If this is a HomePath property, do not allow the opportunity to buy the property with HomePath financing and no appraisal to sway you into paying too much. If so, you will have no equity until the value of the property rises.
From a buying perspective it is never a good idea to fall in love with a potential property and this sounds like you have and as a result you should pass on this property. It is in appropriate for a listing agent to accept a listing far above market. That said, after representing 200+ banks in over 2000 listings I understand this situation. Banks don't believe the market, they don't believe their agents, they don't believe the buyers, they believe the appraiser and if the property gets a bad appraisal, they stick with it. While I never had a variance as large as you are alleging, I have been assigned over priced listings that were not going to sell at list price and where buyers were discouraged from making offers. Priced at $200, six offers between $150 to 160 should demonstrate to the bank that the market has spoken, but not if they have an appraisal at $200 and the offer acceptance guidelines state no acceptance below 90% of appraisal prior to 90 days on the market.
The relationship between the list agent and bankâ€™s asset manager is difficult. Argue with the asset manager, refuse to obey the asset managers instructions and itâ€™s not the loss of that one listing, itâ€™s the loss of 20 to 100 listings a year. Is that consequence worth one buyer or one sale, get real. In that situation the a listing agentâ€™s decision making process is highly biased toward doing what the bank and/or asset manager demands. When this happened to me, and overwhelming data supporting price or a buyerâ€™s offer were presented, the asset manager frequently said, â€œDo you think Iâ€™m stupid or somethingâ€ â€œI know but there is nothing I can do. We have an appraisal, its inaccurate but we are contractually required to accept a percentage of list price based on the time on the market.â€ I would also be told, donâ€™t worry we know it will not sell, we canâ€™t get a new appraisal for X months and we will not hold it against you for the property not selling and we will renew your listing till it sells.
I can tell you when you as the listing agent refuses a listing someone else will take it and usually all your other listings. This is not speculation, itâ€™s happened to me many times. Chances are you and the sale of this home are insignificant to the listing agent and this sale is as important to BoA as a grain of sand is on a beach. There are tens of thousands of homes to choose from, unless you know there is drug money stashed in the walls or gold buried in the back yard, find another home.
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Here's what you need to understand, the stupidity of asset managers who work for the banks is only surpassed by their arrogance. You should also read the link below as rarely if ever are foreclosures the "deal" buyers assume them to be.
Lastly as others have indicated any seller can ask any price they want no matter how absurd it might be.Buyers have the recourse of laughing in the faces and wishing them all the best.
It would be VERY odd though to see a property listed at nearly twice what recent sales in the neighborhood are closing for. The Listing Agent NEVER make the final decision on List Price, Offer Price, Price Reduction, etc. They can advise the Seller all day long, but at the end of the day, the decision lies with the Seller.
Jen and Mark Bowman