“The Fire Drill,” or,
Working With Buyers in a Hurry

As opposed to the standard Buyer Rep contract, which imposes generic rights and duties on the Buyer and their agent, I think there should be a variant specifically for “Buyers in a Hurry.”

Such a contract is an especially good idea when said Buyer is looking for a home in a particularly competitive price bracket or geographic area, where there are few (or no) choices, and everything desirable gets snapped up within days of hitting the market — if not before.

In the Twin Cities at the moment, that would include almost any updated home under $350k in move-in condition in such desirable neighborhoods as Linden Hills, Minikahda Vista, or Fulton (Minneapolis); Fern Hill (St. Louis Park); Mac-Groveland and Highland Park (St. Paul); Lions Park (Golden Valley); and Morningside (Edina).

In that spirit, herewith is my proposed list of special (“fire drill”) duties for the agent and their client, respectively:

Agent Duties:

•Set up an MLS search with the Buyer’s criteria that sends an automatic email alert whenever a suitable property comes on the market.

•Quickly screen aforesaid properties with client, and arrange to get client into anything that looks especially promising ASAP;

•Be available on short notice to meet with the client to write and submit an offer as soon as the client indicates they’ve found “the one”;

•Proactively network on behalf of the Buyer to find appropriate homes before they come on the market, through private channels, Edina Realty’s “Network One,” Realtor-to-Realtor networking, etc.

Client Duties:

•Have all their “financial ducks-in-a-row,” including obtaining a Preapproval Letter from a reputable lender prior to viewing homes;

•Be willing to adjust their schedule to look at suitable homes as soon as they come on the market — ideally, the same day;

•With their Realtor’s help, know prevailing prices, and be prepared to make a (preemptively) strong offer post-haste on any home that passes muster — up to and possibly even exceeding the Seller’s list price — in order to maximize their chance of landing the property before another Buyer does, and to preclude the possibility of multiple offers.

Even when everyone knows and performs the aforementioned duties, one more ingredient is still needed for a deal to come to fruition:  a little bit of luck and good timing.

P.S.:  Unlike the standard Buyer Rep contract, which needs to be in writing and signed, the special “Buyer-in-a-Hurry” Rep contract can be verbal.  🙂

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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