Sellers: Make sure that your agent does their due diligence.
While now is an excellent time to list your home, there are still many mistakes that sellers could find themselves committing if they’re not careful.
In our market, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be inundated with multiple offers from buyers. That means you’ll want to work with an agent who knows how to respond to those offers and present them to you in a clean, organized fashion so that you can make the best decision.
Your agent should also know how to keep those buyers who submitted offers interested in your listing. They also need to know how to dig into each offer to determine who is serious and who is just a looky-loo. There are some sick people out there who will lie just to see if they can win, and the cost to a seller like you can be significant in terms of both money and mental health—I’ve seen these kinds of things happen firsthand.
Recently, a $400,000 listing of mine received multiple offers from prospective buyers. One of those offers was for $420,000, which sounded great at the time. However, your agent should always check with a buyer’s lender to ensure that their pre-qualification letter is valid and that they’ve done the basics to pre-qualify the borrower.
Some lenders issue a pre-qualification letter in an unlocked Word Doc format, so the agents and borrowers can fill in an address, customize the amount, or change the date. I get why they might want to do that—the borrower might be pre-approved for $450,000 but is only offering $420,000 and doesn’t want the seller to know they can potentially pay more. However, not all buyers and agents have a conscience. They may take a letter that was only issued up to $400,000 and change it to $420,000 just so they can win a bidding war, and we on the selling side will have no protection against that unless your agent is a stickler for details and has the knowledge and experience to ask questions and dig deeper.
Back to my example of the $400,000 listing with a $420,000 winning bid: The issue here wasn’t a fudged pre-qualification letter, but rather that the buyer found their agent online through a web portal the day before the listing went live. There was no relationship between the buyer and their agent, so the agent didn’t even know if the buyer was for real. All they knew was that the buyer was pre-qualified with a lender, and probably one the agent only hoped they had recommended to them.
When you work with us, we’ll be sure to ask all the right questions and do our due diligence to ensure that the offer you accept is legitimate and in your best interest. That way, you can get the best result for your home sale.
If you’re interested in selling your home or you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help.