Corollary:  “Would Your Client Accept $X for Their Home?”

I don’t know about other agents, but lately I’ve been seeing an evolution in showing feedback questions regarding price opinions.

The forms used to ask whether the Buyer thought the home was priced at market, and if not, what price they thought was right.

Now, I’m receiving forms (and emails directly from listing agents) asking, “at what price would your buyer make an offer?”

Flawed Reasoning

That’s certainly a more focused — not to mention more probing — question, and there’s no harm in asking it.

But, I don’t know that the response is necessarily any more helpful to Sellers (or their agents), for three reasons.

One.  If the showing was a dud, the honest answer is “no price.”

In my experience, price only kicks in once there’s a threshold level of Buyer interest.

Amongst other reasons, that’s why — as a listing agent — I’m always loathe to lead off my marketing materials with a home’s price, or trumpet what a great value it is.

Two.  If the showing went well and there is interest, the Buyer’s agent is not going to give the Seller good information, for obvious reasons.

So, if the home’s asking price is $300k and the Buyer’s agent responds that they’d make an offer at $280k . . . the Buyer can certainly expect to pay at least that much.

On the other hand, if the Buyer’s agent says the right number is $250k . . . the listing agent has every reason to believe that that’s just pre-negotiation posturing.

Non-Binding Answers

Which leads to . . .

Three.  If there’s not an actual, written offer behind the answer — it really doesn’t mean anything (and certainly isn’t enforceable).

Experienced listing agents know that the answer to, “Would your client accept $X (or $Y or $Z) for their home?” is, “Is your client offering $X (or $Y or $Z)?”

If the Buyer’s agent answers “Yes,” the inevitable comeback is, “Great!  If you put it in writing, I’ll do my best to get you a prompt, serious response.”

P.S.:  My selling clients are all (very) well aware of one of my favorite real estate lines, “The only feedback I really care about is a full price offer (or close) from a well-qualified Buyer.”

Which is still the case . . . 

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.

Leave a Reply