When listing your home for sale, it is important that you choose a listing agent who you can trust. Their job is to market the property and attract as many potential buyers to your home. It is also their job to help you negotiate with buyers to maximize your sales price and sell the home as quickly as possible. We recently have had a few experiences when working our buyers where an incompetent listing agent lost their sellers thousands of dollars through some very simple missteps.
When a buyer is getting ready to submit an offer, it is very common to call the listing agent in advance to alert them about the offer. This is an opportunity to find out if we are competing with other buyers, if there are any special forms needed, and to confirm the seller’s availability to review and respond to our offer. We have made quite a few of these calls lately and had some surprising results. Here is how the call goes:
findwell: We are writing an offer on your listing today an should have it to you this evening. Is there anything else you can tell us before we submit our offer?
Listing Agent: That’s great! We look forward to receiving your offer. By the way, we are lowering our list price today by $15,000.
Guess what, our buyers were prepared to make an offer on your original list price, not your $15,000 reduction. The listing agent’s quick comment just lost their seller $15,000 in the blink of an eye! If we are asking for a discount of $10,000 from your list price, you can bet that we will ask for that same discount off of your new list price. This is Listing Agent 101 stuff. Your listing agent should never process a price change on a day when they are told they are receiving an offer. Let the offer come in and decide what to do from there. This is a big enough mistake that I would seek another listing agent if this happens to you.
There are other times when buyers keep sending messages that they are “getting ready to put in an offer”, but it never seems to come in. If you believe that a price reduction is necessary, don’t wait around for a potential offer that may or may not come in, but do pay attention when you know that an offer is on its way.
How can you avoid this? When you make a price change, ask your agent if there are any potential offers coming in. If you hear that someone is “writing it up”, pause for a moment. It may just help your pocketbook.