I can't seem to buy a house, what's going on?

Asked by Just_tired, 95035 Wed Feb 8, 2012

I followed the steps of getting pre-approval from a well known bank. It sems that when I make an offer, the selling agent doesn't care about my offer or doesn't really care about responding to my agent. Seems like my agent has to chase them around to no avail. My offers are usually over the asking price, but the seller never wishes to negotiate. Then I find out the next day the house is pending. :-(

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35
Shirley Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Jul 5, 2012
Don't worry, I have buyers feeling the same way. But don't give up, you'll get one soon. Just make sure you have a good offer with short contingencies and if its a regular sale, make a nice cover letter letting the owner know the reasons why you love their home. If you stop trying then you'll never get one.
1 vote
Sally Blaze, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Dear Just Tired:
From your second comment / question, it appears you've made offers on two properties. While this probably seems like a lot of offers to you, as some of the agents have mentioned below, they are seeing numerous multiple offer situations in the Milpitas market. This means there are many more buyers than sellers in the market, and hence, it may take several tries before you successfully enter escrow on a home.

Continue to have open discussions with your agent. Make sure your agent knows you are frustrated and listen carefully to the advice your agent may be giving you.

There are many reasons why your offer is not accepted / not responded to. And not all sellers want to "negotiate". Sometimes they want to accept the cleanest, most straight forward offer presented. Hang in there; you will be successful!

Sally Blaze
Realtor
Alain Pinel
925-998-1284
sblaze@apr.com
DRE#01856137
1 vote
FSBOsuccess, Home Seller, 28590
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Find another agent that will work for you.
1 vote
Norman Aless…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
I too have buyers for your zip code and it can be somewhat frustrating, but with inventory being down and if the home has good schools you can expect multiple offers. I would not recommend you using the listing agent, stick with your agent or get a new one to represent you. The trick on this is persistance and the way your offer is layed out and presented. You want to bid well without over paying for a home.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
At your service,
Allyson
408-705-6578
allyson@homesbyallyson.com
Certified Distressed Property Expert
DRE# 01397256
1 vote
Erica Glessi…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
The big picture answer that shows up for me is a shift into more of a seller's market. I showed Milpitas homes to another client this weekend, and there was so much activity with a lot of homes going pending.

I would say to write a very appealing offer, I can recommend a few steps:

1: Find out what is driving the seller. It is not always money. Or, find out what drives the seller's agent. Is it short contingency days? Is it an opportunity to rent back? Is it a quick close?
2: Write a very careful offer. The word we use is "clean." Don't leave a bunch of unclear questions that have to be cleared up on a counter offer. If your agent has trouble explaining this to you, find an agent who can explain this to you!
3: Include all of the information you can possibly enclose. What happened in the age of "foreclosed" homes is that buyers started enclosing proof of funds to close, pay stubs, and even copies of their fico report. When I enclose these things, the sellers are VERY HAPPY. And if I'm going against you in Milpitas, I'll win if my client's proof of funds, FICO score and such are stronger than another offer. I'm disclosing so much, the seller can see that we can do this.
4: In short sales, personality matters. The seller and listing agent are going to have to hang out with you for several months. They want to like the agent and the buyer. It's not only your money but your personality, sometimes, that will "win" in the multiple offer short sale scenario I'm seeing a lot of here in MIlpitas and Berryessa.
5: Early. The early bird is getting the worm right now. You want to be quick to offer. It sounds like you are being pretty quick!

As far as does the agent respond to the offer, agents sometimes do not. Especially with foreclosures, they just don't always have the bandwidth or propensity to be communicative. It may depend on the quality of the assistant or the culture of the office. If your offer isn't particularly unique and your agent isn't building relationships with the listing agents, you're likely not to hear unless you hit it just right (clean offer, right terms, right amount of proof provided).

I hope this helps. I wouldn't give up, homeownership has so many benefits and Milpitas is not that hard to get into.

Erica

Erica Glessing Nelson
DRE 01425475
http://www.HomesforSaleinSanJose.net
408-416-7090
1 vote
Tina Lam, Agent, San Jose, CA
Fri Jul 6, 2012
In today's tight market around Milpitas, listing agents have their pick of offers and are often seduced by the temptation to be lazy or unprofessional, and sometimes unethical.

