Agent

Give me your house, I’ll pay top dollar!

New technology helps consumers make unsolicited purchase offers

You have found the ideal nearby neighborhood and for years have coveted a certain house on a quiet street. The fruit trees, creative landscaping and ballpark-size backyard all are terrific pieces of what you envision your all-star place to include. You often say aloud, "If these people ever sell this place, I'd be first in line." Then one day, panicked by the number of new people moving into the area, you decide to take the next step in possibly ensuring a leg-up of future competition. You comb the county records to ascertain the legal owner, then write a heartfelt letter to the owner, explaining how the home would be perfect for your family. And, if and when the owner ever considered selling the place, you'd appreciate the chance to have the first opportunity to purchase. Now, put yourself in the seller's shoes. How would you react if you got an offer "out of the blue" to buy your house? Would you be more receptive if the pitch came from a real estate agent or from an individual who h...