Debunking the infamous We Have a Buyer letter or flyer— consider such letters or junk-mail with a pinch of salt!
How often do you receive a letter or a handwritten note in your letterbox from a real estate agent that says that they “have a buyer” who wants to buy a similar house or a property in your street or suburb?
Be Warned. The Buyer May or May Not Exist!
This is a standard prospecting tool that is taught at various Real Estate training workshops and seminars to use only when agents have a genuine buyer inquire. It is indeed an effective prospecting tool when used as it should be.
Unfortunately, many real estate agents use it incorrectly and inappropriately. When used inappropriately it is designed to gain your confidence (in other words, to lower your defences), and ultimately to list your property for sale all on the premise there is a buyer waiting to buy it.
No ethical agent will say that they “have a buyer for your home” without first inspecting your home and seeing if it is suitable for their buyer.
When the Letters are 100% Genuine
Sometimes these letters are 100% genuine. An agent may have sold something in the street or in your unit complex and indeed, has surplus buyers. The difficult situation arises when an agent has Genuine Buyers still looking to buy and have given the agent instructions to find them a suitable home. Since people by nature are impatient and changeable, sometimes they go ahead and purchase another home despite the agent still looking to find their home as requested.
Where an agent does have genuine buyers; a buyer may indeed make an offer on your home, but if the agent hasn’t provided you with a ‘comparative market analysis’ (CMA) by which you can ascertain market value, you may end up underselling your property.
But sadly, more often than not this is a loss leader tactic whereupon as soon as they list your property the buyer either miraculously disappears into thin air, or upon inspecting your property it’s revealed that the buyer really needs more bedrooms or some other missing criteria.
How to Decide Whether or Not the Letter You’ve Received in Your Letterbox Is, In Fact Genuine…
For a start, if it looks like it’s a photocopy then it probably isn’t genuine. Another way to establish if it’s genuine or not is to ask the agent questions.
Type of Questions to Ask
- What age are the buyers?
- Do they have children?
- Are they local buyers?
- Which properties were they looking at?
- Are they in a position to purchase now?
- Has anyone else in the street received the letter?
If it all sounds genuine; be sure to ask for a CMA before considering an offer or listing your property for sale.
Just about every property owner will, at some time or another receive a letter in their mailbox advising that an agent has a buyer for their property. Sometimes these letters or flyers are genuine but more often, they are not.
Don’t get too excited until you’ve asked specific questions like those mentioned above. In a nutshell, it pays to be cautious of such letters as more often than not, it is merely a loss leader tactic whereas as soon as they list your property there is suddenly no buyer.