How To Lose The Home You Want In 2 Minutes or Less
Many an old time Realtor has stated in all their years in the business, they had never witnessed a crazy market like we have experienced for the past year. Buyers are whipped themselves into a frenzy in the frantic attempt to win a home for themselves.
Yet this week we watched buyers win…and then lose the home they wanted…over a 2 minute delay.
How could that happen? It’s easier than you might think.
But let’s start at the beginning…
Our listing had been on the market for longer than we would have preferred, given the market conditions we had enjoyed for the last six months. Even though it hadn’t been quite 30 days yet, well-priced homes in good condition had been selling within days of hitting the open market.
It wasn’t a lack of showings… there had been plenty of showings on this cute, well-sized tri-level home, often several in one day!
It may have been priced slightly above market value…not much, but a little bit.
It looked like we were going to have to approach the seller about a price correction to attract an offer. With all the showings we had in the past few weeks, I knew getting them to agree to lower the price was going to be a tough sell.
Finally, we received an offer…albeit, it would need a bit of work before we could manage an agreement, but it was an offer. Something tangible that the sellers could sink their teeth into.
Starting out about $15,000 apart there was a pretty big hole to fill. But we chipped away at the divide, counter after counter until we finally hit the proverbial “take it or leave it” moment…the sellers were DONE!
They had given up as much as they were going to and the Buyers had a big decision to make.
The final counter was delivered to their agent and the Buyer’s decision was due in 24 hours.
Not ten minutes later, two more showings were scheduled for that evening.
When you play with fire…
The next day, I’m sure the Buyers wished they would have just gone ahead and accepted the last counter. It was take it or leave it time.
“Seller’s Final Offer” was scrawled across the bottom.
But for what ever reason, they decided to wait until later that night – in fact, close to midnight – before they sealed the deal with their digital signature.
Long after their agent had retired for the night.
After sending a text to their agent letting her know of their decision, they retired as well, finally able to let themselves get excited about their new home.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
What they didn’t know as they climbed into bed was one of the potential buyers who viewed the home that evening fell in love with this spacious tri-level as well and decided this was the one . Since they had just lost another home in a bidding war, they were taking no chances…they were writing up there offer yet tonight.
The offer they signed was full-price…
Their agent immediately sent it over to us where we spied it in our inbox the following morning.
Nothing back on our last counter with the first buyers?
How much better could it get?
The Sellers were going to be ecstatic with a full-price offer.
When Is An Acceptance NOT An Acceptance?
The Buyer’s Agent saw the signed acceptance as she scanned through her emails, savoring her first cup of coffee and smiled…they had finally listened to her advice. The tough negotiations were worth it.
Scrolling further down, she almost choked when she saw the sellers “Withdrawal of Counter Offer”…
Immediately, she forwarded her Buyers acceptance over to us. This couldn’t be…
Her Buyers had accepted the offer last night at 11:42, well ahead of our Seller’s withdrawal and she wanted us to see the proof.
Time is of the Essence
What she didn’t see – tucked in right after the “Time Is Of The Essence” clause on line 306 is a clarification which reads
Seller and Buyer have the right to withdraw any offer/counter offer prior to written acceptance and delivery (emphasis mine) of such offer/counter offer.
Had the acceptance been delivered to us two minutes earlier, those Buyers would have won the bid on this home.
Two minutes was all it took for another Buyer to move in with a better offer…
Time IS of the essence, especially while negotiating in Real Estate.
No matter the Market Conditions, make sure time is on YOUR side!