We are in the business of selling thousands of homes every year (last year in San Diego County we sold 23,962 homes worth $17,168,811,888).
Wouldn’t you think that there would be a set of rules to guide us? There isn’t, and what’s worse is that you don’t know what to expect on each house for sale:
- Will the listing agent create a bidding war?
- Will the listing agent take the first offer?
- Will they do their advertised open houses, or not?
- Will the listing agent tilt the table, and take his own buyer’s offer?
Each sale is different, and there is no telling what will happen. The uncertainty creates an environment where qualified buyers are denied the ability to compete, and the chaos helps to fuel the buyer frustration, which keeps the frenzy going.
Think if we had a marketplace where you knew that every home was going to be sold the same way. Pick any process – it would bring a logical, business sense to the market if everyone played by the same rules!
I believe that the auction format is the process that is the fairest, but there isn’t a consensus among the big industry players to change anything about the current environment. Will it ever improve?
This week I submitted an offer on behalf of a buyer, and the listing agent reported that he had multiple offers. I asked:
“Are you the kind of agent who discloses the other offers?” and included this video from last week:
He said he would need to ask someone, and then wondered, “Are you one of those agents who would”? I said, “Absolutely, it’s in everyone’s best interest – agents, buyers, and especially sellers.”
Twenty minutes later, he tells me the price and details about the offers on the table, and the price of a previous escrow that didn’t work out – it was the highest of the bunch. He also said that he expected more offers, and that they will just take the best one.
He also added, “You were the only one to ask for more info, so there you go 🙂 Good job working for your clients.”
The industry will be reluctant to adopt the auction format, but maybe we can take baby steps and get there eventually.