Should the listing agent give motivation clues to buyers’ agents?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 7:13PM

By: Keith Gordon

I negotiate contracts for cities all over Florida every day for my Professional ADDvantage discount MLS listing clients and run into this a lot.  The answer is no, a listing agent should never reveal info about a seller's motivation...but rather than become annoyed, I like to use the inquiry to my advantage.  When buyers’ agents email me and call asking for details about offer history and seller motivation, I am truly presented with an opportunity to engage them and encourage them to bring me an offer.

My point of view on this is you should use this as an opportunity to coach the agent rather than lecture them about not trying to negotiate before the negotiations even begin.

I would never in a million years give away my seller’s motivation or indicate what price my seller would sell at.  This is good advice for Florida flat fee self represented listing sellers as well.  If a Realtor calls you and asks you questions that will give them leverage, stay quiet and vague.  Flat fee MLS sellers often make the mistake of giving themselves away and putting themselves at a disadvantage when negotiating with skilled Florida Realtors.  That's why we always recommend our Professional program, so I can be the buffer between my client and the buyers' agents.  My decades of negotiating experience as a Florida real estate broker does make a difference because I am aware of every angle another agent can try to use.

More importantly, I ask the buyer’s agent how many Florida homes has this particular buyer seen.... how many offers has this buyer made unsuccessfully?

What this points out to the buyer's agent is that maybe they need to get more aggressive with their buyer and start realizing that one has to buy homes at market deals.

This type of approach will help the agent bring a good offer to you and shame the agent into getting a little tougher with the buyer and ultimately quit wasting everyone’s time.

If you are a by owner seller looking to sell flat fee MLS or do it on your own, it's important to follow a guide to negotiations, contracts, inspections, and closing for your own protection.