Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Is 'You Snooze, You Lose" Returning To The DC Area?

 Earlier this week, I got a call from an agent who showed a listing I have last week.  His people loved it, he said, but the husband was out of town until the end of the week.  They planned to make an offer Friday or Saturday.  This afternoon, Saturday, as I was driving to my Mother's 85th birthday party, he called to say he was sending it via MongoFax and would like to present it over the phone.  I explained that I'd be available late this afternoon to take a look at it and would call him then.

Then 20 miles down the Baltimore Washington Parkway, my Blackberry's ear bud tickled my ear once again.  It was a second agent calling to say she was leaving the same listing with her clients and was writing an offer.  And what did my sellers need as a time frame.  An hour or so later, her offer was in my Blackberry's mailbox.   

When I got back and looked at the two offers, it became clear that the first buyers wanted to play Let's Make a Deal.  And it's an offer that might have worked as the only thing on the table.  And it would have been if they had written right away.  But when a second offer comes in, the dynamic totally changes.

Here is Washington, the market is not exactly red hot.  But it's nowhere near blue cold either.  And buyers who see a good house can no longer assume they can hang the sellers out to dry, negotiating the thing to death.  While multiple offer situations are not every day events any more, they do happen.  

If you come in way below the asking price, thinking you have weeks and weeks to go back and forth, you could lose a house you love.

And if you love it, it will probably appeal to other people as well. And if it is in good shape and in a popular DC neighborhood, Let's Make a Deal may not be the best strategy. 

With condos, you might be able to pull it off.  In the Virginia and Maryland suburbs, ditto.

But if you want to buy a house in DC, you snooze, you very well could lose! 

Comment balloon 20 commentsPatricia Kennedy • January 26 2008 10:56PM


It's a thrill a minute to have multiple offers going on!  I love it on the buying and listing side.  No lose for you, Pat! Whew-Hew!

Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) over 12 years ago
You need to submit this article to you local papers and maybe even the really big ones.  More people need to hear this!
Posted by Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL (Prudential Rubloff ) over 12 years ago

Pat...Thanks for sharing the good news.  I'm feeling a bit more optimistic as I had two appointments today, one tomorrow, and another for Friday.  For Lake Anna this is better than it has been for a while.



Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) over 12 years ago
We still have those too, Patricia. Despite our long supply of homes, when they're desirable and priced right, they're appealing! Even though a house may have been on the market for months, it can still get multiple offers, especially if there's been a recent price reduction. No time for games.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 12 years ago
Hi Patricia:  How true your wise words are.  So many times buyers make such low offers, sometimes being urged to do so by some buyer's agents.  If a buyer finally finds a house, part of determining what "offer" to make might be how easily they could find another home "just like it" if they lost the one they were making an offer on.  An attitude such as this could save much disappointment on the buyer's part.  Thanks for sharing.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 12 years ago
Pat - You make an excellent point.  As for me, I always get a twisted sense of joy when I get to inform the "let's make a deal" folks on these.
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 12 years ago
Patricia - I hope this is available to the public. I have a sleep walking buyer that has received two wake up calls in successive weekends. Two lost has shaken them to the core and they now realize, it you want it, you better step up and make an intelligent offer quickly.
Posted by John MacArthur, Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes (Century 21 Redwood) over 12 years ago

Pat, Some sellers aren't playing let's make a deal with my buyers and are waiting it out to see what the Spring looks like. Recently, my buyers seem to have more of a sense of urgency than just two or three weeks ago. They've all said something along the lines of prices, rates and selection are good and it seems like a good time to buy.

Posted by Craig W. Barrett, Hughesville MD Real Estate (RE/MAX 100) over 12 years ago

The market is swinging fast. A few months ago you could submit and have a pretty good chance of being the only offer. Now, if you wait, you stand a pretty good chance of losing out. I had an agent call me Friday on a listing, said he was going to write. Never heard from him again, but got 3 other offers, which I will submit to the bank tomorrow morning. What is he going to tell his client Monday night when it is all over?


Posted by Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies (Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania) over 12 years ago

Folks don't understand that Real Estate is a LOCAL phenomenon!  I lost more than 1 deal last year - in multiple-offer situations in 2007.

It may be a buyers market - and an extreme one in PARTS of the country - but in parts of DC - things still move - many at close to full price.

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 12 years ago
Ah, the games people play.  Multiple offers are so interesting.  I always feel a little bad for the "Let's Make a Deal" folks if I can tell its the agent making them be that way - they have no idea they aren't going to get the home they want until its too late. 
Posted by Steve Scheer, Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate (Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers) over 12 years ago
There may be one or two choices, but when *THE* house comes along, you need to JUMP and not play games. Congrats on your contract!
Posted by Gregory Maley, REALTOR, GRI, CBR, SHS, e-PRO, ABR (Sold Buy the Sea Realty & R.E.N.T.) over 12 years ago
This is what the media needs to tell everyone. I too have had a buyer lose out on two different properties, they snoozed and it's now the reality check! Congratulations on your offer!
Posted by Cris Burlew, Broker ~ St Pete Beach FL Real Estate (Beach & Luxury Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago
If it's priced right it will sell. Most buyers need to lose out a couple times before they become aggressive enough to stop playing the lets make a deal game and actually buy something.
Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) over 12 years ago
Patricia - Great example of a well priced home, and congratulations to you for doing a great job for your sellers. 
Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 12 years ago
Patricia- It is amazing that we have even had that happen in our market here. It is so local down to even the neighborhood and the house to the point that you may just have multiple offers. Even in ground zero! Katerina
Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 12 years ago
They listen to their friends and family about "playing the game and winning."  Loose a few houses this way...they will talk to everyone about what has happened to them, and maybe the mind sets will change.
Posted by Renee Parker, Lansing Realtor (Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood) over 12 years ago
Patricia, "you snooze you lose" has been a real estate motto of mine.  I'm so glad to hear that you are starting to have that expeience again in your transactions.  Spring is in the air!!!! 
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 12 years ago
Buyers are listening to the media and not their Realtors. I had not seen multiple offers in awhile, but I have a listing that now has three:.One very committed and two playing "The Price is Right".
Posted by Maria Couto, Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You' (RE/MAX Premier) over 12 years ago
Patricia - I am so happy for you! Two offers! Sounds like you have another deal under your belt!!! Congratulations!
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 12 years ago