As REALTORS® we are always tooting our own horn about our superior negotiating skills, how we will negotiate in our client’s best interest, and how we will get the best price for our client whether they are a buyer or a seller.

Sometimes this is not the case. With today’s modern technology at our finger tips and the ability to e-mail documents to any location in seconds, many buyer representatives choose to e-mail or fax the offer to the listing rep to be presented to the seller. Or the listing representative will request the buyer’s rep to e-mail or fax the offer for presentation.

The question is: Should the buyer representative be present at the offer presentation? We could argue the pros and cons on this question until the cows come home.

Let me give you my take on the subject. When I explain to a potential buyer client what services I provide, I tell them that I will always try to negotiate the best possible purchase price for their new home. One of the ways I do this is by ensuring I am at the offer presentation. This gives me an opportunity to ask questions of the seller, and to make sure all parties are in agreement with the terms of the offer rather than just arbitrarily make changes and pass them along to the other party.

When I am present at the offer presentation I can read the body language of the seller which can give insight to such things as motivation, what concessions or terms are more important to the seller, or even if there is room to negotiate the price a little more. I certainly can’t do that over an e-mail or fax.

On the other hand, there may be occasions when it is prudent not to be present at the time of presentation. An example of this would be when the sellers are separating and there is a great deal of tension and animosity between the sellers. To add another character into the situation could be quite detrimental to the whole process as the seller’s emotions may be in a very fragile state.

Another situation where it may be necessary not to attend the offer presentation is when it is an estate sale and there is much disagreement between the executors of the estate. This situation is similar to the previous example as emotions may be running high and to add another person into the mix may be very disrupting.

There is also the situation when the buyer or seller is out of town and you have no choice but to do the transaction by e-mail or fax.

So when you are buying your next home make sure you ask your REALTOR® if he or she will be attending the offer presentation to negotiate in your best interests. And REALTORS®, remember, you can’t negotiate over a fax machine or an e-mail.

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