Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Communicating: Don't Put All Your Eggs In The Technology Basket

At our office meeting today, our broker, Donna Evers, was going over our office sales figures - which were pretty amazing.  Then we began to share our stories of what went into many of those transactions.

Which ones were multiple offers?  What other challenges did we overcome to bring it all together.  And one of the stories had a very strong message, especially for some of the younger agents in the office.

Once of my colleagues, and one of Evers' top agents (in more ways than one) does a huge amount of business.  And she does it the old-fashioned way.  No blogging, Facebook or Twitter.  But she does a huge amount of networking with her center of influence, and she uses the telephone - the old-fashioned kind that sits on a cradle - a lot.

So Nancy was at her listing with her sellers and a good offer that she was urging them to accept.  And they did.  And she dutifully delivered it to the buyers' agent.

When she got home, something curious happened.  She checked her email, et voila!  There was another offer on the same house.  The agent had just dropped it into her scanner and sent it.  No contact.  No phone calls.  No nothing.

She hadn't called Nancy while she was preparing the offer - the obligatory schmooze call where you ask about time frame and stuff the is important to the sellers.  So there was no clue whatsoever that this offer was coming in.

The lesson here?

  • All of your colleagues may not be as wired as you are.
  • When you have an offer, at least on a "normal" listing, pick up the phone and call the listing agent to let her know you are writing an offer. 
  • If you don't know the listing agent, a little schmooze doesn't hurt - relationships are important.
  • If you are faxing or emailing it to her, get some kind of confirmation that she got it.  

The second offer wasn't as good as the first one, but it could have been.  What a relief!  But if it had, it would have been a loss for the sellers.  But it would have been a really big loss to the agent.  This was a pretty big house with a pretty big brokerage fee attached to it.

Oh well.  Easy come.  Easy go.

Comment balloon 26 commentsPatricia Kennedy • April 27 2010 10:01PM


Exactly.  If you have an offer, communicate with the other agent.  I have a story I am ready to write about the lack of personaly communication and how you lose out when you don't utilize it.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 10 years ago

Last year I sold a listing where the first time they made an offer I NEVER received it.  Several weeks later the buyers agent calls me and ask if she can submit another offer which of course was okay since I NEVER received the first offer.  It totally amazed me that she never called to follow up.  Well not until weeks later.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 10 years ago

I always call the agent. The obligatory schmooze is very important. I ask if they prefer email to fax. Then I follow up to make sure they received it. Pre-offer, offer, post-offer.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) over 10 years ago

Hi Pat...Very interesting post in light of the fact that a couple of days ago someone wrote a post mentioning that as the listing agent he does not take calls from buyer agents.  Someone very well known on Active Rain commented that there was no need to call the listing agent, if the buyer agent's clients wanted to write an offer they should just do it.

You have given a perfect example of why listing agents should answer.  I always check with the listing agent prior to submitting an offer.  All listing agents do not keep the status of their listings current plus there is always the possibility that another offer has just come in.


Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) over 10 years ago

Pat, that is pretty funny. I can't imagine ever sending an offer without calling. YIKES! Even with all the technology that is around.. that is just foolish!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

Pat, great advice.  I always call the listing agent before submitting an offer - to find out if the property is still fully available and to try and find out any thing that I can to help make the offer a stronger one.  You've just given us another even more important reason to follow thru with calls before and after.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 10 years ago

Living in a high tech city, I USED TO assume others within the business also ran a tech savvy business.  This was until last year when I learned a very valuable lesson, unfortuantely, the hard way.  Now, not only do I call the agent about the offer I'm preparing, but I ALWAYS ask open eneded questions and be sure to listen more than I talk. It amazes me how much information I obtain from the listing agent that I could use to my advantage when negotiating. 

Posted by Jennifer Archambeault, An Austin Texas Realtor (Cardani Group, REALTORS® - Austin Texas ) over 10 years ago

Hi Pat ~ What a great idea for your office meeting. Love it. Excellent reminder about the power of old fashioned networking.


Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) over 10 years ago

Patricia - I LIKE this post.... you are absolutely right... we are wired differently, but must think like OTHERS when time is of the essence... and even when it isn't!  I have agents from about 3 different eras LOL.... must change thinking when dealing with each of 'em!

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) over 10 years ago

Hi Pat... I always appreciate it when another agent calls to notify me that they are sending an offer.  I consider it a basic professional courtesy.

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 10 years ago


Sometimes too many of my eggs are in one basket that way and when the internet goes down I am in a dither.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

I ALWAYS call the listing agent, write the offer, send it over by the agent's preferred method, and then call to make sure they got it. That is just basic courtesy, and paying attention to the details which is critical.

Posted by Lisa Walston (Atlas Property Group and Abbey Church Properties) over 10 years ago


Technology is just an instrument, and instrument shuld be used wisely. And not to replace a personal touch. Quite obvious, but still... (LOL)

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 10 years ago

Pat this is certainly an occasion where it is important to touch based with the listing agent to make sure everything was in order, having a conversation can make all the difference.  Great reminders, not everyone has embraced social media yet.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 10 years ago

Even as a connected agent having an offer arrived unannounced can cause problems.  One popped up in my mailbox last night and has a number of errors in it.  If the agent had called first she could have saved a lot of time and effort on having to redo a contract.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

Pat - What a great post!!! While we here on AR know how important social media can be - we should also know that social media doesn't negate the need for real estate basics. Unfortunately, we have to juggle it all???


Have a great day!


Posted by Betsy Schuman Dodek, (Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Agents in our area are doing the same thing.  A courtesy call and  a little information will go a long way to getting an offer approved for the buyers.

Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) over 10 years ago

Hi Pat, to me that is a no-brainer to call ahead and let the listing agent know an offer is on the way then follo-up to make sure it was received.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) over 10 years ago

Pat - you are soooooo right !!!  I recently had a multiple-offer situation; I hand-delivered the counter offer when they were presenting.

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) over 10 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly.  Having a conversation with the listing agent and developing a good rapport is key to a good negotiation.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) over 10 years ago

Great post.  I am fairly new to the business, 2+ years, but I have always done the courtesy call.  As many others stated, the house may not be available any more, there may be multiple offers or you may gain additional knowledge that you can use in the offer.

Thanks for a great post.

Posted by Trish O'Connor (Coldwell Banker Heritage Homes) over 10 years ago

Pat:  I never blind email anything important.  I alert the recipient that whatever I'm sending is coming.  That way, as may happen from time to time, if I've mistyped an email address, the recipient will notify me if they don't get the email.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 10 years ago

Pat - you are soooooo right on this one! I cannot imagine just sending an offer without making a phone call prior to sending it and another to make sure that it arrived and did not land in spam or who knows where else in cyberspace!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

I do the courtesy call always because that's my chance to find out whether there are other offers or any specific instructions as well as to alert them that the offer is coming. 

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) over 10 years ago

I'm leaving this link to a blog I read where the agent insists that he never speaks to buyer agents - essentially because they are a waste of his time.  I'd love to hear your opinion on this one.

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) over 10 years ago

Stacey-Ann, I just checked that link out, and if you go back to his first post, this guy does not do very much business, at least not as much as he might do if he answered his freakin' phone!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago