This is America, you can do whatever you want but this is also California and backing out of escrow means the seller and his lawyer will have a say based on what was offered initially in your contract. Be very careful about this sort of thing with a Realtor CAR contract. They are considered good faith contracts and the consequences for backing out could be costly.
Like everyone said below, for best information, consult an attorney for good advise with the exact situation.... more
I've often wondered about this. There is a section in the offer form where you can request the owner's acknowledgement of the offer, but I have a feeling this doesn't always happen.
I am certain that some realtors don't make their clients aware of certain offers and give priority to offers from buyers represented by agents in their own office, or may shy away from offers via agents they dislike.
What I suggest is to mail or deliver a copy of your offer to the owner of the house. No reason why you cannot do this. You could include a personal letter emphasizing why you love the house, etc., and let them know you plan to live there and be part of the neighborhood, etc. I know I'd prefer to sell my home to someone who'd be a good neighbor than someone who'd just rent it out. There are ways to find the names of owners (like using www.blockshopper.com) or property tax records.
I believe there are some really unscrupulous realtors around -- especially in Clayton where I know of one who even told me that they like to keep listings "in-house" as "special gifts" for buyers who work only with them (those would be the "coming soon" homes that don't get signs put outside until it's sold and never go on the MLS. This realtor will argue that some clients like the privacy of such a sale ... but I imagine that's only after the realtor has painted a horror story for them first. Yikes.... more
First of all, if you're looking to buy a property, your best bet is engage a realtor to help you, and/or to go to Realtor.com to see what properties are actively offered for sale.
Realtytrac provides information on properties that have received notices of default/trustee sale. However NOT all of these homes are put up for sale since some of the property owners find a way to resolve their delinquencies.
And yes...once the bank forecloses on a property, they typically engage a realtor to list it on the MLS when you and your agent can find out more information like how much it foreclosed for, what it is listed at, what concessions if any the foreclosing bank i offererng.
Just to satisfy your (and my) curiosity, I looked at what's actively offered for sale in Clayton as of this writing
2 are bank-owned
4 are short sale
What sold since January 1
16 were bank-owned
26 were short sale
What are pending as of this writing
3 are bank-owned
33 are short sales
The key will be if the loan is a recourse loan or non recourse loan in california. If you refinanced the property you may have some issues. If the bank has a right to a defeciency the right will be exercised after a judement is created and they start the collection process on the short fall between home value and mortgage. How it would be paid, if in fact you owe it would be determined by the bank, courts and you. It could be garnishment of wages or if you sell home attachment of proceeds. It is best to talk to a attorney if in fact you have a recourse loan.
First Weber Group
Certified Distressed Property Expert