Not to say what we have been doing is unprofessional but there is something that has been left out of the practice over the past few years.

As professional practicing REALTORS we know the importance of client representation. By providing proper pricing and marketing of the client’s listings, together with complete disclosures as applicable.  Listing agents will spend many hours, days or weeks in an attempt to achieve the owner’s real estate goals. Agents working with buyers will spend an equal amount of time focusing on finding and successfully obtaining the desired property.

With technology, agents now with the click of a button, send a completed contract to a listing agent to present to the seller. The seller’s agent will make an appointment and meet with the seller to review the offer and then respond to the buyer’s agent. In this case the buyer’s agent simply hands over the contract to the other agent and says; here is our offer, now please present my client’s offer while you represent your client. Presented this way, this sounds a little crazy, but that is what takes place.

Professional RepresentationMLS rules allow the agent representing the buyer to present their offers to the seller and seller’s agents, so why don’t they? Many agents are not aware that they are allowed to present their offer. Many agents are concerned about the relationship with the other agent. Some listing agents may be offended or feel challenged about their professionalism. The practice seems to have fallen by the wayside due to this and many other concerns. Clarity on professional presentations and the rules of engagement should remove the agents concern while professionally representing their clients.

It is understood that no one knows your client better than you, right? You know why your buyer is attracted to a particular property and what has motivated the buyer to make an offer. This information may also be important to the seller to know more about the buyer and the buyer’s interest in the property. Having the seller know more about the buyer and the buyer’s interest is beneficial to the seller and the seller’s agent.

The buyer’s agent requesting an appointment to present their offer should contact the listing agent and request an appointment to do so. Preceding the presentation, the customary greetings and thank you for the opportunity to review the buyer’s proposal to the seller and seller’s agent should take place. The offer should be copied for the sellers and seller’s agent for review. Price, terms and conditions should be presented based the buyer’s proposal. A quick overview of the buyer’s offer and qualification should be made by the buyer’s agent, and then ask if there are any questions. The conversation should avoid any negotiations as that is left to the seller and the seller’s agent.  At closing, another thank you and let the seller and seller’s agent know you will wait for their response.

It should be clear the presentation is not an attempt to get an accepted contract or counter as the buyer’s agent must excuse themselves from engaging in negotiations at this presentation. Also it is not appropriate for the buyer’s agent to present any documentation, reports or comments that would appear to make the listing agent appear unknowledgeable or unprofessional. Simply, present the offer, answer questions, say thank you and wait for a response.

This post appears courtesy of Jim Durham, Lake Havasu City, Arizona’s Waterfront Resort.
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Jim Durham