Deciphering “Realtor-Speak”

I’m sure I’m not the only listing agent out there who’s recently fielded some variation of the following query:  “I’ve got an investor who might be interested in your client’s property.  Would they be open to something like that?”

For those who don’t know Realtor-speak, let me translate:  ‘my client would be interested in buying your client’s home/duplex/triplex, but only at a bargain basement price.  We don’t want to offend the owner with a lowball offer, so we’re sounding you out verbally.’

Aside from the problem that good Realtors don’t respond to verbal offers, the identity of the Buyer doesn’t make what would otherwise be an insultingly low offer suddenly palatable.

License to Lowball

In fact, investors do have different buying criteria than owner-occupants — namely, they have to have room in the purchase price for a profit.

And it’s also the case that many homes on the market, especially ones that need major rehabbing or updating, primarily appeal to investors.

However, the presumption that just because an investor is making an offer ipso facto means that it’s not a lowball offer is patently false.

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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