The selling agent is your agent, not the seller's.

Depending on the type of deal and the number of offers, the seller may not have any incentive to negotiate. You probably don't want to know the price or terms it took to win. More often than many people expect, the winning bid is an all cash buyer with a very high bid price.
Web Reference:  http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes
Ricky Ablaza, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Fri Jun 29, 2012
Hey Just Tired,

Call me and I will get you into a house. 408-316-0793.
0 votes
mando7110, , California
Fri Jun 29, 2012
First of all make sure you are working with a Agent that is not a Jerk, nothing worse than a Agent who makes escrows difficult and is obnoxious. Notice how your Agent interacts with other Agents when they run into each other, if they ignore each other or look at him/her in disgust you are just wasting time.
Even if its a REO somehow a listing agent can influence the bank that this agent is problematic and has a MO of offering way over just to get it reduced later on, or pushing for repairs when they clearly say no repairs, or just poor performance. It could be a sneaky agent who seems very nice that is a greedy double ender that has p...ssed off Agents so many times.
There are so many times that I get new buyers who are just misinformed and bullied.
0 votes
Ricky Ablaza, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Jun 28, 2012
Hey Just Tired,

Why dont you try working with me? Call me 408-316-0793.

Thanks
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Thu Jun 28, 2012
Hi Just_tried:

Check trends in housing:
http://tinyurl.com/835kgrf [Open in new window]

Care to look at trends for town homes and condos in Silicon Valley, click on link
http://tinyurl.com/6wplqe2 [Open in new window]

the answer is simple, Just No Inventory.

30 SECOND TOURS ON HOMES FOR SALE:

http://animoto.com/play/YmV02e2j40DELvfZBNW7kg

and http://animoto.com/play/bL0ewJJoKKiGvaqjsWnpSw

Let us know if any interest http://www.ruthandperry.com/

Thanks
Perry
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
You're not the only one going through this...it is f...g hard to get a contract right now unless you are a cash buyer. Each house is generating multiple offers...(I've heard up to 28 offers recently)...only the strongest get a response.

All I can say to you is 'DON'T GIVE UP!.' The work and challenges exist but the fact remains that it's an awesome time to buy a home at low prices with low interest rates.

Wishing you loads of good luck out there!
0 votes
Shirley Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Jun 19, 2012
I've put an offer on the house for my buyers last week. The sellers ended up with 68 offers. Enough said.
0 votes
Ricky Ablaza, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Mar 15, 2012
Hey Just Tired,

I am based in Milpitas CA. Give me a call - 408-316-0793 or email me rpablaza@comcast.net and I'll help you get into a home.
0 votes
Shirley Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Mar 14, 2012
The biggest problem is this... the supply is low and the demand is high. You seriously have to jump on the listings coming out and you should let your agents know that too. I held an open house recently and at one time, I had 5 groups of people walking in at one time. Also, I've also heard of properties getting 30-40 offers and some are cash offers. The real estate market is hot right now with low interest rates, people are out there buying again. Good Luck!!
Web Reference:  http://www.dolcehomes.com
0 votes
Kate Devlin, Agent, Medfield, MA
Fri Feb 17, 2012
It's possible you are getting in too late and/or you are involved in a multiple offer situation and yours is not the strongest. You need to balance what you are willing to spend with how much you want to live in that house in particular. In a strong market or with hot properties, you may have to stretch.
0 votes
Daniel, , Baton Rouge, LA
Mon Feb 13, 2012
make a respectable offer and you will probably get a respectable answer
0 votes
Just_tired, Home Buyer, 95035
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Thx everyone for your response, this helps me on my future home biddings. I guess the only thing I was expecting was to get a notice that my offer wasn't high enough or there is a higher bid. If I was informed that, then even if I loss the bid I wouldn't be frustrated.

