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07 January 2010

Reading between the lines. An 'offer'?

The word 'offer' can be such a fickle term when referring to property. I love it when you walk into a real estate agency and are told about the property that has already received offers.

I know a good portion are probably genuine, but I always imagine the conversation going something like....

Day 1 - In the office:
Listing agent: "Hey Fred. I scored a listing today at 15 Smith Street, Brisbane and I'm listing it for $890,000"
Fred (another agent in the office): "Really? I'll give you $550k for it!"
Listing agent: "Thanks for the offer. Make me another."
Fred: "Okay... How about $560k?"
Listing agent: "Hee hee.. Thanks for that!"

Day 2 - On the phone:
Potential buyer: "Hi! I'm just calling about 15 Smith Street, Brisbane"
Listing agent: "Ah yes! I put that on the market yesterday and I've already had a couple of offers. Neither are in writing yet, so you'd better be quick if you're serious about this one..."

Remember - Verbal offers are worth the paper they're written on. Always ask the agent what has materialised into writing. I wouldn't ignore it, but if there's nothing on paper, you probably don't have a lot to worry about.

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