A return to old-fashioned courtship


Dear David,

We submitted an offer. The sellers want 24 hours to review it, even though we saw them pulling into the driveway as we were leaving the property! Earlier this year we were unsuccessful in a few bidding wars, and in those cases the sellers came to the table right away. Why do we have to wait now? –  IMPATIENT

DEAR IMPATIENT: As Realtors, we do our best to bring people together in a timely fashion. We have digital tools (like electronic signatures) to help the process along, but not everyone has the equipment or the comfort level to make these work. There may be several reasons why the sellers are asking for 24 hours to review the offer, and because our client’s needs are our top priority, we specify when extra time is required.

You saw someone (possibly the owner) pulling into the driveway as you left the property, but have no way of knowing if there are other stakeholders involved in the sale. One or more of the decision-makers may be travelling, working shifts, or unavailable for another reason. Grown children could be selling the home for their aging parents. It may also be an estate sale.

The delay might also be a way of adapting to the changing market.

For much of the last few years, buying a home has been like speed dating: buyers have competed against various other “suitors” who are all trying to put their best foot forward and win the deal. Sellers grew accustomed to holding offers, and when offer day rolled around, they compared their (mostly firm) offers and made a decision. Conditional offers were rare.

This summer shook things up quite a bit. Inventory reached the highest level we’ve seen in a number of years. Interest rates and inflation started making headlines. Offers started arriving in trickles instead of waves, and seasoned Realtors met the shift with fresh strategies.

Some selling agents have started requesting a 24-to-48-hour irrevocable (delay), which gives them enough time to stir up whatever competing offers they can. By deliberately slowing down the negotiation, they open up a window of time to canvas other potential buyers, including those who have viewed the property in the last several days or weeks. If anyone else is interested in making an offer, it will inevitably lead to a better result for the seller. It’s similar to the practice of holding offers, but at a slower pace.

The resulting negotiation feels less like speed dating, and more like an old-fashioned courtship.

PRO TIP: The motivation for buyers and sellers is the same no matter what the market is doing. Buyers want good value. Sellers want the best outcome and rely on experienced agents to get it. The results speak for themselves: as I write this, close to half of the properties sold in the last three weeks are selling at asking price or above. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling K-W real estate Broker who works with you personally when selling or buying. Call for a free home evaluation, and scan here to vote for David in the 2022 Reader’s Choice Awards!