What happens when a seller won’t accept a full-listing offer?

Sellers are not obligated to accept any offer whatsoever, even one that is at the full listing price. That said, to head down that road can mean creating turbulence for you as well as your brokerage. It’s not just the seller who faces wrath when he or she rejects a full-price offer, but that wrath can also be directed at you as well.

Who needs that?

As an agent, it is up to both you and your seller to determine the listing price on a given property. Some believe in listing at a low – and ultimately unacceptable – price, but that seems like a waste of time. Rather, you should figure out a price that your seller is willing to accept in the event that that is the best offer received after you’ve conducted a full-court marketing campaign, having fully exposed the home to the market. That doesn’t apply to pre-emptive offers. I never lost a selling due to this requirement on my part.

By the way, should your seller refuse a full-price offer that carries other acceptable terms, MLS regulations require that you change the price in the database immediately to what the seller would accept. Take this seriously. Non-compliance is subject to a possible $500 fine. To me, this strongly implies a certain intent: if you knowingly price below what your seller will accept, this constitutes a violation of the spirit of the MLS rules regarding good-faith advertising as well as cooperation between brokers. MLS rules read in part: If the seller of any listed property filed with the service refuses to accept a written offer satisfying the terms and conditions stated in the listing, such fact shall be transmitted immediately to the service and to all participants and subscribers.

Telling your buyers that everything is going over asking price is disturbing as well, because it implies that it doesn’t matter how overpriced a listing is – the motivated buyer should pay more. This simply isn’t the case.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com

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