Avoid The Selling Strong Arm
As EBay and any slew of online auction houses have taught most of America, prices skyrocket when two people bid against each other. Indeed, this has been one of the core tenets of selling probably since the beginning of time and the real estate industry has made significant work of that trait in trying to squeeze as much as possible out of a home.
There are two different situations when getting two people to bid against each other might help a home's value. One entails fielding similar offers and making counteroffers to both (though this can be sticky if both accept) or simply telling both sellers that there are two offers out there and whoever steps up with a better offer will secure the home.
The other situation involves intimating to one potential buyer that another contract is expected to come in, even though it never does. Getting a potential buyer to think that there is a lot of activity on a home is a time-honored tactic by some realtors, but as this strong arm tactic is used more and more, buyer's agents are becoming less prone to re-bid and may even think about withdrawing the offer all together.
Simply put, people don't like to be pushed into something and if they smell anything fishy during a transaction, keeping it together at that point can be extremely difficult. The sad truth is that sometimes a home seller has no idea that their realtor is using this technique. That breaks the trust between realtor and client as well as realtor and realtor with the buyer's agent.
When an offer comes in on your home, demand to know everything you can about it. The potential sellers that are involved as possible in the real estate process are the ones that get the best transactions and feel the best about the way things are taking place. While it is important to defer to your real estate agent at times when expertise plays a part, don't be afraid to make your feelings known.
Indeed, after a counteroffer is made or a real estate agent intimates that another offer is imminent, there is simply no way to back off of that statement. A real estate agent could say that the offer simply didn't end up coming in, but that is as good an indication as any that some strong arm tactics were being used.
What it comes down to is that you have to ask yourself whether or not a few extra thousand dollars is worth not getting the sale at all if a potential buyer cries foul and does not come through with another offer. For some sellers, that might be worth the risk as a few thousand dollars is a substantial amount of money, but for some, especially in a slow real estate market, the risk is not worth the reward.
Fielding an offer is one of the most straight-forward aspects of selling a home and most often, playing games with a potential buyer will only lead to distrust and hurt feelings. Potential buyers should be treated as gold at all times because even if you happen to be in a brisk-moving real estate market, there will be times when it is slow and the buyer's agent will always remember that a particular real estate agent tried to cheat them out of some money.
Take care when selecting a real estate agent and take care throughout the process to maintain control over the situation. As a seller, the transaction is ultimately up to you and you should have full say in whatever tactics your real estate agent is using, shady or not.