Home Buying in 94605>Question Details

Thg, Home Buyer in Oakland, CA

I am working with the realtor. I wanted to see a condo that is listed. In passing, he dropped a comment that another one just like that sold at 59K

Asked by Thg, Oakland, CA Tue Sep 15, 2009

below same asking price but it had $30K pest inspection repairs which the agent had seen. Then he started hinting me taht I should make an offer very close to the asking price, specifically 9K below, explaining that 30K repairs offset the low comp. Well, when I asked about details on the pest repairs, I was told that in fact it was water damage. Then there were other hints that there were other offers on the property, but no numbers were given to me, even approximately. I have bought houses before and agents were usually more forthcoming. I guess the main issue is trust now. I confronted the agent about the pest repairs that turned water damage but he said that since the other sale closed, all the disclosures are no longer available. Am I rightfully concerned that information is being concealed from me and that I am pushed to make an offer higher than it would be accepted by the buyer? I indicated that I would be open to negotiations, but I am still being pushed to a much higher offer.

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Hi Thg:

You touch upkn many issues here. Lets see if we can devide them logically:
1. if you do not trust your realtor, walk away and find another one you do trust. Interview some if you need.
2. The pest report, if don e by a reputable compnay, gives you many details about what is wrong with the property (structurally). Remember a pest report does not contain a home inspection part .
3. Your realtor should be able to give you advice in a multiple offer scenario. I use strategic scenarios to buy property.
4. Your agent should have a very good idea about area property values. a CMA would take care of that.
5. Lastly, your realtor should speak with the listing agent to get as much info as possible. That might not include offer prices, as that would be unethical, but could include types of offers.
Lastly, the listing agent on the previous property sold, should still have some info on that property, which we almost always share withe each other.

Hope that helps.
Antoine (aepirson@yahoo.com).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
Hello Thg,

Are you, by any chance, working with the same realtor who is listing the property? If not, then in todays multiple bid market, it would be difficult for your agent to know what other offers are at unless the listing agent was forthcoming with that info. The pest report can be obtained from public records. Best thing to do is look at comps and bid what you feel comfortable bidding. If you like, I can give you comps on the property. Just drop me an email. Good luck!

Kamal Randhawa
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
You can compare prices with other properties with the same specs and location, from there you can base your rates and lastly the buyer has the final call for the prices, make sure that you give them value for their money
Web Reference: http://bankownedbuffalo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
Hi Thg,

I am going to jump in here as well. The information that the previous agents gave you is correct. I don't know if you know, but pest reports are legally required to be stored for two years by the State of California, so someone has the report. You can call the board, but it would be much easier to get it from the original listing agent.

If you don't have a pest report on the unit you are looking at, you can get one during your inspection period. If you don't like what you find, then you may cancel the contract.

You didn't mention whether it is an REO, but one problem with REO properties is that listing agents often don't know a lot about them. Keep in mind that can be difficult to get loans on condominiums that have ongoing problems with the HOA's, including litigation with builders regarding water damage.

As far as the issue with your agent... most likely it is a misunderstanding between you both. Agents often use shorthand to explain things that seem clear, but to buyers are confusing. Your agent wants to help you get the property and sometimes seems pushy while trying to help you reach your stated aim.

My advice:
First, write what is affordable for you.
Second, do your own inspections.
Third, make sure your lender knows owner occupancy and other pertinent facts about the building.
Fourth, follow your timelines and cancel your offer within the timeframes if you are not satisfied with what you find.

All the best!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
Water damage falls under the category "pest report", because the damage is caused by fungus and other organisms that thrive in a moist environment, so your agent is not being dishonest there.

Your agent could call the previous listing agent to see if a copy of the reports could be obtained, even if they are no longer available on line.

The Buyer is the final arbiter of price. Look at the information for the most recent comparable, factor in the pest report once you have seen it, and determine what you think the value of the condo is. If someone else thinks it is worth more, they will offer more.

Your agent can ask the listing agent about the status of other offers to see about where they are. The listing agent may opt not to give you any information, but it is worth asking.

In the end, he is YOUR agent. You determine what your offer price should be. If he is unwilling to write the contract, or provide you solid data to support his offer price, you may need to look for representation elsewhere.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
To add to the concern, the agent explained his strategy: bid high, then negotiate price down. In any case, I am the one who can be found in a breach of contract and my deposit of $10K will be gone. He also hinted that I could walk away from the offer based on numerous contingencies on the unit, however, if none are found, I am stuck with higher price. Am out of my mind? I never heard of this kind of approach. Everybody else puts the offer they are comfortable with and work it upwards.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
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