Do you enjoy breaking bad news to someone? Me neither. It stinks! What makes it worse is if you could have done something to have prevented it.
Here’s what happened to some clients of mine and their search for their dream home.
My clients and I searched for months in Long Beach for their dream home. Right now we are in a seller’s market. If your house is priced correctly, two things will happen when you put it up for sale.
- Multiple Offers within days
- House goes into escrow within days.
- As a buyer, you must be patient.
One Wednesday night, my phone rang. My clients stumbled upon a house that had just came onto the market in their desired area. Could we see it on Saturday? You bet!
Thursday morning, the listing agent for the house was having an “Agent Open House” that day. An “Agent Open House” is for real estate professionals and their clients only. Not the general public.
Even though my clients couldn’t go until Saturday, I decided to visit the property that day without them.
This goes against the conventional wisdom other agents preach. Viewing a property without your clients isn’t a “revenue generating activity”. If your clients aren’t going neither should you. You’re wasting time and time is money.
But for me, it was imperative that I go. Why?
I’m glad you asked.
Remember the two traits of a seller’s market? This house would be sold within days. My goal: plant the seeds with this agent so that she would know my buyers were the best buyers for this property.
I pulled up in front of the house. This house and neighborhood was exactly what my clients wanted. Score! For sure someone would put an offer down that day. Crap!
I spoke to the rather confident agent who listed the house. Without a doubt this house would sell and it would sell fast. This was good for her clients.
Within 3 months, all before the new school year began, her clients wanted to:
- Sell their house
- Purchase another home
- Be moved
That’s alot. There are some days where it takes me 30 minutes just to find matching socks. But to do all that?
For the sellers if a solid offer came in, they would accept it and start house hunting. Immediately.
Then I asked the question that would change the terms of the conversation. “Besides price, is there anything else in the offer that the sellers are looking for?”
People think that sellers only accept the highest offer. Not always. Many times, the seller has some special request about the sale that has nothing to do with money.
The agent’s face sunk, the weight of nervousness pulling it down. “When the sellers sell this home, they would like to rent-back the house for 30 days while they find another home.”
I understood why she was nervous. With a rent-back, the sellers become tenants for 30 days after the close of escrow. Not many buyers want to become landlords. Not for 30 days or even 30 minutes.
Often when purchasing a home, the buyers want their house NOW. They either sold their house or their lease is ending. They practically push the seller out the door at the end of escrow.
I smiled, “Perfect. My clients are in a lease until the end of September. They were concerned about paying a mortgage and rent for 3 or 4 months. But with this, they’d get the house they want but only have to overlap for a month.”
This got her excited. I gave her my contact information, told her my clients would view the property on Saturday morning. After I would let her know, one way or the other, if my clients would submit an offer.
As I left, another agent and his client walked passed me. His client said, “This is really nice!”
I wanted to say “No, it’s not nice! It’s a meth lab! There’s a dead body under the house! The bathroom door squeaks!” Obviously I can’t say that but I wanted to.
I called my clients, reporting the good news. Excited, they said “No problem!” to the 30 day rent-back.
That night, my phone rang. It was the listing agent. Oh no! Someone submitted a solid offer on the house that day. Was there any way my clients could see the house on Friday?
My clients had an important family event and canceling was not an option. Saturday morning was the soonest they could see it.
It was slipping away. For sure my clients would love this house. But now they were in danger of losing it. I couldn’t bare to tell them they had lost their dream home. I had to do something to keep my clients in contention.
“Just to let you know,” I added, “I spoke with my clients and they have no problem with a 30-day rent back.”
After a brief period of silence, she said, “That’s good to know. I have to present this offer to the sellers tomorrow morning and let them decide. I’ll let you know.”
How much sleep do you think I got that night?
It felt like an eternity passed. Finally at 10 a.m. on Friday, I received a message from the agent. The seller decided to wait until Saturday afternoon before making a final decision.
Saturday morning, it was love at first sight! My clients wanted to submit a reasonable offer which included the 30 day rent-back. We put that together and submitted it. The listing agent told me that we were one of four offers.
Now all you can do is wait. Keep your fingers crossed. Pray that your offer is strong enough; that the time you invested, placing your clients in the best possible light, will pay off. So did it?
Yes! My clients are now the proud owners of their dream home.
This is why I buck conventional wisdom about this “Revenue Generating Activities”. If I hadn’t have gone on my own, planted the seeds with the listing agent, then my clients would have lost out. It’s that simple. Going above and beyond is business as usual.