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Present Your Offers Like a Pro

The way you present the sales offer sets the tone for many things—how it will be accepted, whether the sellers trust that you know what you’re doing and whether the other sales associate wants to work with you. Negotiating skills are an important part of our business and it’s good not to forget them in our haste to get the offer presented. Remember the basics:

1. Involve the other sales associate. Call the sales associate with your buyers present. Let him or her know that your clients are serious and waiting to hear an answer. At the same time you want to express that you’re looking forward to working with him/her. You have set the right tone from the first phone call.

When the listing agent requires that he or she present the offer to the sellers, make sure you present the offer to the listing agent. Give a quick presentation in person (don’t just drop off your offer) of all the positives in the offer. Give the listing agent a copy of the deposit check and see if he or she has any questions regarding the offer. Give the agent a number where you can be reached should there be questions when the offer is being presented to the seller. 

2. Involve the seller. Hopefully you’ll be able to present your offer in person to the seller. In that event, try to control the situation by recommending the seller sit directly across from you so that you can focus on him or her. Next, thank the seller for having their home available for showing, or having it be in lovely condition, or something positive.

When presenting your offer, after each point (and start with the price) ask a question. Why start with price? That’s what the sellers are waiting to hear. Give it to them. It will give them a little time to accept it. You can present your price like this, “The buyers are offering $120,000 for your property. They will be putting down $30,000, and are going to apply for a loan for the balance, giving you all cash for your property. Are you wanting to receive all cash for your property?” When they answer you, write it down on a piece of paper. You want them to know that whatever they answer is important. Then go on with your presentation with more questions that illicit “yeses,” such as, they will be applying for the loan immediately and we expect full loan approval by July 1 (make it an explicit date). Is that satisfactory?” Again, when they respond, write it down. Go on, “Their offer asks for a closing date of December 15 (again, have an explicit date rather than number of days). Will that work with your plans?”

Presenting offers in this way involves all parties and gives you much more to go on should there be a counter offer. And, if so, present your counter the same way to your buyers. Good negotiating skills are simply good people skills.  Make everyone involved important.

Patti Brotherton, a 26-year Realtor in Florida and California, is currently a district manager with Prudential California Realty.
Reprinted with permission of