Home Buying in 22306>Question Details

Marie, Home Buyer in 22306

I found a property that was just listed in woodbridge and contacted my realtor the next morning and wanted

Asked by Marie, 22306 Sun Jun 21, 2009

him to check it for me. It was a regular sale in the upper 140's and in great condition. He phoned me back stating that the house was in great shape but that the listing agent already had 12 offers with 5 more still coming and that I didn't really want to get into a bidding war over the property. He also noted that the VA appraiser (I have a va loan) would not appraise the property for that high any yet the offers were coming in well over $140 and I would have to make an offer in the $160's. He also said that the house next door just recently sold for $120, yet when I researched Zillow there were no other houses in that area that had sold recently. I am upset because I feel like my realtor lied to me so he wouldn't have to write up an offer knowing that I would be up against other competition. Shouldn't a realtor submit an offer for you if that is what you chose to do do? I feel my realtor isn't aggressive enough on my behalf since I have only made one offer on a home since Feb.

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it's hard to get a VA offer by when you are in a multiple offer situation since the VA buyer cannot be forced to pay over the appraised value. So, one can offer what they like and enter into a competitive offer situation but if the appraisal comes in a dollar below the agreed upon price, the VA buyer can walk. There is a lot of risk to the seller. You don't know you are in a multiple offer situaton until you express interest in the house and the agent calls to find out. It's a catch 22 - you don't want your agent to NOT show you these homes since they meet your criteria.. some homes are easier to figure out due to condition (cash buyers don't have to worry about appraisal driven condition issues).

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 22, 2009
I cannot speak to why your agent gave you the advice he did, nor would I assume he lied about other houses being sold recently, because Zillow is not always accurate and I would not consider them an authoritative source. Just ask him to send you the recent comps; it is public information and that should put an end to that subject.

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.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 21, 2009
OK the market in Woodbridge has changed dramatically. If you see a home and the list price is $140+ and it's in good condition, you better believe there will be multiple offers. It's the same in Fairfax County as well. Also there are agents who have the contracts ratified by the owner and continue to leave the home listed as active. It's frustrating for the potential buyer as well as for the Realtor when the information is not up to date in the MLS.
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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 2, 2009
If it is that hard to use a VA loan in Prince William county, then my realtor should relay that information to me instead of giving me false hopes. This particular property was listed as a REGULAR sale and not a short sale or foreclosure which I understand can get into a bidding war. I have been completey approved by the VA for a home loan so why should I look elsewhere if I chose to look in Prince William County? It sounds like to me the properties are being saved for investors with cash in hand instead of qualified buyers who are constantly told it's a "buyers" market. It's a shame that you have a qualified VA buyers that drop out of the market because they are tired of getting disappointed, with me being one of them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 22, 2009
If you want to submit an offer ANYWAY, then you should tell your agent that. However, i fully understand why she'd discourage it. It is VERY hard to buy with a VA loan right now, especially if you want to ask for closing costs. I have had a buyer a week drop out because they can't take the disappointment in this market.

You want a house? You should be looking elsewhere or in prices significantly below your price range or at condos (which are less competitive).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 21, 2009

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
Weichert Realtors,
Cell 703-868-1625
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 21, 2009
You realtor has an obligation to write up an offer at your instruction. That said, I'm pretty sure your realtor didn't lie to you. It's true: prices in Northern Virginia have dropped. It's false: there is no free money in America. If there are many offers on a property, your agent's advice is sound.

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 21, 2009
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