Sometimes you’ll come across owners who will tell you that they don’t want to list their property, but then they’ll tell you, “Just bring me an offer.” So how do you know in these situations whether or not they’re really serious about selling?

Because when an owner lists their property, assuming that they’re doing so at a price that should sell it in today’s market, this is a very good sign that they’re serious about selling.

But how do you know when an owner tells you to just bring them an offer, if they’re really serious about selling, vs. just wanting you to give them a free appraisal of their property through you submitting your offer?

With this in mind, one good question to ask an owner in this situation is, “If I bring you in an offer, will you give me a signed counter-offer to take back to my buyer?”

Then just watch and listen to what the owner does, because if they give you a wishy-washy response by saying something similar to, “Well, you just bring me in an offer and we’ll see what happens,” this isn’t a good sign, because it sounds like they’re just being non-committal about the entire idea of selling.

But if instead they say something similar to, “Absolutely! If you bring me in a signed offer, I will definitely give you a signed counter-offer to take back to your buyer”, this is a better sign that they may really be interested in selling.

In putting all of this together, there will be some owners who will want to waste your time by telling you to bring in an offer, and there will be other owners who are serious sellers, it’s just that they don’t want to feel tied down to any one broker with a signed listing agreement.

Your job is to learn how to ask questions like the one I’ve just suggested, to differentiate the real sellers from the ones who will just be completely wasting your time.