This article titled: Double Ending the Short Sale vs Giving the Seller Highest and Best Shouldn’t Be a Dilemma, was written by Elizabeth for another publication back in the sorry years. Enjoy. — JaCi Wallace
Many Sacramento listing agents are receiving multiple offers, and not just on REOs or short sales. Any attractively priced, well appointed home in a desirable Sacramento location is likely to draw the attention of more than one buyer. The listing agent plays an important role toward helping the seller figure out which offer to accept because the highest offer isn’t always the best offer.
Realtors in the City of Davis called this real estate broker continuously yesterday. It was difficult to keep up with the phone calls, text messages and emails as I entered into a “no service” zone at a U. C. Davis Medical Center. That was kind of like the Twilight Zone. Eerily quiet. No zing, ping, snap, twinkle, or loud Louie-Louie song breakout while I sat in the waiting room. The doctors were 3 hours behind yesterday. Usually they are right on the button when I show up for my annual SI joint injection appointment. Yes, when you get to be an older real estate broker like me, sometimes you need an injection to keep the old body moving along another year.
The Realtors in the City of Davis were relentless. I figured it would be either me or my client, so it was better to make me the source of these telephone calls. That’s part of my job as a Realtor, to be the buffer. You see, once a listing is canceled or withdrawn from MLS, agents come out of the woodwork. In their excitement, some of those real estate agents don’t even notice that the listing has gone back on the market as a new listing. They still call the seller to beg for the chance to list the home. From their point of view, why not? Here’s a guy who wanted to sell and didn’t, for whatever reason. But still . . .
On the other hand, if a listing goes into Temporary Off Market status, the agents are prohibited from hounding, er, pursuing, the seller. The back story is I have a former client in Davis who wants to sell a home in Davis, and he asked me to list it in May with the hopes of going on the market at the end of June or early July, after a few repairs and sprucing up efforts. As things sometimes go, the projected on-market date was pushed further out a few days ago. MLS regulations are a listing can stay in off-market status for a maximum of 60 days. We would not be ready to go on the market by the end of July, so we were forced to take action on this particular listing.
To put the listing into TOM status requires going “active” in MLS for a few minutes and then off market. I asked the seller to sign a Modification of Terms reflecting this technicality. However, the Realtors in the City of Davis went crazy over this. One of the Realtors left me voice mails that referred twice to this “strange listing,” with a peculiar tone in her voice. I didn’t understand. Then, another Davis Realtor called and asked if this was one of those “games” that Realtors in the City of Davis apparently play or he thought they did. Due to no entiendo, I asked for clarification. What “game” is played by Realtors in the City of Davis, I asked?
I’m certainly not playing a game. Oh, you know, the Davis Realtor explained. You put the home on the market, take it off the market and then buyers call you directly (so you double-end the transaction). That had not occurred to me, probably because it is unethical. Anybody who knows me knows that is not how I operate. In fact, I prefer single representation. But apparently, in the close-knit community of Realtors in the City of Davis, real estate is, let’s say, different.
There are pros and cons to a Coming Soon home for sale, which you’ve probably noticed around Sacramento. You might have wondered what they are. Perhaps you’ve spotted a sign in front of a home that looks like it might be for sale but the rider on top of the sign post reads: “Coming Soon.” Or, maybe you’ve seen it as a type of off-market listing in Zillow that promotes it as Coming Soon, and it’s not yet in any online MLS system that you can find. What’s the deal? And further, what’s the point if you can’t buy it?
The best thing a buyer can do is ask her buyer’s agent to follow up with the listing agent. Now, I realize some listing agents in Sacramento routinely try to position new listings in such a way that buyers will call the listing agent directly, which allows the listing agent to double-end the commission — what is known as dual representation — by locking out all other agents. It’s a reason we contend with pocket listings, for example, and how sellers can potentially lose out on all of the benefits of mass marketing; we mourn for them the lost opportunities due to reducing exposure to the largest pool of buyers through a pocket listing.
That’s never been the method of operation nor intent of this Sacramento Realtor. My goal is to treat all agents fairly. In fact, I prefer that buyers hire a buyer’s agent instead of trying to deal with me directly. This way I can focus on my seller’s needs and not feel torn nor conflicted; my vision is clear.
While a listing agent cannot show a home that is in Coming Soon status nor solicit purchase offers while it is not yet on the market, agents have always been permitted to network with other real estate agents. I use this opportunity to network with other agents. The Coming Soon listings in Zillow typically contain an on market date.
If I’m working on a Coming Soon home listing, I let buyer’s agents know that they can show the home when it comes on the market. In fact, they can be first, if they like, but in a market with limited inventory and high demand like our present Sacramento real estate market, we will likely hold an open house on Sunday after the home hits the market. It only makes sense from a seller’s perspective to give the home a few days on market and to promote the open house before entertaining purchase offers. But it doesn’t mean a buyer who spots a Coming Soon listing can’t prepare a strategy with his or her own buyer’s agent and end up the winning recipient.
Home buyers definitely can get an edge over multiple offers by following a simple strategy.
Coming Soon home listings generate excitement. That approach also gives buyers a little bit of advance notice that a home is coming on the market. It stops the feeling of agony some buyers experience when a home pops up on the market and less than 24 hours later is in pending status, before a buyer has even noticed the home was for sale.