Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Does My Seller Care what Your Buyer Can Afford?

Does My Seller Care what Your Buyer Can Afford?

 As a listing agent, when I have a listing priced at $182,000, why do I care that the buyer only wants to pay $165,000 for a house?  I had a listing that closed a couple of weeks ago, but negotiations were a little difficult.  We were listed at a very competitive $182k for a 2700 sqft home built in 2002.  I know buyers in many parts of the country are drooling over that price!

I get a call from a buyers' agent asking if my seller would take $165k.  I tell her she can write up an offer and I'll present it, but that it seems pretty low for this house and not sure how the seller would react to it.  Of course I knew how the seller would react because I prepare my sellers at our initial listing appointment.  I run through several scenarios with my sellers so they know what to expect, the good and the bad.

She continues to tell me that her buyers are already approved to $169k, but only feel comfortable staying around $165k, oh, and they'll need closing costs.  It's like she's trying really hard for me to discuss confidential information about my seller to see if he'll take less, but I never fall for it.  I again tell her to send me an offer.  So, I let my seller know about the conversation.  By the way, the house was only on the market about 6 weeks.

 I end up getting an offer the next day for $169k with no closing costs.  Great, it's better than she said it would be.  We countered it back since it was still fairly low.  The buyers' agent is very upset that we countered and reiterated that her buyers' comfort level was only $165k and by submitting the offer at $169k with no closing costs, that they were serious about the house.

"I'm sorry, but what part of your buyers wanting to pay $165k has to do with my seller listed at $182k?  Why are you showing your buyers houses that they can't afford?" 

"Well, it's a buyers' market and my buyers thought your seller would be excited to receive an offer."
It's been 6 weeks, not 6 months... "Umm, what market do you typically work in that it's a "Buyers'" market?"

For people across the country who are in buyers' markets, we're not in Dallas.  Yes, we have a lot of inventory, but in most areas, houses are selling about 97-98% of asking price, and some individual communities are selling at a full 100%.

I looked up the agent in the MLS.  She has sold only a handful of houses in the past couple of years.  Great, another agent who "dabbles" in real estate as a hobby.  Just so you know, my seller sold for a very nice price at 98.11% of asking price, and the buyers' comfort level increased when another offer was on its way.

Remember, I work all of North Dallas County and Collin County including Richardson, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Garland, Rowlett, McKinney, etc... my car will take us anywhere you need to go!! 

 ARE YOU PACKED YET?!

Comment balloon 9 commentsDonna Harris • April 10 2008 12:16PM

Comments

LOL!  Boy can we all understand this!  And yes, I am definately drooling over the 2700SQFT home for under $200K!!  With all of these boys, I could sure use that size and savings (we're lucky to find a decent one under $350K for that size).  Way to go standing your ground and getting the most you could for your clients, the sellers.  

 Sincerely,

Kathleen 

Posted by Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group - Broker Owner (Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group) over 10 years ago
Hey Kathleen!  Is number 4 a boy too?? I thought you were having a girl.  Good seeing you back in the Rain!
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Donna,

This is Bob's son testing out the comments. Can you go in and delete my Dad's comment? 

Posted by Kelan Robert Stewart, Following in the Footsteps of My Father (ActiveRain (Intern)) over 10 years ago

I don't know where everyone's comments went so I'll copy and paste from the emails I got:

Comment by Stephanie Fischer:

Donna:

I love how you handled yourself in this situation.  You never forgot who was in control and best of all you represented your clients just the way you should have.  Its funny how the comfort level can suddenly change....:-)

Thank you Stephanie.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Comment by Peter Nikic:

I think you did the right thing. You represent the seller, which means any information you get from the buyer or buyers agent is not necessarily accurate. The buyers agent probably knew that the buyer could do 182K, but wanted to make you think that it was 165K so they could get a better deal.

Good job.

Peter, Thank you.  That's exactly what she wanted me to think so we would lower the price more than we did.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Comment by Jerry Murphy:

Hi Donna,

We feel your pain out here in Phoenix, only in a different sense.  Buyers who are lowballing already low ball listed prices (ie. REO's) and then getting perturbed that the bank did not accept 60% of their asking price, on a price that was already about 60% of the market value.  Oh how I long for this market to return to normal.  Best of luck.

Jerry, We get that here too.  They think that the banks are desperate.  THey might be, but they're not stupid!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Comment by Laura Jefferson:

We see lowballs all the time and people looking at listings thinking they can geta a deal everywhere. My Lexington SC and Lake Murray markets are thriving as well. You may save some but if you want the cream you will have to pay for the cow!

Laura, Can you get the milk without paying?

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Comment by Jim Crawford ~ Atlanta Real Estate-ABR E-PRO:

Because the buyer can!  It is why they call this a "Buyers Market!!"  To me it is a seller's choice, all they need to do is pick up a paper, turn the news on for 15 minutes, and realize they may have been blessed to get any contract.  I don't care how good any market is, Atlanta last sumer turned on a dime!

Jim, I would have to disagree.  Real Estate is local, not National and even though the national news is talking bad about the market, it's not so in my area.  He might have been "lucky" to get the contract in 6 weeks, since his neighborhood was taking 3 months, but we're not in a buyers' market.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Comment by Steve Shatsky - Dallas Short Sale Specialist:

I've got to say, I am a bit confused by your post (it comes across very angry sounding). 

While I don't know enough about your specific listing to determine whether the home was priced well or whether 6 weeks is a long time on the market for the area or not, I will say that I am always glad to receive any reasonable/workable offer (and any other information a buyer is willing to share) so that I can evaluate the situation and create a strategy for dealing with the offer made.  If your you or sellers were either insulted by a $169K offer on a $182K home all you had to do is either not respond or counteroffer.  Many buyers (especially those reading the newspapers and watching too much HGTV) believe that what they see on TV happening in Florida or Las Vegas is creating the same market conditions in Dallas, and even when an agent explains otherwise, they still (not knowing the seller's circumstances or level of desperation to sell) insist on offering on the low side. 

I always tell clients that until someone says the words "final offer" that everything remains negotiable and any written offer is workable with the right strategy.  In any case, I am glad for your client that they wound up getting such a strong price for their home.

Steve, the post is not "angry" at all.  Maybe a little sarcastic, but not angry.  I didn't say I wasn't glad to receive the offer.  I told her to put it in writing as I wasn't going to my seller with a verbal offer because someone can talk price all they want, but the terms need to be spelled out.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 10 years ago

Participate