Again, thx for the information in this thread. I feel a lot more relaxed now. If I lose another offer, I"ll probably look through this thread for another agent.

thank you
0 votes
Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Having the listing agent as your agent is not the best scenario, furthermore, they represent the seller who wants highest and best on price and terms. Having only two offers rejected and/or ignored, especially in Milpitas, is not uncommon. Often, the listing agent is already in negotiations with an offer in hand from someone while the MLS is still showing active because they aren't fully executed, they don't change the status to pending on the MLS. Prior to taking buyers to any home in a "hot" area such as Milpitas, I always contact the listing agent in advance and ask if they already have any offers in hand because I'd like to show the home to a potential buyer. Often they will give quite a lot of info (but never reveal a price on an offer in hand). If you are doing financing with a lower down payment than another buyer, price is not always an issue. With FHA financing, the home has to be in a certain "condition" so a seller may even accept a slightly lower offer that has a higher down payment. Lower down payment loan approvals are also at more of a risk of falling apart. It is entirely up to the seller to accept any offer they want. I once had a 100% financing V.A. buyer who's offers were rejected multiple times but he eventually got a home. It takes perserverance on the part of your buyers agent to go the extra mile for you and conduct due diligence such as researching the property in advance of showings as to not waste your time and it takes a bit of patience on your part. It's a team effort and it's an emotional rollercoaster to purchase a home. Just wait until you get in contract on something and begin home inspection process, etc. You've got a long way to go but you'll get there with the right representation (NOT the listing agent!).
0 votes
Ricky Ablaza, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Hey Just Tired,

By the way, I am based in Milpitas. Thanks
0 votes
That so not cool, are you so desperate to berate other agents and solicit buyers through blogs when they are just venting, it will be the same, unless you double end all of your listings, in that case you are not ethical anyway.
Flag Fri Jun 29, 2012
Bill Mccord, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
You describe an unfortunate situation which faces todays 1st time buyer in particular. here's a snap shot of the major reasons for losing out on multiple "Good" offers.
1. You are offering over the listing price without realizing that is often not the true property value. In many cases homes are being listed below the anticipated sales price to create multiple offers. A Buyers Agent should always provide you with a Market Analysis to establish the True Value. You can then decide how to price your offer based on clear facts.
2. Your down payment is less than 20%. Many listing agents will advise the Seller to go with an offer with more down payment even with a lower bid. This is simply based on the reality that it has a much higher probability of actually closing. A higher proportion of low down payment offers fail to close, usually for issues with their lender.
3. You are using an FHA or V/A loan. A significant number of Agents do not understand how these loans work today and present them incorrectly as having negative consequences to the Seller. Be aware offers using these loands have to be written a little differently to those using Conventional finance.
4. A very high percentage of listed properties are either Bank owned or Short Sales. In both cases the Seller is always going to favour a Buyer with cash or a large down payment.

I'm averaging 7 losing offers for each successful one in the 1st time buyer market, but that's the world we live in at the moment so we have to do the best we can and earn our money the hard way. Using our knowledge and experience to make the process as open and fair as possible.
Good Luck
Bill
0 votes
Gilbert Rich…, , Santa Clara County, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
There are a few things you need to know that may be causing your problem:

1) Your loan program and/or downpayment amount. If you are doing an FHA loan with 3.5% down it is going to be far more difficult to get an offer accepted in this market.

2) Inventory is down 40% from last year meaning there is a shortage of inventory in most markets.

3) A pre-approval from most large banks are not worth the paper they are written on with a lot of listing agents, because many of them issue pre-approval letters from pulling a credit report and an application without verifying everything needed to prove you can close a loan.

Unfortunately it is becoming a sellers market and there may be a lot of things against you, so it may be difficult for awhile unless you make some adjustments.
0 votes
Daniel Berman, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
"Listing agent never rejects/or contacts my agent. House then goes into pending."
If that's the case, then you need a new agent, as this should not be happening.

"Should I let some of these listing agents be my buying agent as well?"
You are better off with your own representation. If you have someone competent and experienced working on your behalf, you will succeed.

Regards,
Dan

Daniel Berman
Pacific Century Realty
Buyer Rebates to 50%
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Dear Just Tired,
Well, I would need a little more information to answer this qustion well. I am guessing that you are going after Short-Sale and Foreclosure property and are up against high bidders and/or all cash buyers. One of the things you should ask your agent is, for their opinion on your offer. We can sometimes get a feel for what others have offered, or we will have an idea based upon the demand for the particular property. For instance, a home that only needs cosmetic work, is a 3 bedroom 2 bath near good schools, will have a high demand by comparison to a smaller house far from a good school district. You will probaby not be taken seriously, or responded to with low offers when the seller already has offers way over the asking price.
0 votes
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Hi just tired and thanks for your question.

