The last couple of years we in were in a market where homes were getting multiple offers. Everything sold; seller's were not overpriced they were just ahead of their time. People of all walks of life were jumping into the profession and hitting the streets with little to no experience.
During this period there was a trend. We saw sloppiness, laziness, foolishness and inexperience abounding. We saw contracts riddled with mistakes, missing signatures, not legible, incomplete and filled with contingencies. Despite incompetence they agents were somehow able to stumble around and find homes for their clients or sell their listings. Many times the agent on the other side carried them to the finish line.
Now the market is normalizing here in Hawaii and I am seeing contracts that are even weaker and sloppier.
This is a profession. Your clients are paying big money for their purchases and for your fees. PLEASE learn your trade!
The DROA should be second nature to you. If you do not know what you are doing pay someone to teach you.
If you want to help your clients learn to write clean offers. Make every offer an executable contract. If the other side signs you are going to escrow.
- Make sure you have all needed signatures.
- Have a proper description of the property.
- Attach the letter from solid mortgage lender, not Bob's mortgage service that no one has ever heard of.
- Have all needed addendums.
- Generate all documents from the computer so it is legible, avoid handwritten.
- Discuss contingencies with your client before putting silly things in the offer.
- I always include a cover letter introducing my clients to the sellers. There home is part of them, and this is personal to many sellers. I want them to want my clients in their home over all others.
The goal is to make the offer look so strong that the other side is afraid to lose you. You will find seller's agents will push their sellers to take a little less for an escrow that looks like it will be trouble free and likely to go to closing over one that has contingencies and riddled with land mines.
I always call the seller's agent before submitting an offer. I want them to know my offer is coming. You can gain valuable information from that call.
- Do they have other offers?
- What escrow agent do they prefer?
- Are there any issues we need to address in the offer?
My goal is to be sure that there will be no need for an automatic counter-offer to fix flaws.
When representing the seller never recommend a counter offer for something silly. If you sign you have a contract. If you so much as you change a comma or a period, no deal! I always ask my client's is this a deal breaker? Are you willing to risk this deal for that? That is what you are doing when you counter.
How many times have you seen an agent insert themselves and persuade the seller to counter an offer to pick an escrow agent of the real estate agents choice? You should be slapped for being stupid.
Here is a real life example where I was the buyer. I am disclosing up front that I used a local Realtor.
I put an offer on a townhouse in Tempe, Arizona a few years back. The property was on the market for more than a year. I gave a strong offer to the seller. They countered me for nit picky stuff. A total of no more than a couple of hundred dollars worth of stuff and the famous; change the escrow company. They also shortened the time line by 7 days. Over a year on the market, no other buyers, it was vacant and somehow 7 days mattered? I as many people hate being nickel and dimed. I give them a solid offer. Not too smart on their part.
What do you think I did? I did the logical thing and I used the 72 hours they gave me to respond to look for a better deal. I put an offer on one up the street, had it accepted and opened escrow before the 72 hours was up.
That was an expensive lesson to both the seller and his agent.
Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®
Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR
Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"
Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers. His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area. His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.
Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors. To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents.