For quite a few months now, I've been hearing stories of multiple offer situations happening all across the nation. But up until a couple of weeks ago, I was still saying, "we haven't seen it here, on Long Island." This week that changed. For a reasonably priced property, with inventory so low, buyers are coming out in droves. And they're making offers! Hats off to Ashley Cox for reminding us of multiple offer etiquette.
Yes, bidding wars are back. Nothing is universal, but nearly every crevice of Dallas is filled with homebuyers finding themselves competing for houses due to lack of inventory.
Recently, it's been incredibly frustrating for me, as an Agent, to keep the positivity flowing. You see, more and more often, etiquette and professional courtesy seem to be tossed aside in the hunger and drive to get the deal done. What am I speaking about specifically? Back to the basics of playing fair!
Back in the day, when I worked for a boutique REO brokerage, we had a very strict procedure that was followed, when dealing with multiple offers. If the property was hot, and offers began streaming in, the Seller would usually instruct us to advertise a cut-off date and ensure that all parties were notified that multiple offers had been received. I even had a pdf form that very cordially put everyone on notice, with the added verbiage, "Please discuss this with your client and submit your Highest and Best offer by (XX/XX/XXXX) at XX:xX pm."
Simple enough, right?
Well, the three couples that I am currently working with haven't had that luck. With EACH, I have run into a handful of situations where we find interest, place an offer and play the waiting game. Since the market is moving quicker than the normal 24-hours, I will place a follow up call in the evening or morning to ensure that the Agent has had a chance to review the offer with their Seller client. The conversation usually goes a little something like this:
"Hi, this is Ashley Cox with Dallas City Center Realtors. I sent an email with an offer yesterday evening that you and I spoke about and was hoping to see if the Seller has had a chance to review and provide a response just yet..."
"Oh, yeah. Well, I told them about it and they received three other offers in the meantime. They're negotiating one of those offers..."
"Oh, you have multiple offers then. Will the Seller be negotiating each individually, or conducting a Highest and Best with deadline."
"Well, we're taking highest and best offers, so if you want to submit a revised contract, do so as quickly as possible..."
We run through comps again, talk about comfort levels and payments and if the value allows, modify the offer and resubmit.
"Just making sure you had received our modified offer for th--"
"Yes, we received it. The Seller wants to go with another offer that just came in about an hour ago, though. You know, we're on offer number 5 now..."
This is usually when my blood begins to boil. My clients have become highly interested, somewhat emotionally attached, and signed on the dotted line for the umpteenth time.
The most recent instance was after an offer, justified, at $15,000 OVER list.
And while it doesn't necessarily reflect poorly on my ability to know a neighborhood, run a CMA, draw up a contract, point out property condition issues, successfully walk hand in hand, yadda, yadda, yaddda... it DOES give my client a feeling of disenchantment and understood frustration.
So, what's the harm in putting a little bit of standard into the process and making it a fair playing field for everyone?
If you're going to play like it's an auction, shouldn't we all be in the same room?
Maybe it's not a practice that an Agent should take up on their own, but it would certainly go a long way to suggest this practice to your Seller client. It's a great way to make sure that you aren't snubbing other parties and putting bad ju-ju in the world... not to mention, it gives your Seller to review all of the Highest and Best offers at one sit-down, instead of a constant trickle of offers and modifications coming through.
We have multiples. We will be accepting offers until _____. We will then notify all parties, and request Highest and Best by _____.
Seems simple enough to me...
Ashley Cox is a Realtor® with Dallas City Center Realtors and strives to provide excellent service and assistance to Buyers and Sellers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. If you are in the market to buy or sell and need the assistance, guidance and support of a professional, call (972) 978-3109 today.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jill Sackler, NYS Licensed Agent based on Long Island's South Shore
Specializing in Lifecycle Real Estate Transitions
©Jill Sackler 2010