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Working the List – Case Story

In a prior posts, we mentioned that in this buyer’s market, one strategy that works for “getting the deal,” is to make a list and work the list. Here, straight from our client’s fingertips, is a case story on how the strategy worked.

jim_news.jpgBuyer’s Profile: UK national, avid boater, entrepreneur in manufacturing, self-proclaimed “cheap Irishman,” looking for a DEAL
Objective: one or two waterfront homes for investment and for seasonal vacation for him and his immediate and extended family
Budget: $750,000 US


Last year I decided to start looking for a nice waterfront property on the gulf coast of Florida, it’s a place I’ve been to several times and I’ve absolutely loved it. The climate is perfect, the people are friendly, the fishing’s good, the wildlife is wonderfully different and most importantly….. you get a lot for your ££££’s (pounds) !!!

I’d heard quite a lot about Cape Coral from various TV travel shows in the UK and by word of mouth, and the apparent lifestyle there really appealed to me, having a home with a pool and my own boat at the bottom of the garden sounded like paradise…

So I got in touch with Brenda from SageRealtor Group, through a web connection. I was initially very impressed with their professional and easy to use website and I started bombarding her with questions… She was a terrific help and it was great to know at that stage that the whole process of finding, and buying a property was going to be no problem with Brenda and her husband Dave as my right hand !! It was the icing on the cake when I discovered that the property seller paid their commission , it was going to cost me nothing !!

For the next 4 or 5 months we kept in touch and they quickly got a good feel about the type of property I was interested in and were terrific at steering me in the right direction for the right property.. When my partner and I arrived we were made to feel most welcome by Dave and Brenda, genuinely lovely people, nothing was a problem.. Armed with numerous property leaflets, we set off to view the first properties with Dave and Brenda, feeling like royalty in the back of their Jaguar. At the end of the first day they had a good idea of what we liked and didn’t like, with this information in mind Dave and Brenda arrived the next morning with a fresh set of properties for us to view, which they had found, studied and printed off the night before.

We saw many wonderful homes, and during the day I started compiling a list of places I would be happy to buy, without getting too sentimental about any of them. We ended up with a possible list of 6 favourite properties, I knew that I would be happy with any of the properties that I had selected, if I could get an outrageously good deal on any one of them.

I started by selecting my 2 favourites and put offers well below the asking price on both of these properties, in the knowledge that if they weren’t accepted I’d move on to the next ones on the list. With expert lobbying by them to the listing agent, the offer on my first choice was accepted and I was extremely happy….

“He who dares, WINS” is the motto to this story !! I will be eternally grateful to Brenda and Dave for helping me, without them, I would NEVER have been able to get such a wonderful dream home at such a fabulous price.

– Jim

This strategy worked for three key reasons. First, having the market knowledge to know which properties met the client’s objectives and that were ripe to sell below asking price. Second, the buyer was emotionally ready to move on to the next “top pick” if an offer was not accepted or if the counter-offer was not acceptable to him. Third, the listing agent was informed that the buyer was working a list, an important factor in presenting the offer to her client. The seller decided to take a firm offer on the table now, rather than wait and see if another comes later and perhaps with less favorable terms.

This strategy is less effective without strong terms (cash, quick close). For example, it likely would not fly if the offer had a contingency of 80% or more financing. Most sellers would not concede such a drastic price reduction when it’s iffy if the person will qualify for a loan.

Related Posts: Buyer Shopping FAQs, Buyer Closing Costs, UK Buyer Experience

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