Any suggestions on a buying strategy?

Asked by NL, Kansas City, MO Sat Jun 21, 2008

Here is the story: we found a house with our agent, made an offer the same day we looked at the house. The house has been on the market for about a year with FSBO or agents at that time. During these couple of days a new listing agent listed the house at a higher price (about 6% more). We received a counteroffer that is almost new full price of the house. The argument of the new agent was that the house has been on the market for only 4 days and they are not willing to negotiate. We are ready to buy this house but prefer to stick to our initial offer price. How to handle this type of situation? Please, give some advice. Thanks.

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Jun 24, 2008
Like Elvis and Tman (who provide some of the best advice here on Trulia), I agree: Stick to your guns. The comment from Options that the sellers may not have much downward flexibility may well be true. But that's their problem, not yours.

There are plenty of good buys out there. Make an offer that you're comfortable with, one that is no more than the real value of the property and, perhaps, somewhat less. Clearly convey that it's your best offer, and it's only available for a limited period of time.

Hope that helps.
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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Sat Jun 21, 2008
Stick to your guns, and let the sellers know that you are aware that the house has NOT been on the market only 4 days, in fact close to a year. Make certain that your offer is as clean and attractive as possible in every other area besides purchase price (as few contingencies as you're comfortable with).

If they still refuse to negotiate with you, withdraw the offer (you don't want to leave a live offer in place that they might use as "leverage" against another potential offer). Let them know that you might still be interested, should they change their minds (come to their senses).

If they're still on the market in 30 days (which is sounds as though they will be), you can reevaluate and decide if you want to present your offer anew.

good luck
1 vote
David Van Noy…, Agent, Leawood, KS
Tue Jun 24, 2008
There is not a lot you can do in this situation in regards to appealing to their sense of reason it sounds like. The sellers agent is actually doing a fine job at creating some suspense and aggravation on your part to try and drive the price up. You will have to take the temperature of that local market and see if you are willing to risk losing it to the competition. Is it worth what they are asking is the real question. Ask your agent to give you some research on the values and look for a comfort level and then stick to your guns. Sounds to me like they are positioning and they are probably really nervous to lose YOU as well.

I say stick to your original offer and if it goes away then you will have to hit the streets again.....good luck to you!!!
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;, , Riverhead, NY
Tue Jun 24, 2008
I'd be wondering if they are so tight on the amount that they owe vs. asking price (now, with a commission involved) that they CAN'T reduce the price- I'm seeing more and more of that lately. IF this is the case, the amount owed is your problem ONLY to the extent that there may be difficulty obtaining the property at a price that's reasonable. There are plenty of houses out there; if they won't (can't?) come down, you'll certainly find another great home. Overpaying in this market is completely unneccessary.
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Tman, , 30642
Tue Jun 24, 2008
Good morning NL,

This little "smoke and mirrors" routine is called - re-listing...…

We are having a very vibrant discussion about this exact subject, so make sure you read this:…

As you can see .. many realtors use this as a way of concealing information and making their listing a "refresh" by not disclosing the exact DOM (days on the market) ...

Their agenda is simple ... show a false listing and raise or lower the price without much notice - much like the Carfax commercials on TV .... "like new sedan, barely used..." .... as it gets hauled away.

Most consumers fall into the trap .. but for the savvy ones like yourself that have been watching and tracking that market for the last 3 or 6+ months, they catch the masquerade ...…

Many states are now trying to ban this scenario, but because of the MLS situation it won't happen tomorrow.

In this particular case, you have a new listing agent ... listing agents depend on the other 213 agents in their area to sell their product, but even they know this house has been on the market for many moons ... you'll hear much chatter, but probably no action.

I would definately stick to my original offer, I would also go in totally approved with bank letter in hand ... I would also show the printouts, the MLS #'s and the pictures from last year ... if need be, I would just go around the current agent and call the owner and negotiate from there .. if nothing else, he'll call you back when he cancels any current contract.

The only person that should ever inhibit you from buying a house, is the owner himself ... certainly not an agent.

Good luck and happy hunting.!

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Rusty Mason, Agent, Blue Springs, MO
Mon Jun 23, 2008
Congratulations on maintaining your self-control and sticking to your initial offer. Your agent should have been able to pull up the comparable sales in the community to help you determine a fair price for the house. Yes, it sounds as if the sellers have given in and opted for a professional to sell their home and, if they have been trying to sell their home as a FSBO, certain scenarios could have the house listed on the MLS with only 4 days on market. That all depends on the MLS history and how the house was presented on the MLS during the past year. Your agent should be able to provide that information to you.

I am assuming that you and your agent have been looking at your new home for some time now. You are ready to purchase but still can keep your persepective on home values in your search. Stick with your agent and your instincts and look at what else has come on the market recently. Countetr the counter offer with your intial offer only if you really want this property and you don't see any other house on the market at this time. Put a short window on the offer and see how the sellers respond. You may chose to have your agent verbally reiterate your intial offer and let the seller's counter offer expire. This puts you in control of your purchase and allows the fredom to look elsewhere.

This is a great time to buy and sellers are finding out that it is a great time to sell as long as both parties are realistic in their results. Again, the comps are the main statistics to take into consideration in your situation. If this house is 6% higher than the market, then, the sellers may have to wait for the market to catch up with them. Besides, the next house you see may be the one that you have been looking for all along.

Good luck in your home search,

Rusty Mason, Coldwell Banker John Moffitt and Associates
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Michael Pier…, Agent, Overland Park, KS
Sat Jun 21, 2008
As far as the MLS is concerned here in KC, a home's days on the market will continue to run even if the home is listed with another agent. So when agents see the home in the MLS, it will still show that it has been on the market for a year, no matter if it has a new agent or even a new mls number.
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