Although there are many ways to strengthen your offer and,like cream, rise to the top of the sellers notice, there is no guarantee that yours will be selected as the buyer of the home. Because we are also seeing pretty low inventory in some of the more desired areas of Milpitas, the competition for good homes can be pretty fierce.

Before you opt for a more experienced buyers agent, I need to ask if your Realtor has evert provided you with a "post mortem" regarding the sale. Do you know how many offers were made in the home? Do you know why the seller chose the other offer? Have you and your agent ever discussed specific ways in which your offer can be made more appealing to this specific seller?

If the answer to the above is no, then your agent may not be as skilled in representing buyers as in representing sellers. Surprisingly, there is a real method to negotiating on behalf of the buyer including personally presenting offers to the seller and rapport building throughout the pre offer period.

Most importantly, remember every seller WILL negotiate...there is just no guarantee that you are the one the seller wants to negotiate with. Knowing where the offers are and pricing the seller is seeing is a skill at you develop in representing a lot of buyers, so you need to find someone with that extra bit of perception.

Again, if your agent is not doing what I suggest and does not know why your offers are not getting the home, it's time to move on. Otherwise, sit down with your agent and have a good hear to heart regarding your frustration to see if you can better understand what you can do in the future to find a great home.

Good luck!
Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty Peoples Choice
Tel 408-426-1616

Buyer rebates and low cost listings for sellers!
0 votes
Allison Fish…, Agent, Ann Arbor, MI
Thu Feb 9, 2012
just tired, sorry to hear you are having a difficult time. In many cases the homes that are out there and have something to offer tend to go into a bidding war and unfortuneately sometimes even 10 k over is not the higest and best offer. With that said I hate to say it but there are some shady agents out there that make it more difficult but they are not really the ones you want to be dealing with when all is said and done, you want someone that is doing the job with integrity and honesty, with your interests in mind not their bottom line. Good luck.
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
When our inventory is low, and so are interest rates, the buyer demand is high. The buyers who are positioned properly are much more likely to get their offer accepted.

There are some agents out there that may not have the best reputation and I wouldn't want them to represent me regardless if it got me the home. It could cost you later. So stick with having YOUR own Broker.

Just because you offered $10,000 over asking, doesn't mean that you had the best offer. There are a lot of terms and conditions in an offer which are important and it changes from house to house and seller to seller. A good Buyer Broker will follow what Erica has suggested. Find the motivation of the Seller. This happens by having a conversation with the listing agent. Also, who is your mortgage approved through? Is it the buyer/agent? An on line approval? Or one from a local known respected and trusted mortgage/brokerage? Has your lender made a call to the listing agent to tell them how great of a borrower you are?

These are just some of the examples which set one Broker/Agent apart from the other. When a Buyer/Broker has their first initial consultation with their Buyer most of these types of situations are discussed and should not come up as a total surprise to the Buyer. And just because the agent didn't return your agent's call doesn't make them sketchy... they just may have had a really great offer and the seller was ready to accept it.

I suggest you have a sit down, face to face with your Broker/Agent and be open to their honesty. Find if you both really are doing everything within your abilities to compete then it's going to be a numbers game, patience and perseverance will be needed.

All the best to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes
Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
There are 61 Active properties in Milpitas on the MLS right now. 12 are townhomes/condos, the remainder are single family homes. They range in price from $165k up to $3.495m. There could be a myriad of reasons why your offer has not been accepted. What type of home are you after and what is your budget? How many offers have you submitted so far? Is your agent attaching your preapproval letter to your offers and showing proof of funds?
0 votes
, ,
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Doesn’t sound like the entire story to me, what would the seller need to negotiate if you offer more than the asking price? That simply doesn’t sound right to me. If you are asking the seller to finance the property for you or if you are focusing on distressed properties perhaps that is the issue. Good luck,
0 votes
Pat Chadwell, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Right now the number of listings are down 41% from last year. There are many buyers going after the same property. You may be in the price range with a lot of competition. I am seeing 10-20 offers on some homes. I would talk to your agent to find out why your offers are not accepted. You may be offering more than list price but if the market price for the home is now higher than you may need to rethink how you are doing things. Your agent should be heping you work toward a successful offer.

