Some Agents Are Dealing With Offer Rejection
A frustrated home buyer in Orange County called to ask why I thought that her offers weren’t being accepted and often, in many cases, were unacknowledged. I don’t know why she called an agent in northern California. Now, I don’t know the Orange County market because I haven’t worked in that area since the 1980s. I primarily sell real estate in Sacramento. But if that market is anything like Sacramento, entry-level housing is hot, hot, hot. Which means multiple offers. This buyer is trying to buy a short sale.
I asked the buyer if her agent had any experience working with short sales. The answer was no. I pointed out that some agents refer their clients to an agent with experience in exchange for a referral fee.
“But,” she moaned, “We’ve been writing offers since January; that’s when we moved in with our parents.”
Four months is a long time to be hitting a block wall. “If you don’t talk to your agent about this,” I answered, “You’ll still be living with your parents in September.”
That’s all the help I could offer because I cannot advise nor interfere with another agent’s transaction. It’s against the Code of Ethics.
I also received an offer from an agent on a Sacramento short sale listing after disclosing that multiple offers were coming. The agent offered list price and asked for the following:
- 3% concession to the buyer
- home protection plan
- pest report and completion certificate
- 2-year roof certification (which may require repairs)
- seller to comply with FHA requirements
I asked the agent why would she include all these things that the bank is unlikely to pay for? On top of which, with multiple offers, I can pretty much guarantee that every other offer will exceed list price by thousands, if not tens of thousands. Once the bank receives the estimated HUD-1 — even if every offer was identical in price — this agent’s offer would fall to the bottom of the pile because that net will be much lower than all the others.
The agent responded rather curtly, “Because we expect to negotiate those things with the bank.”
It’s not my place to tell another agent how to conduct her business, so I refrain from offering suggestions under these circumstances. The point is the bank will never negotiate with her buyers because those types of offers are rejected by the seller. Who wants to sit in escrow for 8 weeks with a buyer whose offer will be rejected or renegotiated? We want an offer that will be accepted first go around.