Using Technology to Gain Efficiency
By: Kimberly Gomes
In today’s digital age, technology gives Realtors an array of options for expedited communication. With this cultural shift comes a rise in accepting offers via electronic submission. While faxing in or e-mailing buyers’ offers is undoubtedly time-efficient for the seller, efficiency shouldn’t be the primary concern when selling an asset as profitable as a home.
To help homeowners better understand their options, we’ll relay some drawbacks of electronic offers, and break down why in-person presentations benefit the seller.
Benefits of Live Presentations
Giving the buyer’s agent an opportunity to verbally walk through the contract serves multiple functions. First, it creates transparency. While the purchasing agreement may contain the raw terms of an offer, it doesn’t relay the intangibles. By meeting face to face, the seller and the listing agent can easily assess the experience of the buyer’s agent and the buyer’s level of commitment.
“An enthusiastic buyer is more likely to complete a purchase, whereas a buyer with reservations is more likely to back out of the contract later, leaving the seller frustrated and possibly impacting the ultimate sale price of the home,” says John Barman of Alain Pinel Realtors.
In hot markets like the Bay Area many buyers, especially those paying in cash, may not come in with their highest offer as they anticipate a counter. In person presentations allow buyers’ agents to adjust their offer according to the number of bids, and communicate their buyer’s willingness to augment the offer. This can potentially enhance the sale price for the seller.
“During a live offer presentation it is certainly not uncommon to hear, ‘If there is anything in this offer that is not to your liking, please let us know,’” says Barman. “Not only does this indicate a willingness to improve the price or terms of an offer, but it also indicates a strong likelihood that the buyer will ultimately close the deal. Such a statement rarely appears in an electronically submitted offer.”
Aside from these tangibles, in-person offers also conjure a natural, competitive energy. From seeing their competition in the lobby to assessing body language and utilizing negotiation skills, live presentations create a professional, spirited environment. This can also aid the seller in obtaining a higher sale price.
The above-mentioned reasons hint at why live presentations can be more effective. Yet, with the growing wave of electronic submissions come certain drawbacks. For starters, the seller and listing agent voluntarily give up control of their own process.
Listing agents tend to receive less feedback with e-mail and fax dates. Consequently, the agent and the seller may remain in the dark in regards to how many offers they’ll receive, forgoing the seller’s pace-setting advantage they’d otherwise have.
Not to mention the transparency created in face-to-face communication is lost via fax or e-mail. These methods solely rely on the buyer’s financials versus the entire package, which may include information regarding the client’s ability to close escrow. It may also create an uneven playing field, where the listing agent may have the opportunity to double-end an offer. This alone creates an iron curtain for unethical agents to act behind, begging the question if the seller will receive the best possible price for the home.
Ultimately the decision depends upon the listing agent and how much time the seller wishes to participate in the process. In today’s competitive market, in-person offers not only give buyers’ agents the courtesy they deserve to advocate for their client, but also put the seller in a better position to receive peak offers.
Before restricting offers to electronic submissions, discuss the benefits and drawbacks with your local real estate associate.