I keep saying this because it’s so hard for buyers to believe, but if a new listing comes up that is reasonably priced, in reasonably good condition, it will sell within 24 hours. Let’s take a recent weekend as an example of this crazy market:
I listed two homes on the Friday, one for $269,900 by the University of Utah, and one in Sandy for $194,900. The latter house was a “flipper”; the first was a groovy updated home whose seller was relocating to Denver. By Saturday night, I had two offers on the U of U house and one on the Sandy house. By Sunday, I had two more offers on each property. Then Monday morning, I had another offer on the U of U house (totaling four offers.)
What shook out in a short period of time is that the agents offering on the University of Utah home got in a price battle once we notified them of multiple offers. The agent on the Sandy property won their bid because by the time the second offer came in, the first offer had already been accepted. That second buyer will sit in backup position (if they choose), fasting and praying that the first offer fails for some reason.
The person I felt the sorriest for during all of these offers was the guy who e-mailed me Monday morning. His offer on the U of U house was way low, plus he asked the seller to pay his loan closing costs of $6,000. On top of that, he didn’t have a real-estate agent and was representing himself. He had met one of my agents at the open house and told him he had fired his Realtor and was going to represent himself and that he wanted to write an offer on the home.
Representing yourself in a real-estate purchase is totally legit. I’ll totally cop to the fact that since I am a Realtor, everything I write here would be considered suspect. But let me advise you that, now more than ever, a buyer needs a real-estate agent! The unrepresented buyer had no clue how to construct his offer so that he had a good chance at maybe winning the bidding war. He submitted his offer without any verification of lender approval, either. As I represent the seller in the transaction, there’s no way in hell am I going to help him negotiate an offer lower than other, better than full price offers.
If a buyer has an agent, and that agent has a listing the buyer wants to purchase, the listing agent can represent everyone in the transaction with the approval of all parties. I like to say, “Unless I’m given specific permission to share everything, I can’t tell the seller what the buyer would really pay, and I can’t tell the buyer what the seller would really take.” What I can do I help the two parties negotiate a sale as long as everyone agrees that I can do that on their behalf, and in writing.
If you’ve been trying to purchase in the past 30 days and are still looking, you’ve probably learned that good houses go fast, and you have to be in the game every hour, on the hour, to get in the bidding game. If you have just begun looking, get ready for a smackdown bidding war!
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