One of my favorite movie scenes ever was in The Godfather when Vito Corleone was asked how he got his own way in a particular situation. His answer was, “I make them an offer they can’t refuse.” In real estate, we are in the business of writing offers and negotiating contracts. In fact our most common form is called an “Offer to Purchase and Contract”, meaning that the document starts as an offer and upon acceptance, becomes a contract.
Most of us have written dozens, if not hundreds of offers on behalf of our buyer clients, but I’m going to show you a new twist, and one that you may have never even considered. Let me ask you this: Where does it say that the buyer must be the one to write the offer? What if a seller wrote the offer? It’s perfectly legal. Just not traditional. Hmmm. That’s a new twist, now isn’t it? Here’s how it works.
Suppose you have a listing and the market is somewhat crowded. I know, that never happens, but just try to imagine it (HA!). There are lots of other competing listings, and your client’s home is just another in a virtual sea of similar properties. Here’s a simple technique you can use to generate some additional interest and often secure a buyer for your client’s home.
Get your seller to write an offer and present it to a buyer. It could be a buyer of yours, or it could be another buyer. It could be someone who has seen the home before, or it might even be someone who has never seen the home. It might be a way to get a buyer customer off the fence and turn him into a client. Or it might just be what’s needed to take a buyer client who can’t seem to make up his mind and get him focused on one home — your client’s home.
At a minimum, it gets the conversation started and gets things moving. It’s a lot easier to steer a moving car than a parked one! What’s the worst thing that could happen? The offer is rejected? Okay. But maybe it will be countered. People purchase by emotion, and if you can bring some of the right emotion into the sale, you might just put together a deal.
Let me give you a scenario. You help your seller write an offer to a buyer, detailing some of the concessions that might be considered. For example, the seller is willing to paint the entire interior with the paint of the buyer’s choice and re-carpet allowing the buyer to choose the carpet. The seller wants their home to go to someone who they think will take good care of it and someone they feel would make great neighbors for their friends.
Now imagine you are the buyer? Do you like this seller? Of course you do. Does part of you want to help them? Sure it does. As a buyer, don’t you want to move into a neighborhood when the seller wants to make sure and find good neighbors for their friends next door? Absolutely. It puts this home on a totally different plane than the other nameless, faceless, blind properties they are considering.
So have the seller (as part of the listing process) write out a personal letter naming the neighbors and detailing the great things about the home and the area, understanding that you will then use that as a cover letter when writing an offer to a future potential buyer. Even if nothing comes of it, you win three ways:
First, the seller loves you for your creative sales ability and because they think they are doing something rather than just waiting. The buyer (who often has not listed yet) thinks, I need this agent to list my home for me. Finally, the other agent loves you because you have helped turn his “looker” into a serious buyer. He may have been trying to get his client to write an offer for days, and you finally broke the ice for him.
Okay, so what’s the down side? There isn’t one. This strategy costs you nothing and allows you to position yourself uniquely, and you might just sell your client’s home quicker. Now that’s cool. That’s Max-Bang!