“Would Your Client Take $__ for Their Home??”

Listing agents (representing the Seller) know that there are three cards you never show the other side: the client’s bottom-line price; terms; and motivation. Which doesn’t mean that Buyers don’t try to find that out. One of the most common ploys, in the early, informal stages of negotiating, is for a would-be Buyer to verbally ask (through their agent), “would the Seller take $__ for their home?”

The problem with such a hypothetical question is that it flushes out the Seller’s price, but doesn’t obligate the Buyer to buy. Especially in a soft market, if the Seller answers “Yes,” the chances are fair that any resulting offer — assuming there is one — will come in below the just-tested price.

An experienced agent will parry the question by asking the Buyer, “are you offering $__?” If they answer affirmatively, their next sentence is, “Great! Put it in writing.”

If the Buyer subsequently makes an offer at that price, and the Seller agrees to it, there’s a deal. However, if no offer is forthcoming, the Seller hasn’t revealed their position.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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