Thursday, May 19, 2011

If You Present Your Offer First – Do You Get Brownie Points?


Negotiating Contracts
I had two offers come in on one of my Destin Florida listings this week. One was received a day later than the first. Due to logistics, I presented both at the same time to my seller. The first offer was significantly higher. The second offer was ten percent lower than list price, and had no financing contingency. I advised the seller of her options: ask for “highest and best” from both parties, counter one, reject both or accept one. The seller chose to accept the higher offer.
During negotiations, there were misconceptions from both agents about presenting and accepting offers.
1. The “losing” agent said: “You should have told me there was another offer. How unprofessional.” He believed the common fallacy that the listing agent must inform the buyer’s agent that there is another offer. But should I have? Only with my seller’s permission. Why? Check out Realtor Code of Ethics Standard of Practice 1-15: 'REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property.'
2. “My offer was first!”, the “winning” agent told me. He implied his buyer got extra credit and was entitled to the sale because he sent his offer first. Hmmm? Really? In truth, sellers don’t have an obligation to negotiate with or accept offers in the order they were presented.
The bottom line is – the seller calls the shots when negotiating real estate offers. They can choose to respond, or not respond. They can decide how much and with whom. They can tell their agent to disclose the existence of another offer, and even the amount if they want. Or not. And the listing agent’s job? Follow their seller’s their instructions.

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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