It happened again! I recently held an open house on a property I had JUST listed for sale as I do for most of my Properties I represent. Prior to the Open House – an alert Realtor working with a Buyer saw the posting of this home in the MLS and raced out to show it to her clients. They loved it! However – thinking that the market was slow, and that EVERYONE negotiates – the Buyers made a low offer on the home and the Sellers rejected it, eventually countering the offer at a price slightly less than the price it was listed at.

My Seller/s had done their homework and knew that they had prepared, AND priced the home rather aggressively – even in today’s market. As the home had only been on the market for less than a week – they did not feel any need to accept much less than what they ultimately wanted. They decided NOT to make a decision until after the OPEN HOUSE. Their agent realized this and on the day before the OPEN HOUSE stated that the Buyers wanted an answer to their FINAL counter-offer (which they verbally increased to a much more acceptable price during several discussions between myself their agent) My Sellers agreed in concept as they felt that they were close enough to a price they could live with and the unique terms made up for the lowered price they agreed to accept.

AH! But the Buyer’s agent then had to get the Buyers to put this final counter-offer in writing, something that didn’t happen until after the OPEN HOUSE began, thus my Seller directed me to move forward with the OPEN HOUSE.

The OPEN HOUSE was well attended by many welcomed Inquisitive Neighbors, Tire Kickers (Those who aren’t really ready to move but are considering a move sometime in the future), and finally 2 or 3 groups/families that were seriously looking to see if this home might meet their needs or fulfill their interests as they too saw it on the internet. (VIA our D.A.A.R.E. TEAM Marketing efforts ie..MLS, Trulia, Zillow, Craig’s List or one of the over 100 websites that our listings get posted on through-out the world.)

Each were told of the pending offer that was yet to be finalized. However what amazed me, none of the families that expressed interest had either a Realtor to represent them or an Approval for financing – yet they all felt confident that their bank would in fact approve them. All left thanking me for allowing them to inspect the home, and I knew that 2 families seemed truly interested.

However as the first Buyers finally had their written offer delivered to me – the agent for the Seller, after a final discussion with the Seller as to the activity of the OPEN HOUSE, and NO-ONE STEPPING UP TO WRITE AN OFFER AT THAT TIME, the Seller finalized the offer that they had negotiated earlier, feeling confident that they had a good offer and solid Buyers. END OF STORY RIGHT?

Of course not – on the following Monday – 2 days after the OPEN HOUSE and 2 days after the Sellers accepted an Offer, I receive an email from a guest of the OPEN HOUSE stating that they were very much interested and NOW were ready to submit an offer. TOO LATE. Maybe they thought I was kidding about the existence of an offer during the OPEN HOUSE. Who knows…

The moral of this story… GET PRE-APPROVED from a Lender – IT’s FREE!!! And it doesn’t necessarily commit you to any one Lender however it does provide physical evidence that you can get a Mortgage, thus freeing you to make an offer at any time you may stumble upon the home of your dreams…Do I need to say more? Don’t end up crying over the loss of your favorite home choice. Being approved is no Guarantee that you will secure a contract – however without an Approval – who will take you seriously? No intelligent Seller or responsible Sellers Realtor that is. Don’t let your hindsight cost you your future happiness.