Home Buying in 06360>Question Details

Maria, Home Buyer in Connecticut

I need advice please!

Asked by Maria, Connecticut Mon Apr 20, 2009

Hello all!
I saw this house and the asking price is $254,900. I admit it is a gorgeous house but we don'twant to give them full price. So I called OUR agent to call the sellers agent that we want to bid $225,000 and my agent pause and repeat the numbers to $225,000? I said yes. She said ok I will try to call the agent but I dont want to insult them because 225,000 is so low, the house is priced to sell you know. So I told her if I will start high then we don't have space to move if they counter offer. I told her also that she is an agent she should know that. You think I'm doing the wrong thing?

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Jim R’s answer
Hi Maria
My name is Jim Renshaw. My parents bought thius housae new in 1958. I grew up in this house as a teenager and attended NFA. I joined the Air Force in 1960. I don't remember any flooding in the basement. Original price was 15K, my how things change
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 8, 2011
In real estate there is no standard or rule of thumb. There are many factors that you have to look at. How long has the house been on the market? (The longer the better for you). How many other houses are for sale in the area? What have other houses sold for recently? If you absolutely have to have the property then you may not want to risk somebody else coming in with a higher offer. However, I agree with Jefferson. It is your agent's job to submit your offer. Many sellers can get insulted by a low offer because they have an emotional (as well as a financial) tie to the house, but that's not your problem. If they don't like the price you offer then you start to negotiate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
Your agent should give you comps, preferrably from the last 90 days, on the house so that you know what it is worth in TODAY's market. Consider what this house that others might not have in a similar price range. After looking at the comps and your budget, make an offer that YOU are comfortable with. If you have offered what you are willing to pay and the seller gets insulted, then there is nothing you can do about that. You are not looking for a new friend, this is business.
Web Reference: http://www.danrossre.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
Hi Maria,

Don't worry about "insulting them". Your offer of $225K is only 9% down from their listing price. That's hardly an insult. In fact it's a FINE first offer with 20% down. Now - if your overall package is 3.5% cash and financing all the rest ... then that's a different story.

Has "your agent" provided you with the recent SOLD comps for that house to you? If not, she is NOT doing HER JOB. And she shouldn't be telling you things like, "I don't want to insult them". This is business and it's YOUR money on the line not hers. Her job is trying to help represent you and negotiate for the best deal for YOU.

If your agent says anything that inane again ... well - as you feel appropriate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
A.) You could lose out if you start to low b/c another buyer could start higher
B.) You could insult them and have them straight out reject your offer
C.) The seller could counter back and you could come to terms
D.) The seller could accept your offer straight up, you don't know their motivation

It is up to you how bad you want the house and what your comfort level is as far as max price.

Your agent is working for you so they are trying to give you advice so you don't lose the home but they also do not know the sellers situation. What if the seller lost a job and wants to sell ASAP???
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2014
HI Maria,

QUOTE >> We were really hoping that by giving them 225k as starting price they will give us a counter offer but they didn't. The seller's agent said that they want to stick with the price or close to the asking price. Do you think 245k is close enough to 254,900? Please enlighten us

Well ... your "so-called agent" still hasn't provided you with the proper information that you need to know what the property is actually worth - at least in terms of the recent Sold Comps. Only then will you know what you might offer as your top-end "best offer". Clearly your "representation" is lacking.

So - your next step should likely be a conversation with the agent and her broker together. The asking price is essentially irrelevant without the sold comps. People can ASK whatever they want. In this market, they will be foolish if they are asking too much but that's a common problem.

You agent SHOULD have provided these to you and then be using this info on your behalf to push back on the Sellers agent. This is not happening. Considering that HER Commission is at stake, one would think that she'd be smarter than this but unfortunately this isn't the case. Her broker also has a commission on the line here - and this will NOT be lost on the managing broker. It will also not be lost on her that if this deal doesn't happen that they will lose you as a client.