I wrote about the number of listings in my blog at http://patchadwellblog.com/2012/02/06/where-have-all-the-lis…

Pat Chadwell, broker
Realty World - Residential Specialists
408-927-6565 x 11
http://www.patchadwell.com

CRS, SRES, CDPE, CIAS, ePro, SFR
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Jusy_tired,

Sure sounds like you are focusing on the "foreclosure market." The sad thing is that this market can be more challenging than people know for any number of reasons. First there's the fact that most banks prefer "cash" transactions with these types of activities and will in many cased accept a lower cash amount than a financed one when multiple offers are involved. Secondly, you could be competing with the listing agent and his personal buyers. In the event the listing agent also has the buyer, the closed transaction will net him/her commision for both sides of the transaction....so many of these sales can result in listing agent sales......the listing agents also often know in advance that a property may be coming in their direction prior to getting the listing and have the opportunity to line up prospects before the listing becomes public.....

With this said, some buyers interested in foreclosed properties that understand the inter-workings of this market will elect to work with agents that are high traffic listing agents....for obvious reasons.

The expression "it is what it is" fits here.......

Good luck,

Bill
0 votes
Ricky Ablaza, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Feb 9, 2012
Hey Just Tired,

A real estate agent has a fiduciary responsibility to his buyer or seller. This mean that your agent must place your interests ahead and above the interests of all others, including the agent him/her self. If you feel your agent does not represent you in this fashion, then you need to go and find an agent who will.
How can an agent who represents both buyer and seller truly fulfill his/her fiduciary obligations to both at the same time. Commons sense dictates that both seller and buyer be represented by their own agents to achieve true fiduciary representation.
Many buyers have the mistaken idea that signing up the listing agent to represent them will guarantee purchase of the property. This is simply not true (as you have learned yourself) because first and foremost the listing agent's priority is his/her seller. This means getting the highest price for the property. If the listing agent can get you to keep bidding until he/she achieves the highest price possible then your partnership will have worked. If you are not willing to follow the bidding of the listing agent, then he/she will find another who will despite agreeing to represent you. You will glean that there is no true fiduciary responsibility to you.
I have written a blog on double ending. Please take a minute to read it at this link: http://activerain.com/blogsview/2418517/double-ending-reo-sa…
Give me a call if you wish to learn more...408-316-0793 or email me at rpablaza@comcast.net
Hope this helps.
0 votes
Tina Lam, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Feb 8, 2012
Listing agents are often difficult to work with, which is why you really need a good selling agent on your side. In your case, you seem to have run into difficult versions for both.

It really doesn't have to be that hard. You just need an agent who's going to work hard on your behalf, both on presenting your offer properly and negotiating a good deal for you.

At my firm, we have a high success rate even with investment properties, which are some of the hardest deals to strike given the often distressed nature of the properties, the high level of competition, the discount required by investors, and the distant sellers (banks). We know what it takes to get deals done.
Web Reference:  http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes
Just_tired, Home Buyer, 95035
Wed Feb 8, 2012
I guess the answer was the selling agent seems a little shady.

One home was a regular sale and one was a short sale.

It seems to me, that if I ever want to buy a house I would have to let these shady listing agents be my agent as well so they can get commission on both sides? I don't know if that is how it works, but it sure seems like it.

This is an example:
List price $800,000
Offer $810,000 in writing with (good faith) $20-30k
Listing agent never rejects/or contacts my agent.

House then goes into pending.

Really, Should I let some of these listing agents be my buying agent as well?
0 votes
Ricky Ablaza, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Wed Feb 8, 2012
Hey Just Tired,

Are you making offers on REO's, Short Sales or regular sales? Call me so I can get a clear picture of the situation. I can help....408-316-0793 or email me at rpablaza@comcast.net.
0 votes
Daniel Berman, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Wed Feb 8, 2012
It's natural to feel frustrated when offers are not accepted but may we ask you whether you have discussed the situation with your agent? How does your agent respond to the question as to why your offers have not been accepted?

Dan Berman
Pacific Century Realty
Buyer Rebates to 50%
0 votes
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