First off, I don't think there is a "club," though it may seem that way to you. I only work for buyers so I have your perspective on "getting a good deal." And there's nothing wrong with making a low-ball offer IF you are a serious buyer. And low or not, you should be treated respectfully and professionally. I've been on the receiving end of flak from the listing agent who thought my client's offer was too low. A good listing agent knows how to handle that initial conversation. A bad listing agent does not. You know what I tell them when they start to grumble? "Hey, a low offer is better than the alternative...no offer." And it's pretty easy to say that in this market.
I sounds like you've done your homework but a few things stand out:
>>This offer was made at 72% of list. Yes it's low, but it's not inconsistent with the behavior of that market.
You sound like you were justified in your initial offer but I'm guessing that there was something about this home that made the seller believe that 72% was just not a "reasonable" offer for it. Perhaps your data includes several short-sales and/or foreclosures. Yes, you can use them but I'll bet you weighted them too heavily for this particualr home.
I also see no indication that you had your own agent. That, combined with a "low" offer, may have led the other agent to believe that you are not a serious buyer. Also, you made a verbal offer? That doesn't carry a lot of weight in some circles. Around my parts that isn't really done. They always say"put it in writing."
The thing that really throws up a yellow flag is that you say you've been "dealing with Realtors for 5 years."
I don't know your situation but I see two things here: One, it looks like you've gone through your share of Realtors, maybe never fuly commiting to any one since you don't seem to like or trust Realtors. And the other thing is that you've taken 5 years to decide to buy a home. You may be serious and just very thorough but when I've dealt with people who take "years" to buy a home it usually doesn't go well. Say what you will, but people like you, because of your thought processes, are just hard to deal with. Nothing personal, but your type is a royal pain in the back side.
Saw it coming - waited it out......
Now - I want to take advantage of sellers in a difficult position.
Doesn't sound like there is any empathy or emotion in decisions being made - but - now when presenting a low offer - and explaining away all of the reasons we are in this mess - you want empathy from us?
Hmmmm... Sounds like you are just looking for a soapbox......
Serving Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia
You are missing the point. It is the seller who decides whether or not to accept the offer or even negotiate the offer. Agents can try to reason with them but ultimately must accept the wishes of the sellers unless there is some magical hypnosis technique I am unaware of.
Agents are just as frustrated with both unrealistic sellers and unrealistic buyers. 60% to 72% of list price is almost unheard of in my market so you must be dealing with something that I have no knowledge of and I will concede to any agents from your area who have more specific knowledge regarding what you are talking about.
Generally speaking, I will make every effort for my sellers to consider all offers a starting point in negotiations. Unless buyers are beating down the doors, obviously every offer should at least have a counter offer because I figure there is nothing to lose. However to make an offer that much off of list price is frankly disrespectful in my market and would be considered an insult.
You seem to be forgetting that sellers have their needs and wants too. Many have been financially devastated by the market and it has led to personal and financial ruin for far too many people, often due to circumstances beyond their control. It may help to have a little bit of empathy for people who may be going through a really rough time.
Keep in mind that agents don't make money until a transaction closes so this idea of us all being in cahoots to keep prices high has no merit. It is obviously in our (and everyone elses) best interest to get the deal done.
You may very well be right about prices declining in the next few years. I guess that means that you have the option of waiting, instead of getting angry at the sellers and their agents who are simply trying to get what is currently considered market value.
I'm with several of the agents who answered that there is more than one side to a story and something is making me feel as if it didn't go down quite the way it was described.
There is nothing logical about assuming that there is this Good Ol' Boy's Club (especially since most agents are women,lol) that would somehow benefit from NOT making a sale. The listing agent's fiduciary responsibility is to the seller, not the buyer. This means that the agent will and should act in the seller's best interest and act according to the seller's wishes, not act out of concern for a buyer who is trying to put in a low ball offer.
As others here have said, you can resubmit or move on.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Yes, negotiations can begin respectfully. I would like to point out that if Realtors were a 'Good ol' boy's club," then there wouldn't've been any hanging up on one another. They'd've figured out a way to put the deal together to the detriment of you both, right?
Anyway, you and your agent should act the grownup, and decide whether you want to resubmit or move on.
All the best,
First of all, in a business setting, hanging up the phone is never appropriate. Whatever drama brought the parties to that point needs to be set aside. There sounds like a lack of respect was present on that phone call, either by one, or both, of the agents.
That being said, you have several problems to contend with.
First, a good buyer's agent NEVER negotiates over the phone. As a listing agent, they will want all offers to be in writing. Your pre-approval must be for the amount of the offer, be in writing, and have the specific subject property address on it. Otherwise, you don't have pre-approval. You should also have proof of funds necessary for closing (down payment plus estimated closing costs).
