Christina Vo…, Home Buyer in East Orange, NJ

I'd like to buy a short sale. I don't understand the back-up offer process, and am dealing with a difficult listing agent, what steps

Asked by Christina Vortia, East Orange, NJ Mon Oct 17, 2011

should I take? I've been house hunting for months. About 2 weeks ago I found my dream home. After sorting through the controversy of whether is was under contract or not, I was presented with the option of submitting a back up offer. I sent my approval letter, but I'm not sure if I'd actually have to sign and submit a formal back-up offer. The lisitng agent says that I should only speak to and deal with her, but she's difficult, and at times unresponsive. I really don't want to lose this house....what should I do...

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13
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Hi Christina,

It sounds as though you are submitting a back up offer on a home that already has an offer pending at the bank. Nothing is "under contract" or in "attorney review" until the bank even decides as to whether or not they are going to accept the offer. I am not sure if the agent is being difficult or just advising you the house has an offer at the bank and they are awaiting an answer.

You need to find out what the situation is, if the agent has told you that you can make a back up offer, then you can write it and wait to see what happens with the first offer, if nothing.. your number may get called. But it can be some time depending upon the agent and the bank.

Since you initiated contact with the listing agent, your best bet here is to deal with that listing agent as that will get you the fastest response. Getting a "buyers agent" (we are all buyers agents) at this juncture will change absolutely nothing for you in this transaction and will probably make you into a problem for the listing agent you already contacted and wrote an offer with.

Communication is the key here, stay the course and follow up with the Realtor.
3 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Christina,

Before people run off at the mouth calling people dishonest and telling you that someone is giving you the run around without any facts, I think you need to have a clarification discussion with the agent that you contacted. It may not be anything other than listing agent that has an offer that is already deep in the process. Sure you can make a "back-up" offer with a short sale and get in line.

You have any idea on how many people want to make an offer on short sale properties? Then they disappear.. so when you get an offer that sticks around.. you try your best to get the ball rolling.

There is nothing that an attorney, another agent or anyone can do to get you faster service as with a short sale, the listing agent is usually the third party authorization..And that is the person you, the attorney, your next agent will.. Have to speak to. You best bet is to confer further with the agent that you have initiated your discussion with an find out what the situation is.

Communication is the key here, stay the course and follow up with the Realtor.
2 votes
Gene Tedesco, Agent, Randolph, NJ
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Christina,

I agree with Guy 100%. If the listing agent is giving you the run around then you need to protect yourself with a buyers agent and possibly someone who is an accredited buyers representative. Just because an offer was submitted to the bank doesn't mean you can't submit an offer yourself. All offers have to be submitted that are In writing within 24 hours to the seller. So if this is a short sale and not a bank owned forecolosure the owner of the home needs to be aware there is another offer on their house. Think about it if 2 people want 1 house and the owner needs to sell it for as much as possible don't you think they would want both parties offering the most they would be willing to pay. I would find out if the offer submitted was from the listing agent maybe they are trying to get the full commission for themselves.

You really should contact a local agent who can get more information for you. I have evn suggested getting an attorney to submit the offers to the broker so they can find out which bank and have the offer submitted to the bank immediately after the owner sees the offer to let them know there are multiple bids. Unless the house is actually under contract anyone can still make offers. Banks do have the right to tell multiple offers they are only back ups after the process has been started but at least they would be aware of the situation and inform the owner they want final and best offers from both parties to make a final decision.

If I can be of service please let me know and good luck with whatever path you choose.

Thank you,

Gene Tedesco
re/Max Home Connection
973-575-6005 OOffice
201-341-0307 Cell
Web Reference:  http://www.genetedesco.com
1 vote
Guy Ghanem, , Las Vegas, NV
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Personally I usually have no issues with dual agency as I've been involved with many. An honest agent has nothing to fear. However, when an agent is specifically telling you that you should only deal with him/her, the light bulb comes on. If you really want to be protected to the fullest in this situation, I highly recommend you work with an agent that is going to solely represent your best interests. Do you really want to work with someone who you are saying is difficult and unresponsive on one of the biggest and most expensive investments that you will make?

Don't be afraid to "lose" the house, because if you end up working with someone dishonest just to get a house you like, you could end up "losing" a lot more. With another agent in the picture, the listing agent will be held to a higher ethical standard (which should be automatic but unfortunately some agents like to manipulate the system) and it won't be as easy for the listing agent to sweep things "under the rug."

Lastly, I really am not trying to be negative, but it has to be said, this home is not yours to lose if it already has an offer on it and you are going in as a back-up. Do you have a shot at it? Sure! Is it a long shot? It can be...

So, find an agent to represent you, put in the back-up offer, and keep looking at other houses. This cannot be the only house in NJ that you will fall in love with, and when you do find that house, don't hesitate, BUY IT and forget about your back-up offer.

Best of luck.
1 vote
Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Mon Oct 17, 2011
A back up offer is just that...a back up in case to first ccontract falls through, which is quite common in short sales.

Contact a buyers agent familiar with your area and experienced in short sales.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Altantic Shore
1 vote
Gene Tedesco, Agent, Randolph, NJ
Tue Oct 18, 2011
Christina,

Apparently there are 2 opposing types of agents here. Some who are trying to answer your question as it was presented and providing you with all of your OPTIONS, which I think is what you were trying to find out.

