Negotiating With Realtors: If They Bluff, You Know They’ll Come Back

Realtors are so predictable.  It’s almost like watching a rerun of a show and you know just what is about to happen.  Sometimes I wonder if there was a class I missed on cliché bluffing phrases to use during negotiations.

I got an offer yesterday on one of my listings.  The original offer was pretty low, but these days everybody always has to try I guess.  One of the things that struck me as odd was that the buyer wanted to close in 25 days…..right between Christmas and New Years.  Nobody wants to move that week unless… have to.  Then I did my usual deal where I google the buyer’s name and look them up on Facebook.  Seems this buyer has a couple of small kids.  School starts on January 3rd.  I really think they picked this date to be in the house before school starts.   Naturally, I am wondering what are the chances of this buyer finding not only another house they like as much, but one with a seller willing to be out during that week?

The other agent and I trade a bunch of texts, and came $2ooo apart.  Then the agent gives the old “I strongly suggest your seller reconsider this offer given the market.”  I really don’t know how to respond to this politely, so I usually suggest the agent look at the comps and determine if our number is in line with them.  That is what I did this time.  I even asked the agent if he thought the house was worth the number we were currently stuck on.  His non-response answered the question perfectly.

Now for this one, we are only $2k apart, but I have had agents tell me this with an offer that is so low that anybody in their right mind knows it is a ridiculous offer.  I usually check out the agent’s production from the past year to see how much they really know about “The Market.”  My recent fave was an agent who made a verbal low-ball offer on another one of my listings.  He kept talking about how his guy had cash and how foolish my seller was to not sell his house for less that it was worth “In this market.”  Well, turns out that agent had sold all of two houses in the past year…..hardly an expert on “The Market.”

Sorry I drifted there…back to the offer.  Just as predictable, the agent told me that his people were going to look at their second choice house the following day.  He did the old “If anything changes, let me know” drill.  I thanked him for all his hard work and effort.  Why did I do that after being treated like a second class citizen for representing a seller in a buyer’s market?  Because I wanted to make it easy for him to come back to me.  See, many people don’t mind losing the war if you give them a chance to win the last battle.  Good thing because while I was writing all this, he left me a voicemail that said to call him back because he now things we can work something out…….His people are now ready to meet our price, and we should have all the paper work done today.

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