Does Your Realtor Have A Lasso?

Cowgirl by The Rocketeer

I guess I am an undercover Realtor cowgirl. If I can, I will cast out my lasso and rope a buyer for my home sellers. No, not literally, though I confess I have been tempted. The cowgirl analogy sounds funny for a Realtor who works in the upscale suburbs of Metro Detroit, I know.

Yesterday I was at Pulte’s Realtor appreciation luncheon at the Townsend Hotel. It was a lovely affair and it reminded me that I needed to pull out a post that I never finished. Apparently my secret weapon really is a secret and most other Realtors have never even heard of it based on the questions they asked the speaker. So, with out further ado, I will unveil . . .

My top secret lasso: The Reverse Offer.

How it works is that the seller makes an offer to the buyer outlining the terms they will accept if the buyer will buy the home. Yes, you heard me correctly, the seller makes the first offer, not the buyer. This certainly is a roll reversal from what most buyers and their agents expect, but there is nothing wrong with that. Afterall, my goal is to get the house sold, not to worry about what everyone else does. The reverse offer is particularly useful in a buyers’ market like we have right now in South East Michigan.

The reverse offer is not something we use after every showing, but it can work successfully when I hear from a buyers’ agent, “They are choosing between 2 houses.” Typically the buyers have been back in the home multiple times. I try to get a sense of what is keeping my listing from being their number one choice by maintaining open communications with the buyers’ agent. And it has a proved track record of success for us.

Having the Reverse Offer weapon in my pocket does not mean we can escape real estate basics: the home must be priced well for current market conditions; there must be an effective marketing campaign to attract buyers; and the home must be in excellent shape because the overwhelming majority of buyers do not want to do any work.

Frankly in today’s market a buyers job is not as easy as it seems. In some segments the shear number of homes they have to chose from creates feeling of information overload. In the end, if we can move the buyer one step closer to choosing one of our sellers’ homes by making a reverse offer, we are really both parties a favor.

I will keep the Realtor cowgirl title. Some times we just have to take the bull by the horns to get the job done.

Freemont Street photo by The Rocketeer

[tags]reverse offer[/tags]


  1. says

    Well, you’re typically way ahead of everybody else in your market in terms of progressive marketing techniques, right? This is no exception.

    FYI…. We’d all love to see a photo of you trying to lasso something….

  2. says

    Actually, I’d like to see her in cowboy boots! :) MF – I like the way you aggressively make creative ways to help your clients succeed in challenging markets.

  3. says

    Maureen, I did my first reverse offer this morning (15 years in the business). Negotiations had broken down after two unsuccessful offers from the buyer. Both buyer and seller were feeling bad that they hadn’t been able to come to terms. I wrote an offer on the seller’s behalf and we have a conditional sale this evening.

  4. says

    Way to Go Maureen! I currently have a pending deal because of a reverse offer. However, I’ve tried a reverse offer from the buyer’s side of the fence this year too. Sounds odd, but….

    I approached the agents of the top three properties for my buyers and laid out what the intentions were of my buyers. Even faxed pre-approvals to the listing agents to show our qualifications. Of the three agents approached, two played ball and the third didn’t know how to respond.

    From the buyers perspective, it makes sense in our market. From the sellers perspective, well, it still makes sense. Acknowledge the condition of the market, but harness it to sell your property. When that buyer’s agent says your home is one of two or three, beat the other listing agents to the punch.

  5. says

    Todd, I did something very similar for a buyer last year when some transferees could not decide between four properties. I think it made their decision much easier. We definitely found the most motivated seller.

  6. says

    I enjoyed your site and this post. I have successfully used your reverse offer but I have to admit it was only after a particular buyer visited one of my listings three times and were still non-committal. It got them to at least talk! I am glad you reminded me we have this tool.

  7. says

    Very,very smart. Your tip is just in time for tomorrow’s presentation to my seller. I am drafting an offer with his signature on it and we’re going to pop the question- grazie!

  8. Annette Keeble says

    Wishing that there were more agents out there with your determination. What a great way to bring two minds together! You’re never to shy to go above the norm…I love that about you…wishing you lots of success..go get’em Cowgirl!

  9. Kayla says

    So true, Maureen! When I am selling my own properties. I like to have the contract already prepared so when the Buyers come to my office, I just lay it in front of them, explain it, and hand them the pen. But your point speaks to a larger issue. I am a REALTOR too, but the way our industry is set up, with REALTORs keeping apart the Buyer and Seller, alot of opportunity is missed for meetings of the mind. We would be better off all getting together in a room and hashing out a deal sometimes, I think. I mean, alot of list agents can’t even comprehend what the Buyer might be offering, that the Seller might accept. Things like lease options, in sluggish markets, etc. I even got both sides of a commission once because the Buyer’s rep didn’t understand the offer the Buyer wanted to make and simply referred him to me! Thanks for the reminder and naming the concept!

  10. Dave says

    This is a ridiculous concept that feeds an already reeling, spiraling housing market by giving bloodthirsty buyers an even greater dilusion of entitlement.

    There is something still to be said for hard-working, honest realtors with integrity and the ability to help their sellers get sold without totally giving up all leverage whatsoever in the buyer-seller dynamic.

    So keep your secret weapon and lasso more sales and commissions for yourself while sellers lose even more ground and hard-earned equity in this lop-sided market that you’re helping to prolong.

    I wonder how many people have lost everything they have in the Detroit area market within the last two years? Very sad, isn’t it?

  11. says


    Sometimes I represent buyers and sometimes I represent sellers. My responsibility to my client, as an honest hard working Realtor, is to represent my client’s best interests.

    I do, as a matter of fact, represent more sellers than buyers. I do everything I can to leverage their position, and quite successfully most of the time. We have worked hard to make sure our clients have some of the best market exposure out there.

    In no way am I responsible for the state of the real estate market in Detroit. I did not create or add to this economy. As prices fall it hurts me and my family MORE than the average joe.

    Actually many sellers are asking me to go to potential buyers with offers so that they can at least get a conversation about an offer started.

    There are many sad stories today in Detroit’s real estate market. On that we can agree.

  12. says


    You presented an excellent idea. These times require us to think outside the box to get the job done! If someone doesn’t want to try it then so be it. It reminds me me of a quote from Albert Einstien:
    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Keep up the good work.

  13. says

    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been running a blog for? you made blogging look easy. The total look of your site is magnificent, as smartly the content!

  14. says

    That’s what sales people do. Sometimes when they’re too pushy though, it kind of makes you want to leave and find something else. So, that’s a tip for you realtors out there! Don’t be too pushy!


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