Home Buying in Texas>Question Details

EG, Home Buyer in Texas

Can't find comps, seller won't budge from close to asking price counter-offer, love the house, what do I do?

Asked by EG, Texas Fri May 8, 2009

Hello all,

I've enlisted a, now seemingly inexperienced, friend as a buyer's agent to give her the commission but am not seeing any valuable info as far as Comps.
The seller's agent says the home was reduced by 6-7% after having been on the market roughly 4 months. My initial offer was 93% of the new listing price. The seller came back with a 98% counter. They do not seem to want to budge, even after an offer of 96% of asking price.

About the home: It is a very well-kept home, in a relatively secluded neighborhood, close to downtown, well-landscaped, move-in-ready. After doing a considerable amount of house hunting, this one
is a keeper for me, although a bit on the small side.

Not having any real comparables, nor unfortunately having an agent who is not really offering much advice, leaves me wondering about the home's value. I really like the home but am confused as to what to do. Please help with some advice!

Thanks very much in advance,

Frustrated in Texas

Help the community by answering this question:


My first question is: Did you sign a Buyers Representation Agreement with your Buyers Agent ?

If yes - time to get your Agent to get more aggressive with your offer
If no - time to find someone who can REPRESENT you! ( hint hint )

One of my favorite things about Real Estate is making a logical case with the Sellers Agent on all the reasons why they should accept my offer when I represent a buyer. I win about 98% of the " arguements " with the Sellers Agents.

The good news for you is that I am a Licensed REALTOR in the state of Texas as well as an International Real Estate Specialist.

The other good news is the YOU the buyer pay $0 in commissions when you buy a house!

Need more info ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
As an addendum to my previous answer, appraisal rules are changing because of controversies over the role that appraisal standards played in the recent mortgage mess from which we are all emerging. Any time there are major changes in any industry, there is a settling in period while everyone deals with the new procedures and while the system is refined.

For your information, I've included a link to an article sent out recently by the board of realtors concerning these changes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Are you working with a local real estate professional? They should be able to advise you best.

As a side note: if you are having difficulty finding comps it would be fair to assume an appraiser would as well. This notion could cast a huge shadow over the ability for the property to appraise for the seller's asking price.

Bank appraisals are a bit of a controversial topic in a constantly changing RE market that should not be overlooked. Our recommendation is for you to consider using this to your advantage.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Hello again,

I'd like to thank all of you for your most informative replies. As of a couple of days ago, the seller agreed to
my counter-offer (96%+1500.00 in non-realty items). They seemed to be playing a bit hard to get, but finally came around. This said, your answers are truly helpful as I know that I will be making other purchases in the not too distant future.

Many thanks!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 12, 2009
Unless the 2% difference in selling price is something you absolutely have to have in order to secure your loan, is it really worth quibbling about? If the 2% is a deal breaker, resume your search.

In the loan approval process, your lender will ultimately determine through their appraisal if they will lend you the money. If you sign a third party financing addendum and your lender will not give you the amount you need or the terms you need, you have an out on the contract to either cancel the contract or to renegotiate. So if the bank cannot find comps that support the loan, that's where you stand.

Because the sales have slowed down and because of the number of forced sales of home, finding good comps is difficult right now. If the house is unique in the neighborhood, that makes the process even more difficult. A realtor's comparable market analysis doesn't hold a candle to an appraisal by a certified appraisal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 11, 2009
What might make your offer more attractive besides money? A personal note? Meet a closing date that is convenient for them? If you have no real deadline for moving, maybe wait them out. If you want to try to get them down, call the listing agent directly and ask for comps. Your lender will also need to find comps. Add in an appraisal contingency and go up a little higher. The contingency is already implied in a finance contingency, but reminding the seller that they are not selling in a vaccuum sometimes helps.
An unmotivated seller holds some cards too.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 8, 2009
Having no comps could also become an issue with the loan. Lenders are scrutinizing appraisals like never before as well. If I were the seller or listing agent in this case, I'd go ahead and pay to have a formal appraisal done by a licensed appraiser. This can save everyone a lot of time and aggravation. In Texas, a home is not worth just what a buyer will pay, it's worth what an appraiser determines through comparable's. They may have to go outside the neighborhood to find them, and they will if need be. I think this is your best bet. Good Luck...
Web Reference: http://www.robpurifoy.info
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 8, 2009
Ask your Realtor to consult their broker for advice. The broker should be able to help you make an informed decision.

Remember that a home is only worth what a ready willing and able buyer will pay for it. If the seller will not budge on the price and you will not increase your offer you will have to find a different property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 8, 2009
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