Treating Sacramento Real Estate Agents Honestly in Multiple Offers

multiple offersMuch ado about multiple offers lately. So much of the stuff contained in the REALTOR Code of Ethics is simply good common sense for a Sacramento real estate agent to adhere to in her real estate practice, and it’s not “just words” to many agents. Not to mention, an agent can be reported to the Board of REALTORS and / or fined for violating the Code. It says things like a member needs to treat other members and clients honestly.

On the other hand, treating agents fairly means without prejudice, without discrimination, giving equal weight to all parties by being equitable, playing no favoritism, partaking in impartial dealings, being honorable. One of my goals when I am the listing agent and representing the seller in a transaction is to give buyer’s agents an opportunity to view the home and present an offer on a level-playing field. This means I am not sharing information about the content of offers with other agents unless authorized by the seller.

The Elizabeth Weintraub Team encourages buyer’s agents involved in multiple offers to submit their best offer upfront. Not every seller wants go through the counter offer stage in a multiple-offer situation. I have worked with sellers who enjoy that process, but many of them do not. Many sellers just want the best offer possible and do not want to dicker back and forth. So, agents who submit an offer and say “please counter us,” are a) doing their buyer a disservice by implying the buyer will offer more, which could possibly be breaking their fiduciary, and b) their words are falling on deaf ears if the sellers don’t want to counter.

During multiple offers for a home in Roseville yesterday, an agent pleaded and asked how high her buyer had to go to buy the home. I explained in that instance I can’t play favorites, and she needs to do the best that she can. My sellers did not authorize me to disclose offers.

I try to help my sellers weigh offers by looking at all aspects of the offer and not just the sales price. We discuss contingencies, debt ratios, FICO scores (if we get them), preapproval letters, and any special considerations an agent might include in the buyer’s offer.  No financing rejections based on type of loan — cash is not king — closing escrow is king.

Ultimately, it’s always the sellers’ decision which offer to choose. Funny thing is yesterday, the sellers chose the offer from the agent who did the best that she and her buyer could do, and that agent did not receive any preemptive suggestions from me. This is the way the seller wanted it. Not to mention, what goes around in this world tends to come around. I hope when my Team sits on the other side of the table presenting an offer for a buyer, we will be treated honestly as well.

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