I met with this woman a while ago to talk about selling her house because she wanted to buy a new one. She told me she didn't want a buyer's agent to help with the purchase of her next house, she just wanted someone to help her sell her house. She was pretty adamant about it so I didn't push it.
I ran into her yesterday and asked about the house she had wanted to buy and if that was going well. She said that someone else outbid her. She was really disappointed. I'm good with the perspective that everything happens for a reason. And even after I said that, she still had this look of, "but I really wanted that house."
I've seen this happen many times. The way it works is that a Seller agrees to pay a commission for the sale of their house. No matter who sells it. For example (and this is just an example), if the Seller agrees to a 6% commission and there is no other agent involved in the sale, the listing agent earns 6% of the sales price. If a Buyer's agent represents the buyer and helps them buy the home, the Listing agent gets 3% and the Buyer's agent gets 3%.
Many buyers that don't understand this think they can save 3% by not working with an agent. And that is what this woman did. She thought she would be fine on her own and so she hired an attorney to draft the offer. As a Listing agent I receive a lot of offers to present to my Seller clients. You can quickly tell when an agent is experienced in the way they write their offer. As a Buyer client, this is something you just have to trust. You have to trust that the offer will be drafted in a way that not only protects you but puts you in the best position to get that house. You are writing the offer in hopes of getting it accepted right? So if you are writing the offer to get it accepted, make it a great offer. I love attorney's, don't misread this post. I love my attorney and I love working with attorney's. It brings a new challenge to the transaction. But just like you have to trust a Real Estate agent to write a great offer on your behalf, you have to trust the attorney to do the same.
I'm easily frustrated when I hear stories about buyers not getting the house they wanted and I just have to wonder what went wrong in the negotiating process. Of course, it isn't always the agents (or attorney's) ability to write a good offer because the terms of the offer are ultimately determined by the Buyer. If the Buyer insists on writing the offer for 25% less than the asking price and they know there is another offer on the table, well then, hello?! The Buyer is not going to get that house.
The way you negotiate an offer depends on a lot of things. It takes a professional to assess these things and recommend terms and verbiage that will protect you, the Buyer, and at the same time put you in the best position possible to get that offer accepted. It is called strategy.
What do we look at when we are strategizing?
Days on the market, Sellers motivation to sell (if we can find that out), how much they purchased the home for, how long the Sellers have owned it, analyzing the comparables, looking at the competition, taking into account the condition, features, unique aspects of the home, how many offers they've already received and finding out why they didn't get accepted. These are just some of the factors that go into creating a strategy on behalf of our Buyers.
Buying a home is as stressful as you make it. Take the right steps and you can avoid frustration, rejected offers, marital turmoil (seriously). If you are at the beginning stages, make sure to read the post called, Before you Start Touring Homes, and you'll set yourself up for success. And talk to a Realtor that you can trust and ask all the questions you have in the world. Because you aren't expected to know this stuff. As agents, we learn through experience. Even when we sell 100 homes a year, we are always learning. Take advantage of our experience. Join our team in buying your next house and if you still aren't sure, read what our clients have to say.