And then there are other agents who want you to continue to struggle and do the same thing you've been doing and getting frustrated with.

I think you know the correct path to take in the future, and unless I see something that is completely absurd and misguided I will no longer be responding as I think you have plenty of information for a a majority of GOOD agents out there.


Again I wish you nothing but the best of luck and hope that the information provided to you has been useful if not for this home then any other home you persue in the future.

Thank you,

Gene Tedesco
Web Reference:  http://www.genetedesco.com
0 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Tue Oct 18, 2011
Guy,

You are again, making accusations about someone and exaggerating further on statements that could be minor comments that are being relayed to print incorrectly. You want to seem very defined and make a statement when in fact, given what is stated here there are two sides to a conversation. An anxious buyer is not wanting to hear that the property has an offer and has a back up and could be translated into, she said only me, she is difficult and unresponsive..

No one is or should be denying anyone representation which again, is a stretch on what was stated. What was stated in the post is vague; there is no need for agents to call this listing agent dishonest and giving people the run around without knowing more about what is happening.

Giving poor advice such as telling this person to run and get another agent without explaining the process.. that in fact, the new agent will have to do exactly the same thing in dealing with this agent. Making things up about attorneys tracking down banks, and the buyer just making the offer themselves is severely misguided,

Buyers today have enough crap to sort through on the internet today.. I don't think you guys should spoon feed them any more servings.
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue Oct 18, 2011
Hi Christina, short sales can be lenghty and uncertain. Since you are being invited to submit a back up offer, I assume there is an accepted offer with the bank now under review. For that reason your chances are diminished, but because of the time it may take, there is a chance that the buyer in first position will become frustrated and walk, in which case your offer will be in position to move forward for consideration. And so, yes, I would recommend that you submit a full offer, anything less is really nothing at all, only a written offer with preappoval is considered "real".

Having said all of that, I would not get your hopes up too high - the bank may approve the first offer, or the bank may push back and not approve either offer....and it might take weeks for an answer, but more likely it will take months.

So here is my advice, get your offer in there and keep looking. You may very well find a traditional sale that is a very good value in the interim and that would be far easier to negotiate to a successful close.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Guy Ghanem, , Las Vegas, NV
Mon Oct 17, 2011
@John,

Let me reiterate, I am for dual agency, I have been involved in many. I don't see where anyone is bashing anyone aside from giving our professional opinions. Just as you are free to do. Here is my point, I have a listing, a buyer approaches me and pretty much tells me this is the house they want and they will do w/e it takes to get it. I use that information against the buyer by saying "deal only with me." I have just in so many words told that buyer "if you want a chance at this house, don't speak to another agent." Do you not think that playing on the buyers emotions, and eliminating their right to outside representation is at the least unethical?

You keep saying "communication is key, stay the course and follow up with the Realtor." Christina has obviously stated that the agent is unresponsive, so maybe that statement should be directed to the agent in question and not the buyer. Also, if I waited for every client to "follow up with me" I 'd be in trouble... Not to mention if the listing agent was open to "communication", I would think one of the first things they would do is "communicate" to the buyer to "write" that back-up offer.

This has nothing to do with what offers are on the home and what stage they are in the short sale process or how many offers get denied or buyers back out etc... The agent in question is taking advantage of a buyer that has disclosed a high interest in the property. That agent has knowledge of the buyers position and is exploiting it. Since when do we have the right to deny anyone representation?
0 votes
Gene Tedesco, Agent, Randolph, NJ
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Chriatina,

Based on your description of the issues you have been dealing with I think its best to stay away from a realtor you already have questions about.

Don't let them dictate who you feel comfortable using. If you want to deal with a disclosed dual agent you have the right to do so, or if you want a buyers agent specifically out to protect your best interest you can do that as well.

From what I have read no one called anyone names up to this point. We are just giving you your options and hopefully you make a choice that is best for you.

Hiring a realtor, attorney, will definately help you get to the bottom of the situation faster because they understand the process better and know the language used and can go to a broker if they feel the agent isn't being responsive or dishonest for whatever reason.

Again good luck and any LOCAL realtor would be happy to help you out with this unfortunate situation. Banks and short sales can be very stressful on buyers esp. If it is your first home.

Gene tedesco
0 votes
Sarah Goulart…, Agent, Plymouth, MA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
I would agree with the others....you should really have a buyers agent working for you. They will be able to advise you and keep in touch with the listing agent.

As a back-up offer on a short sale, most likely you will be contacted if and when the negotiations with the current offer are over (if no agreement is met). For a short sale, that process can take anywhere from weeks to months.

On question I would have your agent ask is how they are going to approach back-up offers if they have more than one.

Good luck!
0 votes
Christina Vo…, Home Buyer, East Orange, NJ
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Thank you. Great advice from all of you.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Oct 17, 2011
You really should be working with an agent of your own...is the property currently in contract; if so, generally a back up offer can only be entertained if, and when, the current deal falls through....keep in mind that oftentimes short sales are by no means fast sales, therefore consider continuing your search with an agent of your own...
0 votes
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