Questions About Today’s Real Estate?

Posted by on Jul 18th, 2013 and filed under Between Friends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Questions About Today’s Real Estate?

Ask Phyllis!

Buying in a seller’s market

Phyllis HARB 2012 WEB

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

Dear Phyllis,
When is it time to find a new Realtor®? My wife and I have been looking for a home for several years and we just can’t seem to find an agent who knows how to get our offer accepted. We have a large down payment, (nearly 25%), a high FICO  score and because we are renters we can close sooner rather than later.  

In this insane market, structuring an offer and presenting it in a way that gives us an advantage is critical.  

How do we find an agent who knows how to do this?  
Dear Ralph,
It is a very difficult and emotional time for home buyers. There is no secret to writing an offer that gets accepted; it boils down to price and terms. Was it you or your Realtor® who decided on the offer amount?

I recently had clients with a 40% down payment write an offer. Because of their large down payment, they were in a position to waive their appraisal contingency, which they did. The seller received more than 10 offers and my clients were bested by another offer coincidently with a similar large down payment, but $10,000 higher – the seller accepted the higher offer. My client didn’t even have the opportunity to increase his offer as the seller decided not want to counter.

It boiled down to initial offered price. I knew the seller’s agent and she pushed for the seller to give my buyer a counter, but because they were light on offered price, they didn’t get it.

Each home seller has different needs and each will handle the offer process differently. But just to put this market in  perspective: Buyers with 20-something percent down payments and high FICO scores are on the low end of the totem pole. Your down payment is competing with cash offers and other buyers with substantially larger down payments. Sad but true, it is a seller’s market and you are competing with both cash buyers and buyers who, because of their larger down payments and equally impressive FICO scores, are better qualified than you.

Unfortunately, there is no real estate magic, you just need to find a real estate agent who you believe is working hard and networking on your behalf. They could/should be sending letters to expired listings and exhausting all avenues.

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