Presenting an Offer

Many buyers and sellers are unaware of a quaint custom in real estate known as "presenting an offer."

More often than not, in today's world when a buyer's agent writes an offer with their client to purchase a property, the offer is then faxed or emailed rather than presenting the offer in person to the listing agent. Our industry has changed with the prevalence electronic communications just like so many other professions have. And why would one present an offer in person- doesn't the offer speak for itself?

I would say- absolutely not. Many opportunities are lost when not presenting in person. Ideally the buyer's agent should present to both the seller and their agent. If this isn't possible, than many times the listing agent is willing to meet with the buyer's agent. In either case, this a great time to build a relationship, and allow both parties to ask pertinent questions as they come up in real time.

Case in point- I recently took some clients to see a house that I found out was going to be listed and put on the MLS that very day. The listing agent agreed that I could show my clients through the home before that, in fact- right when he was meeting with the seller getting final signatures. My clients loved the mid-century home and shared with me immediately that they wanted to write an offer.

What could be better news to a buyers agent? Except that my buyers were selling their home to get into this home- and they had just experienced a fail sale two days before.  This meant that now their offer would be completely contingent on the sale of their home- a home that wasn't even pending and in need of a buyer in a tough market. My buyers needed to know that to have an offer accepted with this contingency was a long shot- a very long shot.

The seller agreed to let me present the offer with her broker present, and I went through the terms with her page by page. My clients had decided to write an contract with very generous terms and the seller expressed a lot of enthusiasm for the offer. The seller and I struck up a friendly repoire. When I shared the contingency, she asked me how saleable my buyer's home was. I had the photos at the ready, and luckily the home was picture perfect. The listing agent was impressed that the home had been pre-inspected. The seller verbally accepted my client's offer that evening and we got the formal acceptance the following day.

I am positive this would not have been the outcome had I faxed the offer over. The listing agent would have been prudent to advise his client against a contingent offer and would probably have advised his client to put the house on the open market. As my principal broker shared with me once- "Why hitch your wagon to a slower moving wagon?"

With a good presentation, and a relationship built between all the parties, the personal touch can make all the difference. It allowed all concerned to ask questions and share information- a benefit to the seller as well.

The truly happy ending? My buyers got another offer on their home within two weeks and now they are living in their long shot.