Yep, that is what I said…It hasn’t happened in a VERY long time, but it happened yesterday. My clients looked at a home and totally fell in love with it.
A little background…We have been looking since around October for that perfect home. The first one we put an offer on was a brand new home, 3600+ sq.ft., with a large backyard. The price was $254,000+. Since the home had been sitting there for a long time and the builder hasn’t had anything sold since last summer (and this was January), along with the fact that the home was 80% complete (which it would have to be finished before my clients took possession), my clients offered $248,900. And, since the listing stated that the builder would throw in 2” blinds and either a fence or appliances (washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator and microwave) my clients said “what the hell, lets try for all three”. A little background on the builder showed that one of their other subdivisions had gone into foreclosure. We thought for sure they would take our offer or at least counter. They countered all right, at a tune of $258,000 and $4,000 earnest money. Oh, and the listing information was incorrect as we were told that it was a “fall promotion” that they forgot to take off the MLS. WHAT?!?!. My clients ran from that very quickly and my client said he will buy the house when it goes into foreclosure. Lol.
Now, on to the home with multiple offers…At this point I know exactly what my clients are looking for and there hasn't been anything on the market even close. One morning searching the new listings, I found it. looked at it immediately~what a beauty! Priced at only $164,900!! Everything my clients were looking for: a wonderfully landscaped backyard with an in-ground pool, a nice grassy area for their dog, a gardening area, sprinkler system, “move-in” ready, a front porch to die for…everything. I even had their closing gift picked out because the wife said, “I could definitely see a couple Cracker Barrel rocking chairs sitting here.” I even showed the home to in-laws. I made an offer for them of $160,000. The next day I get a call from the listing agent telling me that she could only get to her client the next day since they were traveling and that there was another offer that came in…uh oh. WHAT? ANOTHER OFFER? She couldn’t present the offers until she spoke with her clients (the next day)…At that point I immediately met with my clients at the home. I informed them that their offer needs to be clean and with as much money they are willing to pay…their highest and best offer. They only went up $1,000 but we took off a list of contingencies. We still kept contingent upon a home and pool inspection, appraising for purchase price, seller paying ½ closing costs, and a home and pool warrantee. The home was priced at or a little above value so I thought our offer would be considered…The listing agent kept constant contact with me and I really did think we had it in the bag. Not once did I ever let my clients think they would get it. I even got a text that night from my client wanting to know how I felt about it. I texted back that I don’t guess at what sellers think and it could go either way.
Got the call last night from the Selling Agent…I am so sorry but your offer was one of three that the sellers received. WHAT? THREE? I thought there was only one other offer. The Agent informed me that the Sellers decided to go with another offer that would net them more money. Um, Okay. Thanks. Good for the Sellers, not so good for my clients. You have no idea the lump in my throat and the sick feeling in my stomach I had when I called my clients up to tell them that their dream house wasn’t theirs. UGH. I was sick all night. We will start all over again next week…I hope.
Here is my point…the market is turning around here in Huntsville, Alabama. If there is a GREAT priced home it will sell and for asking price (or very close to it). Buyers need to keep in mind that when faced with multiple offers you need to do your absolute best price wise. A month ago it was a buyers market. Home prices had dropped at least $20,000, this month, a complete turn around. I am hoping that this is a good thing and not just a fluke. We have been in such a housing funk for a few years that there was no “buying/selling season”…I am guessing it is changing back to old school.
And just something I found from REALTOR®.com about multiple offers and how clients/agents need to handle them (this is just the short list, click on the link to see why each of these matters).
REQUEST A PRE-INSPECTION
APPROVAL LETTER UP FRONT FROM YOUR LENDER
EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT
TRUST YOUR REALTOR
COPIES OF REPORTS
Good luck out there...that real estate market is heating up!!!