The clever, under-stated Clay Nielsen was the first to answer Redfin’s call for “war stories,” tales of intrigue and derring-do to give Redfin shoppers an angle on winning deals. This one is *good*.
Here’s Clay story, in his own words:
In May of 2005, my wife and I decided it was time to start looking for a larger house for our growing family. We knew the neighborhood that we wanted to be in, but were having a hard time finding something that was just right. We finally stumbled upon an old “tear down” on a very large lot that would enable us to build a new house that truly fit our needs. We knew that this opportunity would generate competition so, to win our Madison Park house, we submitted an unusual offer at the offer deadline with these terms:
* Our offer would beat any other offer by $5,000 with no cap.
* Ten minutes after the offer deadline, the listing agent had to call us and inform us of the highest offer with escalator received.
* We in turn had to respond within 5 minutes that we would in fact pay $5,000 more their highest offer.
* We cautiously agreed to pay higher offer, which was $175,000 over the original asking price.
* The listing agent then asked us to fax her our offer. We said “no”, that she needed to send us the offer signed by her client so that we did not trigger any further escalators.
* She reluctantly agreed and the house was ours.
The other interested parties were scrambling to figure out how they could reposition their offers to get this prime piece of real estate, but the deal was done.
If you really want to win without committing to a price until you see the price, and without getting into a bidding war or even really a negotiation, you might to try a no-haggle option like this.
For sharing such a great tactic, Clay gets dinner for two at El Gaucho (his choice). Got a great war story? Send it on to glenn (dot) kelman (at) redfin (dot) com — we’ll post it up and send you out for dinner to your favorite restaurant!