When I say peanut butter, what do you think of? By chance, did jelly come into your conciousness? Probably. Why? Because this is “ordinary mental functioning – how the mind works” – if you will. I’m taking another moment today to bring to the table the role of “love letters” – being that they are commonplace in the “now” market. To set this blog conversation up – a 2 minute video on “Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism.” Watch here.
Now, put on your Listing Broker hat on firmly for the remainder of this blog post conversation. Last week one of our esteemed Windermere brokers shared with our Standards of Practice Committee (SOP) a letter she sends to her Sellers on offer review day. I share this with you all as an example of getting ahead of conversations that can be much harder later.
Hello (seller(s) name).
Today is an exciting day! I’m looking forward to seeing you on Zoom at 2pm on Wednesday (meeting information is down below my signature). Offers are due to be turned in to me by 12pm so I will have had time to review each one and vet the most promising before we discuss. If we have more than one offer, I’ll prepare a summary/comparison spreadsheet of all offer terms and send that to you ahead of our meeting. My standard process for presenting offers to you is as follows:
1. I will first send you the spreadsheet, with all offer terms in summary form. There will be no buyer names or identifying information on this spreadsheet. This is intended to help you choose an offer based purely on the terms, without emotion or unconscious bias.
2. After we meet, and you’ve chosen an offer, or narrowed it down to a couple, I will send over all offers in their entirety.
I recommend that you do not read any “love letters” from buyers, at least until after you’ve chosen an offer. Buyers wisely send these letters with the intent of using emotion or personal information to make their offer stand out. Reading them may make it difficult for you to make an unbiased “all about the terms” choice.
I’ve attached an important pamphlet about fair housing. You are within your rights to choose an offer for any reason except those which would be deemed discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children. That said, the best way to avoid any appearance of discrimination is to make a decision based strictly on the buyers’ terms. This is a win-win, as it also means you’ve chosen the strongest offer with the best chance of closing without any hiccups.
We will discuss all of this again when we meet. I CANNOT WAIT!
Where do you have Fair Housing conversations with your Sellers? How early in the process? Where do you reinforce it? How do you help guide them to make a decision based on – “the four corners of an offer” (ps, that is my favorite Demco Law Firm phrase when I’ve asked for their wise counsel. Curious to listen in on more of this conversation with attorney David Daniel & I? Skip ahead to minutes 2-12 from my podcast episode well over one-year ago – right here.
This is a big topic. I’m going to leave it at that for today. Thank you to our Standards of Practice committees, to our Windermere owners, to our Windermere managers and to our brokers for keeping these conversations happening with thoughtful actions. When I say peanut butter, what do you think of?
Welcome to Friday and a reminder to ABK – remember ABK that from last week?
People first, business second – Laura