This past Sunday in the local newspaper, the Times Picayune, ran an article in the Real Estate Section about how to make an offer and not to make low offers because sellers might get insulted. Dear Mr. Seller please keep the emotion out of it. A buyer who is placing an offer on your home wants to buy it and it is the skill of the agent you hire to negotiate with that buyer and get them to a price you consider acceptable. Buyers are moving into New Orleans from all over the country with more to come and they are coming from parts of the country where real estate practices are different. While in New Orleans there is a traditional way to sell homes not all buyer’s will be comfortable with that way and a little “go with the flow” approach might be better.
A few years ago I had a buyer who fell in love with a house that he put in what would be considered a low ball offer on. The listing agent representing the seller was very smart. He told the seller let’s negotiate and let’s see what number that buyer will come to with guidance and while it may be that he won’t pay you what you want, let’s see. Once the buyer understood that it was the seller making the decisions in the negotiations he felt he would put more money on the table and through a series of negotiations this buyer came to a place that was acceptable to the seller and everyone lived happily ever after. It’s called negotiating.
Had this seller just gotten insulted and not begun a negotiation he would have dismissed a good and viable buyer. This buyer did inspections and because he was buying the house at a price he knew was the best price he did not ask for anything further. Through the negotiations he felt that he and the seller had an understanding and he was content.
I recently had a buyer place a bid on a property that was low and the response was that the seller was insulted which is an emotional reaction to a business transaction. That seller will now never know if that buyer would have brought him the highest and best price for his property which is the only thing that should matter at the end of the day.
The article in the Times Picayune goes on to say that selling prices are negotiated to be a single digit discount from the asking price but doesn’t say if that is a single digit from the original asking price or after a series of price reductions…it is just not as simple as this writer makes it and this piece of writing or advice or whatever you want to call it should have a disclaimer on it and that disclaimer should say:
Each Seller is DIfferent, Each Buyer is Different, Each Transaction is Different.