Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Year of Unrequited Offers?

I should have something wonderful and prophetic to say today....but to tell you the truth....I am kinda bummed out.

We found a wonderful home in my favorite neighborhood.......and the response we got back from the agent when we put in a verbal offer.....they would be better off letting it go back to the bank. (I think they are bluffing....but will keep my eye out just in case it they aren't.)

Sigh. Is that a sign of things to come for the New Year? I guess we will have to wait and see.

20 comments:

BMac said...

Finding(landing) a house is just like finding a job or a sig. other. You have to swallow your pride and be willing to fail countless times until, right when you are ready to give up, the right one/success finds you; and, you are better off being pretty stubborn and not settling for 'good enough' when you deserve 'perfect.'

AgentBubble said...

Yeah, the right one will come up, just a matter of time. I was watching a house over in Carmichael, about 3100sf. Listed at $899K, then $799K, then $769K. Someone made an offer for $611K and it was accepted. Patience is key.

Paul said...

I always figure that if I'm getting more than one contract for each ten offers, I am paying too much! Patience Average Buyer. Good things will come to those who wait!

And if someone beats you to a great, great deal, use it as a comp for the next one.

big n rich said...

I would not trust what anyone says about a verbal offer.If you are serious make a written offer.You never know what will happen when a desperate seller brews over a real offer.

sacramentia said...

same thing for me on the last 2 offers I've written. good luck.

and I second what big is saying - stick the written offers. Working with agents is like the game telephone at a birthday party.

AgentBubble said...

Folks, there's nothing wrong with going verbal at the initial stage, especially when you're making offers at 25% below asking. As long as you know the agent you are working with, and I'm confident Average Buyer does, then you're saving everyone some time and paperwork. As a listing agent, I much prefer it when a buyer's agent calls me and tells me about a potential offer. I then call my sellers and tell them what the offer is, and if they like it, I tell the agent to put it in writing. If it's way too low, I tell them the agent to keep on looking. That's how the game is played.

But, for those of you that don't know/trust your agent, then I'd recommend going with a paper contract and stay away from the verbal stuff.

[rant on]Also, DO NOT call the agent that is representing the seller and have them represent you too. That agent will want to keep the price as high as possible (it's in his/her best interest). [rant off]

Buying Time said...

To follow up on Agent Bubble's rant....

and most agents will try to double end the deal, under the guise that they can "cut you a deal on the commission".

Every single agent I have called this last year has tried. In many cases, they are more interested in finding out if I have an agent, than telling me about the house I am actually calling about. Incredibly frustrating....and just another indicator that the commission based business model does not work well.

Gwynster said...

What funny about the seller's comment is that it's the corollary to my "you can sell it to me today or I can buy it from the bank next year, your choice." Doesn't get me anywhere but the reactions from listing agents can be priceless.

I'm guessing the listing agent isn't repeating my offer verbatim back to the seller unfortunately.

AgentBubble said...

Funny gwynster. On more than one occasion, I've told a listing agent that they really should consider my client's offer because it's going to be less the next time around (after they've lowered the price to what we originally offered). I espcecially like calling back when the house is lowered to the original offer price and reminding them of our original offer. Childish? Absolutely. But so rewarding.

Buying Time said...

One other note about calling listing agents directly.....

I actually use a Realtor's interest in double ending a deal against them. I tend to be really vague about my respresentation when they ask and then redirect to the house.

In their effort to try and push their services, many agents will be particularly forthcoming on the details of the house you are calling about. Sometimes divulging more than they would to a Realtor.

AgentBubble said...

That reminds me of a story...A few years back, I had a listing for a single wide trailer in a bad part of town. Normally, I wouldn't list a trailer because it's just too much work, but I did it for a friend whose dad needed to sell it. Anyway, the trailer was in pretty rough shape, and honestly, it was pretty disgusting. So, one day I get a call from a lady asking about the property. She was asking all sorts of questions, and something was making me question her motive. At one point, I told her "The house appears to have been lived in hard. You'll definitely need to make some repairs." That was a mistake. The next thing I know she's telling me she's one of the owner's daughters and that I had no business saying that about the trailer, blah blah blah. I told her I really didn't care and to go list it with someone else. The guy I did the favor for just laughed and told me no big deal.

Gwynster said...

"The next thing I know she's telling me she's one of the owner's daughters and that I had no business saying that about the trailer, blah blah blah."

OMG I think I've met her... about dozen times in the past year >; )

I hope her brother told her what a dumbass she was. Listing a trailor in bad shape is a pretty generous act and I'm glad your friend knew that.

AgentBubble said...

Yeah, he was totally cool with it. He later told me she was just trying to get it relisted through a friend anyway.

sacramentia said...

I'm going to disagree with agent bubble:

As a seller if someone won't make the effort to write down the offer I won't make the effort to think about a counter. But I always counter a written offer.

As a buyer, if I'm going to get a great deal I want it in writing because if it really is a great deal, there is incentive for the parties to shop the offer.

Verbal only works if you are sitting across the table from the seller and there are no intermediaries.

AgentBubble said...

Nothing wrong with disagreement, it sparks conversation! I always ask the agent if they mind a verbal offer though. Never had someone say no. And I always ask about a verbal before I discuss the details of the offer. I briefly touched on it being a time saver for everyone involved. It really is when you think about it. Here's what's involved:

* 20+ pages of the contract/disclosures/etc (if written correctl)
* Deposit check
* Current letter from buyer's lender

In Average Buyer's case, that would have meant she'd have to write a deposit check, sign 20 pages of contract language, and get a current lettr from her lender. Then she'd have wasted all that time when the end result was the same. A simple phone call took care of everything.

If a buyer feels as strongly as you do, then of course an agent should write an offer instead of place a call. It's all about adapting in an ever changing market.

Gwynster said...

I was thinking the same thing. Why tie up my earnst money before I know whether the seller even knows what a ball looks like, let alone come to the plate and play?

sacramentia said...

I've never opened escrow until the purchase agreement was signed. And never had the earnest check cashed until escrow was opened?

How do you typically do it?

AgentBubble said...

sacramentia said...
I've never opened escrow until the purchase agreement was signed. And never had the earnest check cashed until escrow was opened?

How do you typically do it?


You can pre-open escrow once a listing is entered in MLS.

The deposit check must be surrendered once the offer is submitted. It typically goes into a broker's trust account until the offer is resolved (accepted/rejected). Holding on to it by an agent is a VERY big no no in California.

Regardless though, a written contract must be in existence before buyers/sellers can move forward. Are you thinking I'm saying a deal can move forward without a written agreement?

Gwynster said...

It's a definate no-no to hold onto it but there can be a delay getting it back. I've seen a friend have to nag for 22 days to get his money back.

sacramentia said...

Weird. I've done about 25 transactions personally and typically don't even write the check with the offer or just fax a copy of the check. Once accepted, I take the check to escrow. Maybe I've been doing it wrong all along.

The standard purchase agreement has all sorts of ways out right up to the last day, so you really don't have a deal until it's over anyways, so why worry about where the deposit money is before the you agree on the price. Makes no sense. If I were BT or Gwyn I'd just say I'm good for the money, have been waiting out the market, and the deposit will be there when you agree to the terms.

Of course you need something in writing...I've done 2 deals ftf over a handshake (no realtors), followed up with escrow instructions. I prefer using Realtors - but that is another topic.