I have gotten more than a couple of offers lately that are becoming annoying to say the least.
- Ridiculously low
- Insulting cover letters
- Incomplete paperwork
- Unsigned, weird contingencies
- Lists of everything they think is wrong with the home (two from folks who never saw the property)
- Contract forms from more than 30 years ago or from other states.
- Subject to mortgage
- No loan letters
- Inflated prices with huge cash backs
Believe it or not I received offers on two of my properties that required the contract to be returned in person (to a PO Box) or to telegraph the offer. That is right; it was on a contract form that the best I can guess was from about 1980.
I have a large 5 bedroom house that is priced extremely competitively. I received a series of low offers on it. Two of them had long lists of everything wrong with the home and why it was only worth what they offered. One came from an agent and a buyer who had never viewed the home. The other one came from an agent who has yet to do his first transaction and is not from the area.
- Two said it needed a new roof. A new 50 year roof was installed less than 2 years ago, looks great and has a warranty.
- Both cover letters stated that after reviewing sale prices in the neighborhood, they felt they were offering top dollar. ($30,000 & $40,000 below the median price for the area, for the largest home for sale in the neighborhood on a larger than normal lot, in above average condition).
- Both mentioned all the repairs they needed to do. (This home has been well maintained. The seller has complete records for maintenance and repairs. Is including a home warranty, a Terminix termite program, warranties on the roof and appliances. No known repairs needed at this time.
I am seeing this pattern of behavior more each month. Possibly it is because I have more listings, possibly because there are more buyers who are reading the mainland news and think the sellers are desperate here.
I have to wonder do these agents and their buyers believe I over price my listings by 20 or 25%. Are they calling me an idiot? Are they telling the seller their property is worthless? I wonder how successful they are running around insulting people's intelligence.
If you are going to waste our time at least make a reasonable effort.
- Fill in an appropriate contract.
- Get the required signatures.
- Include a loan letter from a lender.
- Leave out the insults.
- If you are uninformed about the market value of the home, please do not try to fake it. The seller and their agent took a lot of time and care to arrive at the asking price.
Because I see these types of offers more and more frequently, I prepare my sellers in advance. I present all offers to my clients, but some days wish I didn't have to.
I just have to wonder if this tactic works. I can't imagine any seller jumping that low. If the seller was willing to go that low the agent could have sold it in one day or bought it themselves.
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.