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Strange Real Estate Experience...
Old 02-25-2009, 03:55 PM   #1
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Strange Real Estate Experience...

Had one of the strangest RE experiences this week. Maybe some of you out there who are or were in the business can offer your perspective on this one.

We have been looking at moving across the country, have been working with a local RE agent at our destination city. They are an online firm, not your traditional bricks and mortar agency. Great website, good buyer tools, maps, comps, estimated values, etc. –especially attractive for an out-of-state buyer. The agent has been good at follow-up, viewing homes for us, arranging a couple of house hunting trips, etc.

Anyway, we finally found a house we like. It is bank-owned, structurally sound, but needs quite a bit of TLC. The bank knows this and has said “make an offer”

We submitted an offer that reflected the amount of work and cost required to return the house to a condition comparable to the rest of the neighborhood. We included proof of funds, and indicated we would pay up to 50% down on the house.

Keep in mind, this property is bank owned, and has been on the market for over 7 months. The new listing agency has only had the home for a week.

The listing agent fired back an email a few hours later, saying the bank had rejected our offer. No counteroffer. He also said that they had received two other offers that day and the bank had countered both of them. When our agent pressed him for details, he changed his story and said the bank was now asking for best and final offers (after he has had the listing for a week?)

I requested a signed copy of the rejected offer from the bank; he says he doesn’t have to provide it. Based on the timing and his bs responses, I am fairly certain he never even submitted our offer to the bank. I am reluctant to submit another offer unless I am sure that my first one was actually reviewed and rejected by the bank. We are interested in raising our bid, but not if we are bidding against ourselves.

It appears he is trying to protect his listing price, and probably does not want to split the commission with our agent. In talking with a few other folks in the area (mortgage broker, appraiser, etc) they indicated off the record, that many of the bricks and mortar agencies in the area are unofficially boycotting working with this Internet-based firm.

Anyone else on the board ever experience anything like this or have any ideas about how to get around this guy?
We really like the house, and it will be a good value if we can buy it for anything close to our asking price.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:04 PM   #2
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Knock $5000 off your offer, then resubmit and say it is your final offer. Tell them you are getting nervous about buying a house in this market and are reconsidering buying at all and may just rent.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:30 PM   #3
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Does your agent know the bank's agent? What does your agent think is happening?

Often there is no written rejection of an offer, just a refusal to accept it or counter. I know that I have rejected offers over the phone.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:47 PM   #4
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Does your agent know the bank's agent? What does your agent think is happening?

Often there is no written rejection of an offer, just a refusal to accept it or counter. I know that I have rejected offers over the phone.
The bank is out of state as well- and from what I have been able to gather, overwhelmed with foreclosures- which is why I suspect they couldn't respond so quickly. My agent also thinks he didn't submit the offer- she has worked several other foreclosures with the same bank and says they are usually slow to respond, and either return a counteroffer or an acceptance. She has never seen an outright rejection.

I don't really care that they rejected our initial offer- but I want written proof of that rejection before making another offer. The agent should be happy to provide it, since he knows another (better) offer would be forthcoming, thereby increasing his opportunity for a sale. His refusal to provide it leads me to believe he never submitted it in the first place, my understanding is this is illegal and violates the RE industry code of conduct. (If he provides one dated after the rejection, we know he didn't submit it when he said he did; if he doesn't provide it at all, he probably figures he will be off the hook since we have indicated we won't submit another one until he provides the proof. And if he waits, he may get a better offer, which will increase his commission.)
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:10 PM   #5
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Could he have put the up the listing without having a signed agreement with the bank? And then when he got your offer realized the problem he had. In any event, and if he is a REALTOR (should be identified on his "listings" or Web-site), I would file a complaint (just the facts no speculation) with the NAR (National Association of Realtors). Additionally, why has your agent and or his/her supervising broker not attempted to contact or offered to contact the bank (owner of the property)? I would think it is also in their best (vested) interests to be involved in the sale of the property. Something just does not ring true in this situation. You may want to contact the supervising broker for the other agent (and maybe your agents broker). However, many banks are now just by-passing the RE agents and going straight to auctions - thereby cutting them out of any commission (so they save the 6 or 7% commission cost and can further reduce the prices on REO) .
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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Could he have put the up the listing without having a signed agreement with the bank? And then when he got your offer realized the problem he had. In any event, and if he is a REALTOR (should be identified on his "listings" or Web-site), I would file a complaint (just the facts no speculation) with the NAR (National Association of Realtors). Additionally, why has your agent and or his/her supervising broker not attempted to contact or offered to contact the bank (owner of the property)? I would think it is also in their best (vested) interests to be involved in the sale of the property. Something just does not ring true in this situation. You may want to contact the supervising broker for the other agent (and maybe your agents broker). However, many banks are now just by-passing the RE agents and going straight to auctions - thereby cutting them out of any commission (so they save the 6 or 7% commission cost and can further reduce the prices on REO) .
The local bank that had the original mortgage was sold to BoA a while back. My agent has their managing broker looking into it. She is understandably frustrated.

