We are in Seller’s multiple offer heaven and Buyer’s multiple offer hell! For the past 12 months in Portland, Maine we have been in a very strong Seller’s market. At Team meeting, Team owner and agent discussions in general are about topics such as: Buyer agents sharing strategies, concerns, war stories, and the emotional roller-coaster their clients are on in the inventory-starved market. As primarily a Listing agent/Team Owner, I have just been an observer and counselor for the most part; however I have had a few multiple offer Buyers as well. Something happened last weekend that made me experience the roller-coaster first hand- my wife and I made an offer on a lake front cottage! Guess what? We were in a multiple offer! I discussed the comps with my wife, talked about the topics we always discuss with clients, like: “How will you feel tomorrow if you don’t get the property?” What’s your best and highest- most likely you won’t get a second change to counter”. We decided to make an offer $17,000 over asking price. I told myself what I tell my clients, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
As the clocked ticked away Monday morning, I had a feeling something wasn’t right. At noon time I received a text. Yes, a text and not a call. I was amazed this was how I was being notified that we were in a backup position. I was in a state of disappointment and needed to share the information with my wife and this is how I was notified with a text? We had taken the time to go through the whole process of making an offer?! The next thing I had to do was to make a call to my wife… or should I text her? The text would leave the emotion and drama out, but … that’s what the other agent did and that was less than professional. So I called her and I could tell she was really disappointed. I started to ask questions; then I started to wonder how I could let this happen? I had let her down and I felt to blame. Did I ask enough questions, Should I have discussed an acceleration clause with her? Should we have paid cash and really made it a strong offer? I didn’t realize she REALLY wanted that cottage on the lake, on a big lot, and turn-key.
As bad as I feel about this event, it was a good for me to experience. It brought me back to what our Buyers are feeling. The regret, the losing the property and the pain of knowing we will never have a chance to get that property again weighs on my mind. I know we will compare every house we look at to that one that got away! I have seen that so many times when it’s so hard for a client to not use that property as the “Barometer” property that I so often call it. Every real estate agent should experience what I experienced firsthand. It’s so easy to become calloused to the emotion of the process. I suspect keeping your emotions out of it keeps an agent from burning out; if they internalized the frustration, the disappointment, and/or the regret the “Buyer” feels when they lose out it would probably be too much to handle over time. I have also called more clients than texting them a response on an offer if it’s bad news. I realize it’s a generational thing and Millennials prefer texting; however on rejection topics like offers I think a call is in order. I called my 28 year old client a few minutes ago to inform him that our offer was rejected. It was a little more time and a conversation; however I felt better about it than I would have if I had just texted him. That said, let’s remember to have compassion for our clients in this multiple offer Heaven and Hell we are in.