When you have those three items, your agent has the right to present any offer. The listing agent is duty bound to present it, UNLESS he has a letter from the seller, in writing and SIGNED by the seller, stating that the seller will not look at offers below $xxx.
If the agent will not present, contact the branch manager of his/her office. Coldwell Banker is an ethical, reputable firm that follows the letter, and spirit, of the NAR code of ethics and real estate law.
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
The offer you submitted is the offer you are willing to pay for the home. Whether it is reasonable for the market or not it is your perspective. On the other hand, the seller reacts in kind.
Let's say that the current market of homes in your area are selling for $300,000 and you offer $200,000. That would be an unreasonable offer. Listing agents are being hammered with "sharp" and "unreasonable" offers and it really depends on how your agent presented it to the other agent. It is a team effort.
Agents do care that is why most of us got into this business. My advice is to understand the market. If a house is surely over priced there is going to need to be some education to the listing agent and seller. This requires tact from the Buyer side. If they are of the mindset the house is worth a certain number, no amount of hardship on your side is going to change their mind. They want the most for their house.
Good luck and don't give up. Simply get a pulse on the market.
- Or to take arms against a sea of brokers / And by opposing end them.
Go ahead, knock yourself out. And I mean that. Do, go ahead; do, knock yourself out.
There was a Buyer9099
To some he appeared to whine, whine, whine
Poor buyers he thought with prices still high
All he wanted was a piece of the pie
Okay, my poetic skills don't quite match your own, admittedly pretty pathetic.
I absolutely understand the frustration of how difficult it is these days to achieve that dream of home ownership. Yes, the problem was that it was too easy for too many years and now, even with low interest rates and declining prices, lending has tightened up, employment is shaky or non existent for many and that dream seems so close yet just out of reach.
Realize that not all sellers were caught up in the greed of quick profits and easy money. Some just bought a house when prices were at the peak of the bubble because they thought they could afford it and their desire was the same as yours- to own a home. Now, maybe they lost a job or are forced to move and are facing selling a house that is worth less than they owe. That doesn't make them evil or stupid, just people caught up in unfortunate circumstances.
Rather than expressing disgust or impatience at sellers for not selling at what you think the house is worth, be patient, keep saving and eventually you will get the house you want for the price you are willing to pay. This is the way the market works, its the way it has always worked.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous realtors
Or to take arms against a sea of brokers
And by opposing end them. To buy, to sell--
No more--and buy or sell to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That the market is heir to. 'Tis ownership
Devoutly to be wished. To buy, to sell--
To own-- the American Dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sale of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this overpriced property,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes equity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of realtors,
Th' banks are wrong, the proud man's life savings
The pangs of deals gone south, the buyer's delay,
The insolence of the good ol' boys club, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a pre-approval? Who would Low Ball,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of hanging up the phone on one,
The undiscovered home, from whose area code
No buyer returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than to submit an offer not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. -- Soft you now,
The fair Realtor! -- Seller, in thy dealings
Be all my sins remembered.
To my mind, the secret to staying sane in this business is to avoid "buyers" who can spend five years dealing with us and not buying!
Yeah, thanks for that. Instead, what most of us do - especially in markets like Heather's, with the typical sale closing at 98.4% of list price - is to advise our sellers that, instead of jumping on Larry the Lowballer's offer, let's look at the next marketing price point, and relist the property there. For example, if the house is listed at $500K and you walk in at $365K, why don't we relist it at $475K or even $450K first?
Anyway, I'd be bitter too if I was homeshopping for five years. But, then, I suppose everyone needs a hobby.
Joan, something isn't unrealistic if it has really happened. I didn't buy a home when I needed it most, during the heated market, because I didn't want to lose a fortune when I would need to move 10 years down. It's very hard to be sympathetic to someone who acts stupidly, as people did buying at the top of the market and getting loans they couldn't afford, which many in your profession had pushed. Rewarding bad behavior can only go on for so long.
I never want to waste my time, and certainly do not want to waste anyone else's time for that matter. If I wanted to insult somebody with a low offer, I'd say something like: "I'll give you 72% of asking and you're UGLY!" Now that's insulting.
Buyer9099, it seems as if the point of your question has turned from being a question on etiquette to a rant that the real estate profession should be pushing values and prices down.
All the best,
The so-called "low-ball" offer you are referring to isn't "low-ball". Of the 256 homes sold in that area over 11 months, almost 13% have sold for under 60% of list. This offer was made at 72% of list. Yes it's low, but it's not inconsistent with the behavior of that market. So a listing agent should be prepared to intelligently deal with that. It's your JOB isn't it?
Jobs are the motivating factor in increasing home values, which can be amplified by currency policies and interest rates. So when the jobs disappear, an amplification in the other direction happens. That's what happens when the free market is tampered with by forces beyond our control.