Looks like the other agent might be a one-man-band.

I was just poking around on the assessor's website and see that they are also behind 21K on property taxes...
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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Hm...a few hours seems very suspicious. I bought a bank-owned property, and the process moved like a geriatric glacier. I submitted my offer and didn't hear squat for about a week despite mine being the only offer.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
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DW is a realtor and almost daily comes home shaking her head at the irrational behavior of banks during short sales and foreclosures. It seems as if they are gaming and stretching things out, maybe stalling for the details of the housing rescue before they deal in good faith.

I think I'd rather buy a FSBO on my own with a lawyer, than deal with a cyper-only Realtor.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:33 PM   #9
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UPDATE

This just gets stranger...

The house has now been on the market for a couple of months. The owner (bank) has lowered the price twice. Over the last week, We had local contractors in to look at the repairs needed, factored their bids into what we felt the house was worth, and submitted another offer last night. Find out this AM that another (countered) offer was accepted by the bank "4 hours" before our offer came in. The listing agent knew we had contractors in and out of the house (they all signed in and left business cards) and were putting together an offer, but never said a word to our agent about there being an active offer on the table while we were going through the exercise.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
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There was a bank owned house in my area that the listing agent would not show it, even said current resident would not allow showing.
I pointed out that no one was living there, how do I know no one is living there he says, I told him I looked through the sidelight and house is empty.

Next day the agent had covered the sidelight so no one could see in.

My theory was that the listing agent wanted to pick this house up cheap for himself or friends when house goes to auction.
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:40 AM   #11
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Even if by some miracle the acceapted offer falls through and you eventually get the house you will never feel right about living there. You will probably always feel something was shaky or you overpaid. Find another house and a reputable real estate person.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
UPDATE

This just gets stranger...

The house has now been on the market for a couple of months. The owner (bank) has lowered the price twice. Over the last week, We had local contractors in to look at the repairs needed, factored their bids into what we felt the house was worth, and submitted another offer last night. Find out this AM that another (countered) offer was accepted by the bank "4 hours" before our offer came in. The listing agent knew we had contractors in and out of the house (they all signed in and left business cards) and were putting together an offer, but never said a word to our agent about there being an active offer on the table while we were going through the exercise.
Stinks, but it happens. We drove 160 miles to look at a house. Went through. Submitted an offer. Then was told that the sellers had accepted an offer even before we went through the place. Our agent was almost as livid as we were.
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:54 AM   #13
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Happened to us twice, once with a home and again with a resort property. Some realtors are just greedy. We feel sorry for the sellers.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:21 PM   #14
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What astounds me is the number of homes for sale on the internet that don't have pictures.

Maybe some have something really bad to hide but one must know that the overwhelming majority of people cruising thru the internet looking at properties, especially if it's a remote search, will simply pass by anything without pictures. Everyone has a digital camera now, it's pretty much free to put nice photos of the house so people can get a feel for it.

I couldn't imagine accepting a listing agent I've hired having it on craigslist or realestate.com without a picture, I'd fire them just for that.
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:14 PM   #15
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From what I can tell... most agents lie... even when they do not have to lie..

I doubt your could have gotten a response in a few hours... just does not sound right...

I would go to another agent... if one seems like they are not being truthful it can cost you a LOT of money IMO...
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:14 PM   #16
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The agent's job is to know what is going on, When this happened to us, we told our agent that we considered it to be her fault and that she had better stop wasting our time. She did smarten up after that and started asking the tough questions about every listed property that we looked at. We were eventually able to find a motivated seller without a crooked agent listing it.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:19 PM   #17
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You would think with all the problems that real estate has caused for the economy, agents would try and be "better" at the way they handle transactions. In reality, real estate is like the wild west - the last frontier of crooked business. Knowing that can work to your advantage. Not knowing it will frustrate you at the least.
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