Made an offer through text

26 Replies

Good Morning BP. 

I made an offer on a SF House (For Sale by Owner) this past Sunday. My primary mode of communication with the seller was through text. So once I ran the numbers and found a number that worked for me, I texted her my offer and I haven't heard back yet. I know a lot of people like to relax on Sundays and yesterday was a holiday. Should I reach out again today? Or should I just be patient and not bug the seller too much?


Also was it appropriate for me to make an offer through text or email? Or is it always a better idea to call and speak to someone on the phone?

Originally posted by @Montez Greer :

Good Morning BP. 

I made an offer on a SF House (For Sale by Owner) this past Sunday. My primary mode of communication with the seller was through text. So once I ran the numbers and found a number that worked for me, I texted her my offer and I haven't heard back yet. I know a lot of people like to relax on Sundays and yesterday was a holiday. Should I reach out again today? Or should I just be patient and not bug the seller too much?


Also was it appropriate for me to make an offer through text or email? Or is it always a better idea to call and speak to someone on the phone?

 Be patient. If you keep asking her about your offer you look too eager and she'll know you'd be willing to come up in price.

I never make offers via email or text.  They are more likely to negotiate harder that way since neither is an official document...that means the offer isn't official.

If you're going to make an offer, and you want to use email, then the email should have an offer in the form of an official Purchase Agreement attached.

Promotion
Apartments.com
List, Screen, Lease, Get Paid, Manage.
No Better Place to Lease Your Place
Owners rely on the #1 rental site to get the best results from their rental properties.
Get Started Now

I would wait it out! If you reach out again you're losing some negotiation cards. 

This is why you don't make offers via text messaging. You can't put any pressure on the seller or read the body language. 

Originally posted by @Montez Greer :

Got it. The seller just got back to me, and declined my initial and my highest offer. But thank you for your advice. Next time I will do it over the phone or in person if possible.

 Phone isn't any better.  In person won't matter unless you hand the seller a purchase agreement.

I've sent previous agents i've worked with offer numbers through text. Not directly to a seller though lol.

@Montez Greer  You need an agreement of sale.  A verbally accepted offer doesn't mean a thing.  The seller could change their mind before you get them to sign the contract.

@Montez Greer

Nothing wrong with it. I bought my 2nd BRRRR texting an agent on a Sunday while watching a Browns game and drinking a beer. Great day for me...terrible day for the Browns!

I feel like there is a difference between texting an agent an offer, and texting the seller an offer directly 

Originally posted by @Jaron Walling :

I would wait it out! If you reach out again you're losing some negotiation cards. 

This is why you don't make offers via text messaging. You can't put any pressure on the seller or read the body language. 

 The other big reason is it's not official...it's just a "suggestion" in the eyes of the Seller.  That means you're doing two things:

1 - You're not presenting a "serious offer".

2 - You're opening yourself up to a counter offer (if you get one), that's further away from yours than if you handed/sent the Seller a formal Purchase Agreement...without (as @Jaron said) any form of a deadline.  So there's no urgency for the Seller to counter.

Promotion
Jamestown Invest
Build a well-balanced portfolio with CRE
Considering CRE Investing?
Download this whitepaper and learn about CRE investing from a manager with a 38 year track record
Learn More

My duplex I just purchased was For Sale By Owner, via a yard sign. I called the number, scheduled a showing, and then invited the guy out for a coffee or beer "to discuss" his property. A couple in-face meetings, and a verbal agreement was reached. Then, I emailed him a Purchase Agreement with details. I would never consider texting an offer, especially if I had never met the seller. 

We do all our offers in writing through a purchase contract. The offer has a set expiration time/date, which gives sense of urgency to respond. Sometimes you can verbally or text negotiate, but a written offer holds more weight and the expiration applies pressure. Our written offer has option for accept, reject or counter offer. Any time someone wants to reject, always ask for a counter offer. Sometimes their "must have" price is not far off from your offer. 

