Uncategorized August 26, 2011

OneTakeRealEstate: Verbal “Offers”

Perhaps the simple act of putting “offers” in quotes is indicative of my current position on this. The events that inspired this post:
-An agent called me yesterday on a recently listed (one week) property of mine, and asked me if my clients would take 15% off of the price.
-My response, in short:
–I don’t make decisions for my clients; I provide them with great information and perspective.
–When written offers come, we have something tangible to discuss.
–Offers are about more than the purchase price (cash or financed? when is closing? other terms?)
–I can write an offer up in about 15 minutes, and have my clients sign it electronically in another 15. So I need to invest about 30 minutes, and my clients about 15 to put on offer on paper. That seems like a low barrier to entry for such a large purchase (any real estate purchase is a big one; this one in particular would be several hundreds of thousands of dollars).
–My seller put in writing (a listing contract which causes them to be represented in our MLS) that they would sell their home for X. The next move is for an interested buyer to also offer a number, in writing. If not X, then Y.
What to you think? When is a verbal offer the right way to go?
I recently engaged in verbal counter offering on behalf of four clients, living in four separate places, working together to sell a home for a family member. None of them were comfortable with electronic signatures (one doesn’t use email) and one of the four was comfortable using a fax machine. And, the dialog had begun with offer and counter-offer, all in writing. We were in the inspection phase. So, the verbal felt OK.
Any thoughts?