[photopress:frustration.JPG,thumb,alignright] In the under $500,000 market, good properties are flying off the shelf. In the last two weeks, we were chasing properties with our client in multiple offer situations from Bellevue to Edmonds. It’s a tough market to work in and gets very discouraging to our buyers. When a market is this hot it always requires an accelerator clause if you want to be in the game.
I was thinking about how typical this chase was and want to share this little history with you. Two deals we lost, one where we bid higher and one where we bid the same and the last one that we got, we paid less than the highest bid. Here’s what we did and how we finally got a happy ending!
Offer 1:condo in Sandpoint, priced $325,000. We were the high bid on this one at $375,000. We used an accelerator clause because we knew we had to and in fact, there were 10 offers. We knew we’d have to waive inspection and form 17 and be pre-approved and we did all that, but the seller, rather than selling for the highest price, sold the condo at 5000 below our offer because the seller had met the other buyer and liked him. Our buyer, by the way, has great credentials.
Offer 2: condo in the north end priced at $330,000. we did an accelerator to 350,000 and we were beat at the same price because the other buyer was all cash. This was smart of the seller, since there’s always the problem of appraisals, which are tougher on condos than single family homes
Offer 3: condo in Roosevelt district, this one was listed at $320,000 and we put in an accelerator clause up to $365,000, no inspection, waive 17 and pre-approved. This time our buyer was in town and met with the sellers and, as usual, we found something in common with the two of them, and we got the condo for $5000 less than the highest offer.
Lesson learned: Always always try to get some connection with the seller if at all possible. It’s best, if you have a likable buyer, to have them meet and chat a bit. Even if you’re working with a sour personality, you can still coach them a bit and I’m right there with them to act as a catalyst. If the seller or buyer are out of town I write an interesting summary of how much the buyer likes the house, their strengths and I always try to find something really touching about them, some sort of volunteer, a special hobby, etc. Knowing the listing agent and/or treating them really well is a great asset, too. I’ve been known to bring a Starbucks when arriving with an offer. Sellers like to know who they’re selling to and often their home is not just a financial investment but something with soul and they want the “right” person to buy it.
So, you just never know. Selling a home is an emotional venture and there are as many reasons for who they’re going to sell to as their are people!