Offers In Excess Of: Can you pay more, please? 2 Jan 2016

Offers In Excess Of: Can you pay more, please?

2 Jan 2016

Offers in excess of, or oieo is terminology used by some selling agents to imply that you will need to pay more than the advertised figure, this is usually displayed in these formats:
£200,000 OIEO or £200,000 Offers In Excess Of.

Have you seen it? I’m sure you have! Properties that are advertised at ‘Offers In Excess Of’ or ‘OIEO’, it seems to be a very popular trait with certain agents, and only those agents!

Recently the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) upheld two complaints against the online estate agent, Express Estate Agency, for its use of the term ‘Offers In Excess Of’. So I thought I would highlight the importance of using this correctly.

There are a couple of reasons why ‘OIEO’, as well as another very loose term – ‘Guide Price’, are harmful to your marketing and somewhat confusing for your potential buyers. I could name two local agents that use this exact terminology for around 30% of the properties they are attempting to sell. Obviously through shear fear of being sued by these corporate giants, they shall remain nameless.

That’s 30% of their stock register that they either:

1. Didn’t know how to price, so they placed a ‘Guide Price’ after the ‘Actual Price’

Or

2. The Agent knew that a property wasn’t going to achieve the original advertised price, so they told the owner that they could keep their ‘bottom line’ advertised in the small summary print, but the headline figure would be 5k – 10k lower with a nice little ‘OIEO’ after it.

Now I’m betting that No.2 is the main reason for the use of this term. If No.1 was the reason, then there’s no doubt you definitely shouldn’t have chosen that agent to market your home!

Here’s a typical example:

123 Example Street is on the market for £150,000. It’s been on the market for four weeks and hasn’t received much interest. So the Agent calls the owner and asks if the price can be reduced. The owner is very reluctant at this stage, but the agent offers an alternative:

“If you reduce your price to £140,000 but place OIEO after it we will be sure to get more than £140,000 and in all probability we will get nearer to your original advertised price of £150,000.”

The owner will think that their original figure of £150,000 will still be achieved because their agent has said that they will be getting offers above £140,000. But what’s the potential buyers view? Have you ever seen a property that’s been advertised in this way and thought “How much more ‘in excess’ do I need to pay?” Or “It says £140,000, I’ll offer them £135,000…!” Yes, you’ve guessed it! This type of marketing leads to buyer confusion, but more importantly it will result in lower offers.

I don’t know anyone who welcomes being told to pay more for something, do you? Buyers need a level of guidance and confusing them before they’ve even seen the property with this stupid terminology is very detrimental to your marketing campaign.

Is there a right time to use ‘OIEO’?

Yes, Open Days and Auctions! When you’re trying to create a huge number of buyers over a short space of time. The price needs to be ridiculously low in order to spark buyer interest, but it needs to be low that people understand that it will naturally go for more.

In conclusion, I would like to say that if your agent EVER says that they would like to advertise your property with ‘OIEO’ or ‘Guide Price’ as the tag line after the price, sack them immediately and tell them that you are going to use an agent that knows how to market a property properly!

Written by: Mark Rowe (M.Director – RPS Estate & Letting Agents)

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