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What did I do wrong?

Hi guys,

Let me preface this by saying we are pretty green regarding home buying.

We found an REO property that we really liked, but they were asking more than it was worth.  There was a homebuyer offer only period for 2 weeks and we agreed to wait til near the end of that period to submit an offer to negotiate a lower price.

 All of this was fine at first. About a week before the homebuyers period ended, I started sending my agent emails about what we needed to do to get the offer ready.  Those emails started turning into calls.  We kept asking our agent to tell us what information we needed to provide for him and what we needed to do to be prepared to make the offer.  On the very last day of the homebuyer's offer period we were scrambling.  We finally got a copy of the paperwork from our agent late in the afternoon.  We found out at that time that someone else had put in an offer on the house and the bank had made a counter offer.  I more or less had to skip work to get everything done and faxed back to our agent, but by the time he was ready to make the offer the bank had accepted the other buyers offer.

 I'm not mad that we didn't get the house.  I'm disappointed, but we knew we might not get it since we wanted to negotiate a better price.  I'm angry that we spent a week screwing around and were scrambling on the last day of the homebuyer offer period without an offer ready and never even got one submitted.  So guys, am I right to be angry about this?  Should I have been more forceful stating that we wanted to have the offer submitted by a specific day?
  • June 14 2014 - US
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Answers (5)

Yes, I believe you have a very good right to be upset. If a buyer wants to write up an offer on a house it should be done at once and not wait. Then the buyer's agent will need to register the offer with the agent representing the home for sale. This is the only way to work in real estate.

I am sorry for your bad experience and wish you the best in your next offer.
  • June 15 2014
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Without knowing the specifics . . . if I were trying to lowball an REO, I'd wait for the "investor" period to open up, because in my experience - which isn't extensive when it comes to REO properties - if they don't get the offer they want from first-time buyers, then they move on to the investors.

You can be angry, for sure, and we don't know why (either) your agent wanted to wait 'til the last minute, when you could have done this during the week. I can tell you that most real estate problems are the result of poor or mis-communication, and on top of that, the real estate profession does not have a standard for how much or little pressure to apply to clients, which means that sometimes we're too pushy for some people and we don't take enough charge for others.

I hope you work things out and find a good property to buy.

All the best,
  • June 15 2014
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Profile picture for nhmd
Thanks guys for the responses.  It was my agent's idea to wait until the end of the homebuyer period.  In his defense we did agree to the strategy since we wanted to come in with an offer quite a bit lower than their asking price.  I'm not actually that upset about the strategy (even if it was the wrong one).  I'm more upset that we were scrambling on the very last day of the homebuyer period trying to get the offer ready and didn't have anything done until 9 PM.  I didn't expect "we'll put the offer in at the end" to mean "We'll wait until the last minute to prepare everything and hope nothing goes wrong".  I agree there are always two sides to the story, and I'm guessing my biggest mistake in all of this was not making it clear that we wanted to have things prepared in advance.  I tried to prod him by asking what we could do to help move things along, but I wasn't explicit.  I probably should have nailed specific dates down (have the offer ready on day X, plan to submit the offer on day Y). 

So I guess for anyone else working with an agent, don't just verbally make loose plans and assume you are on the same page.  Nail down all of the specifics well in advance.  Don't be so laid back and trusting like I was.  You may miss out on something really great.
  • June 15 2014
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I know how you feel. Most of us have been there before. Chances of not getting accepted is high or you do not like the high counter price.  If it was me I will try to be there quickly not waiting that long. The late birds get the left over if any left.   

These days docs come with all electronic signature.  There is no need to fax back and forth.
There are always homes on the market. Good luck,

Sam Shueh  
 
  • June 14 2014
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On the surface from reading only your side of the story, this sounds like Agent Fail. My guess is that without checking with the listing side, your agent assumed no offers would be considered until the end of the 2 week homebuyer period— guess it's safe to say that was a very incorrect assumption.  In order to indicate interest in a property to the seller whether it be a bank or an individual, you as the buyer have to give them something to work with, in writing, i.e. an offer to purchase. Waiting around until the end made you miss the game, you never got to play because you didn't show up! It's really not a strategy, not sure if it was you or the agent who came up with the idea, but hopefully you've both learned it doesn't work. 

However, in fairness to your agent, his/her side of the story hasn't been presented here: my advice is to have a face to face meeting with the agent to discuss your frustration and express your desire to have your offers submitted on all future properties quickly so seller's can give you due consideration. If the agent just doesn't get it, then perhaps it's time for you to cordially end your working relationship and find a new agent. Best of luck, I'm sure you'll find the perfect home! 
  • June 14 2014
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