People love a story.
I listed a home in Normanview for a friend of the family. Our families lived a few blocks apart and I played hockey with her son growing up. Everyone had long moved away, her husband had passed, but she remained steady in the house from the day it was built in 1974. They raised two boys in their house and made lifelong friends with the neighbours, both current and past. A few years back, after turning 70 something, it became clear it was time to move to a condo.
As you can imagine, this was an emotional time, 42 years in the same house. But on schedule, that spring, the sign went up. Her home was immaculate and we priced it well—within a week we had an offer.
When I met her to go over the offer her first question was, predictably, "how much?" The second question—“who are they." I told her I had no idea. She replied "really?"
You see, the buyer's agent had just fired me the offer in an email with the subject line "scanned from MFP07868497". She didn't bother with a follow up call either.
With the offer on the table, we could see there was a man's name just above the line "buyer", so we tried to guess what that person might be like. Is he young or old? With a name like Thomas, he could be either! I wonder if he has a family. I just checked Facebook and only one result showing he works at "retired". His profile picture is a Rider logo—that's something right? The offer was open until 10 pm.
So did the buyer's agent do her job? She did her job, she just didn't do it well.
I've learned over the years that sellers always want to know who's trying to buy their house. They have fond memories, it's part of their life, their story. They (usually) like the neighbours, and just about always want to see the house go into good hands. Years after the home is sold they slow down when they drive past. I’ve even seen sellers with multiple offers take less money because the agent with the higher offer acted like a putz.
Every single time I write an offer for one of my buyers, I phone the listing agent and tell them all about my wonderful clients, because I know the seller is going to ask. The listing agent appreciates it too, after all, they are hoping the sale comes together—it's how they make a living.
People negotiate differently with people they like or at least think they like. When the sellers consider your offer they factor this in. Now when the counter comes back, it's usually a little softer, or maybe no counter at all.
If you're buying a house, ask your Realtor how they plan on selling you. Let's get that offer accepted :)