“Hi, I’m looking at your (Offer)(Counter-Offer) (Amendment). I have a few questions. Let’s talk to clarify what you are asking for. Instead of sending counters (or amendments) back and forth let’s just work it out.”
The REALTOR making the call is asking for information which is likely confidential. The suggestion to “work it out” and “clarify” is an invitation to risky adventure. Maybe you recognize these questions and statements:
- What does your client want?
- Will they accept_____?
- How long have you been selling real estate?
- Will your client be willing to _____?
- Will your client come up to ______?
- Does your client want to get out of the Offer?
- I’ve been selling real estate ____years!
- Are you new at real estate?
- I’ve never seen anyone do this!
- We always______.
- If I can get my client to __________ can you get your client to __________?
When an agent wants to clarify, they probably want to take you to task more than anything. If only a few of the random 11 statements and questions are raised the conversation will tread dangerously close to ethics and legal obligation violations.
Is there really anything gained by participating in this conversation? The Buyer and Seller are parties to a contract. The licensees are not. Licensees have disclosure, confidentiality, and fairness obligations. If a licensee is asking another licensee for confidential information and gets it, what is the receiving licensees responsibility? If you said, keep the information confidential, you’re right. Sharing confidential information is a license law violation. Both licensees are on the wrong side of the confidentiality obligation. If I represent my client will do this, that, or the other thing, I have liability I can’t afford.
The point of this is: Conversations are best kept between buyer and seller. The methods available to us as licensees to facilitate these conversations are Notices, Amendments, Offers to Purchase, and Counter-Offers signed by the initiating party. If there is a better way than using approved form for staying within the boundaries of our license show me. The phone calls and long emails between licensees are useful—–for gathering evidence and facilitating conflict.