Jason O'Neil | June 14, 2023
We’ve all been there before—you’ve done the research to get the perfect real estate agent, found a home that has all the bells and whistles that you want, but for some reason, the buyer won’t budge.
You go back to the drawing board hoping that maybe a little extra cash might be the thing to push them over the edge and say yes, but the reality is that you don’t have that extra green laying around right now.
How can you still win this scenario and get the home you want without having to dive deep into the bank account to make it happen?
You’re in luck.
The seller's agent should be your first point of contact during this process for a few reasons. First, they are going to be the primary contact for each exchange in this process. From initial contact, all the way through the final sale, the seller’s agent is going to be involved every step of the way so you mine as well get familiar with who they are and how they operate.
Once you’ve established the basics, it’s time to start asking the questions. Start with asking them about the seller and what is important to them. I’ve said it before, but the three things that all parties involved in a sale should consider—price, timing, and security (which you can read all about right here).
Those elements mean different things to different people, so be sure to listen closely to the seller agent and what they say about their client.
Is it all about price or are there other factors at play? Are they looking to take possession after the closing? Does the seller prefer “as-is” contracts with less money or are they willing to make repairs for market-based pricing? Have they chosen a title company? Will they object to a home warranty?
Asking these questions will give you a better understanding of exactly what the seller is looking to accomplish with this sale, and allow you to better position yourself to buy.
Trust is the name of the game in real estate and if you cannot develop it with your seller’s agent, chances are your sale is not going to go through.
Trust is built on the shoulders of communication and transparency. Oftentimes I find that real estate agents aren’t 100% honest with their clients, sometimes omitting certain details as they are afraid that if they disagree with a client they will no longer trust them. This only leads to further distrust!
Instead, point out the problems and be real about them. One thing I do with all my clients is to make sure that they are hearing what I am seeing, meaning that as I survey a property I am noting all of the things I see with my eye to my prospective client as well as the seller and seller’s agent.
Even if it’s details like crown molding coming off the wall, I want to make sure that everyone involved in this process is completely aware of everything at play.
Another practice I find helpful for building trust is to tell anecdotes about other home-buying experiences, both good and bad. There’s something about being vulnerable with sellers that creates more credibility.
Instead of trying to put on a facade and let ego get in the way of a deal, vulnerability gives insight into the human aspect, giving more room for trust between everyone. I’ve learned in my career that oftentimes it’s these small moments that can transform an entire deal.
There’s a saying, “prepare and prevent, don’t repair and repent” and I couldn’t agree more.
Preparation is key when it comes to securing a buying situation. You need to know the needs of the seller and what it’s going to take to put an offer in front of them they cannot resist. That’s why it's on a buyer’s agent to go above and beyond the basics to truly be prepared for anything that could happen.
This means researching the local market, understanding current offers on the property, and organizing an offer that will hold against the competition.
In the same vein, one cannot always be prepared for every single scenario possible so oftentimes it’s less of a matter of preparedness and more about intentional delay. What I mean by this is that instead of keeping a contract in the car ready to fill in the blank with some half-decent offer and share on the spot, take your time and delay.
If you really want the house, give your buying agent some time to see what the house is worth, what they think you can get it for, and where you should start with your offer. This may take a day or two but rather than throwing an arbitrary offer out there with no real intention, this will allow you to put a number in front of the buyer they will strongly consider.
At the end of the day, you want to put an offer out there that the seller is going to consider. It’s all about throwing them a pitch that you know they are going to swing at.
Chances are if the property costs $600k and you pose $450k, your offer is going in the trash. But if you give them an offer of $590k with the freedom to have 30 days to move out before possession, that seller might just take your money and run wild.
Remember this: the seller and seller's agent want to sell the home, the buyer and buyer’s agent want to buy the home—everyone is looking to accomplish the same goal so why not make it clear and easy by putting up a legitimate offer.
In that vein, there are certain things that I believe many real estate agents have strayed away from when it comes to a formal offer. These are basic practices that I’ve learned over my twenty years in the real estate business and I can promise if you do these things, your offer will look 10x more legitimate than anyone else interested.
Fill in all the blanks of your offer.
Sometimes agents will leave certain fields blank on an offer and that just looks bad. Make sure that if you don’t have the information for a specific section, you fill it in with N/A, that way your page doesn't look devoid of effort.
Spell everything correctly.
You’d be amazed how many times someone spelled an agent or seller's name wrong on a contract. It’s quite literally one of the easiest errors to fix on an offer and yet, so many people don’t double-check it. Take a few extra minutes with your offer to make sure everything is spelled right and that each party's name and information are accurate.
Include legal descriptions.
This is one area that agents usually get wrong because they try to write it themselves. Don’t do this! I repeat, don’t write your legal descriptions! These descriptions include all the information protecting you and if you get anything wrong, you could find yourself in some legal trouble. Instead, find a legal description from the public record and copy and paste it into your offer to ensure nothing is missing from that section.
Give an email presentation summary.
This is something that I’ve developed over the course of my career and found to be a highly effective tool in sealing the deal. This email presentation summary is a simple 1-page document that includes all the basic information from your offer. Instead of forcing the seller and the seller’s agent to go through the rigmarole of reading the entire offer right away, this document allows them to get a summary of what’s being offered quickly and easily.
I’m telling you, follow these 4 basic practices and I have a strong feeling that the house you’ve always wanted is going to become yours very soon.
And if you’re a fan of real estate content like this, do yourself a solid and drop and like/follow so you can be notified of the next time I drop some real estate nuggets of gold.
Until next time…
Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.
Jason O'Neil | October 24, 2023
How do you navigate today's real estate market?
Jason O'Neil | August 16, 2023
Make sure that your DoorDash and Amazon packages don't go to your old address!
Jason O'Neil | August 4, 2023
Ensure a Smooth Transition Without Sacrificing your Privacy
Jason O'Neil | July 20, 2023
What to Expect Prior to your Home Being Inspected
Jason O'Neil | June 14, 2023
Try this next time you really want that home
Jason O'Neil | January 13, 2023
All it takes is one afternoon
Jason O'Neil | January 6, 2023
Throw it in the garbage!
Jason O'Neil | December 23, 2022
It might be just what you need
Jason O'Neil | December 16, 2022
Let's talk about second homes
We believe that satisfying the customer is simply the minimum requirement for staying in business. We work constantly to improve our systems, processes, and services to go well beyond the standard level of service provided by most agents.