"Bring All Offers" and "Price Firm" are NOT Synonymous! Lessons from the trenches

By
Real Estate Broker with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

I have been selling homes full-time here in Austin for over 12 years now.  Part of learning any business is learning the lingo.  Here are a few examples:

  • "Needs TLC" or "Handyman Special" - In a nutshell, this means that you need some extra money set aside (possibly a lot of it) if you want to buy this property.  There will be a lot of repairs and/or renovations involved.
  • "Cozy" - More than likely, this just means "small". 
  • "Won't last" - More often than not, I see this phrase when the home has already been on the market a long time.

Speaking of which...

I am working with some clients who are purchasing their first home.  Needless to say, they are excited, and even more so because of the first-time homebuyer tax credit and low interest rates.

We looked at a good number of homes, then we found a home that seemed like a great fit for their needs.  It was priced within their budget, and it was larger than some of the other places we had seen.  For some odd reason, the home had been on the market for over FIVE HUNDRED days!  The listing agent put in "Bring All Offers!" in the MLS remarks.

Let me pause for a second here.  Along with the examples I gave above, "bring all offers" is a phrase that typically means "we are ready to get this place sold, and we are negotiable".

Without divulging too many specifics, we wrote an offer that was aggressive without being offensive.  The buyers asked me when we should expect a response.  I told them that since it had been on the market so long, the sellers probably had a pretty good idea of what they could do with regard to price, so we should hear something very quickly.

Instead, it took four days to get an initial response to our offer.  On day three, the listing agent told me that she was working on a "very reasonable counter" for us. 

So, what did this constitute? 

The sellers raised the price by $6,000 in order to cover some of our requested closing costs.  Overall, with their net price, they had dropped their price a whopping $900!  In case you couldn't tell, that last part was heavy-duty sarcasm.  My wife commented, "Wow - that's over $200 per day!"  Again - sarcasm.  We're kinda like that around here.  The listing agent told me that there might be "a small bit of room" on that counter.  We were about $16,000 apart.  I told her that we would probably just be looking for another home, and I later confirmed that with my clients.  Back to square one.

LESSON NUMBER ONE: If the price is super-firm, DON'T put "Bring all Offers!" in the MLS.  You are simply wasting everyone's time!  In this particular case, I can't imagine that this home won't join the legion of short sales that are out there already. 

LESSON NUMBER TWO: Set the appropriate expectations with your clients!  If it has taken 550 days, and you still don't have an acceptable contract in place, errors have been made.  Prepare your clients to garner the necessary resources to get the home sold.  I know they are bringing money to the closing and times are tough.  Tell them the truth!

Thanks for reading!

Photo courtesy of Zoomar.

      

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Re-Bloggged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Patrick Schutte 03/31/2009 10:25 PM
  2. Jean Terry 04/01/2009 11:35 PM
  3. Yvette & Dennis Gardner 04/02/2009 08:36 AM
  4. Kevin Heinrich 04/05/2009 07:31 PM
  5. Donald Bradbury 04/11/2009 07:11 PM
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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Rainer
68,143
Anne Rains
Bethlehem Georgia Real Estate Agent
Real Estate Agent for Keller Williams, Atlanta Partners

Hey Jason, The listing agent shouldn't have put that in the MLS if the seller wasn't willing to come down on their price--a waste of your and your buyer's time for sure! We should remember to be honest when writing our listing descriptions! Unfortunately for those sellers their home is just going to sit and sit and sit!

Have a great day,

Anne Rains

April 07, 2009 01:10 PM
Rainer
256,188
Debi Ernst
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors

Jason - I don't think they really want to sell.  It's a good thing that you just moved on... :)

April 07, 2009 08:56 PM
Rainmaker
306,108
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move
Real Living | At Home

Crazy.  I just had a bank agree to 9k in closing by raising the list price 6k.  WOW....

Oh by the way - its been on the market over 100 days; but well - it has no kitchen.  I mean really - nothing but the walls with a gas line sticking out.

April 07, 2009 09:40 PM
Ambassador
1,246,971
Debe Maxwell
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | Savvy + Company Real Estate

Hi Jason!  What a story!  I've had that same story in two parts but, can't say that I've had it altogether!  I do, however, KNOW you're right about the turn to short sale.  Some sellers just don't get it--you'd think after 550 days, they'd get it though, wouldn't you?!

Congrats on that little gold star!

Debe in Charlotte

April 07, 2009 10:32 PM
Rainmaker
649,945
Jim & Maria Hart
Charleston, SC Real Estate
Brand Name Real Estate

Hey, Jason. It is great to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. Thanks for sharing and I wish your clients well. Jim

April 08, 2009 09:59 AM
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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I write about humorous stories, family, things that are interesting to me, and the Austin real estate market.

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