Sort Sale offer

Asked by babo, 08820 Tue Jun 16, 2009

Hi I had put an offer for a short sale in Jersey City NJ in APRIL for 291K and since then I feel the prices have gone down. The seller singed the offer and send the contract to the lender. Now they have approved the short sale but came back with a counter offer of 319K. Now I am not even comfortable with my original offer of 291K. I have two question
1. Can I offer them less amount. Is my negotiation directly with bank or the Seller?
2. Can I withdraw my offer and what happens to the Deposit I put in both the case.

I am asking this because I don't feel my REA is on my side. He is more interested in getting the deal done at a higher price.


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Andres Garcia, Agent, Hoboken, NJ
Tue Jun 16, 2009

You are negotiating with the seller. Before any offer goes to the bank the seller has to approve it.

1) You can offer a less amount, however if the bank did not accept you first offer they likely will not accept an even lower offer. In fact the owner may not even let it be presented. If the seller has a good agent that agent will advise against presenting your new lower offer. Time is of the essence for distressed homeowner. As a Certified Distressed Property Expert, I would never let my client tie up the property by presenting an offer that is very unlikely to be accepted. The reason you likely waited so long for a counter is that the bank was ordering a Broker Price Opinion (BPO). BPOs are prepared for every home a bank is going to sell short, or foreclose on. A BPO is an independent price analysis from a 3rd party Realtor. Banks rely heavily on this price opinion in their dealings.

2) When the bank countered your offer, they rejected your original offer. That offer is now officially off the table. You are not obligated in any way to buy the home at the $291K and should be entitled to your deposit back.

Equally as important as your questions was one of your comments though, do you feel your agent isn't "on your side" because he, or she, isn't telling you what you want to hear, or do you really not trust them. If you feel your REA isn't "on your side" because you think they are untrustworthy find a new agent. Why would you work with someone who you don't feel has your best interests in heart? However before you do that, stop and take an objective look. Do you think they are just not on your side because they are telling you you should be offering more? Perhaps you should be? I can't say without knowing the details of your purchase, I just suggest you take an objective look and know the difference between a shady untrustworthy agent and one who may be telling you the truth, even if the truth isn't what you want to hear.

Andres Garcia
Sales Associate, CDPE
RE/MAX Gold Coast Realty
56 Newark Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Direct: 201 795-5200 x340
1 vote
Jack Vollenb…, Agent, Flemington, NJ
Fri Jun 19, 2009
Hi Babo,

Andres really covered all the bases in answering your question. The only thing I would like to add is the importance of the source for the higher number that the seller is looking to get. What are they basing that on? BPO? Interior BPO? Actual appraisal? I put them in that order on purpose as each is more involved than the prior one. I come across a lot of BPO reports in our office and I can tell you from experience that their quality can vary wildly. If you strongly feel that your offer amount is correct, back it up with your own BPO or appraisal report. Prove your case and engage the homeowner in this process. It's a short sale, they're not getting anything out of the deal other than the chance of avoiding a foreclosure on their record. They might be able to discuss with you where the bank is getting their number from.

Good luck and feel free to contact me if you need additional advice.

Jacobus "Jack" Vollenberg
RE Appraiser - Vollenberg Appraisers
Asset Manager - ERA Statewide Realty
Cell (973) 590-0142
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