Hopefully you won't condemn all of us based on the behavior of one agent. There are some bad apples but the vast majority of agents are ethical and hard-working. Remember, we don't get paid unless a transaction comes to fruition so most of us definately respond to that fact by working diligently to communicate with clients and potential clients.
The good news is that most "bad" agents leave the marketplace after a short time as their negative attributes usually are not conducive to success in this industry. We hear your gripe though!
First, contrary to popular belief, there can only be one signed contract at a time. There must be a reason your agent is not getting called about being moved to "accepted". Who told your agent you were in backup position? Is there an e-mail or anything else that would validate that belief?
Is this property an REO, a short sale or a standard sale? If an REO, the bank can accept any offer they want - in any order they want. Banks will certainly only sign one contract at a time. And, your agent will likely never reach the listing agent. REO agents are just too busy and need to work on volume. Are you an FHA Buyer? If so, it's unlikely you will be able to win a bid on an REO property.
If a short sale, maybe another offer came in that may have been better, higher, faster, etc.
Did you ask for closing costs? Are you putting 20% down? Do you have proof of ALL funds to close? Did you get pre-approved with a Direct Lender? Are you expecting to close in 30 days or less?
These are all factors in a competitive market.
Nancy - keep looking, you will find a great house to call home - don't give up.
Broker / REALTOR
Orange County, CA
When you say you put a back-up offer, did the seller sign and accept your back-up offer? If they did you have a contract with them and they are obligated to open escrow with you according to the terms and conditions of the contract. It only becomes the listing agents place to inform you if you havve a signed contract. Do you have that?
Yes, BoA is getting it better but not 100% yet. They are 2 years late to this game and now trying to change the rules of a game that's well-underway.
Do I have someone inside, yes, (and you can't get any higher than my guy in BoA Short Sales) does it help, NO. They are a BANK with investors and they have to play by the banking rules.
Broker / REALTOR
Orange County, CA
There may some clues in HOW you are submitting offers.
Without the banks actively foreclosing on many properties, buyer competiton is fierce.
How do you make yourself heard above the noise???
We just met with B of A and the industry is moving towards fast track short sales..
A buyer needs a bank insider and expert.
Century 21 Award
Anaheim Hills, OC
I've been following this thread while I was on vacation (everyone needs one once in a while :)). I was just wondering how things are going?
It's a crazy time out there....I do think that this frenzy is going to slow down once the tax rebate program ends in April.....so hang in there.
Hope things are going better,
Unfortunately, for the moment, CA does not have an "Offer Acknowledgment". Beginning in April when our State forms are updated it will actually be incorporated into our Residential Purchase Agreement. It's going to be interesting to see how agents & brokers here adjust ! I'm used to it from Texas where we also have it.
Good point, thanks !
Broker / REALTOR
Orange County, CA
Back up offers are rarely successful for the exact reasons that you are explaining here. lSome listing agents don't keep them or don't want to go through the hassle of tracking down the buyers that originally submitted the back up offers. Besides, every offer has an expiration date. I do have one suggestion:
Have your agent set up a search in the MLS for that specific property address. She can set it up so that it emails you automatically the moment there is a change to that property address. I did this on a bank repo where the bank cancelled escrow on us, but did not sign cancellation instructions with escrow. The bank tried to put it back on the market a month or so later and I demanded that my original offer be reinstated since they never cancelled the escrow. It worked and my clients were able to final get in to the house!
Keep at it. Don't give up.
I know that listing agents can be tough to talk to or deal with after an offer is accepted. Keep at it Nancy. This is truly the best time to buy so go get yours.
You will never know, until it closes, what the magic number was for the house you really wanted. Maybe it was an all cash offer and much higher than yours with a shorter escrow .... or something similar! Your agent may be able to find out if they can make contact with the Listing Agent.
Maybe the house you want, more than any other, is just around the corner. Try and be first in line!
Your whole problem does not lie with the Realtors you are sending offers to. the only thing you can control in the offer process is what YOUR Realtor does. How your Realtor has counceled you on making an offer. Are you making the very best offer you can? Are you looking at homes at the max price you can and not leaving any room to increase your price so you get the property you are offering on? Are you asking for closing costs? If you were a back-up offer you should have been the one to get the home if it fell out of escrow. I suspect that you were not a back up offer at all! Did you have a signed contract from the seller that said you were the first back-up position? If your realtor was doing their job right; they should have got a written back-up offer for you. If the seller did not want to do that, then it is up to YOUR Realtor to watch the MLS EVERY DAY and see if it comes back on the market. He or she could have, by a simple function on our computer system, put that particular home in for you and they would have been notified the very minute it came available again! I guess they did not do that for you. You have to understand that many agents who work for the banks have maybe 80 listings at a time; and can you imagine if they were asked by every agent in town to call them if something fell out of escrow! They would not have enough hours in a day to do that. YOUR agent should have done a better job of watching for the home you wanted to come back on the market.
