In an active seller's market, there's a huge advantage for real estate agents who utilize multiple-offer strategies. There are inventory issues in many of the markets in our country right now, which can be difficult for buyers, sellers, and agents alike. In today's episode, Dale Chumbley shares several best practices for real estate agents to help your buyers or sellers win in a multiple-offer market.
If a property is priced properly, it's going to be competitive. As an agent, the best thing you can do is educate your client and let them know what to expect in the given market and how you're going to help them through the process. It can also be helpful to have data to show the buyer, but don't go back more than three months, especially in a changing market! Monica and Dale talk about some of the ramifications of overpricing; if you really want to drive competition, you may even want to price slightly down.
Dale talks about what elements make an enticing offer. One of the biggest things he does is call the listing agent to figure out exactly what the seller's pain point is and what would help. Establishing this good relationship with the listing agent creates a better stress level for everybody. If you can give a seller a month rent-back free, you can improve the net to the seller without having to see the appraisal come higher. Having strong offers where you can improve the net to the seller is important, especially in these multiple-offer deals. Dale talks about the low appraisal addendum in his market, and how it can give the seller peace of mind.
A clean offer is a strong offer. Completely fill out the purchase and sale agreement, and establish respect in the transaction. Having all forms filled out sets a good standard for moving forward. There are also some other best practices, such as not asking for repairs upfront, and an easy way to make comparables with closely related properties. In all of these situations, a call to the listing agent made all the difference. As a real estate agent, make sure you are creating these positive relationships! Bringing the lender into the fold can also be beneficial.
Love letters and escalation clauses are more risky and controversial pieces of the closing process. As a listing agent, it's important to explain to the seller the consequences and liability of accepting love letters. These are falling out of best practice — it's more important to know if they are qualified or not. An escalation clause is a document that states how much the buyer is willing to pay over the list price or highest other offer, up to a certain point. For both love letters and escalation clauses, many sellers are putting it in the listing whether they want to accept either. It is more encouraged to put your best offer forward, and as a real estate agent, you want to be able to present your buyer a signable offer.
Monica and Dale talk about finding some "off-market" or hidden properties that aren't in the multiple offer market. As an agent, it's important to keep an eye out on these listings or even neighborhood apps to get a feel for what might be out there. Vendor partners can also be incredibly helpful in getting clients.
For a listing agent, communication with the seller for their timeline and needs is the most important thing to establish. Pricing will be different depending on when they need to be out, their expectations, etc. It is important to set expectations and explain the value of pricing their home properly.
Dale's final word for buyers is: be patient — trust your real estate agent, be patient in the process even though it can be challenging. When it comes to pricing, it's important to provide perspective for your clients. In the long run, sometimes the win isn't getting the best deal, it's getting the home that you want.
"Really the main thing is educating them [the buyer], knowing your market, knowing your numbers, knowing your statistics, and knowing the value of pricing your homes." — Dale
"Just because it's a crazy market, buyers do not buy just any house." — Monica
"It's not just the price, but it's also the strength of the offer." — Dale
"People think that high money and fast closing is the win. Sometimes fast closing isn't the win. Sometimes slowing it down and being accommodating to what the seller needs is far more powerful." — Dale
About Dale Chumbley
Dale Chumbley is a second-generation REALTOR® in Vancouver, Washington who has been selling real estate since 1994. He also spent eight years working in the Clark County Department of Assessment & GIS in the Land Records Department. This experience gives Dale a knowledge and expertise that no other REALTOR® in Clark County, WA has.
He was named by Inman News one of the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders in the country for 2010. He is the founder of 365 Things To Do In Vancouver, WA on Facebook. In 2014 Dale served as his local Association’s President and was named REALTOR® of the Year. Dale was named one of The Top 20 Social Influencers of Residential Real Estate 2016 by Swanepoel Power 200 nationally. In 2016 he served as VP of Membership for Washington REALTORS®. In 2018 Dale was Chair of the National Consumer Communications Committee. Dale served as President of Washington REALTORS® in 2019.
He is currently a National Director for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Chair of Member Communications Committee for NAR.
Dale is recognized nationally for his mix of traditional real estate and technologically cutting-edge marketing. In his spare time, Dale dabbles as a DJ, enjoys photography, musical theatre, and sharing his city with anyone who will pay attention.
Dale has been seen on the stage at industry events such as Inman Connect New York and San Francisco, Inman Agent Reboots, REBarCamps across the country, a variety of events in Vancouver, BC and Toronto, Hawaii Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference, WA Association of REALTORS® Leadership Conference, NAR MidYear and Annual Conference, REALTOR® Party Training, CRS Sellabration, Florida YPN, RETSO, BuzzRE, BuzzRE Orange County, and Non-industry events such as #140Conf and Back Fence PDX.