You said your initial and highest offer was declined. Was your initial offer your highest offer or was there some negotiation? 

Originally posted by @Joe Villeneuve :
Originally posted by @Montez Greer:

Got it. The seller just got back to me, and declined my initial and my highest offer. But thank you for your advice. Next time I will do it over the phone or in person if possible.

 Phone isn't any better.  In person won't matter unless you hand the seller a purchase agreement.

I think giving an offer over the phone is a lot better than text. Although I've sent text offers and had them accepted, the phone call gives you more feedback from them. You can hear their hesitation, their tone, their first thoughts and much more. Through a text they think silently and don't have to immediately respond. When you are on the phone you wait for a response right there. If in person is possible, that's always best in my opinion. 

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

We do all our offers in writing through a purchase contract. The offer has a set expiration time/date, which gives sense of urgency to respond. Sometimes you can verbally or text negotiate, but a written offer holds more weight and the expiration applies pressure. Our written offer has option for accept, reject or counter offer. Any time someone wants to reject, always ask for a counter offer. Sometimes their "must have" price is not far off from your offer. 

You said your initial and highest offer was declined. Was your initial offer your highest offer or was there some negotiation?

The asking price was $179,917. My initial offer was $155,000. They said that was too low under asking price. I then explained to them my role as an investor and that I could offer $160,000. The highest I could go to make a decent profit was $165,000 which still wasn't accepted. 

Originally posted by @Montez Greer :
Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock:

We do all our offers in writing through a purchase contract. The offer has a set expiration time/date, which gives sense of urgency to respond. Sometimes you can verbally or text negotiate, but a written offer holds more weight and the expiration applies pressure. Our written offer has option for accept, reject or counter offer. Any time someone wants to reject, always ask for a counter offer. Sometimes their "must have" price is not far off from your offer. 

You said your initial and highest offer was declined. Was your initial offer your highest offer or was there some negotiation?

The asking price was $179,917. My initial offer was $155,000. They said that was too low under asking price. I then explained to them my role as an investor and that I could offer $160,000. The highest I could go to make a decent profit was $165,000 which still wasn't accepted. 

 Should have made your initial offer in writing.  The way you did it, from your first verbal offer, had no chance.  All you were doing was drawing lines in the sand...and at every negative answer, you just stepped back and drew another line.  Here's what I see happened:

You:  My offer is $155k
Seller:  No


You: OK, My next offer is $160k
Seller: No

You: OK, My next offer is $165k,...and it's the highest I'll go (which you've already proven to be a lie in their eyes)
Seller: No

Did they ever make a counter offer?



Originally posted by @Barry Ruby :

@Montez Greer to have legal standing any real estate transaction requires an agreement must comply with the Statute of Frauds...

If the deal isn’t in writing it doesn’t exist

 I'd actually be curious for one of our resident lawyers to chime in.

Specific to real estate where "verbal contracts" are more or less considered not to exist, is a text chain where two parties come to agreement considered "verbal" or "written"? Variance by state? 

There's no reason why a text exchange cannot form the basis of offer and acceptance necessary to create a legally-binding agreement. Of course any time you bring an issue to court you're rolling the dice, but the recent case of St. John’s Holdings LLC v. Two Electronics, LLC, 2016 WL 1460477 (Mass. Land Ct. April 14, 2016), aff’d, 92 Mass. App. Ct. 1114 (2017) took up the question of whether a text exchange contains the sufficient qualities to satisfy the Statute of Frauds. The court decided that a text message exchange signed by the parties (i.e. "Sure, sounds good - Thx, Tim.) constitutes a signed writing that meets the basic legal standards required for offer and acceptance. 

For all of the reasons discussed above, executing a real estate deal via text isn't the most strategic move in every engagement, but yes it is possible to form a legal agreement over that medium.

@Montez Greer I’ve done this before over text and in person and through an agent.

The over text only works because I had a previous relationship with the seller. Otherwise through a reputable agent is likely the best way to do that