As the real estate market continues to adapt to changes in lending, federal and state regulations and the demands of the market – you as a buyer can often be left confused. Why are your offers not being accepted? Why does the house get advertised at a price lower than the bank will accept? Why are you not even allowed to bid on certain homes?Here I will try to cover the highlights and the main things you need to know. For more in-depth information feel free to contact my through my website at PSagent.com or the email link on this blog.
1) The house was listed for $145,000 now my agent tells me I have to pay $152,000. Why?
Answer: In a short sale there are many factors that determine price. Very few homes are offered at a price that has been preapproved by the bank. Mostly it is the experience of the realtor who listed the home and their knowledge of the market that determines the asking price.
When placing offers on short sale homes the best idea is to decide on a price RANGE you are willing to pay for that home. There are many factors and many players in a short sale. You will most likely make yourself crazy if you agonize over every dollar and what it is called. Decide on an acceptable range for a home and be happy if the bank approves a price in your range. Regardless of what the costs are called if the end number is one that you think makes the house worth it then you have a good deal.
2) There is a perfect home in my neighborhood that has come on the market at a dream price but my agent tells me I am not eligible to offer on it. This doesn’t seem fair.
Answer: Part of the fallout from the foreclosure crisis is to blame. Cities, counties, the federal government and even banks are looking at ways to get families in homes. The local communities do not want vacant homes creating blight, the government wants to help banks and consumers by filling vacant properties with stable home owners who are keeping the property up and paying the bank for a mortgage.
The combination of all these concerns has led to programs of all types, nationwide, that are all different. The main goal of all of them is neighborhood stabilization. Some of the ways they do this is to select certain homes in a neighborhood that will be slated for sale to private homeowners rather than investors or second home owners. Many times these homes are sold with special incentives for first time homebuyers or income qualified participants.
If your agent is telling you that you can’t qualify for a property, that is in your price range, it is most likely for one of these reasons.
3) It seems like my offers never get accepted, even when I offer the full price. I am approved by a lender and feel like I am doing everything right. What is wrong with my offers?
Answer: The first part of this answer really has more to do with the big picture of your marketplace. Ask your agent to analyze the price range you are buying in. It is possible that while the overall market activity is sluggish that your price range is quite active. Typically, when this is true, that means you are competing against investors and all cash buyers. It is hard for a seller to look at an all cash 30 day close offer and be objective about your finance offer. The cash offer looks like money in the bank. Your offer looks iffy.
Secondly, work with your agent to develop a strategy for getting a house in your price range without having to go head to head with cash buyers. Some examples of these things can be a personal letter to the seller about why you like their home, contacting agents whose properties have been “in escrow” for more than 70 days. There may be a problem and you could be the savior by putting in an offer just as the one they had is falling apart. In general – think out of the box.