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How to get the seller’s agent working for you and accept your purchase offer? Learn about the offer making process, negotiations and tips to obtain a conditional contract



Seller’s or Buyer’s Agent

Making an Offer and Agent’s Role

Sad to say, unscrupulous real estate agents have given the industry a bad image. Who does not know examples where an agent has been denounced or branded with a bad reputation? In general, in any given industry we know good people and some we try to avoid. However as investor you need to establish good relationships with selling agents. They are the driving force when a property is on the market for sale.


If you have been identified as potential buyer or serious house hunter and maintain a good relationships with the seller’s agent, you may get priority treatment to new listings and better chances to secure a property. That is worth money!



Seller’s agent role


The listing agent is in fact the seller's agent. They lose the listing contract if they don’t sell. If the listing agent is not responsive, I just walk away and find a better agent of the same agency who is willing to work with me in that particular case.  When agent and potential buyer work together, sure – we look at a Win-Win situation for both.


Buyers often forget that selling agents are legally obliged to act in the best interest of the seller, who pays for their services. That can have two implications; misuse of buyer’s trust  to overpay the property, or on seller’s instructions the agent refuses to take an (low) offer.


Legally the agent is obliged to pass buyer’s offer on to the seller. Without seller’s agent cooperation, you could complain at the agent’s office or to the Estate Agents Authority. But both ways don’t help you with your offer. For motivating the agent, here are some practical steps.














The offer that cannot be rejected


You want to buy and act  as quickly as possible. Note differences when the property market is hot or cold (buyer’s or seller’s market), but in any market good properties are selling faster. Only who is prepared beats the competition. Being upfront, annoying the seller with a “ping-pong game” or silly offers are not success strategies. Remember, in terms of price you may adjust your offer during the due diligence process.


When meeting the seller’s agent you need to be sure that you have everything prepared  for the agent to put your offer on paper. What I mean by that is, you are confident in what you are doing, have thought about deposit, price, due diligence clauses, etc. I do as part of due diligence include a clause, saying that the offer is conditional upon my lawyer’s approval. If the agent has completed your offer, he/she will present it to the seller!


If time is not crucial or there are open questions, I normally take agent’s paperwork home, add the missing parts and return it by fax or email. As trusted party I never had problems using my own due diligences clauses, but I know from discussions that agents suggest preferred clauses. I would refuse that, because it is my offer to my conditions.



Got an Offer returned


Getting an offer returned  could be nerve-racking, costs time and energy if the seller is in a waiting position. Now, be prepared for three outcomes:


· Refusal – the seller comes back to you with his conditions. That is the normal process of negotiation going back and forward until the process stalls, the offer get cancelled, withdrawn or both parties are on the same page to work on the conditions on the Sales & Purchase agreement.


· No Response—The situation becomes tricky when the seller does not respond to your offer.  The reasons are not so important at this point— more crucial is to deal with this situation by including a “sun-set clause” when making the offer. Otherwise, the seller could leave your offer and wait for a different buyer and you have no options to force a response. 


· Accepted— your conditions have been accepted. With signing the Sales & Purchase agreement by both parties finally you have a “conditional” contract. This is the starting point to work through your due diligence clauses. If the time frame is over and all conditions are fulfilled, both parties may sign the “unconditional” contract.


With a conditional contract you would start and complete the due diligence process in accordance with the condition on the contract.



When dealing with the seller, the agent is the link between parties. Everything that happened during negotiating the offer has yours and the seller’s signature. That is an enforceable process.




Next page— What to do before signing the “conditional contract”  and avoiding  pitfalls?

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Klauster Blogs lead to a real person, IT professional, investor, landlord and business owner with interests in technologies, properties and trading.



His passion, making experiences available and helping people like you, comes from extensive travelling and the principles of life—how to avoid pitfalls in unfamiliar territory when investing or forming relationships.


The philosophy to treat life, partnerships and hobbies as an investment has helped people in his circle. Life is a dream with a deadline, happiness comes from making the right choices and having realistic expectations.


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