It's frustrating for buyers, sellers and for us agents since we have to deal with the screams of 'it's a buyers market - bargains galore' and we know that every area is different - even down to neighborhoods.
I wrote 4 offers last week and if it was truly the situation that we hear about everyday on the tube or in the paper, all of them would have been accepted but none were!
VA offers are getting accepted but if you read the appraisal clause in your offer to purchase carefully, you will likely find the wording about the buyer having the option to close on the house if the appraisal comes in at any price below the agreed price. So, in the above example, you offer $160, the appraisal comes in - even at say $150 and there is no way that the seller can force you to pay the difference. The seller is placed in a situation where they may have moved out already and the deal is on the fence two days before closing due to having to find out if you are really willing/able to pay that extra money and close. I'm a veteran myself but I have to advise my clients of the risk, it's my duty to them. On a conventional loan, you can put in writing your intention to pay the difference, if necessary and be held to it which is a safer bet for any seller.
Agents have their own way of doing business. As an agent, I feel my job is to advise my clients, provide information and then submit the offer they want me to submit. If I feel it is a complete waste of time, I tell them so, but I tell them why and I provide information to back it up. If they want to persist, I will make the offer. If they repeatedly ask me to make offers I feel are ridiculous, then eventually I will suggest they find another agent.
Your agent may be justified in what he is telling you and he may very well think he is acting in your best interest. However, at a minimum, you have a communication issue if you feel he is lying to you, withholding information or not aggressive enough. You need to address this with him, resolve it or move on but it does not sound like a mutually beneficial relationship at the present time. It's not about who is right or wrong, but rather, developing a solid working relationship of mutual trust.
I feel setting a low price when you know the home is in great shape is an attempt to obtain multiple offers because the potential buyer feels they are really getting a sweet deal. A lot of the sweet deals are dead and gone. If it's too good to be true, it usually is. Be in a position to bid within the market, work with a direct lender, put down large monetary earnest money deposits to set you apart and make sure your credit is in line.
You want a house? You should be looking elsewhere or in prices significantly below your price range or at condos (which are less competitive).
The 2 previous answers are absolutely correct. Zillow is not always current. Homes/townhouses in the $140,000 price range in Prince William County do get multiple offers very quickly after they are entered into MLS. A good agent has the knowledge to advise you on the bidding wars we get into and to know when you are wasting your time and the agents time. However, if you have a Buyer Agency Agreememt singed, , then your agrnt ahould advise you on the situation,. After you consider your agents advice, if you still want to proceed then you agent shoould write up and present whatever offer you want to make.
Flo Cannon, CRS/GRI/SRS
It makes no sense in today's market to get yourself involved in a bidding war. There are only 2 possible outcomes: 1) you paid more than anyone else (and thus probably paid too much); or 2) you wasted your time driving the price higher for someone else. Neither of those outcomes is good for you.
It's easier for me to tell you this than for your realtor to tell you this. Examine the possibility that you're expectations are too high. If you want to pay bottom dollar, you'll have to chase a lot of houses to get a good deal.
On the other hand, if your agent is not supportive and doesn't appreciate your business, if you agent does not make recommendations or find opportunities, it might be time to move on.