Active Rain February 23, 2011

Client Confidentiality is Not All Reaching

One of the joys of being a broker-owner is helping my newer agents develop their client base. New agents that get a listing or a buyer in their first few weeks typically have a good outlook for success in my experience, even if that listing doesn’t sell or that buyer never closes. One of my agents has a buyer who was referred to him and he’s been asking me how to tackle some of the challenges they pose. A few details:

  • They have been looking for a home for over a year. 
  • They want to spend close to $1 million.
  • Their home email account is “not set up yet.”
  • They want my agent to make an offer of almost $200,000 less than asking price on a home
  • They do not want to provide an updated pre approval letter
  • They do not want to articulate how much of a down payment they’ll make. 
I love million dollar buyers. Who wouldn’t? And not everyone finds a home in 6 weeks. But the “no email” things concerns me, especially given the economic strata they claim to be in, and their unwillingness to provide their financial qualifications is an outright deal killer. Their objection to providing a pre approval or down payment information is based on the idea that such details are private and should not matter. They are wrong for two big reasons:
  1. No seller will take their home off the market and put it under contract for 60 days with a mystery buyer.
  2. No seller will take an offer seriously that is not completely and professionally furnished. 
The logic behind point #1 is self evident. Regarding the second point any dope knows that a low offer stands a better chance of being taken seriously if it is presented seriously: proof of funds, a solid pre approval, clear terms, and assurance of being able to perform
Some people will in fact trade a higher price for certainly. Certainty is compelling. Mystery buyers are not compelling, they are an irritant. Your “privacy” ceases to be your privacy if it precludes getting into the bed of business with a stranger. In other words, what you have in the bank absolutely is their business if you are proposing business. Once you are a buyer with an offer, your financials are absolutely the seller’s business. 
If you want to do business, confidentiality has limits, and you have to be forthcoming with details that concern the other party, or you never get packing.