It is common to see the same words or phrases in the MLS descriptions.

A few years ago, the fancy new buzz word was ‘boasts’; a word realtors would use to describe the home’s best features. The word got overused, and eventually we would read that a home “boasts three bedrooms, and two baths”, as if that was something special.

There are two buzz-phrases you hear regularly these days.

Watch how many times you see, ‘this one checks all the boxes’ and ‘this is the one you’ve been waiting for’.

For those who have access to the confidential remarks, you will see a third phrase currently that is very curious: “Reviewing Offers As Received”

Isn’t that what you are supposed to do? Isn’t that required by law? I think so!

The phrase is probably a response to inquiries from buyer-agents wondering about their full-price offer they just sent in. Sometimes the listing agent will tell you that they have a specific date in mind to review offers with the sellers, or they are reviewing them as received, one by one.

What the buyer-agents really want to know is….when are you going to respond? How long will my buyers and I have to sit on pins and needles while you dink around with no strategy or game plan and instead just play around with the process?

The reason buyer-agents don’t like asking that question is because they cringe at the thought of having to hear one more time the same answer given by listing agents in almost all cases: ‘I don’t know’.

You get a very specific answer from me: “Should we have multiple offers, everyone will receive a highest-and-best counter-offer from us on Monday, and we hope to select a winner by Tuesday night”. It gives buyers and agents alike a specific idea of what to expect, and they can start planning their response.

It’s part of the slow-motion auction – full transparency includes an clear outline of the process, and how to win the game. Our counter-offer will level the playing field by balancing out the other terms, and ensure that everyone knows the winner will be determined by price.

It may sound simple and obvious, but I haven’t seen any other agents embracing full transparency.

I have another example happening now. The listing agent said they have already received one offer and expect a couple of more. When I asked how they will handle it, I got the usual uncomfortable laugh and a vague, joking response of doing something about it next week.

Sellers deserve better. Buyers deserve better. Agents deserve better.

But no one ever says or does anything about it, and so it continues.

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Jim the Realtor

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