“Hey Bob, can you show me a home?”
Those words these days precipitate thirty six hours of madness quite often. Why? A decade ago, home buyers could look and look at houses. It was a buyers market and sometimes home shoppers would forget they had seen a house, they had been shopping for so long.
No more my friends. These days, when a nice property comes to market, it can be a mad scramble complete with bidding wars and what not to get the perfect new home.
Recently, buyer clients of mine found The Perfect House. They knew it immediately, when they saw it online. I think this client first spotted the home on Zillow. And I’m thankful they gave me a call. Not just because I appreciate my clients’ business (which, I do appreciate very much!). I’m thankful because this adorable home was undervalued online and going to sell fast.
To look at Zillow’s pricing, it was at value. But online valuation sites have trouble with the nuances of homes. This particular property had an enclosed breezeway from the garage to the house. Really, a one of a kind feature that added tremendous value to the house. Not to mention, a lot of additional covered living space.
I immediately set a private showing appointment and off we went. Good thing too, because this house was just starting to be shown. Ultimately we learned later the house would receive back to back showings every 30 minutes for three days. And as the days ticked by, offers were showing up on my client’s perfect house.
We Are Unavailable But Want To See The House
Another not at all uncommon part of selling real estate. There seems to be a rule. When I’m about to go on vacation, clients call and I get busy. And conversely, when clients are on vacation or out of the area, the perfect house always seems to come to market. In this day and age of Coronavirus there is less travel, but the effect still seems to occur. As it did that day. My clients were not in town when the perfect house came along.
So I showed the property to an adult child in the area. And we used FaceTime to give everyone a lovely virtual tour of the house in the first person.
So the day started off with an innocent enough, “Hey Bob, can you show me a home?” and by early afternoon I was sending along comparable listings and writing a contract. I wasn’t the only one in town doing this though. The listing information stated all offers due by Monday. But, sure enough, by Sunday the seller was saying bring your highest and best.
My job, as your Home Buyer’s Agent, is to make it happen. To get the showing created, help you see the house, help you write the winning offer and then guide you through the purchase process. And when I get those calls, “hey Bob, can you show me a home today” I jump into action!
As much as buyers leap into action, sometimes sellers are also making moves.
When Sellers Change The Day They Review Offers
Maybe the seller gets an offer too good to pass up. Or the seller is getting so many offers, waiting longer just means telling more would be home buyers, “no.” I’ve made those calls, they are never fun. As the deadline shrunk by a full day on this house, I warned my clients to expect fierce competition and a higher sales price.
In fact, every offer the owner received was for better than full price. We later discovered four of the offers had an escalation clause. What’s that? It means the price of the purchase contract will automatically increase to beat out some other offer. The buyer sets a limit on how they will outbid the next gal in the process of going after a home. Our offer was one of the four utilizing an escalation clause to be more competitive.
Of course, if we could get the house for less, we would. So our base price was considerably more in line with the list price. A win-win for the home buyer.
Many of the offers we competed with agreed to limit the inspection. We elected not to go that route. For starters, my clients wanted to see the house in person. The home inspection would also serve as an opportunity to view the house.
Negotiations are an exciting part of real estate in 2020
What an up and down day. Early in the process, I felt good. By late in the day, as I discovered ours was one of eight offers, well, it had me worried. We did all the things you can do to be at the top of the pact. We had our financing information ready. A hand written letter all set. I wrote a personable intro in my email – why not? It’s one more opportunity to call the Seller by her first name. Maybe it gives us a boost.
That Friday had started out like any other. Me wearing shorts & a nice dress shirt – in case I had a zoom or skype call. Working from home has its benefits. And here I was now, 36 hours later negotiating a deal late at night.
By the way, can’t emphasize enough how important it is to sign documents in the moment.
Expiration Dates Are a BIG Deal In Sellers Market
As we were negotiating, our offer got the coveted call back. Wow, my clients were winning the negotiations. But I could’t reach them. While the seller said it would be okay to work on it the next morning, I’ve seen this play out poorly. In fact, looking closely at the counter for my folks, I saw it technically expired at midnight. The last thing I wanted was for a ninth offer to arrive overnight and throw a monkey wrench into everything. Fortunately, my buyers picked up and we were able to get everything executed then and there.
Beating out seven other strong offers is no easy feat. Now onto the home inspection.
About The Author
Bob Gordon is a Boulder area Realtors with twenty five years experience assisting home buying and Boulder home selling clients. Give a shout to discuss your real estate needs or simply ask, “can you show us a home today please?” When not showing houses and writing contracts, I’m passionate about writing my real estate blog. I’ve been creating original posts since 2012. Outside of realty, I’m big on biking just now. I have a couple different rides I enjoy, all originating on the Coal Creek Trail.