Another phrase you regularly see in the MLS descriptions is, “NO BUYER LOVE LETTERS”.
What is the underlying meaning?
Listing agents are perfectly capable of discriminating on their own, and they don’t need your help.
As long as the buyers’ names are on the contract, discrimination is probably happening. It might be so plain that sellers make decisions just based on their names, but the more common practice is for sellers to google the buyers’ names and learn everything they can about them from the internet.
It may seem simple, but make no mistake – homeowners want to sell their house to someone they like. They will decide their favorites early on, especially when the listing agent is a contributing factor.
Here’s an example.
My buyer and I attended an open house on Sunday that appeared to be an ideal match. As we entered, the seller was just leaving and she had the look on her face – and I knew something big was happening.
I already knew that the listing agent had not sold anything in a long time – no sales in the last 12 months. Within the first minute, he mentioned that an all-cash offer had already been received and he said it with the usual agent tone that ‘this deal is done so you are just wasting your time’. She also said she was going to shut down the open house early.
I walked my client out to the car, and then went back in to discuss. I told the agent that we were going to make an offer, and asked, “Will that make your afternoon more exciting?”, to which she blurted out, “NO”.
Exactly what I expected.
Knowing that we would need to make a powerful offer just to get her attention, two hours later I sent her an all-cash offer that was 8% over the list price with an 11-day close and free rentback.
Everything that happened after that made it obvious that she had already built up the first offer in the mind of the seller – heck, she even told ME about those buyers!
Once an agent has gushed all over their seller about an offer, it means any other offers don’t have a chance. When a listing agent describes a set of buyers in great detail, it is subtle discrimination because those buyers get favored status – and it’s mostly because the agent is inexperienced or just plain lazy and doesn’t want to field any more offers.
The only hope for any other buyers is to submit a love letter! Give everyone a chance to win!