7 Things for Silicon Valley Buyers and Their Agents to Avoid

7 Things for Buyers and Their Agents to avoid when writing and submitting offers.

Tips what NOT to do when preparing an offer in a multiple offer situation!

We are seeing a strong seller's market at present here in the Silicon Valley and in San Mateo County, California. I'm just winding up a long day, after reviewing with my seller 11 offers for his property that has been on the market for all of 7 days. I kept all 19 agents who downloaded disclosures informed about the numbers of disclosure packets downloaded, the number of people who had told me they would be submitting an offer, and the number who hadn't made any commitment.

So, before I fall into bed, here are my Top 7 Things to Avoid, taken directly from this afternoon and evening's events:

  1. thinkingIt's best not to submit an offer on 11/12/12 with a close of escrow date of 11/14/11 (yes, that's right, 2011)
  2. Perhaps you shouldn't leave the close of escrow date completely blank
  3. Buyers might wish to listen to their agent's advice NOT to offer below asking when 4, 5, 6 offers are expected
  4. Try not to leave blank items in the contract such as who pays escrow and title fees
  5. Ditto for country transfer tax -- and know what's customary in the country where the property is located
  6. When providing proof of funds, don't submit bank statements that are 2 or 3 months old

These all occurred with today's offers. But--lest you think all offers received here are carelessly thought through and carelessly prepared, 5 of the offers were standouts--on price, terms, preparedness. Makes a seller wish he had multiple properties to sell.

--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547



Peninsula Living Business Page




Comment balloon 8 commentsLottie Kendall • November 14 2012 10:40PM


Lottie, You mean to say the offer needs to be signed?  Boy, you're tough up there. 

Good work!!!

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 6 years ago

Hard to believe offers were submitted with those omissions...............and they probably wonder why they weren't accepted.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 6 years ago

Hi Lottie,

I wonder what these agents were thinking? I would think that in a multiple offer situation you would make sure to dot your I and cross your T. Kind of like applying to college and not checking your essay for correct spelling!

Posted by Phil Caulfield, I Get The Loans Done That The Big Banks Don't! (Guarantee Mortgage) over 6 years ago

Yeah, Lloyd - we like to see contracts signed and dated. Silly us!

Roger, need I say my seller chose to consider the 5 offers that were prepared well as well as offered a good price?

Phil, agents can't always make their client understand pricing in our fast-paced market; sometimes they need to lose a place or two. But--the offer can and should always be prepared in a professional manner. Love your college app comparison.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Lottie - Great tips for Buyers and their agents to pay attention to.  Number 3 is a killer, offering below asking price.  I love it when my buyers tells me, "maybe we'll get lucky" with a below asking price.  I just want to hit my head with a hammer.  At that point I know my buyers odds are better with a lottery ticket!  Excellent post!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale TahoeLauraRealEstate.com, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) over 6 years ago

...and sometimes buyers simply have to lose a place or two before they're willing to listen to their agent's advice. Sounds like you've faced that same dilemma, Laura.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago
The way you write an offer has a lot to do with which pile of offers you end up in - the no's or the maybe. With multiple offers, it's a plus if you get countered. An agent's diligence or lack thereof is a good indicator of how the escrow will go.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Karen, you're spot on. A seller (and a listing agent) get a feel for how a transaction might proceed based on the completeness of the offer. I know it's demoralizing for buyers and selling agents alike in this multiple-offer market, but if you want to make an offer, make the best one you can, in all respects. This is not the time to cut corners.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago