Responding to Offers, Good and Bad
Congratulations! You’ve got an offer on your listing. But the sellers aren’t sure how they feel about it. What now?
The first type of offer to consider is the lowball. As previously mentioned, an overpriced property is one most likely to receive a lowball. Perhaps the buying agent recognized it as 10% above market value, but the buyers are interested regardless. Perhaps they’re also assuming you haven’t received any offers, so you and the sellers could be more desperate to get things moving. So they’ve made an offer 10% below market, hoping negotiations will bring it only back what they perceive as its actual value. On the selling side, however, it can seem like an insulting low offer, shaking the sellers’ confidence. Again, the best way to avoid this is to get the price right from the start.
Lowball or not, always counter each offer. It may not be a great counter, but you have nothing to lose by putting the buyers back in the driver’s seat, which also buys you some time. How they respond can be a telling indication of how serious the buyers are about your listing.
Even if the offer is fair, many sellers will want to slow-play it in hopes of other offers to evaluate as well. However, the first offer is often the best they’ll get, and if your CMA suggests that to be the case, this will probably be the most difficult conversations to have with the sellers. There is perhaps no bigger test of the trusting relationship you’ve built with them than a moment where you tell them to accept the first offer, without waiting for any others. Wait any longer, and the best offer could disappear.
Of course, the warmer of a connection the client is to you, the more they’ll inherently trust you. If you’ve already helped this client’s sister snag a deal on her dream home, they’re obviously much more likely to defer to your judgment. However, such warm connections aren’t usually the reality, and that’s exactly why building rapport early on, maintaining the utmost reliability and professional throughout, and guiding them through your expertly crafted CMA are so important. It’s the tough conversations that expose the true elasticity of your client relationship.