does an agent have to send every offer to the seller

What Does a Sacramento REALTOR Do With a Lowball Offer?

offer rejection 300x200Probably one of the worst things a Sacramento REALTOR can do is make a judgment call on an offer, even about a lowball offer, when presenting an offer to a seller. That’s because the listing agent is not the seller, and we don’t ever really know what a seller will do. To presume we do is sorta stupid. The one exception to this, though, is when the transaction is listed as a short sale, and the bank has already authorized a sales price, which is probably not subject to negotiations and conforms to a formula, like FHA Short Sales.

There are agents in the Bay Area, for example, who often send lowball offers without any warning or notice. Most of the lowball offers I receive like this are faxed to my office, even though all of my listings contain explicit directions on how to submit an offer, and faxing the offer to the office is not one of those options. They are often missing crucial elements of the offer, especially when it’s a short sale. I try to overlook those mistakes because I realize when buyer’s agents are crazy-busy throwing offers at the wall to see what sticks, they don’t always have the time nor the patience to thoroughly read each MLS listing.

It’s possible these same agents could also be the type to double-end their own transactions as the principal buyer. Yowza. They probably think they are clever, living life at its fullest and not on the edge. I try not to be judgmental about them, and I just pass along their offers.

When I send these offers that don’t stand in chance in hell of acceptance to the seller, it is a waste of time for everybody, but I am required by law to do it. If a buyer’s agent sent me an offer written on a roll of toilet paper, I’d have to send it, and many of these lowballs would be better off scribbled on a roll of toilet paper than handwritten and faxed. But I also apologize to the seller for a) sending them a worthless offer that the agent should have known better than to send, and b) wasting my seller’s time. I explain that I am legally required to send the lowball offer but they are not required to respond and, in fact, they should ignore it.

It’s somewhat more disturbing when lowball offers arrive on pending listings. I’m not sure what the thought process is, maybe that the deal will blow up and the seller will be so despondent or desperate that she will grab any offer that floats through email. But the fact is if a transaction should blow up, I simply sell it again, generally at a higher price. I just closed a few days ago on a waterfront home in Elk Grove, which I sold 4 times. The final sale was the highest ever, and such a good offer that we rescinded a counter about to be accepted, grabbed the new offer and ran with it all the way to the closing table.

This is what Sacramento real estate is about.

I received 3 offers recently on two preapproved short sales, varying between $50,000 and $100,000 LESS than the approved and pending price. That was unusual. Enough so that I called the out-of-area agent to ask why was he creating all of this unnecessary work for me, and bothering the seller with these silly-ass offers that are obviously going nowhere. I considered not calling him but due to the volume of business I do, I had a sneaky feeling if I didn’t nip this in the bud, it would continue on my other listings. My time is valuable.

The agent’s response was he has to do what the client tells him to do, just like I would do. No, see, the difference is I don’t work with idiots.

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