Profile picture for user8811896

Why seller accepted a much lower offer?

About four months ago I saw a house selling for $575,000. The seller was sort of disabled and abroad and one of her relative was taking care of the house. I made an offer of $500,000 and the agent called back one day later with a counter offer of $525,000. I didn't raise my offer and heard nothing since then. But last week I saw from zillow that the house was sold for only $450,000 and the deal closed one month ago. I am wondering why my offer wasn't considered and I wasn't at least contacted before the deal. With my offer I would be able to put at least 25% down, and I'm in the highest group in credit scores.
  • September 22 2013 - Commack
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Answers (13)

Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
Contact the agent or call a local Realtor to ask, I would not be at all surprised if the sale price was not different than zillow reported. I don't follow zillow's sold accuracy so I don't know if they are good or bad at it. I have a guess though..... based on their incorrect estimates.
  • September 22 2013
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I have to agree with Tim and Rachel, the Zillow number might not be accurate.   If you would like me to check to see what it sold for, give me the address and I can look it up for you.  As for your offer, you might want to call the agent and ask them what happened.  By law, all offers must be presented, so I do hope she/he did present your offer to the appropriate party. 

You never know, they might have sold it to a relative and gave them a good deal...

I hope you have better luck on the next house you find.

Regards,
Lyssa

Lyssa Gugliotta
Coach Realtors
[deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
  • September 22 2013
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
If you want to know why an individual made a decision, you really have to ask that individual.

As to why the individual did not come back to your original offer? Did you keep in contact and let them know you had continued interest? As a seller, I do not assume anyone is waiting unless a very short period of time has elapsed, or they have asked contacted me to follow up.

As for "sold prices"...

My experience has been that "sold prices" tend to be accurate, except for when a refi or non-arm's-length-transfer is incorrectly reported as a sale.
  • September 22 2013
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
From what you've described the seller did respond too your offer and you didn't make a counter offer.  Why do you think that they should negotiate with themselves?

And I'm in complete agreement on this one with So-Cal about individuals making their own decisions. The emotion of these sales is far more dominant than some people like to acknowledge. Personal emotions very frequently make these deals happen or not.
  • September 22 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
There is a lot that goes on between an offer and actually closing.  There are two major possibilities:

1.  The other offer had no contingencies and could close quickly (perhaps all cash).


2.  The other offer was higher but in the inspection etc things were discovered that ended up with a significant reduction in price.

Zillow sales prices are accurate most of the time, but of course you can check public records directly if you wish.



  • September 22 2013
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The other offer may have started higher but after inspections it was negotiated again
  • September 22 2013
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100 reasons... from being able to close in a week, to no appraisal, no inspection, just likes the person ....
  • September 22 2013
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I would follow up on the accuracy of the final sale price. 

Once the seller presented you with a counter offer, your original offer was rejected and only the sellers counter remained.  If you made no response to this counter within the specified time, the counter also become void.  The sellers were not required to follow up with you further. 

As stated above, there could be hundreds of reasons why they accepted the other offer even though it was less than yours. 

Best of luck to you in your home search!
  • September 22 2013
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Continuing the train of answers; check for accuracy. 

Beyond that, there's lots of reasons this could happen.  Recently, an agent in my office told me a story about a buyer and seller deadlocked in counter offers regarding nuanced stuff amounting to only about $1,500. 

The seller experienced a very sudden death in the family during this process, and counter offered at 10k under the buyer's initial offer just to get the process over with and the home sale closed ASAP. 

There are crazy, and sometimes unfortunate, circumstances that often dramatically effect real estate transactions.  Unfortunately, if the reported number is accurate, you may never know the real reason unless you can get in touch with someone involved in the transaction itself.
  • September 22 2013
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
We keep on saying in this forum that there is more to a sale than the price, terms are very important.  You do not know if the price is lower because it did not appraise or the seller agree to a price reduction after the home inspection.  You can call the assessor's office to obtain the sales price, but the terms are private between buyer and seller. 
  • September 22 2013
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First, you may want to confirm with your agent the final sales price per the MLS. Often when you respond to a counter, there may be other terms besides the sales price that could in the end effect the final sales price. If for example the inspection revealed items that were then renegotiated, it could effect the final closing costs. Additionally, in some cases the lower offer may not have required any financing, making the seller feel much more confident about a deal that would require no lender appraisal.
  • September 22 2013
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Profile picture for user8811896
Thank you all for the replies. I wouldn't argue with any emotional factors or zillow mistakes. But against some other arguments, here are some additional facts:
1. The house was in a condition needing TLC, which was obvious and stated.
2. The house was removed from the listing not long after my offer. It's quite some months back but I'd say it's no more than 2 weeks after my offer.
3. The house was closed more than 2 months after removal from listing, indicating unlikely a cash offer.
4. I was financially able to close as indicated in my previous posting, and also I was flexible in time.
What I was mostly puzzled is that the RE broker even didn't bother to give me a ring before removing the listing. It's worth $2,000 for herself, and $50,000 for her client. Or are we already past capitalism and in communism?
 
  • September 22 2013
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If your agent was aware of your continued interest that could have been conveyed to the sellers agent. I suspect once you didn't reply to the counter, all parties seemed to discount your interest. That's unfortunate as you obviously were, and still are, interested in the property. In hindsight, a counter to their counter seems like it would have been a good choice. As I stated before, once their counter expired with no response, negotiations ceased, and they had no further obligation to consider your offer in their transaction. If your curiosity is getting the best of you, real estate transactions are part of the public record. Perhaps that could help answer some of your questions.
  • September 22 2013
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