Like most real estate salespeople, I started my career predominantly working with buyers. They were easier ti find, faster to get appointments with, and their shorter timeline meant I got paid quicker. Like most real estate sales people, I learned that representing buyers meant that achieving my client’s goals relied on working with the listing agent to get them the home they wanted. And like most successful real estate sales people, I learned that having a good relationship with the listing agent was often an important part of getting my client’s offers accepted.
I’m not suggesting that any ethical listing agent would close an inferior offer because of their relationship with the agent that wrote it no matter how close, but as a listing agent, I sometimes find myself advocating for the offer written by an agent that I have some respect for. When you don’t have an existing relationship with another agent, how you approach your communications with them can be crucial in establishing the manner in which your offer is presented to the seller. You become the agent you present in your text, email and phone conversations, so how you do that is crucial to being perceived as a competent professional and having your offer well accepted. So here are a few things that would help you make the best impression possible
- When you call a listing agent, identify yourself as an agent seeking cooperation by introducing yourself, naming your complete company name and telling them what property you are calling about. Saying you work for Century 21, or ReMax or Keller Williams is inaccurate and annoying unless you happen to be in franchise sales or support. And if you work for a regional brokerage or multi-office operation, you might want to let them know which office you work out of.
- Don’t meander in your conversation. Everyone is busy, and not everyone has time for small talk with someone they don’t know. Be considerate of the other person’s time. Have any questions about the property organized so you can communicate in a professional manner.
- Don’t ask the agent to do or tell you things that may be contrary to the seller’s best interest. Asking if there are multiple offers is one thing, but asking if the agent is “expecting other offers” is a little much. Asking the listing agent to call you if they get an offer from someone else so your buyers can decide if they want to put in an offer isn’t necessarily a reasonable expectation.
- Don’t try to “play” the other agent. They know their inventory. They know that the unrepaired REO property needs work. They understand the negative points of the house as well as its positive points, and reciting the obvious to me will not make your inadequate offer look any better, in fact it may make me more resistant to the idea of your offer, and that is bound to come through when discussing it with the seller.
- Don’t call the listing agent and ask them about low-ball or verbal offers because “you don’t want to waste their time”. This is what we do for a living. Making offers and presenting is how we get paid – we should not consider it a waste of anyone’s time. If your buyer is serious enough to go through the process of reviewing a contract and making a substantial deposit, the listing agent should be willing to present the offer for the seller’s consideration. You’re wasting my time when you call me and ask me to negotiate verbally on an offer that neither you nor the buyer are serious enough about to submit properly.
- Call the listing agent and inform them if you are emailing an offer. I don’t open any attachments on unsolicited or unexpected emails from random email addresses. That’s how you fill your computer with malware and viruses and can put your entire company at risk. Even if the subject line cryptically says “Offer” , or “Contract”. Again, take a little time to get it right.
I know it might seem that all of this is simple professionalism or etiquette, but in our hurry up and get it done world of texts and emails and business done from a distance, we sometimes build barriers when we mean to build bridges. If you want to avoid that, then these six simple steps will help you get where you want to go.