Thanks again! I really like the letter approach. I also like the face-to-face, red wine with linguine approach ;)
Your response actually gave me quite a chuckle, as I was amazed with the utter lack of a factual basis for any of your statements:
Barbara said: First, you are low-balling offers for houses in the highest ranking school districts in the nation. Forget it. They'll get their price.
*As stated, all of my offers were solidly within the comps. Therefore, they were NOT low-ball offers. In fact, (as stated) one offer was 5K over the highest comp (yet still 10% below the listing price). Therefore, the listing were OVERPRICED.
**The sellers have not gotten their price, and they won't. (Even if someone offers their price, it would only work as a cash purchase, as the houses will fail to appraise at the asking prices, and the mortgage will be rejected, unless the prices are adjusted accordingly).
***They are NOT the highest ranking school districts in the country, or even the state. (Have I mentioned that I am a statistician?) They are excellent school districts, but some are more legends in their own minds). You may (or may not) want to check your opinions, before you state them as facts.
Barbara said: Second, WHY ARE YOU USING A BUYER'S AGENT? No seller in their right mind will pay that extra point.
*Because I need a buyer's agent to get and evaluate the comps for any house of interest, which then determine the offering price. My offers are based solidly on CMAs for the past 3 months, the same school district, and within 1 mile of the house for sale. This is the only good way to determine what the house is actually worth, according to recent data, and market trends (which are conservatively projected to contract another 5.6% for Suffolk county for 2008, and another 2.8% for 2009, by the way).
**The seller does not need to pay an "extra" point. They should have the seller's agent split their points with the buyer's agent.
Barbara stated: Another possible reason? I have rejected 4 offers for the sale of my house and accepted an offer lower than some because I want a truly qualified buyer. Today's sellers do not want to get stuck waiting for mortgage commitments that never arrive. Any really good seller's agent - like mine - only recommends accepting an offer after fully vetting a buyer. Pre-qualification is the absolute minimum requirement. 719 credit score 15% downpayment is the new standard. Under 719 is considered sub-prime.
*Here's where you provided my biggest chuckles. Where did you get your information, I'm curious? First of all, my LOWEST fico score is (drumroll, please......) 795! (Right back "atcha!)
**15% as the "new standard?" "719 is considered sub-prime?" Not according to my banks. Again, where did you derive this information? Oh, and a pre-qualification letter is not worth the paperwork that it is written on, as only formal pre-approvals involve a complete credit and employment check, etc.
***I got my pre-approval from a well-established (and local) bank. I'm good to go. I'm a seller's agent prime candidate, and I'm negotiating from a position of strength (did I mention that I'm renting?)
Keep living the dream, Barbara! Sadly, seller's attitudes like yours will help to keep us mired in this housing crisis.