I'd also be concerned that if your agent does such a bad job during this phase how poorly she will handle the things that happen after a contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
The first thing you should do is talk to your agent's broker. The contract you have is actually with him/her. Explain that you are not satisfied with you agent, and ask for a different one that will do the job correctly. Only an agent that has reviewed the comps can correctly advise you on the price. If your agent isn't doing that, her broker will appoint one that will.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009

A CMA is a competative marketing analysis. The simplest way to explain it is that it's a comparison of all the similar houses that have sold, currently active, under deposit and expireds. This is something your realtor should put together for you to show where the house should be priced. It does take sometime to do the calculations as your agent has to adjust for bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, garage, etc. - basically all the differences in the properties - since no 2 homes are exactly the same. It is a very powerful tool in negotiating the price especially if it is overpriced. Honestly, it is impossible for you to know what price to offer without looking at the comps (all the houses used for a CMA). From your point of view, how do you know you didn't offer too much at $225,000?

In regards to the seller's comment requesting your highest offer, I do run into seller's who refuse to negotiate back and forth. It is extremely frustrating! This is where it becomes your agent's job to work with the other agent to make the seller understand how the process works. One way to make this a little easier for you is to sit down with your agent and write the offer. Once the seller is presented with the written offer then he has to respond. Many times, seeing it in black and white seems to make it more of a reality for the seller to where he will start to negotiate and stop being stubborn.

I hope this information is helpful to you in finding a solution to your problem!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
Thank you all! thanx Jeff.
We do have a signed contract with her but I think it was expired already.
I really like the house though, I and hubby really talk about this and we have to make a decision on how far should we go for this house. According to my agent that the sellers agent made it clear to her that they don't want to go back and forth negotiation that's why we have to give them our best price and it's either the seller will take it or reject it. We were really hoping that by giving them 225k as starting price they will give us a counter offer but they didn't. The seller's agent said that they want to stick with the price or close to the asking price. Do you think 245k is close enough to 254,900? Please enlighten us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
Hi Maria,

Did you sign a buyers agreement with this woman? If you did please get it out and look at it for a termination clause.

Note - if you want THAT house - you'll still need to use her, but I would not see another single house with her.

This is a big problem - She is NOT doing her job - you should know what that house is worth against similar homes. I would speak with her broker immediately (the broker is the person who owns the office and license that your agent is operating under.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
No things are no different in Ct. I am an agent and an ex New Yorker so maybe I have a bit of an edge. Of course I would probe to see what the agent was thinking when she suggeted this but no , you can get another agent at any time or at least ask the office mananger to neogtiate on your behalf. This is usually the biggest purchase of a lifetime. If you are uncomfortable with an agents advice listen to yourself and take action. Just one persons view.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
She never show us comps for any houses, I don't even know what CMS is. I just got a phone call from her saying that the seller's agent told her that 225k is not even close as starting price. The house is been in the market for 20 days that's probably why.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009

What value did the comps suggest that your agent provided you? Did it show the house was over-priced, under-priced or fairly-priced? In all honesty, in this market, if the house has been listed for awhile and there aren't other buyers showing a lot of interest, then the offer wasn't offensive. If your agent didn't do a CMA, then my concern would be that you may be offering too much. There are many houses that are way over-priced and the sellers don't want to face the reality of today's market.

In regards to your agent trying to call the other agent, more than likely the other agent's response would be to submit the offer in writing. A verbal offer doesn't cover all the other details that would be included in writing such as inspections, closing date, items to be included, type of mortgage, etc.

I wish you all the best with your negotiations!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
Hi Karen,

Do things work differently in CT than down here? Wouldn't Maria be unable to just change buyers agents in the middle of bidding, without at the very least a huge discussion with the agent and her broker?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
You are just fine bidding in that range. Get another agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
Hello Maria,

Of course you are not doing the wrong thing. The way this market is today you might even be able to get it down lower then that. Don't feel bad business is business!

Brian Pirraglia

BayBurg Financial

400 SE 6th St.

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Office: 954-764-7064 ext. 215

Fax: 954-764-7067

Toll Free: 1-866-941-0559
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
Thank you Mel, my agent didn't tell us anything about price limitation after the showing. When I called her earlier she then told me that the seller's agent told her that the house was priced to sell. She did told me that the reason why the market price is only 254,900 is that the couple already bought a house out of state and that they want to sell the house right away.
I don't know if I insulted the seller by bidding 225,000?Now I feel bad.
How would you really bid a house? should I start my offer %10 below the asking price?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
In the state of California, an agent is supposed to submit all offers as requested by the buyer. The seller's agent must submit all offers to his or her client, unless told NOT to submit a specific kind of offer (for example, if they are instructed not present any offers below $230,000). HOpe that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
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