Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Average Buyer Attempts

Now that prices have come down a bit, I'm not as embarrassed about submitting (what I consider) a reasonable offer. So I will create a new section to keep tabs on our attempts at purchasing a home., both offers and outings.

Offers so far in 2008:
1) January - We put in a verbal offer to a builder who built a custom spec home (the home sold for 16% below asking, but still 20% above our meager offer). For some reason, I'm not as embarrassed about submitting low offers to builders since they wouldn't take it as personally.
2) February - We submitted a written offer and negotiated with a seller on a short sale. Unfortunately, the bank would not approve the sale at our offer price (approximately 20% below asking). The seller did receive bank approval at 14% below their list price, and they immediately re listed the home (before we even responded that we wouldn't increase our offer price). We feel like we were played so that they could bring an offer to the bank and get a "bank approved" figure.
3) April - Written offer on an REO, approximately 15% below asking. After lengthy negations, and several unpleasant discoveries about the home and lender we bowed out at the last minute. Rather disgusted to learn that the home went for considerably less then what we had negotiated with the bank. How incredibly frustrating. They played uber-hardball with us, and we eventually walked....their loss.
4) June - Written offer on an REO. We saw this place at an open house, the same day as the offer #3 house. So far the bank is not budging on the price. They think its priced right now (apparently it took them 6 months and around 100k in price drops to get there). The home sold for 25K above our final offer.
5) August - We resubmit for the Short Sale that we tried for in February. In the hopes that the bank would be more willing to negotiate now that 6 months have passed. We even paid $300 for an appraisal. The bank would not negotiate. We believe the home is now going into foreclosure.
6) December - We made an offer to a builder at a development we have eyed for quite some time. We were surprised and delighted when they accepted. We closed on our home in Feb of 2009.

1) In mid February, saw 4 homes with our agent (one resulted in offer #2 above), and one additional home without our agent.
2) Mid April went to 5 open houses. Two were REOs. The other three were above our price range, but were not likely to sell at their current price, despite the agent's insistence. Wrote offer number 3 on one of the REOs.
3) Open house in June to re-examine the same REO we saw in April. The price has dropped substantially since then.
4) Early August - We saw 3 homes with our Realtor (one was having an open house). The one we liked the most is an REO (but we think it will get bid up way above our price range...and they are making you pre-qual through their people with lots of other paperwork...not sure if its worth the hassle to get outbid). Another was a short sale, but apparently about to go into contract. The third was an actual owner occupied sale, but the road noise was a pretty big turnoff.
5) Mid September - We attended 3 open houses. Really liked two of them. The third was beautiful, but not properly laid out for a family of 4. Was rather impressed at how much home we can get for our money these days. In both cases there was one other buyer there (so I wouldn't say tons of foot traffic, but better than nothing).
6) September - A bank owned home on a large parcel of land was up for auction. We visited on the "open house" day. Unfortunately, the very reasonable "reserve price" listed online was completely meaningless according to the Realtor, so we did not bother attend the auction, as the bank would not accept anything less than 3x the reserve. How annoying. Even more frustrated to learn that the home did not sell at auction, but then showed up on the MLS a couple weeks later as pending sale. It sold for less than we were willing to pay. Sounds like an inside job.
6) November - Went to some open houses one Sunday and saw a FSBO in one of our favorite neighborhoods (found it on Craigslist).

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