Home Buying in Brooklyn>Question Details

Inna, Home Buyer in Sheepshead Bay, Broo...

Can't get a commitment from the seller

Asked by Inna, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY Tue May 1, 2012

Submitted an offer on a house which was vebally accepted. This was a week ago and we have nothing from the seller. Furthurmore, all of a sudden, agent posts the qiestion " if the house doesn't appraise for selling price, are you willing to pursue it?" We have been lookingfor a house for 4 years and this house is perfect for us. What is going on?

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What's going on, perhaps, is that the seller's agent ("broker") knows you love that house, and they're using your offer to try to get a better offer from someone else, or from you.

This agent's question is a sneaky way to assess if you have any more money in the bank that they can get away from you.

Therefore you answer that question with: "I don't know." Which is true, because if you see a better house today you will buy that one instead, since you don't have anything signed on this house.

This is why buyers need buyers' agents who will look out for the best interests of the buyer.

Because you're pitted against someone who sells for a living, who does this kind of thing every day, and you don't. Of course you're not going to be as good at negotiation as they are, they practice their craft every day.

The seller's agent's job is to get as much money as possible from the buyer. They don't care about you personally, at all, no matter how nice they seem to be. You probably even told that person you've been looking for 4 years.....gee I hope you didn't, but in any case, the lights in your eyes are hard to hide.

You should have been asked to sign a disclosure form that says the seller's broker/agent is working for the seller. You should have been given a copy. If you were not presented with such a form, I would send an email today and politely ask for the "New York State Disclosure Form for Buyer and Seller" filled out by the agent/broker.

If you did receive the form, read what it says about what a seller's agent owes the seller. This is the law in New York State. Anything you tell a seller's broker goes straight back to the seller and is used against you in negotiations. It's not evil, it's the law. The reasons for it are good ones but they take a long time to explain.

By the way, if the seller's agent declared themselves a "Dual Agent" then read that section. The disclosure form warns that dual agency can be bad for consumers.

What's also happening, perhaps, is that the seller will accept your offer but with reluctance. If so, they will drag their feet presenting a contract to you and since the buyer signs first, they will take forever to sign on the seller side. They can keep you going a long time if you let them. So, you need a good real estate specialist attorney once you have signed.

A buyer's broker's job is to keep things moving in these situations. Without a buyer's broker you are not in a great position to do this, but you will need to try to keep this deal on track. I do wish you good luck ~

PS: well-intentioned advice from CA is not relevant. For starters, it's unlikely that you are dealing with a Realtor, since few Brooklyn agents are Realtors. And, we do things quite differently here in New York City.

Karla Harby
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Rutenberg Realty
New York, NY
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 1, 2012
Hi Inna,

First, you need to have your Realtor contact the listing agent to get your offer accepted in writing. Real Estate contracts have to be in writing - your verbal acceptance means nothing. Second, it sounds like the listing agent/seller believe the house may not appraise - it is priced over current market value. Depending on your type of financing (i.e. Conventional, FHA, VA), you can pay the difference (in cash) between appraised value and purchase price (unless you're doing a VA loan which doesn't allow you to pay the difference - all other loan types will allow you to pay the difference). If you are allowed to pay the difference in cash, you need to decide if you want to and if you can. Also, if you can and are willing to, keep in mind you would be starting off in a property that is worth less than what you paid for it (negative equity).

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 1, 2012
One or two things may be happening, They may be holding off, hoping another party will come forward and make a stronger offer. And they obviously have concerns that the home will not appraise high enough. You need to answer that question, at least for yourself, The answer may be "yes" if it really is perfect for you - and if you have sufficient resources to make up the difference between the appraisal and selling prices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 1, 2012
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