I work with such a wide variety of clients that it's rare to run into a situation where two sets of buyers want the same house, but that's what happened last week. I had showed a Midtown home to a charming couple, we'll call them the Andersons, about three weeks ago. However, the Andersons decided to pursue an REO that ultimately sold way over list and at a price outside of their comfort zone.
While I continued to show the Andersons other homes, I called my new buyers, we'll call them the Johnsons, and told them about the home in Midtown, which had a price reduction. The Johnsons fell in love with the Midtown home and wanted to make an offer. The deadline for offer submission, due to a multiple-offer situation was three days away. I suggested they wait until day three to write the offer, after I had a chance to review how many other offers had been submitted with the listing agent.
Meanwhile, wouldn't you know it, the Andersons called to say they had changed their minds and they, too, wanted to write an offer on the Midtown home. Holy, toledo. There was no way I could adequately represent both the Andersons and the Johnsons on this home, even though I could have asked them to sign an authorization form allowing me to represent them both, it would have been wrong.
I could have referred out one of the parties to another agent. But which would I refer? The Andersons saw the home first, but the Johnsons were the first to ask to write an offer.
Seemed to me the smartest thing to do was to find the Andersons a home they would like better. Sure enough, it's like the stars were aligned or something, the next morning a new listing came on the market in East Sacramento. It was priced higher than the Johnsons could afford, but it was the right price for the Andersons. Plus, it had one feature that was more important to the Andersons than the Johnsons. In fact, it was perfect for the Andersons. I called them right after touring the home.
"Guess where I am," I said, "I'm standing in the back yard of your new home. How fast can you get over here to see it?"
We made an appointment to show. I met them on the front steps. Mr. Anderson shook my hand, looked me squarely in the eyes and warned, "Just so you understand, we still want to make an offer on that Midtown house!"
I couldn't help it. This large smile spread across my face, and I nodded, crossing fingers behind my back. "Let's not jump the gun," says I, "until you see this home."
The Andersons walked through the home and stopped dead in their tracks when they reached the back yard. They didn't say anything, but I could hear the wheels spinning and see the electricity shooting out of their ears.
Eureka! They forgot all about that other house in Midtown, immediately wrote an offer on the East Sacramento home and we got it accepted. Two days later, I submitted an offer for the Johnsons on the Midtown home, and even though that, too, involved mutliple offers, their offer was accepted as well. Both the Andersons and the Johnsons found their "dream" homes; both got exactly what they wanted.
Whew. Who says real estate isn't fun???