Mastermind #7 June 15 2011
Happy Thursday everybody. It’s going to be a busy day today. I have a new agent joining Bosley this morning and then I’m off to Bosley U for the day, so if you didn’t make it to Mastermind yesterday (and you really should try) here is what you missed:
A few agents talked about their experiences with irrevocable times. Lately we have seen two examples of how agents are using irrevocable dates on offers to their or their client’s advantage. In one instance, buyer agents are coming to the table with incredibly short irrevocable times in an effort to bully the seller into making a fast decision. When I say short, I’m talking about 10 to 15 minutes. While this agressive tactic can work from time to time, it was generally agreed by those meeting that more often than not it wasn’t a good idea. Sellers don’t like to be pushed around and often this agressive approach just annoys the seller more than anything else. The recommendation was that if an agent calls to register an offer, particularly in a multiple offer situation, you make it clear to them that they should provide a reasonable irrevocable time. Over the last few months there has also been a steady rise of listings pushed out that ask for 24-48 hours irrevocable because “the owner is out of town”. If you are a good agent you can immediately see through this approach. If you read between the lines, it is simply the listing agent’s alternative to holding back offers. And let’s be honest here, who in their right mind puts their house up for sale and then goes away. We joked that in this modern day and age, it seems strange that people go away and are unreachable. In a situation like this, when the listing agent is not holding back offers but is asking for a 48 hour irrevocable, it is reasonable to submit an offer and make your irrevocability for 12 hours. That is plenty of time for the agent to drag the seller out of a cave.
The next topic was about listing condominiums. We discussed several situations where the information on the listing did not represent the true nature of the ownership, not through the fault of the owner but because the listing agent took some shortcuts along the way. In one example, the maintenance fee on the listing included hydro. A month after the condo was sold and closed the new owner got a huge hydro bill. Upon questioning the management office, the buyer found that the maintenace fee did not include electricity charges. Apparently this was also overlooked by the lawyer as well. In the end, the buyer sued practically everyone and,no surprise, won. The lesson- when listing a condo, it is not good enough to look back at all the listings in the building to fill in the blanks on a data sheet. Call the management office. Better yet, get them to respond to your email questions so you have a nice paper trail.
Lastly we talked about house smells. While this sounds like a silly topic, there was actually a fair amount of debate about how you broach the topic with your clients about odours in their house. Ethnic cooking and cigarette smells can put off buyers, but is it unreasonable to ask a seller to drastically change their diet or habits in order to sell a property? This is obviously a delicate question, but at the end of the day everyone is motivated by money so if you break it down in terms of a bigger financial gain, we agreed that most would comply to your requests.