Making offers on pending short sales

Asked by Jeffrey Palmer, Los Angeles, CA Sat Jan 12, 2013

Is it a fruitful activity to make backup offers on pending short sales in case the buyer falls out?

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Douglas Lagos’ answer
Douglas Lagos, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Jan 14, 2013
Alyssa Fry is correct. As long as you will be #1 backup, you should be OK.
Deals do fall through for many reasons.

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Douglas Lagos
Realtor®, Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS)
DRE# 01921046
Coldwell Banker Residential
Tel. (310) 463-8088
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Alyssa Fry, Agent, Studio City, CA
Sun Jan 13, 2013
I would say "yes" - but don't rely on it to come through and keep "shopping" and only do it if you are the first or second accepted back up offer. If it comes to fruition before you have found and been accepted on another place - great! But, what I have done, is used a form that is in the C.A.R docs to cement that I am the next backup offer should the original offer fall through. This is a contract demonstrating that your offer is accepted and will be the #1 (or 2) back up. Key being - that it is a contract making it official but it doesn't bind you to follow through on the purchase should you find another place before it is available. If you are going to be backup number 5 - I probably wouldn't waste my time. Check with your agent regarding this form and cement your offer! It does rely on the other agent being forthcoming or your agent being persistent. The agent I worked with was impressed with offer we had made, told me that and asked me to be the back up if we were interested. As fate had it, my client found another place and was in escrow when she contacted me back to see if we were still interested. I just saw that you are in Florida - what I just stated is for purchases here in California. Can't speak for the process in Florida if that is where you are buying - but I would check into it. If you are buying here in California - definitely look into it.
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SERGEY FEDNOV…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sun Jan 13, 2013
I agree to previous answers - short sales sometimes come back on the market. There for sometimes it make Seneca to place a back up offer.

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carlos parra…, Other Pro, Monrovia, CA
Sun Jan 13, 2013
Absolutely! You never know, things go wrong very often.
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Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sun Jan 13, 2013
Dear Jepmail2,
If you can spare the good faith deposit and make an offer as good or better then what is already on the table (or all cash), it might be. They do fall out pretty often.
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Neal Grusky, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Jan 12, 2013
It never hurts to try . I have done this for several clients and had a bit of luck too.
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Neal Grusky
DRE# 01890580
Hpremiere Properties
Real Estate and Financing
10940 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1600,
LA, CA 90024 | Office:
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James Sanchez, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sat Jan 12, 2013
I would say don't waste your time... reason there are to many agents that don't understand the words "back up offer". If the property is listed with a real, on top of their game agent who understands and respects their fellow agents then yes.... you make ask what do you mean?? In today's market there are to many agents who don't know or understand those words. When their listing falls out of escrow, the first thing they do is put it back on the market, which is fine, if they don't have any "back up offers". See a real agent, one that has studied, learned and has respect for their fellow agents would pick up the phone ( which so many of today's agents don't do) and would call the other agents to see if their client was stil interested. .. hence the words " back up offer #1, back up offer #2 and so on.....if those agents who submitted the back up offer asked their clients and their clients said no.... then put the house back on the market.

I can say I have only had one client buy a house as a "back up offer" and that's because the agent called me and told me they were having issues.

Good luck,

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Sona Gallatin, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Sat Jan 12, 2013
No, it's a waste of your time. Very often once its pending, it's pretty close to a done deal and if by any chance it falls out of escrow, there are usually several back up offers in line. Better to concentrate on real active listings.
Buyer be aware, there are listing agents who do not practice to the code of ethics they are supposed to, check on the DOM number of days to see how often a sale has gone from pending to back up or hold and so on and stay clear of these so called deals.
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sat Jan 12, 2013
It beats the Lottery,
but not by much.
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Jane Peters, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Jan 12, 2013
It certainly doesn't hurt. So many things can go wrong, so if you are in first backup position you will e next in l ine.
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