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Reverse Offers

You’ve just taken a new listing. The photos have been taken, the virtual tour is complete and they both look fantastic. The listing has been entered into MLS and syndicated to every real estate website known to mankind and even has been uploaded to your website and your social media channels.  The sign is firmly planted in the yard and a lockbox is on the door.  The marketing flyers have been created and are strategically placed on the counter in the kitchen for the buyers eyeballs to see as they enter the room.  Oh and you’ve scheduled the dreaded open house.

There are a high degree of traffic, BUT no offers!

At this point, you are probably scratching your head wondering why someone hasn’t placed an offer on this amazing home. You have ruled out your marketing efforts because you’ve inserted a ton of effort. The property condition has been ruled out because you’ve worked with the seller to stage, re-arrange and the home is super clean.  In your own opinion, the list price is comparable to the other homes listed in the area.  The buyer and buyer agents feedback always states, “Great Home” or it states “We love this, this and this, but didn’t love that.”  As the listing agent what should you do?

Do you sit back and wait for the right buyer to come along?

Do you take ownership and have your seller make an offer (reverse offer) to the buyer?

Frankly, the first option is nerve wracking not to mention you seller is asking why there are no offers.  In the back of my mind I always remember, I was hired to bring the buyer in the least amount of time, for the highest price with the best terms possible. So, if I patiently wait – I’m not delivering my guarantee or commitment to my client.  Some may disagree with this statement, but this is how my brain functions.  I’ll be the first to tell you reverse offers rock!  There are times when a buyer or buyers agent needs a little nudge in the tush to begin the negotiation process. I’ve encountered a few situations where the buyer was ready to put in an offer, but the agent didn’t realize the buying signals the buyer was giving or the agent was pushing the buyer to another area over an area preferred by the buyer.  Regardless of why the buyer was not moving forward with an offer, it is wise for the listing agent to nudge and act based upon intel provided as long as the buyer identifies a reason the seller can remedy that will move the parties closer together.

I politely ask for feedback from every agent showing and when I’m reviewing responses, I’m looking for signs the buyer could be ready to buy.  If I see the buyer likes the home, but has issues with a few select items it is time to contact my client and address these concerns and see if they’d be willing to replace, repair or offer a credit in lieu of repairs to the possible buyer and begin the reverse offer to the buyer.  If so, I’ve my work cut out for me.

I begin with preparing the reverse offer from seller to the possible buyer. In the offer, it states what the seller will sell the home for and what repairs they are willing to make or what dollar amount they feel is appropriate for the repair. A cover letter is attached explaining what they are receiving an offer from the seller. I learned to include this, actually the hard way, when a buyers agent couldn’t explain the concept of a reverse offer to her buyer. We give the buyer 48 hours to ponder our reverse offer.  Yes… 48 hours whole hours.  Remember, this will be a new concept to the buyer and sometimes the buyers agent often they need a little extra time to mull over it.

If at the end of the 48 hours, we may have an acceptance or a counter offer and if so this plan worked. If we end up with a rejection, the only loss is time of preparing the offer. After all, there is no harm in asking and if you don’t you’ll never know what the answer could be.