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Asked by Pat Broe, New York, NY Sat Sep 15, 2007

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sat Sep 15, 2007
The value of an offer is more than just "price", it is also terms. Sellers have often indicated that "x" was their lowest acceptable price, only to later accept an offer that was for less. That really isn't that uncommon. I have dealt with sellers who have declined an offer, and I have, as their sellers agent, indicated to them the possibility that they might not again achieve an offer as high. Later the same seller ends up accepting a lower priced offer. While we, as Realtors, advise our clients of possibilities, we have no crystal ball to predict exactly what will happen.

Pertaining to the comment “verbally accepted”........I am not clear what has happened to this point to arrive at “verbally accepted.” It is possible that a written offer was presented, a verbal counteroffer was made, and verbal consensus reached. If this is the case, although I have no way of knowing from the info provided, the parties may sign and firm things up within the day. The offer that was "verbally accepted" might meet the sellers terms better than the offer you made. There are also sellers who take the position that once they make a commitment, they will stand by it. Since I don’t know what was meant by “verbally accepted”, the above may not apply. Realtors are not required to present verbal offers, but some Realtors will present verbal offers. Our office does not present verbal offers, but our office, as most Realtors do in this area, will verbally communicate the counteroffer.

A note to other RE Pros NJ, as I have mentioned in other threads, a contract, even upon signature of both buyer(s) and seller(s), is not automatically binding when a real estate licensee completes a standard residential real estate contract form. NJ real estate law allows a buyer or seller the right to an attorney review before the contract becomes binding. Since there is an attorney review period, even if the parties signed today, this buyer may still present an offer that could accepted in lieu of the already signed contract. Note: Only an attorney can void a signed contract during the attorney review period. The sellers might feel ethically and morally obligated to honor their commitment to the other contract.

You, as a buyer, have the right to have your written offer forwarded to the attorney representing the seller. Most transactions in NJ include an attorney. If you maintain an interest in the property, you can hire a buyers agent who will write your offer and have it sent to the sellers’ attorney office. Since you have seen the property (I assume), the agent who showed the property would be your likely representative. Unless you have a reason why you don’t think that agent is the proper representative for you, I would suggest you ask that agent to present your offer. If you want a different agent to represent you, the second agent will need to know the facts to determine evaluate the subject of commissions. The original showing agent may have a claim to the commission. Anytime you have more than one agent on the buy side, the subject of commission and who is entitled to be paid becomes an added dimension to the circumstances.

In order to present an offer that will gain credible attention, you will need your pre-approval letter, signed property disclosures, proof of funds (if cash), lead paint disclosures, and any other special requirements for the subject property, to accompany the written offer.
1 vote
Mr.P, , Arizona
Sat Sep 15, 2007
Good Morning Pat,
Let`s see if I am understanding your question correctly.

Seller states lowest price to you. Let`s say $200,000
Then accepts verbal from from ( another ) low bidder say 25K less. ie: $175,000
How do you bid?

Well it does not sound like you are using Realtors, so I would be careful.

Again how do you bid?
I would have my Realtor run comps to make sure it is a good deal, put an offer in writing( contract) solid earnest money, add loan approval. COE date.
Now you maybe the same amount as the verbal offer, but much stronger in writing.

Now if this is a FSBO and there are no Realtors involved. I would suggest that you interview a few agents and hire the best to represent you.

If I am misunderstanding your question, please re word ti and ask again. Otherwise, I hope this information helps you.
Good Luck
Keep me posted.
1 vote
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sat Sep 15, 2007
Is there a Realtor involved in this transaction?
Web Reference:
0 votes
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Sat Sep 15, 2007
How you bid, dollar-wise, depends on what the house is worth on the market and/or worth to you personally. I have clients who will pay above asking/market price for a house that they really want.
As far as how do you bid, procedure-wise, you are best to get an agent to write you up a contract to purchase. With that contract, you should be prepared to present a pre-approval, not pre-qualification letter from a lender, or a letter from a financial institutuion showing proof of funds (if you are a cash buyer.) Also, if there is a sellers' disclosure, you should sign and present that with your contract.
You are just in the beginning of a long, stressful and emotional, process. You will need to get yourself an attorney, home inspector, etc. Find yourself a good agent to help you.
Web Reference:
0 votes
J Lo, Home Buyer, California Glory, Brentwood, CA
Sat Sep 15, 2007
"Accepts" verbal from a lower bidder - maybe lower bidder has better financing options? That's the only scenario that would make any sense.

Are we still talking about the same home you wanted to wait for the agent to be out of the picture from - or is this a new property? Help us out here Pat!

And Hey Sylvia & Patrick: Do you guys sleep at all?
0 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sat Sep 15, 2007
Hello Pat,

A busy day for you on Trulia :-) Probably a very emotional day also. That's how real estate can be sometimes. Sorry.

Just answered another one of your questions; and one more earlier. Yes, that’s exactly why you need to have a reputable Realtor representing you in the purchase of your house.

Just because a seller, in this case, presumably the friend you are talking about in the other post, tells you what his lowest acceptable price is, it does not mean that he would not go ahead and accept a legitimately written offer from a serious buyer who is currently in the market with fully documented financing resources and represented by a Realtor who will able to see the transaction through. To the seller, there is a lot more advantage to go with somebody who is ready to make the purchase happen right now than the $25K, especially in a buyers market,

It is also a lot safer for the seller than to wait for somebody (you) who happens upon the house and who is willing to wait for (?) months so you can bypass the agent to save the commission. The seller is smart to deal with somebody right now instead of waiting for some deal that may or may not happen several months down the road, not to mention that he has to represent himself in that case.

I know in the other post, most of the agents said that verbal offer is not a binding offer, but remember most of us are from different states and I do remember that in a previous posting, agents from some states said that verbal offer is almost (? – as I can’t quite remember, so I say ‘almost’) as good as written offer in their states. So, you need to check the specific wording on that.

Also, like the one I just answered, just because the seller is your friend, it does not mean that he does not want the best for himself - human nature and I can't blame him because selling or buying a house is probably one of the most important transactions a person can make and they have to look out for what's best for them. This is more the reason why you need an impartial person to represent you

You have a lot of questions tonight. This is seriously the time to get a Realtor for you (I am not even in you area so I can't make a commission from your transaction). But now you can see what kind of things can happen when buying a house. A reputable Realtor can give you good advise and help you sort through all these. He or she can also widen your search to help you find your dream home for a reasonable price. If you need a referral, my company has a great relocation director (rave reviews for her), I am sure she can help you.

Web Reference:
0 votes
Nelson, , Phoenix, AZ
Sat Sep 15, 2007

Are you working with a real estate professional? A REALTOR should be able to give you an accurate market outlook and recommend and advise you on how to make an offer. In this scenario, your written offer may be better to a seller than a "verbal" agreement with somebody else. You need to know what your price range is and have your agent make an offer accordingly. Also, do you really want to deal with a seller who may be playing games with you? How did you find out about the other low bid? Hope this at least gives you some guidance.
0 votes
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