Questions About Today’s Real Estate?

Ask Phyllis!

Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with Prudential California Realty.
She may be contacted at (818) 790-7325 or by email
Please visit

Dear Phyllis,
We have been looking at homes for a few months and made an offer. There are six offers on this home and our Realtor® told us we have to increase our offered price.  The seller’s Realtor® said he can’t disclose how much higher we need to go. I don’t want to lose the home but don’t want to pay more than I have to.  

Any advice you can provide is appreciated, thanks.  
1st Timer

Dear 1st Timer,
We are in an extremely heated seller’s market. Most homes are selling quickly, often in multiple offer situations and many for over asking price. There is a shortage of available homes for sale and unfortunately, you are competing with investors, flippers and cash buyers.

When representing a buyer, I often find that if I ask the seller’s Realtor® (listing agent) the right questions, I can get some much needed background information.

1) I can learn how many offers there are;

2) How many are over asking price, if any are cash, or contingent upon the sale of another home, etc.

I need to determine when the seller will be looking at offers and whether he will be countering all of them or just the best ones for the final offer. Most sellers are countering with final and best price. Once I learn this, my client and I will discuss comparables (comps). Then we need to decide how much the home is worth to them. Is this the perfect home with the ideal floor plan? Or are they settling?

Once we arrive at our final offered price, we can discuss which other terms might entice the seller to accept our offer. Is the seller desirous of a long escrow? Does the seller need some time after closing to move out? Perhaps the seller wishes a rent back? There are some other tactics for you to discuss with your Realtor® which can have serious ramifications:

1) Waiving your appraisal contingency. Keep in mind that lenders will loan based on the lower of the purchase price or appraised value. An 80% loan to the borrower is based on the lowest value. If you waive your appraisal contingency you may need to increase your down payment.

2) Waiving your loan contingency (these can be helpful when competing with cash buyers).  Obtaining a home loan today is more difficult than ever. If you wave this contingency you need to discuss this carefully with a reputable lender (one with years of experience).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.