Is this you? Your house has been on the market for two and one half months. You’ve been a good member of the Clean Counter Club but it’s getting harder and harder to do it everyday. Days get interrupted. Dinners are interrupted. Saturday open houses. Sunday open houses. Keeping the house picked up is a chore. Keeping the toys off the floor is almost impossible now. Keep the kids clean? It’s summer and oh, so impossible to do! Is the laundry done? Forget it. The newscasters keep saying the real estate market has slowed to a trickle but appears to be rebounding. But where, it doesn’t appear to be happening here in Burlingame. You’re worried you home won’t sell. And then….
A Buyer’s Agent has a fiduciary duty to her client to present their offer to the seller in person. That way the Agent can tell you, the seller, about her clients, about what their offer is, and to be there to negotiate the best deal possible for you and her client. A Listing Agent who does not want to have the other agent present their offer to you in person could be trying to hide something. It might be financial or it might be insecurity in showing you how poor they are in negotiating. It makes no difference. It’s bad for you. And that agent might be in violation of the National Association of Realtors ethics rules.
In our area part of our offer consists of an Agency Agreement and the Contract. Prior to presenting the contract we present the Agency Agreement that has been signed by our Buyers and me, their agent. At the time I present an offer I sign this agreement, date it, put the time I am presenting this offer to you, the seller and I then ask you to sign, date, and place the time you are hearing my presentation. Our contract also has a place for you to sign a rejection of my offer, should you do so.
If the Listing Agent either refuses to let me present my offer directly to you, or is unable to do this because you are not in the immediate area, I try to present to him in person. I sign the Agency, date it and time it and expect to receive it back with the Seller’s signature, date and time. I need this back whether or not we prevail with the contract. I can not tell you how many times I have had to call and call and call and beg to receive my Agency and Contract returned to me because they refused to let me present to their clients in person. I am required to have these two documents for my files and to show my Buyer’s that I have, indeed, presented their offer.
So, Dear Seller, don’t let your Listing Agent suggest that you don’t need to have a face-to-face presentation and listen to any of the offers that the Buyer’s Agents bring to you. In fact, if the prospective buyers come along, don’t be afraid to meet them and listen to their story. You might find that they are very much like you and just the people you would like to buy your home. And even if they are not, you will know that you’ve done the right thing.
Remember selling your house is a financial decision and you need to treat it like one. After all, we all want the same thing for you and that’s to see a Sold sign in front of your home.