4th visit-creative ideas-coffee? brownies? harpist? ha

chicagoerinNovember 19, 2009

Ok, I have a couple coming in for a fourth visit..fourth in 5 days. They are making an offer on either my house or another over the weekend and then returning home to cali. I want to get creative about leaving something out for them that will make them feel welcome and release some happy endorphins but don't want to seem desperate. I thought about wine and a nice note inviting them to sit and enjoy the living room (too bad it's chilly outside or I could offer up the back patio). Maybe a pot of coffee and some homemade brownies? Any ideas? I want it to be classy.. Thanks!

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When we were looking, at one place they left soft drinks and homemade cookies out for us. We didn't make an offer, but we do remember their kindness.

Wine assumes your lookers partake of alcohol. Not everyone does. It would offend some people. Be cautious.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 10:19PM
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My husband always put his ipod in the speaker at the top of the stairs and played soft, classical guitar music. It would softly float through the house. Nice touch, agents liked it. Not sure about prospective buyers but it set a mood. I always had a candy dish of candy out. That is something I always have out anyway, but people helped themselves. I never left out booze but did set our patio and deck tables (in summer) with Margarita glasses and pitcher, brightly colored place mats, etc. Other times, we would put out wine glasses with subdued placemats, cheese plates. Morning showings, I always started a pot of coffee before I left.

Winter is tough, but I think cookies, cake and coffee (always smells good). I bought a oil reed diffuser in Pier One which smells like gingerbread. It is delicious and whenever anyone comes in they ask what I'm baking. It sits on my kitchen counter.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 10:57PM
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Will they be coming through with a realtor? I remember when I sold my house, I also owned the one next door and I could see the realtor and a prospective buyer sitting in my kitchen, probably discussing strategies and financing for over an hour, and was thinking to myself, I'll bet they would sure love a cuppa coffee about now. LOL.

Offering a cup of coffee is just a natural and common thing to do, and after a day of looking at houses, and especially if it's cold, I know I'd appreciate coming into a house and seeing cookies and hot coffee waiting in the kitchen, and I'd likely partake of it too. It would be an invitation for them to sit with a realtor and discuss house. Yes, yes.

And for me, the warm fuzzies would take place in the kitchen. I living room is a box, their room waiting to happen, but a kitchen is the heart of a home. There is not that much you change about it. Fall in love with a kitchen and you sell the house.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 11:15PM
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No wine...all you need is for them to partake, and then have an accident...

Better, a grouping of those little aquapod bottles of chilled water (they are so cute), nicely arranged with a plate of cookies, and a warm sliced specialty bread such as bannana, etc with a card tucked in that says "Enjoy".

IMO, not too much, not too little is the key.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 1:18AM
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Brownies and coffee? I'd buy that house! ;-)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 11:25AM
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4th visit in 5 days? do they have a place at the table yet? seems like it...

I really have no advice, I haven't been offered anything besides left over halloween candy and a bottle of water.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 12:06PM
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Brownies and coffee? I'd buy that house! ;-) Me too, Sweeby. The goal is not to look contrived and trying too hard. There is always a pot of joe and something sweet to snack on at my house and it's always offered to whomever comes through the door, it's just how I was raised.

I remember an old post were somebody was amazed that a house would get three or four showings. Why not? Buying a home is probably the largest purchase of anyone's life. When it gets to that point, they come back time and again, it's a sign that a home is a serious contender. To offer hospitality without looking desperate would strike me an indicator of a person who is sensitive to other people, and might be easier to deal with on such an important matter.

Good luck, erin.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 12:58PM
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I agree with most everyone else, don't overdo. If it is a nasty day outside, the coffee and brownie or cookies sounds good. I would just make it feel warm and inviting; these people probably have their minds made up by now anyway. I always had fresh flowers on my dining room table, looked very cheery on an overcast day :)

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 11:20PM
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I agree. These are serious buyers in apparently the final decision stage. Don't do too much. Just have everything clean clean clean as a whistle. They already like the house- they are "just" deciding between yours and another.
When I heard our buyer was trying to decide between our house and another down the road. I took a drive by to see our competition. It was in a nicer neighborhood and my hopes were dashed...but they bought ours! I hope you have the same luck!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 1:53PM
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Did you get an offer erinb007 ?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 7:27PM
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Have your agent call the Buyer's agent and ask what it would take for your home to be the winner. The agent may not bite at all, but then again, most do like to talk. So why not just ask?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 9:17AM
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TThanks for all of the great ideas. I went with tea and cookies from a great bakery down the street with a nice note. They asked to see it AGAIN on Friday..2x in one day and five times total in a week. I was exhausted but now have an offer that I am negotiating and think we will arrive at a deal today. YEA! I was on the market for 8 months, pulled it off and put a professionally made FSBO sign (but doesn't say FSBO looks more like a realtor sign) in the yard. The realtor who brought them through did not negotiate her fees up front, so from what I can tell that number is up in the air. They came in with a low offer but she said they would likely go up 15-20k (good info to have). I told her what I need to walk away with after her fees and asked her to make it happen. Told her would use her on the buy side if she makes this deal happen and that whatever percentage/number they come up with is between them. The number I gave is one I would be very happy with, so if we have to come down a little, that is ok too. I expect a call in the next few hours..fingers crossed that it's a done deal. They are cash buyers so I don't have to deal with an appraisal which takes a lot of worry off my mind as my price per square foot is not in my favor..at all. I have the smallest house in the neighborhood and was always worried the appraisal would come up way low.

Fingers crossed, thanks for the great ideas.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 9:48AM
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Congratulations on the offer Erin -- Hope it works out well for you.

"The goal is not to look contrived and trying too hard."

To address this point -- which I think is a good one.
To me, a pot of potpourri or scented candles and wine glasses by the tub seems contrived.
But a plate of brownies or cookies, hot coffee and a nice note seems straight-forward and welcoming.
For a first look? Overkill, perhaps. But for a third or fourth look?
IMO, the it sends the message that the sellers are really nice people who would be good to work with.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 12:04PM
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Congrats on the offer.
First, if the agent is doing a fine job, the offer will still be contingent on an appraisal. And, like you state, this is probably the stickiest part of a deal these days.
Another thing... I would never get into negotiations w/o written proof what the commission is. You now have all the leverage in the world to use against this agent as far as what you agree to pay her/him.
If the agent stated that the Buyer would come up $15 - $20,000, then the real number is probably even more.
Anyhow, good luck negotiating.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 6:52AM
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Congrats Erin, good luck with the negotiations!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 2:14AM
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Since Erin started this thread in NOVEMBER 2009, let's hope the negotiations went well.

Stupid spammers like ndrewoods dredge up old threads to add links.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:15PM
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