Living Green Olympia: So the Deal is We have to Make an Offer So We Can See if We Want to Make an Offer...

So the Deal is We have to Make an Offer So We Can See if We Want to Make an Offer...

A real life conversation with one of my buyers:  So here's the deal - we cannot see the inside of this house until we make an offer.  And yes, I do understand that you don't really know what you would want to pay for it - or even if you would WANT it - until you see the inside.  But the seller has tenants occupying it, and has made the decision that they aren't to be disturbed with showings until a buyer makes an offer that is acceptable.  Then the buyer can see the inside.

We saw this strategy frequently a couple of years ago with duplexes listed for sale.  And I do understand the desire to keep tenants from getting so upset about the disruptions of showings that they move out and leave the seller with a financial burden.

But.....what I see most often with the "No showings until offer is accepted" scenario is that the buyer throws out a random offer just so they can get inside - and then either cancels out on the deal altogether or starts the negotiations that couldn't take place before they checked out the condition of the interior.  So many potential sales turn into failed sales - and the tenant frustration still happens.


Open house??

So how about an alternate plan of giving the tenants a break on rent if they agree to cooperate with showings?  Or set up one day a week to have a window of time where the home can be shown?  Or just bite the bullet and admit that the tenants WILL be inconvenienced a bit - there really aren't many buyers who love the idea of buying something sight unseen!  Or...we can pretend we might want to buy it in order to get inside to see if we want to buy it...



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Nancy Conner, City Realty Inc,    360-701-1086      

Comment balloon 8 commentsNancy Conner • May 04 2011 05:09PM


Nancy, I'm not a fan of that restriction and I've never had a buyer even remotely thrilled with it either.  Have seen it on single family listings and every time I explained the restriction, buyer said "no thanks, next!"

Posted by Diane McDermott, Charlotte NC Real Estate Market (Realtor®, GRI, Landis e2 Real Estate, LLC) over 7 years ago

I have never understood the rationale for that  -  well, maybe a little.  There has to be a compromise there somewhere.  Perhaps being able to show the listing agent that your buyer has the funds to follow through on this purchase, or having one and only one open house maybe during the week when the tenants are working......

Posted by Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA (Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto) over 7 years ago

Yes Diane - that was exactly my buyer's reaction!  She didn't really want to go thru the hassle of many pages of an offer that was only for the purpose of getting in - and then probably having to totally renegotiate if she was even still interested...

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 7 years ago

Marge - that would be my approach too - I think telling tenants that there will be one open house during the week is a reasonable balance to at least let buyers truly see if they have interest in the home.

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 7 years ago

Nancy most of my clients will pass over something like that, unfortunately for the seller and their agent they are missing an opportunity by a restriction they set.

One thing that works really well was an agent allowed a weekend with permission from the tenants from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening to view the home. The potential buyer demand had agents lined up at the door with appointments and probably created a multiple offer situation. I have to give kudos to her for that idea.

Posted by Mike Wong, Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest (Keller Williams Realty Southwest) over 7 years ago

I'm with you Mike - arranging that kind of viewing not only lets buyers have access, but likely does create that feeling that it is a highly desirable property!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 7 years ago

Sounds like a really good way to NOT sell your house.  I can't imagine this resulting in a legitimate offer.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 7 years ago

HI Sharon - yes it seems like it just creates an offer that immediately gets renegotiated - or cancelled entirely - once the buyer is able to have access to the inside. 

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 7 years ago