Realtors – Should You Tell Buyer Prospects If There’s Already an Offer on a House?
This question is a double edged sword. The answer lies in the personality of your buyers and the trust level you’ve created with them.
Unfortunately, real estate professionals rank high on the list of professionals that many people don’t trust. That means until you’ve developed a relationship, many buyers will automatically be suspicious if you tell them there’s a pending offer on a home you’re showing them.
Some will see it as a trick to get them to hurry up and make an offer – and to make the offer high. So this is a subject you must “handle with care.”
I believe you should mention the other offer before you ever view the house. For one thing, they’ll be more likely to believe you if you’re simply telling them about it and asking if they want to see it anyway. After all, there are other houses.
For another thing, some buyers want nothing to do with the “bidding game” and will not want to see a house that already has an offer on the table. If you show it to them and tell them only after they’ve shown an interest, they might be very cranky with you. Your efforts to build trust could go down the drain.
At the same time, you do need to explain that just because there’s an offer doesn’t mean there’s a sale. Explain to your buyers that you don’t know and can’t know what the other offer is. It might well not be accepted. And if accepted, it could fail to close. If they’re really interested in the house they should take a look anyway.
The listing agent won’t tell you the offer price – or at least he or she had better not tell you! But they might be willing to tell you if the offer is in fact accepted, and they might be willing to take a back-up offer. So do call and ask, and tell your buyers what they had to say.
Should you mention that other showings are scheduled?
You can, but do it carefully. Again, disclosing other scheduled showings can be construed as a pressure tactic to make buyers take action before they’re ready. Also again, it can destroy the trust you’re working so hard to build.
What about new listings that will sell quickly?
If a house truly is a “hot buy” and it just came on the market, you should tell them that you do expect that it will generate offers quickly. You should also warn them that it could get multiple offers, so if they do wish to make an offer they should be prepared. They may need to come back later with their “highest and best” offer.