Can anyone offer any strategies for buying a foreclosure as a single woman other than cash offer, owner occupancy and offering well over list price?

Asked by Bethany, San Diego Mon Feb 6, 2012

How common is discrimination in this business? Do banks tend to favor couples over single buyers on homes? I am a cash buyer, owner occupied and make strong offers well over listing price, but cannot get an offer accepted. Two homes sold for less 3,000 less than both of my cash, owner occupant offers. How do you even know if an offer makes it past the listing agents desk? Do you really have to make an offer through a listing agent to get into something? That is the word I seem to be getting. Is HUD or my only hope? Sorry, but after one year and 11 offers, I am getting slightly discouraged.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Roland Vinya…, Agent, Sprakers, NY
Mon Feb 6, 2012
Now, that sounds horrible - 11 cash offers and no acceptance? Hard to believe - and just as hard to believe in discrimination, not these days with people looking over your shoulders. One time it happened - I'd believe that. But 11? So, let's look elsewhere for an explanation. Do you have contingencies in your offers? That can be a turn-off to a bank, who just wants to get them off inventory and get the money working again. A bird in the hand thing, not that they won't want the extra money you offer as well. Are you offering significantly less money than the asking price? That can do it. I can explain away the two that sold lower due to contingencies or just bad luck. They won't remember an offer that has stalled. Are you always working through the same agent? Maybe it would make sense to change now if you have done that.

Offers are made through the listing agent in nearly every case; most often the banks don't want to deal directly with the buyers. If you haven't been doing that, we may have found the explanation. Heck;, many banks don't want to even deal directly with brokers. They farm out the job of finding a local broker to another firm. I am referring mostly here to the large multi-state banks, not local ones.
1 vote
Sabrina Simp…, Agent, Moorpark, CA
Sun Feb 12, 2012
Are you only looking at REO (bank-owned) homes? You should be looking at short sales as well. If you are working with an experienced agent he/she should be able to get you into a home. Is there a reason you are purchasing all cash? People think that banks prefer cash offers, but with the hugh losses they are taking, the bottom line is what the bank is going to net on the sale. It doesn't matter if you are getting a loan, as long as you have been approved through a good lender. You have a better chance getting a home if you are represented by your own agent. It is always the best choice to have your own representation.
0 votes
James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012

It is illegal for any to discriminate based on Fair Housing. Having an experienced agent is very important. Structuring your offer to not only be the highest in purchase price will secure the deal. There are sometimes other factors that weigh in even more. i.e. Close of escrow date, AS-IS, shorter inspection periods, earnest money deposit, home warranty, ect.

If you are not sure that the seller has seen your offer, you can ask that the seller sign off on page 9 of the purchase contract that they rejected the offer.

I can assist you with another option of purchasing at trustee sale. This is a last resort as I don't recommend this unless you are comfortable taking a BIG risk buying a home without an inspection, AS-IS WHERE IS condition. I've personally purchased dozens of homes at trustee sale, but would recommend it to someone as their first time purchase.

Best regards,

James Wehner
West USA Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Wed Feb 8, 2012
My guess is your offers were not as clean as the lower offers. I often see silly clauses in contracts. Have a deep conversation with your Realtor and ask for their candid opinion on what you are doing wrong. Good luck,
0 votes
Tim Heetland, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Tue Feb 7, 2012

I've not ever heard of anyone having as challenging of a time as you have had considering the apparent strong offers you've been making. Are there possibly any contingencies in your offers that might otherwise lift your offers to the top of the offers? All things being equal, banks are about the bottom line with the least risk, and if you're offering cash and homes you've made offers on have sold for LESS than what you've offered, that seems rather odd.

I can tell you I used to have an account with a major bank where I'd handle their foreclosed properties in my area, and never once did any discussion come up regarding an offer coming from a single buyer vs. an offer from a couple. I just don't think that's the hurdle that is keeping you from getting a home offer accepted.

There are a few nuances you may want to be mindful of, but it seems if you are working with a knowledgeable and experienced agent, your persistent efforts will be rewarded.

Like several other agents here, I'd be more than happy to discuss with you your current situation if you aren't already committed to another agent.

Best of luck to you and hang in there!

Tim Heetland
Realty ONE Group
0 votes
A. J. Stewa…, Agent, Fort McDowell, AZ
Tue Feb 7, 2012
If you have not used an agent now is the time to get one, and make sure that you find one that is very experienced with making offers to banks. If you have been using the same agent and still no results, it may be time to fire your agent. Banks prefer owner occupancy, so if you are buying as an investor your offer will always be trumped by owner occupant/primary resident. I have not noticed discrimination towards gender or a single person trying to purchase. It is difficult to get the offers accepted, and patience is needed. If you are an investor and are interested in some cash flow properties here in Phoenix I can help. AJ Stewart Veracity Realty Group
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more