Wow, what a weekend! Between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon, I wrote not one, not two, but three offers on different properties for my clients.
Now comes the hard part: Waiting to see what happens next.
I’m sure many veteran agents probably wouldn’t be impressed with what I’ve accomplished in the past 72 hours. One of the top-producers in my own office recently wrote six offers in a single day, and four of the six were eventually accepted.
But for me, just writing the three offers made me feel a whole lot better about myself and my career prospects, especially because my spouse suggested in this column last week that I should quit the real estate business because I haven’t closed a single deal since I obtained my real estate license last fall.
I’m literally praying that at least one of the offers I wrote will be accepted, so I can move from the couch back into the bedroom.
Oh, I almost forgot–my buyers would like to have their offers accepted, too.
The market I work in has been red-hot for a long time. Most homes usually sell for their listed price, if not 10 or 15 percent more.
In a market like this, sellers can demand almost anything they want.
Buyers who are serious about closing a deal are expected to waive all sorts of contingencies, sometimes even the standard loan contingency clause that says the buyer’s deposit must be returned if the buyer cannot get financing for the deal.
If the buyer’s offer is accepted but he or she can’t get a loan, tough luck: Just wave bye-bye to the $5,000 or $15,000 deposit because the seller gets to keep it.
I can’t blame sellers for insisting that they get the highest price possible for their home. That’s their right, and it’s their agent’s job to make sure the seller gets the best deal.
What bugs me is that a lot of sellers seem to be taking their power over buyers to extreme levels.
I don’t know whether it’s true, but I’ve heard that a few sellers are actually requiring prospective buyers to attach a $200 or even $500 nonrefundable check to their purchase offer as a “review fee” that supposedly compensates the seller for the few minutes it takes to simply look at the offer and decide whether it should be accepted, rejected or countered.
Again, I don’t begrudge sellers for making a profit on their house. But it seems to me that some sellers (and their agents) have forgotten that buyers are people, too.
When I wrote an offer on a home Friday morning, the seller’s agent said the offer was in the ballpark and promised I’d hear back from him by 3 p.m. the same day. I immediately relayed that message to my buyers, who then cancelled their weekend plans to attend an out-of-town wedding (plus their non-refundable plane tickets and hotel) so they could field the seller’s counter-offer.
Three o’clock came and went, but I didn’t get a call. When I phoned the agent at 4 p.m., then again at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., all I got was the answering machine.
Friday rolled into Saturday, and still the call didn’t come. By Saturday afternoon, my clients’ frustrations were turning to anger.
When we hadn’t heard anything by Sunday morning, I decided to drive to the agent’s office about a half-hour away. The receptionist said he was holding an open house, so I went to the property he was showing, which was another half-hour away.
“Oh, hi,” he said, when he greeted me at the door. “I’ve been meaning to call you, but I’ve been really busy.”
He explained that the sellers had decided to field offers for a few more days.
“I’ll call you on Tuesday,” he said. “Or maybe Wednesday.”
Not surprisingly, the news didn’t sit very well with my own clients. They’re ready to make the biggest investment of their life. They had missed a friend’s wedding, and they had wasted two plane tickets. And now I was telling them they’d have to wait at least two or three more days just to hear whether their offer would be countered.
Of course, this whole mess could have been avoided if the seller’s agent had simply kept his promise to call me back Friday afternoon.
I know that home sales have jumped off the charts, but that doesn’t mean common courtesy should be tossed out the window.
Got tips, ideas or advice for the Rookie Realtor? Send them to Rookie@inman.com.