Competing buyers

Q:

You’ve been recommended by several of our friends, but before we commit to working with you, we want to be sure that you will work exclusively with us to find a home in our price range and with our housing requirements. Is it possible to have such a contract?

A:

Unfortunately, not. Any active Realtor will usually be working with at least a few clients in each price range and category of home. I can understand how that might be frustrating but to have only a single client in each price point or category of home would certainly not lend itself to making a living.

For each category, like waterfront, acreage, view or inland near town, for instance, I usually have three to four parties looking seriously to buy. When a new listing comes on the market I send that listing to each of those clients. I occasionally show a home to more than one set of clients, but it is extremely rare that two clients will be ready to jump on a new listing and make an offer right away. If that were the case I would refer one of them to another Realtor since I can’t represent two buyers for the same property.

The race goes to the swiftest when it comes to buying in the Puget Sound region. We have an inventory of only around 200 homes each year to sell on Vashon. That’s in all price ranges from $300,000 up to over two million. For folks who limit themselves to specific areas of the Island or very narrow parameters, there may be only two or three properties a year that will come close to satisfying their requirements. If they’re not ready to jump and make an offer quickly, it’s likely that they will never be able to buy here.

In 29 years of selling real estate on Vashon I have only had one instance where I had two buyers both ready to make an offer on the same property. I referred the second couple to another Realtor and they made their offer with her.

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