathan Olukoya,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 11:06
Good job you did. I sent this to one of my client (buyer) and he said thank you. Keep it up and send more. Thanks.
By Tammy Sanders,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 11:10
One of the most difficult parts of my job is to get the seller or buyer to listen to me. With over 24 years experience, I've learned a few things. I not only can tell you why you should sell or purchase at a certain price, I can prove why. "The well let's just see' doesn't work!

Good information to send to buyers and sellers! Thank you!
Tammy Sanders

Coastal Realty and Management Company
Wilmington, NC 28409
(910) 793-2776
(910) 512-3112 Cell
License # 137651
By Heidi Powell,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 12:03
Right ON! Keep 'em coming Tara! If only ALL agents would educate their clients this way-- it would be easier, smoother, better for agents, buyers and sellers alike! Everybody wins!
By Dadreinne Sweatt,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 13:00
This is very well written and right on target. If only more buyers understood that they often let there dream homes slip away doing so...
By Robert Shaw ABR, SFR,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 13:14
Great advise for my buyers! Thanks for the post!
By Maureen Dawson,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 13:17
Good Article with accurate information, I too, posted it on Facebook
By Stephanie Erickson,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 13:59
Oh so true it is. This is a fabulous artical to give to clients and at open houses. Thanks Tara.
By Joseph Hastings,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 16:54
If only we could get buyers and sellers to read this article. It would seem the first response from getreal is a prime example of a buyer to the nth degree.
By Suzanne Glaser,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 17:00
Great Info! I'd like to add that if you're a Buyer offering much less than List Price, use some strategy and include a few comps with your offer to justify your price. Recently, I had a listing at 495k which was (admittedly) on the high end of what it was worth. After 3 weeks, we received an offer for 410k. Comps in the area were selling in the mid to high 400's. Based on the comps, the Buyer (and his agent) should have realized that the Seller was better off reducing to 450k than accepting his offer.
By Joseph Montemarano,  Tue Apr 12 2011, 19:38
Sound advice.
By Suzan North,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 03:15
By Simone Hardy,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 05:13
Excellent article. Tara delivers golden nuggets of wisdom once again. Thanks Tara. It is a pleasure reading your articles. I always learn something.
By Phyllis JC Anderson, GRI,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 07:31
Thank Tara, I posted this to 3 of my facebook pages.
By Michael Bergamo,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 09:37
Great information, I've heard of each of these happen to one person or another. We as Realtors need to be on our toes with our buyers. They could unknowingly kill a deal on a home they really want.
By Tova Oren,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 09:42
For the buyers or sellers that are reading this, please check my web site at http://www.tovaoren.com and email me to get additional information.
By Curron Eckwood,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 11:38
Great article Tara!! I can definitely use all of this information to share with my clients.
By Victoria Lukashevsky,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 11:53
Very good information, I am going to pass it to my clients. Thanks
By Charles Roe,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 12:08
I enjoyed your article.
To sum it up... each party needs to be reasonable, respectful, and fair to the other.
Comps are important and a home must appraise to be financed, but buyers often have limits to their budgets while sellers sometimes have needs and desires that will prompt them to accept an offer under market value.

This is where each party needs to explain their position to support their offer or counter, keep their emotions in check, and try to help the parties visualize how they will feel if the deal is put together and closed.

Feel taken advantage of? Should have held out longer? - or - Glad to be out of the stress of the payments, the uncertainty of selling, constantly showing my homes, and moving on with my life.

Wish I would have offered more and gotten the home? I paid too much? - or - I'm glad I learned what the seller was trying to achieve, paid a little more, and got the home I love.

Charles Roe
By Thelaneteam,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 12:27
I couldn't agree more. Even if a negative super-lowball offer has no competition and a contract is reached, it makes the process so much more difficult to get to closing. I find that a buyer will generally get a better price if the initial offer is not ridiculous and the tone is not negative. Sellers are usually emotionally invested in their home and want to like the person who buys it.
By Tamara Vesna TV,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 17:07
Thank you. Good info. Also see TV on NBC-5 morning show talk about Real Estate...http://youtu.be/7Jgxt3cgUPw Buy, Sell, Rent... http://www.TVcondo.com
By Stacy Carter,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 18:22
I'm not trying to be a hater, but I couldn't disagree more with the majority of the applause for this post. The tone is negative, sounds more like an agent's list of pet peeves and basically calls the public a bunch of chumps for not knowing better.

As real estate professionals, it's our job to know the market and to run interference when warranted. As an example, we should be able to explain why a low ball offer may not be appropriate or what the consequence could be if the seller gets offended. Or on the other side we should understand what factors were considered in the low ball offer and either counter with opposing supporting data or explain to the seller that the offer is in fact a thoughtful and well supported offer.

