Buying Advice

The Timing, Transmission, and Temperament of Your Offer

Anything can happen in life. The same holds true for real estate. Have you ever been surprised by the unexpected? Caught off guard? Thrown for a loop?

Let me share a recent story with you. It’s not a novel story and it’s not particularly dramatic or even interesting. But, what makes sharing it worth while is that it occurred in today’s market.

Submitting an Offer in Today’s Market

You’ve been hearing about the shifting real estate market, skyrocketing interest rates, pressure on prices, and economic uncertainty. All those things exists (at least to some extent), but how are they shaping the market? And, more importantly, how are they impacting your decisions when it comes to making an offer in today’s market?

Stories are powerful. They engage our emotions. You learn from stories because they provide you with broader context and a richer understanding. So, back to the story. It’s a true story, though the names of the players and the property will remain anonymous.

A Seller listed their home for sale in today’s current real estate climate. It’s a great property and it was priced based on recent past sales and current market conditions. It’s not surprising that the property didn’t just fly off the market. Things are definitely less frenzied. Activity was still brisk, though, and feedback was good. And, in a relatively short matter of time, an offer was generated. A much lower than expected offer, but an offer nonetheless. The Seller countered based on a less than acceptable price.

Again, there’s nothing unusual about this story or the process. But, keep reading. The Seller made a very reasonable and good faith counter offer. But, the Buyer decided that in today’s market, there was even more room for negotiations, so the Buyer countered back. And, that is when the “temperament” of the negotiations shifted.

Perception Matters in Negotiations

Actions speak louder than words and the Buyer’s actions conveyed a wrong message to the Seller. Whether or not a Seller’s perception of a Buyer is accurate, perception matters. A shift in Seller sentiment may pause or end the negotiations. It works both ways, but the point is that the tone and temperament of a real estate negotiation matters. How you transmit and convey things makes a difference. In this case, the initial low offer and the back and forth counter gave the Seller a bad impression, warranted or not.

Timing matters, too. In our scenario,  the Buyer countered in an effort to get a better deal, but in the meantime, another offer came in. A much stronger offer. Long story short, the first Buyer lost the property. Moral of story:  timing counts. Even.In.Today’s.Market.

Keep in Mind What’s Important to You

What is most important to you? Getting a great price or getting the property? The market may have cooled, but good properties are still commanding good prices. Transmitting your offer with a positive and committed posture wins deals. Focusing on getting the lowest price (and not the bigger picture) can cost you the house. Ultimately, it comes down to how much you want the property. If you really want the house, it’s important to keep in mind that your timing, transmission, and temperament matter. Still.

So, how does our story end? The Seller is happily in escrow with a new Buyer at a better price. And, the first Buyer, well, they’re off to look at other properties and we wish them well.

When it comes to negotiations, we write our own stories by the choices we make and the positions we take.

So, what will your story be?

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August 22, 2022

As sellers, we agree! Received multiple offers on our home, but chose the buyer who had a sincere, cleanly worded offer that conveyed a calm integrity- a good partner for escrow. The other buyer kept trying mind games with incremental, strange, odd numbered dollar increases and statements like “because Im a realtor representing my wife the buyer, you don’t pay commission.” Wha…?! Their approach was such a turn off. Rather than communicating a win win, he communicated that he wanted to be the smartest person in the room- a bad partner for escrow.

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