Trying to Force the Seller’s Hand

[photopress:hand.jpg,thumb,alignright] If you are playing the game of “trying to force the seller’s hand”, you have to know how to play it right. It is not easy to force a seller to…anything. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, if you can say there is a right and wrong to the situation, reality is what it is. If you want the house, and you are not the only one who wants the house, you have to stay “in PLAY”.

Two buyers have been “circling the wagon” for weeks. Offers have been presented to the seller, counters have gone back to the buyers. Back and forth, back and forth. Buyer Agent saying, “Did the seller look at the comps I gave you showing why the seller should?” “Well of course the seller has to fix this and fix that, remove this and add that”. Meanwhile the seller is just going about their business, day in and day out, waiting for the buyers to agree to their price and conditions.

Then along comes buyer number three. Buyer number one and buyer number two, who have had offers back and forth, know what the seller wants. So it seems only fair to tell buyer number three what the seller wants. Meanwhile buyer number two wants to submit an offer again, third time, for something less than they know the seller wants. I say, well you have two choices. You can bring an offer meeting the seller’s counter to you of a couple of weeks ago and beat buyer number three to the punch, OR you can hang back and wait to see what buyer number three does.

Buyer number two’s agent doesn’t want to bring an offer matching what the seller wants NOR wait until buyer number three makes their move on Saturday, so she brings an offer that she knows is LESS than what the seller wants and Tries To Force the Seller’s Hand”, by giving a very short response time. Bad move. You bring the seller an unacceptable offer and put a response time that is hours before buyer number three is scheduled to see the house. What happens. By trying to force the seller’s hand and make him respond before buyer number three sees the house, you are left out in the cold. Your offer is expired before the seller is going to respond. Buyer number three’s offer is accepted and your offer is a non-offer, because it expired before the seller was willing to look at it.

If you tell the seller they only have x amount of time to respond, and that timeframe does not match the seller’s schedule for some reason, your offer becomes invalid. Agent says “You COULD HAVE countered and just changed the date…” But why? Why would the seller risk countering an expired offer, when they have an acceptable and valid offer on the table? (agent’s answer is because she has worked long and hard and deserves…anytime the agent’s answer includes the agent in the picture…wrong answer – wrong thinking.)

If you are trying to force the seller’s hand by giving him a short wick, and putting a response time that is less than acceptable, you have to revise your offer and extend that date the second your response time passes. You have to keep your offer “in play”. By trying to force the seller’s hand…you can put yourself out of the game altogether, if you do not keep your dates running forward by submitting a new response time.

Buyers often think that the seller MUST respond, MUST counter. Not the case. No answer IS an answer. If you have no answer by the time your offer time expires…you have your answer. The answer is NO…try again.

When I was a teenager, my parents often didn’t want me to go to parties. So when I asked to go to a party, I didn’t demand an answer on the spot. I made my case for why I thought they should say yes, and then I left the room to give them time to talk it over and think about it. The fast answer was often no…I went to lots of parties 🙂

When you give the seller what he wants, you can try to demand a quick response. When you want the house for less than acceptable terms, you have to be willing to hang back, and you have to be willing to lose it, if the seller doesn’t meet your terms. You can’t bang your fist on the table and demand that you get the house for less. Presenting an unacceptable offer, and demanding a quick response, is like a kid throwing a tantrum…rarely works out for the best. And almost never works out for the best, when you know there are other interested buyers.

Time to get into 1st backup position.

Leave a Reply