Home Buying in 05401>Question Details

Barbara, Home Buyer in Colchester, VT

I want to put in an offer on a home that has been with a relo company since Sept. 08. The house has been

Asked by Barbara, Colchester, VT Mon May 11, 2009

vacant since Nov. '08. The original listing price was 298K..now it's 289,900. (has been since Nov.08). No offers at all..houses in the area are listed in the 280's..last one that has sold was February 2008 for 274k...(yes more than a year ago) average price for housing in the area 234K-268K. the realtor who is taking me around and has been helpful freaked when i told him i was going to offer in the 200Khigh teens... and see where it goes.. i haven't made the offer yet... now rethinking I want to offer maybe 235K and ask for closing costs by seller (relo company)...the house is 94% move in condition... no frig...bathtub in master will need replaced..(it's cracked & probably leaks)... can anyone offer me some advice on what to offer...it's in Vermont (where housing is somewhat holding it's pricing but nothing is selling because no one qualifies)... the realtor tells me relo's don't counter offer..they just say NO. Any advice? many thanks...barbara

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Adam Hergenrother’s answer
Hi Barbara,
I have dealt with many of these situations regarding REO's and short sales. They will counter offer you. If you need help please call or emaill me back and I can walk you through the steps. I am located right here in Colchester and know the area very well! Thanks! Sarah
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Hi, Barbara,

First, those relos I worked with will counter, they are subject to corporate approval though. The risk of putting a too low of an offer is they will reject instead of an counteroffer. It is a chance if you are willing to take. There is no difference to write an offer to a relo than to a homeowner, you can ask, and it is up to them to counter or not. Talk to your realtor, he/she will tell you more about the sales in your local market. Don't you trust your realtor's opinions?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 11, 2009
Dear Barbara:

You mention some realtor - if it is a listing agent, it is not very helpful to you, if it is your Buyer Agent, you need to discuss and put an offer in writing. Talking in real estate does not get one far from ground zero - everything should be in writing. And I cannot believe that the Relo Company would not counter-offer to a WRITTEN OFFER. I work with Prudential Relocation and have never had them ignore a written offer, so I am pretty sure other companies are not much different.

If you do not have a Buyer Agent you can go to a few open houses in the area, talk to realtors holding the house open, find the professional who you like and hire this agent to help you with looking into these details and making an offer. You can also talk to your friends and co-workers asking who they can refer you to. You will be surprised how many professional agents you will be able to choose from.

Look for a LOCAL AGENT: knowledge of the immediate area and the LOCAL housing market is essential.

Do not get discouraged. It will work out.

All the best!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 11, 2009

Not knowing which relo company you are dealing with nor the particular agent that you are working with, I cannot get real specific.

I will tell you that we have done several listings w/ relo companies and I have not seen an instance where they refused to counter on an offer that they thought was reasonable.

I have some question for you: is the agent you are working with a Buyer's Agent working for you, or are they working with you on the Seller's behalf? Is the listing agency for the property and your real estate agent's agency the same? Are you serious about buying this house or are you just looking to steal it?

Depending on your answers, I have a couple different pieces of advice.

1. If the Agent you are working with is not your Buyer's Agent and he works for the Listing Agency for the house in question, then you need to ask yourself if you trust him. If you do, then continue to work with him. If you tell him that you want to put in an offer, he cannot refuse and has to present it.

2. If the Agent you are working with is not your Buyer's Agent and he works for the Listing Agency for the house in question and you don't trust him, then you need to find a Buyer's Agent. He can help you find someone or you can ask around. If you go the second route, then your new agent is going to have to know everything you have done with this other agent up front... otherwise they will not get paid and you will have to pay it out of your pocket in the end.

3. If the Agent you are working with has no relation to the Listing Agency and you trust him, then tell him you want to put the offer in and sign him up as a Buyer's Agent.

4. If you do not trust the agent you are working with, then by all means, get yourself a Buyer's Agent. Again, make sure that they know the score at the start so that they can work out their commission so that you won't have to foot that bill.

5. If you are serious about buying this house, then put in a "fair" offer. Something that you feel reflects what you think that the property is worth, not the bargain that you are looking for. Sellers in general react badly when they feel that someone is trying to take advantage of them.

The thing with Relo companies and banks is that they are generally working on a formula of list price to sales price. They can not generally accept an extremely low offer unless the listing agent can justify it. If you are just lowballing the offer "just cuz" then you are probably wasting your time. Work with your agent to find that offer range.

The other thing with Relo companies is that the agents that list those properties will have to perform updated price opinions every couple of months. If they have kept the price steady since November, then that agent has given them a reason.

So... do a "gut check" on your realtor. Get representation if you feel that you should and then work with them to put together an offer that is fair. You do those steps and you should be moving in by the beginning of July.

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 11, 2009
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