When I called to complain about this incident, I got a very nice person explaining a very different story. This person was very nice but ended the call by saying "we sincerely hope you find the home you're looking for, good luck, good bye." CLICK. Yes, that person was seemingly nice, but I wasn't finished with the conversation, so that is hanging up too.
I want to compliment the Coldwell Banker folks who did damage control through this string. Some may say, I have not used proper "netiquette" and others may say the same about some of the participants in this string. It's better to discuss this in an open forum and if somebody wants to offer services in the light of a damaging situation, then my hat is off to you.
PS: I may make an even lower offer on the same house. As I said before a glut of Foreclosures is on the way, high paying jobs are not coming back, the home mortgage interest tax credit is going away AND the interest rates will be rising soon too. Perhaps by then realtors, brokers and sellers will be waking up to reality. Home values MUST deflate, it's the next thing. Believe it.
Happy funding, Rudi
Real Estate Agent
It sound like you were represented by a Real Estate Agent on presenting a 'verbal offer' on the property. If your agent was working in your best interests, several things should have happened. He should have presented a written offer along with your pre-approval letter from your lender. This holds a great deal more weight than simply a verbal 'low ball offer'. There are several important details about your offer, which should have been spelled out for the Seller to consider. These include.. if your offer in non-contingent on a home sale or closing, the proposed closing date for the property, your financial qualifications to purchase this home, amount of earnest money you are offering, etc.
I'm in no way condoning the rude behavior of the Listing Agent... He has a responsibility to his client (the Seller) to present all offers (written). No-one should be treated without respect. He gives us all a bad name!
My advise is to present a bonafide offer in writing, along with back-up documentation of sold properties to strengthen your negotiating position, via your Real Estate Agent.
If you still get a satisfactory response from the Listing Agent, contact his Managing Broker with your concerns.
Best of Luck,
David Jaffe-Realtor SRES, CDPE
Risa Liebster, RealtorÂ®
Keller Williams Realty
I suggest you try re-offering on this same property & have your agent put together a package of comps outlining why you both think the current asking price of the property is too high. Present your case, fight for it, this is what your agent is getting paid for w/ a successful closing.
From a buyer's position, unless you were the only one interested in buying that particular house (doubtful), I wouldn't expect that the agent's hanging up should be taken as an opening gambit. If this is not the right house or your offer is not in line with what is realistic for such houses, then you may do well to move on to other opportunities. If you feel the agent is blocking the possible presentation of an otherwise sound, and serious offer, then you may want to look into finding out the seller's contact information and proceeding (with your agent) to communicate you interest to that person directly. Just a thought.
I understand how frustrating it is when someone does not take you seriously. I am sure the agent felt the same way.
I would suggest a more conversational approach to making a verbal offer. In most sales situations the salesperson making the offer can feel out the offeree prior to making the actual offer to determine if it will be considered.
"That said, Mar Vista is a hot market that seems to continue to sell well... don't expect to buy a property at 80% of list in the first 60 days of listing unless it was listed well over market value to begin with. I find that if you are within 8-10% of list and you are not in a multiple offer situation that most sellers and agents will entertain your offer."
Well put, I think he raises a great point. While we don't know the specific property you are discussing, his stats fit the MV market in general. Your Buyer Agent needs to do his homework, and come armed with comps, if you believe the listing agent has priced the property inappropriately. The market WILL bear that out.
Remember, though, that the seller will make up his own mind, but a strategy of peaceful firm consistent negotiation will do much better than allowing any of the parties' emotions into the equation.
Brokers and Sales Agents are required to present every written offer. It sounds to me like your agent called and asked the other agent if the Sellers would entertain your offer. It also sounds like the listing agent was offended by the amount you were offering (none of their business really). Shame on them, no matter how the listing agent feels about the offer, they have an obligation to present it to the seller.
IMO, the best way to present your offer is to have your agent send to the listing agent without discussion and to request that the seller(s) sign the receipt line on the CAR RPA (Residential Purchase Agreement).
That said, Mar Vista is a hot market that seem to continue to sell well even in challenging economic time so don't expect to buy a property at 80% of list in the first 60 days of listing unless it was listed well over market value to begin with. I find that if you are within 8-10% of list and you are not in a multiple offer situation that most sellers and agents will entertain your offer.
I'm happy to answer questions. I know the Mar Vista market very well.
Best of luck with your home purchase.
Coldwell Banker, Brentwood
That is just nuts.It should not have gone that far. It happens. It's not the agents property but they somehow get emotionally attached and act likes it's their money.
Silly. Move on to another property and take the agent's behavior with a grain of sale.
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
Sotheby's International Realty
Best of Luck to you,
Home Sales Maker