Just another perspective. Thumbs up if you agree.
By Sscavel,  Wed Apr 13 2011, 19:16
I can't believe the comments posted -especially the comment that said check the DOM (days on the market)-then low ball the hell out of it! That is so ridiculous, and it is a waste of time for agents to work with people like that (unreasonable). Smart people do their homework and find the true value of a home! Values are not based on what seller's owe, or what buyers can afford (sorry to break the news). They are based on comparables -that is how they appraise too! If you are looking for a deal don't waste everyone's time finding higher priced homes (than you can afford) and low-balling them -go after something that is more in your price range! Not everything is a fire sale today! Get real!!!!!
By Luanne Grigsby-Marshall,  Thu Apr 14 2011, 10:18
Good advice for the undeducated buyer, but I also have to agree that a good agent would advise their client about the risks of losing the house if engaging in these behaviors. However, not all buyers are the same. Sometimes clients insist on low-balling regardless of the advice they are given by their agent, resulting in making numerous offers that are consistently rejected. I have terminated buyer contracts for such behavior to spare my reputation as an agent. We can only do so much as agents and the decision is ultimately up to the buyer. How we handle that is the end result.
By Sandi Garcia,  Thu Apr 14 2011, 13:12
Good points that some buyers may not consider. The market in Santa Cruz County is very competitive with multiple offer situations.
By Julie Cunningham,  Thu Apr 14 2011, 14:53
Great info, thanks for sharing!!! WIll certainly use these tips in my buyer appointments!
By Wayne Pruner,  Fri Apr 15 2011, 15:14
This is good advice. Negotiations are never just one-sided. Deals need to be massaged until closing.
By Justicenow,  Sat Apr 23 2011, 13:05
The entire article is written to make the agent's life easier. Any seller believing this crap will never see a sold sign.

The truth is that right now the buyer is king. It is the agent's job to quit blowing smoke and explain the facts. If you are "insulted" by an offer, consider that you may get another one for a year or more. Look through the Trulio listings and notice all the ones that have been listed for 300 - 500 days. Also, many of the listings with fewer days on market have been pulled and re-listed.

A property is worth what someone will pay for it. That is the ONLY rule of value.
By Chris Hickman,  Mon Apr 25 2011, 19:33
A lot of common sense without being preachy - well balanced on both sides of the equation...good job!
By Heather Kight,  Fri May 6 2011, 07:26
Great article, thanks for posting!
By Brian Petrelli,  Fri May 6 2011, 11:01
Great post. Thanks for the info.
By Chris Kendall,  Fri May 6 2011, 17:39
Good info... I like what you said about low-ball offers.
By Jane Grant,  Thu Jun 2 2011, 10:45
Excellent post and I would say that, "Lowball Offers", is the most common thing that will leave a seller feeling like they don't want to deal with a buyer. Recent sold comparables that show the current value of a home is what buyers should use to guide them in making an offer.
By Sun Realty - Graham Ginsberg,  Thu Nov 3 2011, 07:19
I can tell you articles like the one this week in the naples news is hardly one to help buyers get off the fence. I referenced to it on my blog http://www.naples-fl-real-estate.com
By Alic,  Thu Dec 29 2011, 15:01
i like the article and opinion. i want to buy the house in Brooklyn new york now . The owner bought the house in 01/2007 with $525k and fixed the wall with $15000. How much will be fair if i buy that house. Thanks
By Jim Penders,  Fri Dec 30 2011, 11:32
I am presently making offers on several properties in a resort area for income purposes , the realtor may think my offers are low balls, and may be so in light of the listing prices .
But I consider this : prices are still dropping and properties have been on the market for 180 and 205 days , I consider my offers may be to be the proper price and your listings far too rich . and greedy yet in relation to today reality .
I t is not my problem that the housing market is the way it is and I feel no need to bail the owner out and give him a sent off present for his too high a price paid or his job loss .
By Gwen Janicki,  Mon Jan 2 2012, 04:54
Great points, Tara! Too many Buyers are of the opinion that Sellers are all desperate and will be happy to get any offer. Real estate stats are only important if, like the weather, they are local. Foreclosures and short sales are not a significant part of my market and Sellers are not giving away their homes. Occasionally I get a Buyer who doesn't get that concept. Any offer is an opportunity to begin the conversation but some offers are so ridiculous that they often do not even get a reply. It takes losing a few homes for these Buyers to figure this out.
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By Allboys2,  Mon Aug 27 2012, 11:42
I am a buyer and the seller has priced the house higher than the market. I come in with 5k less than asking price, they accept. Then comes the appraisal at 15k less than asking price. I come back and offer 5 k more than appraisal since I am already out $400 they say no. They say they will find someone else to buy the house and now they are going to screw someone else out of 400. How can an agent work for a seller like this? They are going to relist it and all I want to do is put a big sign in the yard saying SCAM. They say also if it doesn't appraise they will rent it. So I have to have every house I want appraised before an offer?
By david22866,  Wed Sep 5 2012, 10:54
Great article. I am currently closing a deal on a great home for some young buyers. Talking to the seller during a visit to the home revealed they had gone through the "trash talk and rennegotiate" scenario with a previous buyer to the point where they just backed out. Their (previous buyer) loss = our gain. My buyers are very happy with their new home which we will close on soon.
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By Marc Jablon,  Tue Mar 18 2014, 20:58
I appreciated you comment about the difficult buyer who insults the house (and often, the owner's intelligence) by trying to find every possible flaw. While that type of buyer is always an annoyance, that buyer is often wasting the agent's time because that annoying buyer will never be satisfied with a home that is worth its asking price.

Marc Jablon, the Jablon Team
Re/Max Complete Solutions
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