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Tales From The Real Estate Trenches

Realtor Life with Theresa Grant

Here's my offer...Hey, why are you laughing?

I feel like either something changed massively in the world in the few hours that I was asleep, I'm being punked, or some ill-informed "how to buy for pennies on the dollar" seminar just released the attendees, complete with their complimentary koozies for their cheap beer with the so-called expert's contact information on it. You know what I mean.

The other day one of my listings fell out of escrow, and it went back on market. The list price is $178k. Comps show it valued at $215k if repaired to standard market condition. It's a darn good deal. Since I'm trying to get as many properties as I can under contract right now I was very excited to receive an offer on the home this morning!!!

Until I opened the offer, that is.

Look, I get it. Everyone likes a good deal, but let's get real. Sending me an offer for $115,000 with an earnest money deposit of $500, asking the seller to pay for everything including buyer closing costs, and using a hard money loan? I was trying to swallow some coffee as I read the first page of the offer and it almost spewed all over my desk as I tried to hold back a laugh.

I always appreciate when a fellow Realtor takes the time to show one of my listings - and additional time to write up an offer - but come on. That price might have worked in 2002. Heck, if the house was going to sell for that amount I'd be on the phone with my favorite lender right now and writing an offer myself.

Of course, the offer has been presented and the seller is, to put it delicately, vastly underwhelmed.

But wait, there's more! I received an email this morning from someone who would like me to represent them in a home purchase, and they lead off with "I'm seeing properties in the US selling for at least $100k under list price, that's what I want." After I sent them back local market data in a tactful and polite way, the response was to send me the properties selling for $100k under list. Guess what? They were all old properties that reverted to the lender in foreclosure, and they were comparing the list price for the properties when they were for sale as "short sales" against the foreclosed value. Apparently she has a friend who has a friend who is teaching her everything they know about real estate purchases. (That is "not much".)

It's not just me, though! One of the other Realtors in my office was telling me about these clients she's trying to work with who consistently want to offer $30-50k under list price because they "want a good deal".

Oy. Vey.

Current score: 110 days left, 8 closings to go, but to be fair I have 5 in escrow. Thought I'd be transparently honest about that.

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