Here’s how you can orchestrate stronger offers for your clients.
How do we help our buyer clients compete in this crazy market? Before I even start advising a client on their offer, I first run a comparative market analysis on the neighborhood to make sure we have a more comprehensive understanding of what’s happening with values in that area. Next, I’ll look at properties under contract and reach out to those agents. Basically, I’ll ask them, “Hey, your property is very similar to one we’re looking at. Did yours sell for over asking? Did it sell for a lot over asking?” All of this gives us a sense of where the neighborhood is trending.
After that, I learn all I can about the agent who will be receiving my client’s offer. With 28,000 agents in the Denver area, the odds are good that it’ll be someone with whom you’ve never interacted—so look them up! What is their production amount? Have they sold five homes in the last two years or 150 homes? What’s their average list-to-sale price ratio? Anything on how the listing agent approaches the market will be great information to pass along to your buyer so that, together, you can orchestrate the best possible offer.
What, exactly, will make it the best possible offer? First and foremost, it needs to reflect the seller’s main needs (which, more often than not, go beyond price). Ask the listing agent what their client is really looking for. Are they prioritizing a quick, painless deal? Do they need a longer escrow period? Perhaps they need more time to locate a new property of their own and are hoping to land a rent-back period.
After the need(s) have been disclosed, communicate to the listing agent that your client is in it to win it. Explain to them that your client has been briefed on a comparative market analysis and has been highly responsive to your consultation. Your buyer knows they’re not out here to “test the waters,” they’re doing this for real. For most clients, we even take the added step of turning off the search forum once they’re under contract; we want them to focus on the property at hand and see it through until the end—no matter what happens.
If the listing agent hears that kind of language, they’ll think, “Wow, this agent knows what they’re doing. I respect the commitment.” We’re also finding a lot of success with being upfront about our approach to inspections. We let the listing agent know that we want to reserve the right to perform that inspection and back out if necessary, but we’re only going to ask for items that are health-, safety-, and structure-related.
If you want to be even more persuasive, you could make clear that you’re only going to ask for items that cost $1,000 or more combined. The strongest approach? Only asking for items that are $1,000 or more each. That effectively limits you to issues regarding the roof, sewer line, furnace or air conditioner replacement, and serious electrical complications.
Lastly, we sometimes—and I stress sometimes—let our clients go ahead and send whatever they feel directly to the sellers. If they want to pass along a letter explaining how much they love the neighborhood and can imagine raising their family there, or how much they love the yard, or how close the property is to their work, we usually let them. As an agent, we cannot submit those on behalf of our clients, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a human touch to an otherwise procedural transaction.
I hope you got some value out of today’s blog, and I wish you luck in leveraging some of these tools when submitting offers! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to have a chat with you.