Making the right offer on that Lake Sinclair home

The other day when I was walking my dogs on a night that Donald was working late I spotted a bird that had died on the edge of the road and had to carefully walk my dogs by it so that they didn't notice it and try to get it.  Once upon a time my Great Dane Glen got a dead squirrel in his mouth and well, let's leave it at the struggle was real.  The next day when I was walking my dogs the bird was still there and there was a dead squirrel in the roadway. My choice was to walk on the wrong side of the road with traffic or the thread the needle and manage to get both Glen and Laney between the two things while maintaining control without pulling my back out. I was successful.

Now what in the world does that has to do with an offer? 

Well that threading the needle as a buyers' agent between getting the best price for your buyer without insulting the sellers which can just end negotiations before they start. It's important for the buyers to know what the comparable property prices for the past six month. It's important that the listing agent understand we don't pull offer prices out of thin air, but actually look at the comparable sales prices. 

I've had buyers get upset when their offer just got accepted. "Are we paying too much?"  Of course you are not, I showed you the numbers. We wrote a strong offer based on the recent sales of like homes and we showed the listing agent and seller that we were offering a fair price. We added reasonable requests for due diligence and financing contingencies... what was not to like about our offer?  If we'd gone in low ball chances are the seller would have felt insulted and not negotiated to the fair price we offered.

Making an offer shouldn't be like throwing pasta at the wall and hoping something sticks.  Of course there are sellers out there who might have their backs to the wall and be in a desperate situation and take a low ball offer once in a blue moon. However, I don't recommend that method as it's a risk without calculation and just like that house made a first impression on you the buyer, your initial offer makes a similar impression on the sellers.

It's a careful walk to find the sweet spot between the bird and squirrel, uh I mean between the offer and the price acceptable to the sellers.  Sometimes buyers don't or won't listen to this advice in the beginning and they are the ultimate person in control of the offers we submit.  But after a few flat out rejections after insulting a few sellers they generally catch on that we know of what we speak.


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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


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Comment balloon 9 commentsTammy Lankford, • October 11 2016 09:16AM


A buyer definitely puts themselves at risk when low balling what is obviously a fairly priced home.  Good point.  Mark

Posted by Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint, North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227 over 4 years ago

Hi Tammy - You're right. Pricing strategy, whether it's making an offer or setting a listing price, should always be based on what the market is actually doing, as well as our read on the specific situation. That's where our expertise can really work for our clients.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 4 years ago

Tammy using the throwing pasta on the wall method to make an offer does not work, it only makes a big mess.  Buyers and Sellers who do not listen to their Realtors are very foolish and in the end wish they had.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago

Hi Tammy, pricing is the most important part of any transaction, whether be on the selling or the buying side. When working with a professional, buyers and sellers should feel comfortable with their market knowledge and take their advice.
I love the analogy you've used. I've been in that situation before, luckily, I saw the dead animal before Buddy did.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) over 4 years ago

You are fortunate that a) your buyers respect you and b) your buyers listen to your expert and uncanny direct advice, Tammy. We don't always see that luxury among buyers in Sacramento. Just yesterday a buyer asked what was wrong with writing an offer for 50% less than list price. With a straight face. We can deal with uneducated but we can't deal with crazy.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) over 4 years ago


 Not all buyers listen, I had an agent that had to tell the relocation company that they could not work with the buyers they would yell at her because she did not want to put in low ball offers and I mean 100K off a 400k or 500k home in a sellers market she said she had enough!

Posted by Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert over 4 years ago

I love the way you describe finding the sweet spot as threading the needle. It's certainly more complicated than throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks!

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) over 4 years ago

Great post and tie-in to our industry.  And as a fellow 4-legged parent Tammy Lankford, I can certainly relate to your story!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 4 years ago

I like the analogy you made and the well written story. I too can relate to the story and appreciate your sharing.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) over 4 years ago