A week ago I had the pleasure of having lunch with a candidate for US senate with a few other Real Estate Proffessionals in the area. We talked about this very thing. How very hard it is for many buyers to get their offer accepted. What can be done, if anything, to help potential homeowners realize their dream! There is no easy answer. I do know that blaming the listing agent will not serve any purpose but to further escalate your level of frustration. I do know how hard it can be.
Make sure you are making a reasonable and best offer.
If the home is $500K and you offer $500K and there are 20 offers, I can say with some level of certainty that you will not get it!
Look at homes a bit under where you feel your maximum is so you can have some room to make the best offer!
Make sure you send ALL the necessary documentation with your offer!
And Mostly "Hang in There" You will get one, just do the right things and be patient.
Heartfelt Wishes to You,
You are very frustrated! And, you are not alone. It is a tough market out there ... for Buyers, Sellers and Agents!
However, there is absolutely no reason for an agent, especially a Buyer's agent who is working with you, not to return your calls and Emails promptly. This is a major part of our job. A very big part!
There are many Listing Agents who specialize in Short Sales and Repos in today"s market. They are often extremely hard to communicate with ... because they may be fielding 15-20 offers (or more) on a good property. And, they may have ten listings or more. As an agent, I can say that I have been so frustrated with attempts to communicate ... I could spit nails. Sometimes, you have to actually go to their office and try and find them in person! You don't say if you have been dealing directly with the Listing agents on SS or Repo properties. Don't get me wrong ... some of them are very good and easy to reach.
More and more regular Equity sales (owned by a human being with enough equity to pay off his loans and closing costs) are coming on in Anaheim Hills. These are by far the easiest type of sale to deal with from the standpoint of both Buyer and Buyer's Agent!
I don't know enough about the situation concerning your Back-Up offer to venture an opinion, really. How many other Back-Up offers were ahead of you? Usually when a property falls out of escrow, the Back-Up offer in second position falls into place ... and so on down the line. There are many factors that could apply here.
You don't say what price range you are looking at. It is much more difficult to get a contract together, these days, in the $500,000's and under. There are many multiple offers and many homes go for over list price. I presume you are fully qualified with your loan and are willing to make an offer over list price if the comps support it?
I have been a Realtor in Anaheim Hills since 1982. I can say, without reservation, that the vast majority of RE Agents are extremely concientious and work very hard for their clients.
Go to the Home Page of my website at http://www.marleneprescott.com and click on Anaheim Hills Real Estate.
I just finished my latest Market Conditions report a couple of days ago. You will find a lot of very good, specific and accurate information about the current Anaheim Hills market!
Good Luck ... and hang in there!
Prudential California Realty
CA DRE Lic# 00840097
I'm sorry to hear you're having such difficulty with your offers. As has already been asked, is your offer competitive? Doyou have a strong down payment, good earnest money, 30 day closing time, good FICOs, pre-approval from the preferred lender if any, proof of funds in your own name, and not asking for closing costs - If so, then you have a competitive offer, if not, plain and simple, you don't.
If you're making offers on REO/Bank Owned, or Flipped properties, it's very competitive and multiple bids are normal many are all cash.
Back to your original question. I belive many REALTORS do continue to subscribe to good ethics. Like anything else, there will always be agents that will not "do the right thing". Unfortunately we are in changing times, some agents are scrambling to stay afloat and some agents are so overwhelmed they cannot keep up.
Make sure to have a very blunt dicussion with the agent you have engaged to represent you. Ask him or her to be extremely honest with you and give their opinion of your offers. In this market, Buyers and Sellers need to have the strength to keep going.
Look for standard sales or short sales. On short sales make sure the Listing Agent is very experienced with short sale successes. NEVER use the Listing Agent as your Buyer's Agent and vice versa - NO DOUBLE-ENDs !
Best of luck,
Broker / REALTOR
Orange County, CA
Here's the deal, its a complicated question, here's some things to consider:
1) Your offer may not be competitive. Could be that price is too low, could be that they want a buyer with larger downpayment, could be they don't like your particular financing or any combination. We just don't know?
Did they actually sign your offer and place it as backup offer or were you just told you were a backup? Makes a huge difference. If they didn't sign it, they have no obligation to come back to you when buyer 1 falls out. Ethically they should but that's debatable since I don't know what your original offer was. Could of been real low.
2) Many of todays REO and corporate owned (or flipper owned as some call it) properties are given to agents in bulk and frankly many don't have the time to get back to anybody. Many times they expect people to get back to them. I agree, its pathetic and not how the business should run but it is what it is.
My recommendation is ALWAYS ALWAYS AlWAYS get your backup offers in WRITTING. You should know exactly what number backup offer you are or else just expect that you have nothing and nobody really does have an obligation to get back to you. Don't rely on ethics because many don't possess them, rely on contracts and paperwork because they have to pay attention to them!